The Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were slated to open their season against one another this Sunday. Because of Hurricane Irma, however, the game has been postponed until Nov. 19, as both teams shared a Week 11 bye.
Now they’ll share a Week 1 bye and play 16 straight games to “end” the season.
Doesn’t that put both teams at a competitive disadvantage? Bill Cowher doesn’t think so.
“A lot of times you get the bye in Week 4. By that time, you probably don’t need it, and so you end up playing 12 or 13 games in a row,” the NFL Today on CBS analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as maybe it’s going to be made (out to be). I think the biggest oversight might have been putting two Florida teams in Week 1 in hurricane season. If they played teams outside of Florida, maybe they could have played the game (and flipped the home and away). At least you’d still be able to keep the bye what it was.”
Nope. The Dolphins will host the Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Nov. 19. The kickoff time has not been announced.
“I don’t know if they had any other choice,” Cowher said. “It’s going to be hard, but I think for both those teams, it’ll be interesting to see. I think Tampa Bay’s got a very high expectation. I think they’re going to be good. I think it’s a tough division they’re in. And in Miami, I think the intriguing thing is going to be Jay Cutler. I think he’s got nothing to lose. He’ll go out there, he’s very excited about going down there and getting reunited with Adam Gase – one of the best years he had was with him up in Chicago. So it’ll be interesting to see if they can compete against New England in that division.”
The Dolphins went 10-6 and made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2008. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, missed the playoffs but finished with a winning record (9-7) for the first time since 2010.
“I think for Tampa Bay, it’s a tough division, but again, (they have) high expectations,” Cowher said. “You got DeSean Jackson for Jameis Winston, it’s time for Jameis Winston to now take that next step as well.”
Tampa Bay will play three of its first four games at home, beginning with Chicago on Sept. 17. Miami, meanwhile, will play its first two games on the road – at Chargers and at Jets – on Sept. 17 and 24, respectively.