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The difficulty of the 2009 schedule [Update]

The NFL will release its 2009 schedule on Tuesday and what that means for the Dolphins is we'll know the order in which they will take on the NFL's most difficult schedule.

As you will see on linked NFL.com chart, the Dolphins are scheduled to face opponents with a combined .594 winning percentage from a year ago. That combined record of 152-104 is the toughest any team will face.

Methinks the schedule is one reason so many Dolphins fans believe their team might take a step back in 2009 after posting an 11-6 record in 2008.

But take heart. There are reasons not to fear the difficulty of the schedule to come.

While the Dolphins may have the toughest schedule, the New England Patriots (.590 opponent winning percentage) have the third-toughest. The Buffalo Bills have the sixth-toughest (.570) and the New York Jets have the seventh-toughest (.568).

So some team might just have to limp to the AFC East title.

The Dolphins, meanwhile are scheduled to face 13 games in which the opponent had a .500 or better record in 2008 while New England and Buffalo face the same number. The Jets will have nine games against teams with a .500 or better record.

The Dolphins play only three games against teams that had a losing record in 2008 -- two of those against Buffalo and against Jacksonville.

Of course, all this can go out the window if the teams that played well in 2008 don't pose similar difficulties in 2009. It also would throw the difficulty of the schedule off if terrible 2008 teams play surprisingly well in 2009 -- as the terrible 2007 Dolphins played well in 2008.

But the fact Miami does have the toughest road back to the playoffs of any team -- for the moment at least -- is a steep mountain to climb.

[Update: The Dolphins are expecting to be on prime time at least once and perhaps more than that early in the season, before the string of late-season games that can be flexed on and off prime time kicks in. The Dolphins surprised a lot of people by winning the AFC East last year and team officials believe the networks will take note and give them some prime time (Sunday night, Monday night) coverage. The Dolphins had no prime time games last season.] 

Miami's 2009 opponents:

HOME: Buffalo (7-9), Houston (8-8), Indianapolis (12-4), New England (11-5), New Orleans (8-8), Jets (9-7), Pittsburgh (12-4) and Tampa Bay (9-7).

ROAD: Atlanta (11-5), Buffalo (7-9), Carolina (12-4), Jacksonville (5-11), New England (11-5), Jets (9-7), San Diego (8-8), Tennessee (13-3).

[BLOG NOTE: Check in often Tuesday as I will post the schedule as soon as I have it, along with analysis an reaction.]


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Please dont get upset if the fish start out at 2 and 5.

No need to worry about the schedule.
As you mentioned, some teams with good records last year will not do as well, due to injuries, personnel changes, coaching, and chemistry changes. Likewise some of last years sub .500 teams will play better.
So the trifecta should stay on course, as they seem to be, and focus on building the type of team that plays the style of football they want, plus consistently competes at a high level every sunday for years to come.

We have already seen some of the building blocks put into place, and this draft will be more pieces added to that 1st year foundation.

This is a brand of football not seen in Miami for nearly a decade. Enjoy the ride folks!


It was funny 4 about 1/4th of your post... Hope football starts soon so you have something to do!!

It will b TOUGH people!! But Tuna was on a 3 year plan!! Last yr was gravy & Chad a gift from football gods!! We will over take Poili-less Belicheat and the Patsies after this draft & next off season..


How can you explain selling your loyal readers' email addresses to spammers. That is despicable and I hope you can answer for yourself.


What are you talking about, the Herald gets your email everytime you post.

The schedule looks tough and that is the way it goes. I am sure that Sparano will have the guys as ready as they can be. With that said, am I expecting less. Hell no. We can win everyone of those games. The scoreboard reads 0 - 0 at kickoff and it is anybodys game.

A good draft, maybe a trade and a bit of a bounce and we are in any of these games. I believe that if we can really run the ball this year, we will win. We have improved the line and that is where itstarts.

The strength of schedule before the season starts means absolutely nothing. Who would have guessed at draft time last year that the Ravens, Falcons, and Dolphins would make the playoffs? Who could have guessed that the Cowboys, Patriots, and the Jaguars would have missed the playoffs??? ... nobody....

I agree with souljahbeats. The schedule means nothing because last year evryone that was playing against us penciled a "W" in their game column until they played us. Our schedule doesn't scare me at all. GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!!

we still in early mornning and soulj already dreaming that the schedule isn't important,way to go mr football.

Like Yoda said to luke " Be afraid, be very afraid"

Any prime time games for us this year?

1.we play the steelers and colts at home

2.only make one west coast trip to san diego

3.we don't have to play in houston, where for some reason we always lose.

what is so tough about this schedule?


Armondo; After the pansies were 16-0 when the new schedule came out. last year NW had the easiest schedule in the whole league. Our fins have a winning record and we get the HARDEST schedule in the league.Who makes out the SCHEDULE ROBERT CRAFTand BILL CHEATS.What gives? There should be some paridy no mater who wins the division. PLEASE REPLY BACK.

You folks are in denial, I agree with the fact that some teams that played well last year might not be as tough and there might be some surprise teams this year but you can't overlook the fact we are playing teams like the Colts, Steelers, Titans, etc. Maybe a couple of teams that had winning records last year don't this year but we still will have the 2nd toughest schedule since 2003. You have to think the WC is out of the picture so it is division crown or bust.

armando, don't you think the other teams are saying- damn!, we have to play the Dolphins?

Bobby, the schedule is set on a rotating basis. You play the other three teams in your division twice every year. The Pats & Jets both had winning records so that increases the difficulty rating. In addition you play every team in one division in each Conference. Last year was AFC & NFC West which happened to be the two weakest. This year we have the AFC & NFC South which are very good. AFC South (Colts, Titans, Jags, Texans) NFC South (Panthers, Falcons, Bucs, Saints). Finally, with two games left you play one team from each of the other two divisions left in your conference (the AFC West & AFC North). That is determined by where you finish in your own division. Since we won our division, we play the winners of the other two (Steelers, Chargers). Pats get the (Ravens, Broncos), etc. The last part is the only difference in our schedule from the Pats, Jets, and Bills. So you can let go the conspircy theory stuff, we are all going to have a rough road ahead.

All that matters is that Phins beat the Jets,Bills and the Pats. Oh, and the Chargers I'll be there. AFC Champs, Back to Back!

The new schd. comes out at 7 pm tonite....

clyton, what does AFC CHAMPS means,do win anything with that like natural body flush?

I think next year we have the North divisions which will be NFC (Packers, Bears, Lions, Vikings) and AFC (Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals)

Morning everyone. I would respectfully ask you post about football and leave the comments about your chatroom lives out. This is a FOOTBALL BLOG so can we please act like it at least once in a while?

Breaking news, the Dolphins expect to have at least one prime-time game?! LOL. Come on Armando. Can't you get us some real news on the schedule. Like who they open with? And not the preseason!

fins will get bills in game 4 and for fins to go to playoff they must win against steelers and colts at home

is it true fins will open the new season on the road? the marlins should just move to nicaragua or some thing

I've been saying for a while that I didn't believe the Dolphins could do better than 8-8 or 9-7 next year. The more I think about it you never really know. This IS a Bill Parcells team and we know the players love coach Sparano so who knows what these guys can accomplish. One thing we know for sure is that there will be no quit in this team. They will play tough and play with pride. This is not Camerons Dolphins and they won't be taking plays off. The players are more comfortable with the system and the way they go about preparing having been in it for a full season. Last year was new but this year there will be a level of comfortability that will allow them to get right to work. Ronnie will be two years removed from his injury and could have a HUGE year running behind an improved O-line. The depth on the o-line has improved which will help us through injuries. TE end spot is not spectacular but solid on both ends. WR'S improved all year long and they'll be adding one or two young guys to compete. Our defensive rookies are no longer rookies and our d-line and lb corp will improve for that reason alone. But they'll still pick up one or two players that will be able to immediately contribute. Wake may turn out to be a monster! SS,FS, AND left CB slots are strong and with the addition of a big young CB to compete (hopefully take the job on the right side) we could have a very solid defensive backfield. So you just never can count out a Parcells built team, tough all around and lots of heart. Things will clear up a bit after the draft but watching what they did last year has to give you hope that these guys are on the right track.

wouldn't be a good thing for dolphins to win the first game of the season on the road which will give this team a huge lift to start on very high note with Ted G inn having a touch down.then Pats meet them in the playoffs and crash all their hopes.then they meet the jets and trash them and their hopes go up again,then they come to daddy tom brady and they back to miami with honor and loss of 44-3

We have the exclusive:

Buffalo W
Houston L
Indy L
New England L
New Orleans L
New York W
Pittsburgh L
Tampa Bay W
Atlanta L
Buffalo W
Carolina L
Jacksonville W
New England L
Jets W
San Diego L
Tennessee L

Breaking news: Dolphins 6-10 in 2009.

Yes, we suck.

GoPats, if the Phins play the Pats in the playoffs and the Pats "crash all of their hopes", how will the Phins then go on to play the Jets and then "trash them and their hopes go up again"? Think it through bud. Also while you're at it please explain how you think the AFC east will send three teams to the playoffs in a conference that is so strong.

Lastly, I'm really interested in why you call Tom Brady "daddy". Wait a minute, no, I'm not.

must wins for fins next season,
steelers at home
jets at home
colts at home
houston at home
bills at home
new orleans at home
jets on the road
now some one else has to find me 4 more wins
P.S...any one says this schedule is a hard one should be working in a pet store .

NY SCOTT 1-it was a typo error.

2-I said you come to daddy tom brady cause you guys know him so well an love him dearly/

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is the most meaningless stat in sports.
Nonetheless it will be the lead story all week and have all the ESPN pinheads in a frenzy.
The suggestion that Miami will automatically fall off because of strength of schedule change is fundamentally flawed. Lets look at it. Ok, Mr Expert .. your argument goes like this, "Miami is unlikely to equal 11-5 this year because last year they played weaker teams and this year they will not." And what pray tell, defines weaker and stronger? Hmmm it would appear to be those teams records from the previous year. Do you know who those teams played in order to amass those records? Get the picture? Its useless, yet so called experts like John Clayton of ESPN insist that
Miami's past record is not an accurate indicator of what to expect in '09 of because they played teams with, you guessed it - poor records. And next year they will play teams with - yep - better records. You cant have it both ways idiots. The best you could do is take a 3 year avg of records when the teams have pplayed every other divisision, but thats even useless, because even 1 year is an eternity in the NFL becauise a team can remake itself with free agency, the draft, new GM , or fall because of injuries. Look into something called the 'Markov chain' in mathematics and you might get a better insight in to deterministic events and stochastic processes. But don't flaunt idiotic stats and pass it off as anybody but what it is - crap.

That guy, after deep thinking since you wrote your last post a minute ago,i found your words makes a lot of sense but if we can't keep talking like this what you recommend for us to do and talk about?

That Guy , LOL. What a F'n Idiot.

I have to admit it: I was the one sending Derrick the Red Lobster email. Sorry, dude. I just didn't want you missing out on Lobsterfest.

willi. since you send the lobster E mail ,did you send the other one about the "all natural body flush" or the" Magic jack " .any info will help .

why victoria secret would give dolphin fans a 500 dollars gift card to open and read e mail from them is strange, but in case they have no idea ,let me tell them that fins fans will be very happy to receive e mail from you every 30 minutes every day of year with no gifts asked.thank you

P.S...the Magic Jack E Mail should help the previous e mail.

Schedule, scmedule. Last year we were supposed to win 4-5 games at best according to all of these meaningless blogs. After all, the team was 1-15 and horrible. Jets fans had superbowl plane flights. Look. Either you love the fins or you hate them. If you hate them, get off this site. If you are negative, get off this site. The fact is this: the Fins must play their games as do every other team. Bottom line: you can't predict where we'll finish. Hopefully, at the top. But, i will say one thing: win or lose, this team will be competitive, in shape, motivated and ready to go. Now, with that said: Go Fins and Trifecta!

NJFINSFAN. You're probably new on this blog. Can you please pick a new screenname so nodody confuses us. I have the copyright on NJ PHIN FAN. " L "

NJ PHIN FAN ,what does " L " stand for here ?

i know you nj phin you won't use the L here for loser since you talking to a new guy but how you know that he's new ,that's always been the Q for me that you don't take any bait from any person but then you always wrong on thinking some one else is cuban the menace so how you always right about every one but wrong all the time accusing the cuban of getting you in the middle with other people .

Mr Bunglito,is a good name to have a copy rights for,do you have a copy rights for your name bunglito?

Gort aka ? . If you're going to impersonate the guy , at least get his name right. He signed is as NJFINSFAN. LMAO

I am the long lost brother of Mr Bunglito.

that was not me NJ PHIN FAN.you didn't my question about you always wrong about the cuban

MR Culito ? that's a smelly name. LOL

Yeeeeeesssss . It's Mi Hermano MR CULITO in da house.

NJ PHIN FAN, do you see what have you started

i dont get it.

Here are some likely prime time games for dolphins,,Indy, NE and PITT on sunday night,,and maybe Tennessee and Carolina on Monday night

HEY MAMANDO ELAGUJERO just posted on the SS. He's having a live blog at 7:30 pm tonight. I can't wait.


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