The Miami Dolphins will play in London once again in 2017.
This time, the Miami Dolphins will play host the the New Orleans Saints. This will mark the 4th time that the Miami Dolphins will play in London. But, why are the Miami Dolphins playing in London so much???
The Dolphins have a long history of playing in London. The Dolphins were part of the first NFL regular season game in London. That was in 2008 when the Dolphins were defeated by the New York Giants. The Dolphins played again in 2014 where they challenged the Oakland Raiders. That game was won by the Dolphins. The last time the Dolphins played in London was in 2015 when they played host to, and lost to the New York Jets. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars, with 5 games in London have played more there than the Dolphins.
By this time, I am sure that you all have heard the news that Arian Foster has announced his retirement from the NFL. This was discussed with the Miami Dolphins front office before it happened on Monday night, while his former team, the Houston Texans played Monday Night Football.
It's THROWBACK WEEKEND and Hard Rock Stadium! The Dolphins will play their third straight home game on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. when they host the Buffalo Bills. It will be Miami's first divisional home game of the 2016 season, as the Dolphins have won three of their past four games at Hard Rock Stadium, including an AFC East matchup with New England on Jan. 3, 2016.
Miami has won three of its past five home games against Buffalo, posting victories on Nov. 20, 2011, Dec. 23, 2012 and Nov. 13, 2014, and is 7-7 all-time against Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan, who was head coach of the N.Y. Jets (2009-14) before moving to Buffalo in 2015.
Despite having one of the most difficult opening months of an NFL schedule in more than a decade, the Dolphins will remain at home for the entire month of October. In fact, Miami doesn't play another road game until Nov. 13 at San Diego, a span of 44 days between road games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest length of time between road games by an NFL team in a single season since the NFL merger in 1970, excluding the 1982 season which was interrupted by a work stoppage.
The Dolphins won the time of possession for the first time under Head Coach Adam Gase in last week's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. With an up-tempo offense and an attacking-style of defense, Gase has preached the importance of keeping the offense on the field and it finally paid off in the Week 6 matchup against Pittsburgh as the Dolphins had the football for 36:30. It was the third-longest time of possession the Dolphins have had since 2012, and the largest disparity since Oct. 19, 2014 at Chicago.
Last week, Finatic Dave wrote about the Offensive Line shake up and Coach Adam Gase having the stones to release the non performing players to send a message to the team.
Wow! It looks like it was the right stuff.
I was on a business trip last week so I was unable to attend the game on Sunday. As I was driving home from Ft. Myers, I started to pick up the Dolphins' pre-game radio show halfway across the Alligator Alley. The familiar voice of Joe Rose was booming on my speaker. His talk about high priced players and underachieving effort resonated loud and clear in my ears, and although I knew he could not see me, I was nooding my head in agreement. It was all about the line, protecting Tannehill to make the long throws, and opening the lanes for Ajayi and Foster and Williams. I was happy to hear that all of the starters would be back. We were 7 point underdogs in our own stadium, and the Steelers fans were loud and many. It did not look good at first.
And then the game was played.
What a performance by the offensive line. What a performance by Jay Ajayi, and Tannehill actually had time to throw down the field, and was not sacked once.
On the defensive side, the Dolphins again maintained their reputation as quarterback destroyers as Ben Roethlisberger was relentlessly pursued and is now possibly out for the season. The secondary also stepped up with key interceptions to shut down any chance for a Steelers comeback.
So one game does not make a season, and consistency and healthy players look to be the key to our season. We have a big game at home against division rivals the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. Last week's moves by Gase were big, and it's great when a plan come together. Let's press forward and support our team at the Hard Rock this Sunday!