Posted: 12:36 pm Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

16 things to know about the Miami Dolphins’ 2011 schedule 

By Post Staff

Sixteen things to know about the Miami Dolphins’ 2011 schedule, announced yesterday:

1. The Dolphins, who play road games in Kansas City, San Diego and Dallas, will travel 20,480 miles this season, seventh-most in the NFL and second-most among teams east of the Rockies (Tampa Bay: 22,974 miles). The Dolphins play 11 Sunday games at 1 pm (including 10 of their final 11 games), two Sunday games at 4:15 pm, a Thanksgiving game at 4:15 pm, one Monday game at 7 pm and one Monday game at 8:30 pm.

Travel miles of note:

Most Miles Traveled
San Francisco: 29,196
Seattle: 26,918
San Diego: 26,740
Oakland: 25,532
Arizona: 23,954
Tampa Bay: 22,974
Miami: 20,480

AFC East
New York Jets: 12,322
Buffalo: 13,640
New England: 14,610
Miami: 20,480

Fewest Miles Traveled
Tennessee: 7,060
Indianapolis: 9,554

2. The Dolphins won’t face division rival Buffalo until Week 11 on Nov. 20, but then again four weeks later on Dec. 18. Last year, the Dolphins played all three of their AFC rivals within the first four weeks.

3. The Dolphins won’t play a 1 p.m. home game until facing the Broncos in Week 7 on Oct. 23. In 2010, they didn’t do it until facing the Steelers on Oct. 24. Historically, South Florida’s stifling early-season heat as been a home-field advantage for the Dolphins, allowing them to outlast their tired opponents. But Stephen Ross requested two years ago that his early-season games be played later in the day, to make the atmosphere more enjoyable for fans.

4. The Dolphins will travel to Dallas to play on Thanksgiving for the first time since beating Detroit 27-10 in 2006. The Dolphins are 5-1 all-time on Thanksgiving, including a 16-14 win at Dallas in 1993. Expect about 17 replays of Leon Lett during this year’s broadcast.

5. After hosting Houston in Week 2, the Dolphins will play at home just once over the next seven weeks. They have consecutive road games at Cleveland, San Diego and the New York Jets (with a Week 5 bye before the Jets game), host the Broncos on Oct. 23, then travel to face the Chiefs and Giants in consecutive weeks. That’s five away games, one home game and one bye between Weeks 3-9.

6. In October, the Dolphins will play more games at the New Meadowlands (2) than at Sun Life Stadium (1). The Fins will face the Jets on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17, and play the Giants on Oct. 30.

7. On the flip side, the Dolphins have a stretch of four home games in five weeks between Nov. 13-Dec. 11.

8. And the Dolphins open with two home games for only the fifth time in franchise history (first time since 1997). They also host the Jets at Sun Life Stadium for the season finale. The schedule is the reverse scenario from last year, when the Dolphins opened with two road games followed by two home games, and played the season finale on the road.

9. The Dolphins’ season-opening game against the Patriots’ on Monday Night Football is their first Week 1 appearance on national TV since they lost to the Steelers in 2006. It is their first home season opener in prime time since a 1975 loss to Oakland at the Orange Bowl.

10. The Dolphins are 40-36 all-time on Monday Night Football, and will play the Patriots (Week 1) and Jets (Week 6) this year. In 2010, the Patriots won 41-14 in Miami, the Dolphins’ only MNF appearance.

11. For the second year in a row, the Dolphins will face the Raiders after a 10-day layoff. In 2010, they won 33-17 in Oakland after previously losing to the Bears on a Thursday night. This year, they will host the Raiders 10 days after facing the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

12. The Dolphins will get another crack to beat the Houston Texans. Miami is 0-5 all-time against Houston since the Texans came into the league in 2002. Houston has never won by more than 7 points.

13. The Dolphins are the only team to face all three AFC East division rivals in the final three weeks of the season:

Dolphins: At Bills, at Pats, Jets.
Bills: Dolphins, Broncos, at Patriots.
Jets: At Eagles, Giants, at Dolphins.
Patriots: At Broncos, Dolphins, Bills.

14. AFC East Strengths of Schedule (opponents’ 2010 winning percentage, NFL rank):

Bills — .535 (2nd)
Jets — .520 (8th)
Dolphins — .516 (11th)
Patriots — .504 (16th)

15. The Dolphins play just six games against 2010 playoff teams: Patriots (twice), Jets (twice), Eagles, Chiefs.

16. The Dolphins are set to face opposing quarterbacks with a combined 25 Pro Bowl appearances: Tom Brady (6), Donovan McNabb (6), Michael Vick (4), Tony Romo (3), Philip Rivers (3), Matt Schaub (1), Eli Manning (1), Matt Cassel (1).

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