Many fans on this site and around the internet voiced some dismay over the Dolphins upcoming schedule for 2014 when it was first released. Most of this dismay seemed to center around the fact that our schedule was a more difficult one from the previous season. With training camp just around the corner I thought it would be interesting to see where we stack up against the rest of the league as far as strength of schedule.
Of course strength of schedule is determined by taking all of the teams that a team plays, figuring their win percentages from the previous season and coming up with an average. Additions or subtractions of players and changes in coaching does not figure in to the equation despite the fact that it will change the fates of many teams from season to season.
MIAMI DOLPHINS 2014 SCHEDULE
|Game 1 Sept. 7th VS New England||Game 9 Nov. 9th @ Detroit|
|Game 2 Sept. 14th @ Buffalo||Game 10 Nov. 13th VS Buffalo|
|Game 3 Sept. 21st VS Kansas City||Game 11 Nov. 23rd @ Denver|
|Game 4 Sept. 28th @ Oakland||Game 12 Dec. 1st @ New York|
|Game 5 Oct. 12th VS Green Bay||Game 13 Dec. 7th VS Baltimore|
|Game 6 Oct. 19th @ Chicago||Game 14 Dec. 14th @ New England|
|Game 7 Oct. 26th @ Jacksonville||Game 15 Dec. 21st VS Minnesota|
|Game 8 Nov. 2nd VS San Diego||Game 16 Dec. 28th VS New York|
The schedule seems to be a fair mix of good teams and poor teams from 2013. The Dolphins do have what figures to be four cold weather games at the end of the season but this is not out of the norm for the team given that the Dolphins are the only team in the division that does not play in a cold weather location. Also the team did not seem to suffer in most of their cold weather games last season.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE FOR ALL 32 NFL TEAMS
|1||Oakland Raiders||0.578||17||Washington Redskins||0.490|
|2||Denver Broncos||0.570||18||Dallas Cowboys||0.488|
|3||St. Louis Rams||0.564||19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0.484|
|4||San Diego Chargers||0.563||20||Philadelphia Eagles||0.479|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||0.563||21||Minnesota Vikings||0.477|
|6||Seattle Seahawks||0.561||22||Carolina Panthers||0.473|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||0.559||23||Cincinnati Bengals||0.469|
|8||Arizona Cardinals||0.547||24||New Orleans Saints||0.469|
|9||New York Jets||0.520||25||Pittsburgh Steelers||0.469|
|10||New England Patriots||0.516||26||Cleveland Browns||0.465|
|11||Atlanta Falcons||0.512||27||New York Giants||0.465|
|12||Miami Dolphins||0.508||28||Baltimore Ravens||0.461|
|13||Green Bay Packers||0.504||29||Jacksonville Jaguars||0.453|
|14||Buffalo Bills||0.500||30||Houston Texans||0.441|
|15||Chicago Bears||0.496||31||Tennessee Titans||0.438|
|16||Detroit Lions||0.492||32||Indianapolis Colts||0.430|
So we are actually near the top (or the middle depending on how you want to look at it) as far as harder schedules or are we? I have always questioned the whole concept of strength of schedule before the season has even begun. Yes some of the good teams will stay strong and others will fall off just as some of the poor teams will get much better and some will still struggle. The great thing about the NFL is that you never know for sure from year to year and the concept that any team can beat any other team on any given day is real even if unlikely in some cases.
So what are your thoughts on this years schedule? Do you believe that the pre-season strength of schedule actually matters? How do you expect the Dolphins to fare against this schedule this year?