Now that we know the dates and times of the Dolphins’ 16 regular season matchups in 2014, let’s break it down further and look at some numbers and trends.
* Let’s start at the top with the opening games against the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. This will mark the first time since 1998 that the Dolphins have opened against two AFC East opponents. Overall, the Dolphins have opened against two division opponents 17 times. On those 17 previous occasions, the Dolphins started 2-0 five times and 1-1 the other 12 times, never once dropping to 0-2 in the division.
* For only the second time since 1996 and the eighth time overall, the Dolphins are opening against the Patriots. It will be the teams’ fourth consecutive season opener in Miami after the first four took place in New England.
* The game against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 13 at Sun Life Stadium will mark the fifth time in the last six years the Dolphins have appeared in a Thursday night game. The Dolphins also faced the Bills (at Ralph Wilson Stadium) in 2012, along with Cincinnati last year, Chicago in 2010 and Carolina in 2009.
* The Dolphins will go almost two months without facing an AFC East team, between the Sept. 14 game at Buffalo and the Thursday night game on Nov. 13. The stretch of seven consecutive non-division games is the second-longest for the Dolphins since the division realignment of 2002. The Dolphins had eight consecutive non-division games in 2010, and also had six-game stretches in 2003 and 2006. Dolphins fans may remember that the team opened the 2013 season with five consecutive games against non-AFC East opponents.
* A week after playing in London, England, the Dolphins will be off on Oct. 5, marking their earliest bye date since 2008 when the bye came on Sept. 28.
* The Dolphins-Jets rivalry returns to prime time in 2014, ending a three-year stretch where the teams met only in Sunday afternoon games. That was the longest the teams went without a prime-time game since the 1990s. Overall, this will be the 17th time the teams have faced each other at night.
* Speaking of prime-time games, the Dolphins continue to have theirs placed close to each other. This year will mark the 20th season where Miami has either had back-to-back prime-time games or two night games in a three-game stretch.
* If it seems as though the Dolphins always play at New England in December, it’s because it’s come close to that over the past 15 years. The game at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 14 will mark the 10th time since 2000 the Dolphins have played at New England in December or January.
* On the flip side, the trip to Buffalo in September will be a rarity. The only other time since 1993 the Dolphins have played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first month of the season was in 2010 when they recorded a 15-10 in the opener.
* This will mark the second consecutive season the Dolphins close out the regular season at home against the New York Jets. Overall, the teams will be meeting in a season finale for the 12th time, with all but two of the games taking place in Miami.
* In each of their first five seasons (1966-70), the Dolphins ended the season with back-to-back home games. This has become a much rarer occurrence, with this season marking only the second time since 1987 that the schedule-makers gave Miami two home games to finish things. The Dolphins closed out the 2009 season with home games against Houston and Pittsburgh. They also ended with home games against Atlanta and Buffalo in 2001, but the Bills’ visit on the first Sunday of January came as the result of the postponement of games in the aftermath of 9/11.
* Lastly, this season will mark the 11th time the Dolphins will start and finish the season with home games. It also happened in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1973, 1975, 1989, 1994, 1997, 2003 and 2011.
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