FINALLY A FAVORABLE SCHEDULE

You never really heard either Dave Wannstedt or Rick Spielman publicly complain about it, but the Dolphins had every right the last three seasons to be upset over the treatment they got from the NFL schedule-makers. But there can be no complaining this year.

To refresh your memory, the Dolphins last season were asked to play on Thanksgiving at Dallas just four days after playing Washington — at night.

The two previous seasons, the Dolphins had to play back-to-back games on short weeks, something that had happened less than half a dozen in the entire league the previous 20 years.

But no such problems this year. The Dolphins were taken care of, big time.

Start with the league granting the Dolphins' request to play their games at Seattle and San Francisco in back-to-back weeks so they could stay on the West Coast and eliminate a cross-country trek.

The Dolphins also have no road games on a short week this season. None.

And perhaps best of all, the Dolphins don't have to play a December road game against an AFC East opponent for the first time since 2000. That was the year, by the way, the Dolphins last won the AFC East title.

Starting with three home games in the first four weeks also could help the Dolphins get off to a fast start, and they will be done with their AFC East road by the time the halfway point of the season arrives.

On the flip side, the Dolphins have December home games against Buffalo and New England (on Monday night).

Yes, the four-game stretch after the bye, which includes a game at Denver and a home game against Buffalo after the Seattle-San Francisco twinbill, will be difficult. But considering what the Dolphins had to face in recent years, it's really not that big a deal.

This was, all things considered, a very good schedule for the Dolphins.


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