At first glance, the Miami Dolphins appear poised to breakout in 2013. They spent the offseason revamping their roster and adding playmakers all across the board. The Dolphins are by and large not the same team they were in 2012, and that's generated an airliner's worth of excitement.
Now the question is can Miami translate its new identity into a winning season? A lot of people (this writer included) believe the Dolphins will be vastly improved, but there are plenty of factors that could derail the still-gelling team.
Miami has a lot of new faces, and while those players are strong on their own, we still don't know if they'll make a strong unit. The defense is especially undeveloped, with an almost entirely new secondary and linebacker corps. Whether or not they'll mesh into a cohesive group is to be seen.
The same goes for the offense. Will Ryan Tannehill develop a healthy rapport with his new weapons, or will they constantly be on different wavelengths?
Those are certainly important questions, and their importance becomes magnified when you consider Miami's schedule. The Dolphins have the eighth-most difficult schedule in 2013.
Miami will have to navigate its thorny schedule with the aplomb of a group of veterans if it wants to make a run for the playoffs. And while the entire schedule is no slouch, here are five games that will determine the Dolphins' fate in 2013.