Originally written April 19, 2013 on Phin Nation:
On Thursday, the NFL released their schedule for the 2013 season, so the Miami Dolphins now know what their path to a return to the playoffs will look like.  Some have said that the NFL schedule makers did the Dolphins no favors.  In reality, it’s very difficult to know just exactly how difficult (or easy) the Dolphins schedule will be until the rest of the offseason plays out and the season actually begins.  Having written that, let’s take a closer look at the Dolphins schedule. Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com Below is the Dolphins schedule, courtesy of Dolphins.com: September 8th, 1:oopm  - @ Cleveland Browns September 15th, 1:00pm – @ Indianapolis Colts September 22nd, 4:05pm –  vs. Atlanta Falcons September 30th, 8:40pm – at New Orleans Saints October 6th, 1:00pm – vs. Baltimore Ravens October 20th, 1:00pm – vs. Buffalo Bills October 27th, 1:00pm – at New England Patriots October 31st, 8:25pm – vs. Cincinnati Bengals November 11th, 8:40pm – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 17th, 1:00pm – vs. San Diego Chargers November 24th, 1:00pm – vs. Carolina Panthers December  1st, 1:00pm – at New York Jets December 8th, 1:00pm – at Pittsburgh Steelers December 15th, 1:00pm – vs. New England Patriots December 22nd, 1:00pm – at Buffalo Bills December 29th, 1:00pm – vs. New York Jets (CLICK HERE, continued on page 2) When looking at the schedule, it’s easy to see that both September and December are going to be tough months for the Dolphins.  In September, the Dolphins play 3 of their first 4 games on the road, including trips to Indianapolis and New Orleans, with the home opener against the Falcons in between.  That’s a tough way to start the season. In December, the Dolphins will make 3 trips to cold weather cities (New York, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo).  3 of their last 5 games are on the road, which will be no easy task.  However, finishing the season against the Bills and the Jets would seem to be favorable when the Dolphins are (hopefully) in a final push for the playoffs.  Another favorable aspect of the schedule is that the Dolphins will have 6 of their 8 home games at 1:00pm, which should allow them to take advantage of the Miami heat and humidity.  The December 15th game against the Patriots might be a game that’s switched to a later time, if both teams are in playoff contention. The Dolphins have 3 prime time matchups.  Thankfully, the Dolphins lone Thursday night game will be at home, which means they won’t have to travel on a very short work week.  And following that Halloween matchup on Thursday night, the Dolphins have 10 days to prepare for their Monday Night matchup with the Bucs.  It is also helpful that after their 2 Monday Night Football games, the Dolphins return home.  Again, not having to travel on a short week is a good thing. During the middle of the season, the Dolphins only have to go on the road twice in an 8 week span.  They will have to travel to New England and to Tampa Bay, but have a nice stretch of home games in the middle of the season, again taking advantage of the South Florida heat and humidity. Overall, I don’t think the schedule is as bad as many are making it out to be.  I don’t want to guess and say what the Dolphins record will be because the offseason is not over with.  What the Dolphins and other teams do in the draft will help determine how formidable the schedule will be.  Injuries will also play a part, but hopefully the Dolphins can avoid major injuries this season to key players. What do you think of the schedule?  Let us know in the comment section below.  Now that the mystery of the schedule has been revealed, we can again focus on the draft and the possible trade for Branden Albert of the Chiefs.  Also, if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to submit your entry for the PhinNation Draft Contest, the details are right here. For the latest Dolphins news, be sure to bookmark PhinNation.com in your browser!

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