Five points on Miami Dolphins’ 2018 schedule easily overlooked

DeVante Parker gets yet another shot at (who else?) the Titans in the opener Sept. 9. (Getty Images)

A few points to make about the Dolphins’ 2018 schedule, released Thursday:

Can we have a little variety?

No, the AFC East has not annexed a few more teams. You may have thought it did because the same bunch of teams seem to pop up on Miami’s schedule every year or so.

We’re talking about you, the Titans, Colts, Raiders, Texans and Jaguars.

Miami’s 2018 game with the Titans will mark the fifth meeting since 2012. It’ll be the fourth meeting with the Colts, Raiders and Jaguars in that span and the fourth game vs. the Texans since 2011.

I get the whole AFC-NFC thing, but wouldn’t fans here rather see some NFC teams play Miami (especially here) more than once every two or three presidencies?

For all the history surrounding the Packers, this November will mark only their 15th game against Miami. The Giants — surely sexier opponents in South Florida than, say, Tennessee again — have played the Dolphins only eight times. The Vikings, Lions and Bucs have met Miami only 11 times, which is why you won’t see the words “intrastate rival” attached to Tampa Bay around here.

Putting a positive spin on the road trips

Let’s face it: Traveling to Lambeau Field in November is inviting trouble. And Dolphins at Vikings has blowout written all over it.

But: If you take a closer look at Miami’s five non-divisional road games you’ll see the Dolphins have actually had far more success in those cities than you’d ever imagine. Collectively, Miami is 36-23 (.610 percentage) in Cincinnati (9-4), Houston (0-4), Green Bay (10-4!), Indianapolis (14-8) and Minnesota (3-3).

On the other hand, with the possible exceptions of Cincinnati and Indianapolis, it’s tough to see the Dolphins being anything but sizable underdogs in all eight road games.

Not ready for prime time

Given how awful the Dolphins were in prime time last year, it’s no surprise the networks turned up their noses at them for 2018. One measly Thursday nighter, the bare minimum, is all that separates the Dolphins from 16 consecutive 1 p.m. starts.

Revenge could taste sweet

Football types will swear in the lead-up to Sundays that they’re taking it as “just another game” when they face their old team, but then, if they have a good game, they admit that yeah, maybe they were a little more fired up for this one.

Lots of members of the Dolphins will see familiar colors on the opposite sideline this fall, not the least of which is receiver Danny Amendola getting two cracks at the Patriots after admitting there are aspects of The Patriot Way he won’t miss one bit.

Running back Frank Gore gets to prove the Colts made a mistake by not bringing him back, which bummed out quarterback Andrew Luck.

Dowell Loggains, the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator, will go up against the Bears, a team that head coach Adam Gase knows something about as well.

Guard Josh Sitton will say hello again to the Bears and Packers.

Never can say good bye? Yes, we can

I’m thinking the NFL extended the Dolphins a nice makeup olive branch by giving them a Week 11 bye after last year. It’ll be the latest bye week in team history, but with such a brutal run-in of five straight games against 2017 playoff teams that kicks in two weeks after the bye, that break is going to look extremely sweet come December.

Compare that to Tampa Bay, which like Miami got robbed of a real bye because of Hurricane Irma last year. The Bucs’ bye this year? Week 5. Gross.

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