Quick Sunday night update: The Dolphins' season finale at New England has been shifted from 1 to 4:25 p.m. and will be given the highest profile of any game on CBS' schedule next Sunday.
Week 17 is the only Sunday of the year when BOTH CBS and Fox are permitted to carry double-headers.
Here's the full schedule: (All times are Eastern Time)
TAMPA BAY AT ATLANTA1:00 PM FOX
N.Y. JETS AT BUFFALO1:00 PM CBS
BALTIMORE AT CINCINNATI1:00 PM CBS
CHICAGO AT DETROIT1:00 PM FOX
HOUSTON AT INDIANAPOLIS1:00 PM CBS
CAROLINA AT NEW ORLEANS 1:00 PM FOX
PHILADELPHIA AT N.Y. GIANTS1:00 PM FOX
CLEVELAND AT PITTSBURGH1:00 PM CBS
JACKSONVILLE AT TENNESSEE1:00 PM CBS
KANSAS CITY AT DENVER 4:25 PM CBS
GREEN BAY AT MINNESOTA 4:25 PM FOX
MIAMI AT NEW ENGLAND 4:25 PM CBS
OAKLAND AT SAN DIEGO 4:25 PM CBS
ARIZONA AT SAN FRANCISCO 4:25 PM FOX
ST. LOUIS AT SEATTLE 4:25 PM FOX
DALLAS AT WASHINGTON*8:20 PM NBC
Fox-7 in Miami likely will air the Giants game at 1 p.m. and the Packers game at 4:25 p.m. Besides the Dolphins game at 4:25 p.m., CBS-4 will air either the Jets, Texans or Ravens game at 1 p.m.
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As we told you several weeks ago, the Dolphins' 2013 schedule - besides AFC East opponents - will include these games:
Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Carolina and San Diego or Oakland
Road: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and the Colts or Titans. It will be the Colts if the Dolphins win or Jets lose next weekend.
In case you missed it, here's the SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN from Sunday morning:
If you compare Ryan Tannehill’s body of work to all NFL quarterbacks this season, his numbers are below average – 29th in rating, 24th in completion percentage.
But if you compare his performance with other rookie quarterbacks over the past three decades, Tannehill measures out surprising well. The important caveat is that the game has changed and the league is on pace to set a record for per-game passing yardage and average quarterback rating.
But Tannehill, with a mediocre supporting cast, also has outperformed several recent rookies who played in this pass-happy era. Consider:
### Since 1980, 51 quarterbacks have started at least nine games as rookies. Excluding the four that played in other leagues before going to the NFL (Jim Kelly, Dieter Brock, Jeff Garcia and Warren Moon), Tannehill’s 75.9 quarterback rating ranks 12th. (Robert Griffin III is first and Ryan Leaf is last, by the way.)
Except for Charlie Batch (a serviceable Pittsburgh backup in his 15th year in the league), the 10 others who rank ahead of Tannehill either are in the Hall of Fame (Dan Marino), excellent (Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger), solid pros (Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer) or young players on track for good careers (Robert Griffin II, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford).
The average quarterback rating has increased about 10 points in the past 30 years, but Tannehill’s rookie rating margin over Troy Aikman (55.7) and John Elway (54.9) is considerably better than 10 points. Peyton Manning’s, by the way, was 71.2, and Eli Manning's 55.4.
And among 14 quarterbacks drafted since 2009 who started at least nine games as rookies, Tannehill’s rating ranks a solid sixth --- ahead of Andrew Luck (75.5), Brandon Weeden (72.4), Christian Ponder (70.1), Blaine Gabbert (65.4), Mark Sanchez (63), Matt Stafford (61), Josh Freeman (59.8) and Jimmy Clausen (58.4).
### Of those 51 who started at least nine games as rookies, Tannehill’s 58.7 completion percentage ranks 11th --- or ninth, excluding Kelly and Brock. Griffin and Roethlisberger are first at 66.4. Aikman was 52.9, Elway 47.5 and Eli Manning 48.2.
### Of those 51, Tannehill is 14th in passing yards per game (209), with Matt Leinart (212) the only bust ahead of him. This stat obviously is skewed by how the game has changed, but Tannehill’s rookie yardage average is comparable to Ryan (215), Dalton (212) and better than Seattle’s Wilson (192) and Eli Manning as a rookie (149).
### This, too, is encouraging: Among those who started at least 13 games, only Roethlisberger, Ryan and Griffin have thrown fewer interceptions as rookies than Tannehill’s 12. Sanchez and Stafford threw 20, Aikman and Freeman 18, Newton 17.
“I thought Tannehill would be very good to solid,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said this month. “Great would be a stretch. But he has all the components you need to be a good starting quarterback – the size, arm, athletic ability, mindset and competitiveness. He needs to be more precise, but that will come. He’s made some great throws.”
As fellow draft analyst Mike Mayock told Joe Rose on WQAM recently: “The kid can play” but is handicapped because “there’s no vertical threat on a consistent basis. It’s almost like watching an offense in a red zone for 100 yards.”
Hall of Famer and former Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese mentioned last week how he became so much better when Miami acquired Paul Warfield. He believes the same could happen to Tannehill if Jeff Ireland can find an elite receiver. “My three things are a quarterback needs to be accurate, needs to be a playmaker and make good decisions,” Griese said. “He does all three.”
### As usual, Nick Buoniconti was the most candid and critical among ’72 Dolphins gathered last weekend. “It’s tough to be this patient,” he said of being a Dolphins fan. “It’s time to stop talking and deliver. Face it: There’s a lack of talent. You know the old story: You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken [bleep].”
Like the other ’72 alums, Buoniconti says of Tannehill: “The kid is going to be good… .[But] obviously they don’t have any playmakers, no explosiveness offensively. Is Michael Egnew that bad? He must be terrible if they don’t play him. When they have opportunities, they’re dropping the ball or doing stupid things on special teams.”
Several expressed frustration with the offensive line, especially John Jerry. “Either grow up or move on!” Manny Fernandez barked.
And don’t ask Bob Kuechenberg about the wisdom of paying Jake Long a salary similar to $11 million again. “Get serious!” Kooch said. “If someone wants to pay for a guy that’s had a terrible year, well…”
### As for Egnew – who might be activate Sunday with Charles Clay injured – the issue isn’t merely blocking, but the fact the staff has been petrified he might make a mistake, as he has done in practice.
Egnew said he must "do enough to impress the right people to get on the field. I’ve gotten so much better, acquired a bunch of skills I never had before – footwork, blocking schemes I didn’t have in college.”
### Safety Reshad Jones, the Dolphins’ most improved player on defense, said the team has expressed interest in extending his contract beyond 2013. But impending free agent Chris Clemons said Miami has told him nothing about whether they want him back.
### Yes, this stuff happens in the NFL: In the wake of Marcus Thigpen dropping a punt against San Francisco, Jaguars players heckled him from the sideline last week, imploring him – unsuccessfully - to drop another while the ball was in the air.
### The latest criticism of Dwyane Wade was fired off last week by NBA’s Greg Anthony, who said Wade needs to “make a 17-footer consistently – where it becomes a layup like it is for Kobe Bryant and like it was for Michael Jordan. That is the part of his game that is not where it needs to be at this stage.”
Wade is shooting 37.7 percent from 15 to 19 feet – slightly better than average among NBA starting shooting guards but less than Bryant’s 46.5. Last season, Wade was at 32.9 from that distance, Bryant 41.0. But overall, Wade has played very well the past two weeks (shooting 63 percent overall over his past seven games). The Charles Barkley-led Wade bashing really needs to stop.
### Remarkably, LeBron James has now gone six straight games without a foul, including Saturday's win against Utah. Steve Nash went 11 in a row without fouling last season -- the NBA's longest streak in at least 15 years.
### Former UM and Dolphins receiver Lamar Thomas always has wanted the UM receiver coachs job – which is now open – and has kept in touch with Al Golden. But Thomas just took the receiver coachs job on Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky staff after being let go in a staff shakeup at Hampton.
### An FSU official said though Randy Shannon’s name was raised before the defensive coordinator job was filled by Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt, there was concern internally about how Shannon coaches defensive backs.
### Several teams have made offers for Giancarlo Stanton but none good enough for the Marlins front office to recommend to owner Jeffrey Loria. At least one Marlins baseball official believes the team should trade him for two or three excellent prospects, but he’s not making the decisions. Stanton isn’t eligible for free agency until after 2016, and Marlins likely will need to trade him eventually or lose him for nothing.