It Was Fun While It Lasted: Dolphins Have the Hardest NFL Schedule in 2009

All the naysayers (me included, often) think the Dolphins' roller coaster 2008 season ought to come with a few caveats: "Yeah, yeah, but Tom Brady was out the entire season... Sure, but the Jets had that old guy... Well, the wildcat won't be as effective next year... Whatever, you had an easy schedule."

If somehow we come out atop the AFC East again next year (hey, it could happen), haters will have to keep their mouths shut. According to ESPN, the Fins have the hardest schedule in the entire NFL next season. The tabulations are based on their opponents' combined win percentage from 2008, and the Fins will be playing teams that won nearly 60 percent of the time.

Our conference mates don't have it much easier. The Pats have the third-most difficult, and the Bills and Jets come in at six and seven each. (Any Bucs fans out there? You've got fifth.) 

How is it even fair, then, that the Super Bowl champ Steelers statistically have the fourth-easiest schedule? Never mind that the Fins will have a home game against them.

Miami's 2009 opponents are after the jump.


* Houston Texans

* Indianapolis Colts

* New Orleans Saints

* Tampa Bay Buccaneers
* Pittsburgh Steelers

* New England Patriots

* New York Jets

* Buffalo Bills


* Jacksonville Jaguars

* Tennessee Titans

* Atlanta Falcons

* Carolina Panthers

* San Diego Chargers

* New England Patriots

* New York Jets

* Buffalo Bills

Jeez, the Titans, Panthers, Falcons, Colts, and Steelers. At least it'll be fun to stoke the flames of two cross-state rivalries in one season.

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