The 2023 season is officially here. The Miami Dolphins are heading into the season coming off a 9-8 season that ended with a playoff appearance, marking three straight years the team has finished with a winning record. With new additions during free agency and the draft, the Dolphins look to build off last year's success.
The Dolphins start on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 10, in a matchup that will feature two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Their most recent contest was last season in Los Angeles during Week 14, where the Chargers picked up the win, 23-17.
Led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins look to keep the offense producing like last season. The Dolphins finished 2022 ranked fifth in yards per game (364.5) and fourth in passing yards per game (265.4). Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both set career highs in receiving yards – Hill with 1,710 and Waddle with 1,356. Hill broke the franchise record for most receiving yards in a season, surpassing Mark Clayton's 1,389 yards back in 1984. Ironically Hill broke the record during last year's matchup against the Chargers.
The Chargers finished 10-7 and second in the AFC West behind the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers secured a spot in the postseason, but their playoff run was cut short at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card, courtesy of a 27-point comeback.
Quarterback Justin Herbert signed a massive contract extension this offseason to stay in Los Angeles through the 2029 season. He has the most passing yards of any quarterback in the first three years of a career with 14,089. The Chargers have seen an increase in win total with each season he's been in the league. With the likes of running back Austin Ekeler, wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and more, the Chargers have a diverse pool of talent on the offensive side of the ball.
The Dolphins defense will rely on several playmakers on the defensive side of the ball to help slow the Chargers attack such as defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler stopping the run, linebackers Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips providing pressure and cornerback Xavien Howard and safety Jevon Holland in the secondary locking down the wide receivers.