Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel tells doubters buying media’s easy-schedule narrative to ‘F off, with all due respect’

Life is always good down in South Florida, but that’s also certainly the case for the 2023 Miami Dolphins. They are off to their best 14-game start (10-4) since the 2000 season when they won the AFC East with an 11-5 record. However, they have built their 2023 season record off facing the NFL’s easiest schedule, a .393 opponent winning percentage, from Weeks 1-15, and none of those 10 wins is against teams that currently have a winning record.

The Dolphins have feasted on teams that currently have a .500 or worse record, winning 10 of their 11 games against such opponents. Head coach Mike McDaniel and his NFL-best scoring offense (31.5 points per game), is readying to face the toughest remaining strength of schedule in the final three weeks of this season, .690 opponent winning percentage.  

They will host the 10-4 Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve in Week 16, travel to the AFC’s current top seed — the 11-3 Baltimore Ravens — in Week 17 and then wrap up their regular-season slate at home against the surging 8-6 Buffalo Bills in Week 18. Despite his team’s clear juxtaposition in on-field results against teams with winning and losing records in 2023, McDaniel doesn’t care about any narratives, at least outwardly. 

“The thoughts are firmly with getting better from this previous game and as I talked to the team today, I instructed the players that anything other than to concern yourself with the next opponent, which for us is the Dallas Cowboys, any other narrative that has to do with good teams or playoff seeds or the next three games, all that stuff … I gave them the clearance to tell all members of the media to — with all due respect — F off, with all due respect,” McDaniel said Monday as laughter broke out. 

“Because all we’re focused on is the Dallas Cowboys, and they definitely deserve our attention. So as we clean up our game from the previous, we’ll be thinking about that, and the narratives will be what they be and we’re not really concerned. We know that’s going to exist, but it’s really inconsequential for what we’re trying to do.”  




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The next three weeks, McDaniel and his Dolphins have a tremendous opportunity to throw this narrative in the trash. Now to the head coach’s point, it’s time to lock in to prove the naysayers wrong.

The Miami Dolphins are having their best season since 2000, with a 10-4 record after 14 games. However, their success has come against weaker opponents, with none of their wins coming against teams with winning records. Despite this, head coach Mike McDaniel is focused on the upcoming game against the Dallas Cowboys and not concerned with any narratives or playoff scenarios. The Dolphins will face a tougher schedule in the final three weeks of the season, including games against the Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills. McDaniel sees this as an opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong and is solely focused on the next opponent.

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