To Reason #4 of "Five Reasons" and my only Reason: Our Schedule
Yes I have looked at this schedule and have studied it properly, but I am about to make even the most loyal Dolphin fans cringe at what I'm about to state here. No, it's actually not about Ireland and no it's not another dose of runaway fan pessimism about our upcoming season. It is wholly about our upcoming schedule.
Let's look at reason 4 more closely. As a computer guy and a stat guy, I could not resist looking at ESPN's Accuscore Projections for NFL teams this season. This is what I found. Here is a link to their projections. http://espn.go.com/nfl/photos/gallery/_/id/8310034/image/1/new-england-patriots-2012-season-projections
TimPhinsUK states: We've got good chances on the road too against Arizona & Indy PLUS we get Oakland, St Louis, Seattle, Tennessee & Jacksonville all at home. ALL very winnable. According to the Accuscore projections, Miami does win all 5 of these home games and our projected sixth win comes against the despised Jets in Week 3, also at home. The ESPN projection computer (conservatively) gives us a 6-10 season.
TimPhins, like me suspects that road games against Arizona and Indy are also winnable. Again, according to the Accuscore computer, the projected outcome scores of those two games are virtually tie games despite both being projected Dolphin losses, so these two are certainly winnable. Both the Cardinals and the Colts are projected to have 4-12 seasons, according to Accuscore. If TimphinUK is correct in his point about these two games and the schedule so far, the team ends up 8-8.
Now here is where it gets interesting and yes of course, my optimism is still flowing madly. We can now look at the away games with the Bengals in week 5 and the Jets again in week 8. Accuscore projects both games as losses for us, yet the Bengals game is decided by 6 points and the Jets game is decided by less than 4 points. To me, these are both winnable games. Add to this the projected season outcomes of both the Bengals @ 7-9 and the lowly Jets at 7-9, these wins are doable against both of these losing teams.
Now I'm about to convince all those that felt forced to sell their season tickets a real blow here, and hopefully convince the rest of you of my undying optimistic devotion to this team. I willfully consent losses to the Niners, Texans, Patriots and Bills away, but this still leaves two home games against New England in week 13 and Buffalo in week 16, both projected by Accuscore as losses.
Lets look first at the home game against Buffalo. The outcome of this game, again according to the ESPN computer is less than 1 point. (20.9-19.8) In my book, this game is a push and could go either way. Now to the home game against the Patriots in week 13. Accuscore projects this game score as less than a 7 point loss for Miami. (27.4-20.6) These two games for me are by far the most interesting of the season. By the 13th week, we as fans should see what this team is capable of and the team and staff will have the benefit of nearly a full season with one another.
I know it's sounding crazier by the minute, but even losing both these games, the Dolphins could reasonably end up 10-6. If we win one of them, (and yes we can beat Buffalo at home) we'd make the playoffs as an 11-5 team.
Sound insane or does it ?
GO DOLPHINS !