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NFL schedule coming, Dolphins have 18th toughest

The NFL is expected to release its 2012 regular-seasons schedule this week, likely as early as Tuesday.

There are no secrets here as far as what opponents will be on the grid, just what order the games will come and what teams will get prime time dates on Monday nights, Sunday nights, Thursday nights and Holidays.

I wouldn't bet the Dolphins get too many prime time games simply because the NFL doesn't consider them a sexy team right now. I would say the Dolphins might get one prime time outing but we'll see this week.

The opponents?

The Dolphins will play the Bills, New England and Jets in a home-and-home series as they always do with their AFC East rivals.

At home, Miami will also play Jacksonville, Tennessee, Oakland, St. Louis and Seattle.

On the road the Dolphins will play Houston, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Arizona, and San Francisco.

The Texans, Bengals, and 49ers made the playoffs last year so, combined with two games versus New England, the Dolphins are scheduled to play five games against teams that made the playoffs in 2011.

Despite the relative lack of playoff caliber opponents, the Dolphins do seem to have a cakewalk if one believes the teams' records. Miami has the 18th toughest scheduled depending on 2011 won-loss records.

One thing that must be pointed out: Look at the home schedule. Yikes! No wonder the club is having trouble selling tickets (aside from their own problems). Seattle is about as far from Miami as one NFL team can get from another. The Jaguars and Titans excite absolutely no one. Oakland does have some following but the Raiders are hardly a marquee team anymore. And the Jeff Fisher revenge bowl simply does not stoke too many flames that I can muster.

The W-L records for opponents for every team is below. The astericks denotes 2011 playoff teams.

By the way, let me warn you before you scan the chart. The easiest schedule belongs to New England. The Patriots were in the Super Bowl last year. Crazy, right?

Rank Team Combined W-L Record Winning Pct.
1 N.Y. Giants* 140-116 .547
2 Denver* 139-117 .543
3 Cleveland 135-121 .527
4 St. Louis 134-122 .523
4 Baltimore* 134-122 .523
6 San Diego 133-123 .520
7 Philadelphia 132-124 .516
8 Minnesota 131-125 .512
8 Arizona 131-125 .512
10 Carolina 130-126 .508
11 Seattle 129-127 .504
11 Dallas 129-127 .504
11 New Orleans* 129-127 .504
14 Jacksonville 128-128 .500
14 Cincinnati* 128-128 .500
14 Pittsburgh* 128-128 .500
14 Indianapolis 128-128 .500
18 Oakland 127-129 .496
18 Miami 127-129 .496
20 N.Y. Jets 126-130 .492
20 Kansas City 126-130 .492
20 Chicago 126-130 .492
20 Detroit* 126-130 .492
24 Washington 125-131 .488
24 Atlanta* 125-131 .488
24 San Francisco* 125-131 .488
27 Tampa Bay 124-132 .484
28 Tennessee 123-133 .480
29 Houston* 121-135 .473
29 Buffalo 121-135 .473
31 Green Bay* 120-136 .469
32 New England* 116-140 .453

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