When 25% of your games are going to be played against future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, catching any kind of break, no matter how small, is huge.
This season we have two games on the road and two games at home against 3 guys heading to Canton.
On September 7th, we open the season hosting Tom Brady and the Patriots and on October 12th we host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Then on November 23rd we travel up to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos and on December 14th we head up to Foxboro to face Tom Brady and the Patriots for our second division game against him.
Now two on the road and two at home doesn't seem like a break unless you consider that we could have gone to Green Bay instead of to Detroit and Chicago in our games against the NFC North.
So catching Rodgers at home, where we play the Packers very tough considering our 6-1 record against them in Miami is a break. We have the all time edge vs. the Packers at 10-3.
And in Rodgers only game against Miami on October 17, 2010, we came away with a 23-20 OT victory at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers was 18 of 33 for 313 yards with one TD against one Interception with a QB Rating of 84.3.
So Rodgers is 0-1 against the Dolphins. How about that!
Peyton Manning hasn't faired that well against us either. He has a career record against us of 5-7 and hasn't put up Hall of Fame numbers.
In those games he has completed 244 passes in 404 attempts for 2957 yards with 18 TDs against 18 Interceptions. His QB Rating in those games comes to only a pedestrian 60.5.
Fear not Dolfans.
Now Brady, on the other hand, is 17-7 vs the Dolphins. In those games he has thrown for 5306 yards with 42 TDs against 20 Interceptions and is just over 90 with his QB Rating.
He has had 3 of his worst games in his career against us:
On October 7, 2001, he passed for only 86 yards on 12 completions in 24 attempts.
On October 10, 2004, he passed for only 76 yards on 7 completions in 19 attempts and still won.
On December 10, 2006, he passed for only 78 yards on 12 completions in 25 attempts.
But he has owned us too. He has carved us up.
When I first looked at the schedule something jumped right out at me along with facing these 3 Hall of Fame QBs.
In 3 of these 4 games against them we catch a HUGE BREAK!
Before each of the first 3 games we face them, we get extended time to prepare for them.
Coyle will need it.
Game 1: We open the season against the Pats and Brady at home and as we all know both teams will get a week off heading into the game as, generally, no starters will play in the last preseason game. That gives our defense 14 days to rest and prepare.
Game 2: On October 12th, we face the Packers and Rodgers at home immediately after our BYE week. That gives our defense 14 days to rest and prepare.
Granted that the Packers play on Thursday Night the previous week so our rest advantage won't be as great but they do host the Vikings in what will be a very physical game.
Game 3: On November 23rd, we face the Broncos and Manning in Denver after we host the Bills on Thursday November 13th. That gives our defense 10 days to rest and prepare.
Leading into those three games we pick up an additional 17 days of rest and preparation than we would have had during a normal week. That's an 80% increase.
In a quarterback driven league, having 17 additional days to prepare for 3 Hall of Fame QBs is a HUGE BREAK!
The fourth game on December 14th at NE follows a normal week and it also ends what I see as a very tough 6 game stretch. At Detroit, short week hosting Bills, at Denver, at Jets MNF, short week hosting Ravens and then finish the 6 game stretch at NE.
4 games out of those 6 are on the road. This stretch will determine our success.
At the very least, the league did give us a leg up against Brady, Rodgers and Manning.
For that I am thankful and hopeful.
Dolfan since 12/25/1971