Analyzing the Schedule

There would be legitimate reason to complain about the Dolphins' 2008 schedule, and it's got nothing to do with the fact that they will not appear in prime time at all unless one of their games late in the season is selected to become the Sunday night NBC game.

Forget about the strength of schedule issues, which were brought up again Tuesday, because we knew about those as soon as the 2007 regular season ended.

Rather, it's how the Dolphins games were broken down that's disappointing.

That weather advantage the Dolphins enjoy early in the season? Forget about it. Cold-weather games late in the season? Plenty of those.

It's almost as though the NFL purposely made the Dolphins' schedule as difficult as it could be.

The Dolphins got their eight home games, all right, but six of them will take place in an eight-week span between Oct. 5 and Nov. 23, pretty much the time when they would rather be on the road.

The season ends with back-to-back road games against Kansas City and the Jets, and one would expect that will be cold and it might be snowy.

In fact, the Dolphins' run of four road in their last five is simply brutal, regardless of the fact the games at St. Louis and in Toronto against Buffalo will be played in domed stadiums.

The Dolphins do get to start at home against the Jets, who also are coming off a tough season, so that's a positive and maybe Tony Sparano can get his head-coaching career off on the right note.

All in all, though, the NFL did the Dolphins no favors with the 2008 schedule.

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