At first glance, you can't help but be thankful the Dolphins' schedule isn't anywhere near as difficult as last season's. The downside to that, however, is that the Dolphins only have one prime-time game. For any Dolphins fans who live outside of the Miami area, you're going to want to pick up Direct TV if you plan on watching the Miami Dolphins more than once this season.

Here's a look at the schedule:

2012 Schedule
Week Date Time Opponent
1 Sun 09/09 1:00 P.M. EDT at  Texans
2 Sun 09/16 1:00 P.M. EDT vs. Raiders
3 Sun 09/23 1:00 P.M. EDT vs. Jets
4 Sun 09/30 4:05 P.M. EDT at  Cardinals
5 Sun 10/07 1:00 P.M. EDT at  Bengals
6 Sun 10/14 1:00 P.M. EDT vs. Rams
8 Sun 10/28 1:00 P.M. EDT at  Jets
9 Sun 11/04 1:00 P.M. EST at Colts
10 Sun 11/11 1:00 P.M. EST vs. Titans
11 Thu 11/15 8:20 P.M. EST at  BIlls
12 Sun 11/25 1:00 P.M. EST vs. Seahawks
13 Sun 12/02 1:00 P.M. EST vs. Patriots
14 Sun 12/09 4:05 P.M. EST at  49ers
15 Sun 12/16 1:00 P.M. EST vs.Jaguars
16 Sun 12/23 1:00 P.M. EST vs. Bills
17 Sun 12/30 1:00 P.M. EST at  Patriots

Week 1: The Dolphin kick off the first week of the season against a dangerous Texans team. The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans since they have come into the league and I don't see it happening this time. Matt Schuab should be back, and even without him, the Dolphins would have a tough time winning.

Week 2: Carson Palmer and the Raiders come into Miami in what should be a pretty good game. The Raiders started out last season hot, but finished in a less than impressive way. With Darren Mcfadden back and healthy, they're going to need to shut him down if they want to win.

Week 3: Here it is. The first game against Tim Teb.... I mean Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets. I believe this will be a good game because the Jets seemed to have gotten worse, and in a division game, anything can happen.

Week 4: The Dolphins face off against the Cardinals, another quarterback needy team. I give the Dolphins the advantage in this game. Just watch out for Patrick Peterson on returns.

Week 5: The Dolphins head to Cincinnati and face off against the surprise team of 2011. Dolphins fans have to be jealous of the Bengals, who now have their young QB of the future. This game will be close throughout, but the Bengals should come out on top.

Week 6: The Rams are a team that I think the Dolphins should beat easily. They have needs all over the place. Unless Sam Bradford takes a huge step forward next season, expect a win for the Phins.

Week 7: The Dolphins players take a rest while the fans wait impatiently for two weeks.

Week 8: The Dolphins face off against the Jets for the second time. Have you noticed the Dolphins will have played the Jets twice before playing the Bills or Patriots once? Who makes these schedules?

Week 9: Here's an interesting one. The Dolphins will face-off against the Colts in a game where they better get the victory. Show Andrew Luck the Phins don't need him! 

Week 10: Here's a game that should be a good one to watch. I think the Dolphins will handle the Titans.

Week 11: Finally. Another division team not named the New York Jets. The Bills have gotten a lot better with the signing of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. Their defensive line is SCARY. I still like the Dolphins in this one, though. Book it.

Week 12: Can the Dolphin handle The Beast? I think they get it done.

Week 13: The Dolphins wait all the way until week 13 to get a crack at Tom Brady. The Patriots made a major upgrade at receiver in the offseason and they still have those two tight ends. It's hard to be optimistic here.

Week 14: The 49ers, like the Patriots, made a huge upgrade at receiver. They are a very dangerous team going into the season. If Alex Smith can do a little bit more, they have Super Bowl written all over them. Expect a loss here.

Week 15: Will Chad Henne be starting in Jacksonville? I sure hope so. For once we can look at Chad Henne with smiles instead of punching holes in our television sets. Expect a win.

Week 16: I'm going to project a loss here because I expect the Dolphins to split with the Bills.

Week 17: I'm thinking the Patriots are 13-2 at this point and may want to give their starters a rest. Knowing Bill Belichick, however, he wont rest them until they're up three touchdowns.

Projected Season Record: 8-8

A 9-7 record isn't completely out of the question. If the Dolphins can pull out some starters in the Draft, they could scratch out plenty of wins with this soft schedule. I'm going to be realistic with my projection, though. A lot of things would have to go the Dolphins way if they were to get into the playoffs. Matt Moore or David Garrard would have to turn into a legitimate starter and the Dolphins would have to find an instant starter and producer at the receiver position. They also would need to fix the right side of the offensive line and find some decent production at pass rusher. There are too many variables to say the Dolphins are truly a playoff contending team.