DAVIE, Fla. – Here is a not-so-fun fact for the Miami Dolphins: They are the last NFL team to play in its home stadium.
Due to scheduling and unforeseen circumstances, Miami (1-2) will finally hold its home opener Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (2-2). The Dolphins last played in Hard Rock Stadium on Aug. 17 during their second preseason game, against the Baltimore Ravens. That also was quarterback Jay Cutler’s debut.
It has been a crazy seven weeks that included Hurricane Irma, a Week 1 cancellation against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a league-high 15,675 travel miles after three games in Los Angeles, New York and London.
“It’s nice that we don’t have to get on a plane,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “When you’re traveling, the thing is for a coaching staff is that you’re going to work on the plane. It’s just a mobile office. For the players, the tough thing is for the guys that are banged up and flying, just what it does to their bodies. That’s what makes it to where that’s the challenging part of who takes care of their body, who hydrates right, who eats right. All of those little things, those matter.”
This is an important mini-stretch for the Dolphins where they have two of their next three games at home. The Titans and New York Jets are winnable games for Miami to dig itself out of last place in the AFC East. The Dolphins also play the Atlanta Falcons on the road during that stretch, where Miami will be heavy underdogs.
Add in the fact Miami must play 16 straight games without a bye week this year, and the challenges continue to pile up.
“We understood what happened with the hurricane and obviously us being on the road,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. “We understood the challenge coming into the season was really going to be that way even if we did play our first game against Tampa. I’m excited to get back home and have an opportunity to play in Hard Rock.”