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Dolphins 2017 schedule among hardest in league

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Miami’s 2017 schedule is going to put the playoff team to the test.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins made the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2008 during the league’s 2016-2017 season. They did that with a schedule that featured a .455 combined winning percentage for the 13 opponents the Dolphins faced. The 2017 schedule for the Dolphins is going to make the team prove their playoff appearance was not a one-year fluke.

The Dolphins, based on the final 2016 regular season records for their 2017 opponents, will face a strength of schedule nearly 100 points higher than their 2016 strength of schedule. That 2017 strength of schedule, at 0.547, is the sixth highest in the league, trailing just the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Buffalo Bills. Miami’s 2017 schedule has them playing all five of those teams.

Miami will play five 2016-2017 playoff teams (Atlanta, Kansas City, New England (twice), and Oakland), including facing the top two seeds and the fifth seed from the AFC and the second seed in the NFC. They will have eight games against teams with winning records in 2016 (playoff teams plus Denver, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee). There are six teams that will face more teams with winning records next season, led by the Raiders and Chargers, who will each face 10 (in no small part because the AFC West featured three teams with winning records, including Kansas City and Oakland both at 12-4). The Chiefs, Bills, Jets, and Patriots will all face nine teams with winning records from 2016.

Miami’s schedule will also include the team’s fourth time playing in London, and third time they will be considered the home team for that game. The Dolphins were involved in the first regular season game to be played in the United Kingdom, losing to the New York Giants in 2007. They returned in 2014 as the visiting team when they beat the Oakland Raiders, then lost in 2015 to the New York Jets as the home team. The Dolphins will host the Saints in either Week 3 or Week 4 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will be hosting a game in London for the fifth-straight season, have been involved in more International Series games.

The team’s bye week would likely be either Week 4 or Week 5, following the International Series game.

The full strength of schedule list for the league is below:

2017 NFL Strength of Schedule

Team Opponents Records Opp Win % Opponents w/ winning record
Team Opponents Records Opp Win % Opponents w/ winning record
Denver Broncos 147-107-2 0.578 8
Oakland Raiders 147-108-1 0.576 10
San Diego Chargers 145-110-1 0.568 10
Kansas City Chiefs 144-111-1 0.564 9
Buffalo Bills 143-112-1 0.561 9
Miami Dolphins 140-116-0 0.547 8
Washington Redskins 138-116-2 0.543 8
New York Jets 137-119-0 0.535 9
New York Giants 135-117-4 0.535 8
Philadelphia Eagles 134-118-4 0.531 8
Dallas Cowboys 134-118-4 0.531 8
New England Patriots 135-121-0 0.527 9
Los Angeles Rams 128-123-5 0.510 6
San Francisco 49ers 126-125-5 0.502 6
Atlanta Falcons 126-129-1 0.494 8
Arizona Cardinals 125-128-3 0.494 8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 125-130-1 0.490 7
Seattle Seahaw 122-131-3 0.482 6
New Orleans Saints 123-132-1 0.482 8
Green Bay Packers 122-132-2 0.480 7
Chicago Bears 122-133-1 0.479 7
Carolina Panthers 122-134-0 0.477 8
Detroit Lions 119-135-2 0.469 6
Cleveland Browns 119-135-2 0.469 6
Baltimore Ravens 117-137-2 0.461 8
Tennessee Titans 115-138-3 0.455 6
Pittsburgh Steelers 115-139-2 0.453 6
Minnesota Vikins 115-139-2 0.453 7
Cincinnati Bengals 115-141-0 0.449 7
Jacksonville Jaguars 111-142-3 0.439 6
Houston Texans 111-142-3 0.439 6
Indianapolis Colts 107-146-3 0.424 7