The Miami Dolphins Have The Schedule From Hell!

john renshawContributor IJuly 25, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 29:  Ricky Williams #34 of the Miami Dolphins lifts his helmet during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2002 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-24 in overtime. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The AFC East has four of the league's seven toughest schedules. Sending two teams to the playoffs could be asking too much  in 2009. It's not hard to imagine a 10-6 or 9-7 record taking the division.

The New England Patriots have the third-toughest schedule. Their opponents went 151-105 for a .580 winning percentage. The Buffalo Bills have the sixth-toughest (146-110, .570). The New York Jets are just a bit behind the Bills because of a tie (145-110-1, .568).

But the Dolphins face the most rugged schedule in the NFL.

The Dolphins open on the road at Atlanta. Oh how this game used to be a joke. Not anymore. Matt Ryan will attempt to torch an unproven secondary with his new weapon, Tony Gonzalez, who will be making his Falcon debut.

The Colts are in town for a Monday night tilt in week two. Something tells me those boys have a little something they want to prove under new coach Jim Caldwell this year.

After opening with two legitimate Super Bowl contenders, Miami heads west. The Dolphins historically play poorly on the left coast, where the always talented Chargers will be waiting.

The Dolphins better win their next two games, both at home, or their season is done. Sparano’s squad gets Terrell Owens and the Bills and their arch-rivals, the Jets, in the South Florida heat.

If Miami hits the bye week with a 3-2 record, it will feel like 5-0. It could easily be 1-4.

Game 6 is also at home. Miami must wrap 3 home victories around that bye to propel itself into the middle of the season. Can the Dolphins score enough points to keep up with the Saints?? If not, there should at least be some good bikini shots of Kim Kardashian in the local papers. Talk about Marion Butts!!!!

Chad Pennington’s squad, it is his squad right? They travel to New England and the Jets for back to back AFC East showdowns. You know the only good thing about these matchups? The games are being played on Nov. 1st and 8th and not in December. That is a HUGE difference.

Weeks 10 and 11 set up NFC South square-offs. Miami has to beat unpredictable Tampa Bay at Land Shark Stadium that name sounds weird huh? I mean they are Dolphins, not sharks. I don’t see Al Pacino on the sidelines. The only cool things about the new stadium’s name are beer and Jimmy Buffet. That is as tough as a 1-2 punch as Ronnie and Ricky.

Miami is at Carolina on a Thursday night to finish the NFC South doubleheader. Short week road trips don’t usually work out to well.

Its Nov. 29th, do you know where your Dolphins are? Don’t read on. They are in Buffalo. Even sports fans who don’t follow the Phish closely know that they always struggle in Orchard Park.

 Week 13 is a home game, but it is New England. Ouch

An AFC South road doubleheader is the next hurdle and it finishes Miami’s road schedule. The Dolphins can only pray for a split in their black and blue battles against Jacksonville and Tennessee

Week 15, like week one against Atlanta, used to be an automatic win for most teams. But even when Houston was bad they were trouble for Miami, and now Houston is far from bad!

The Dolphins wrap up the regular season against the defending Super Bowl champs. All Dolphin fans know the Steelers own the Dolphins

No final predictions yet. Let’s see how training camp and the pre- season shape up. But take it all in. Stay tuned. And let me know what you think. The Dolphins will have to go all John Houseman on people and earn it!