The Miami Dolphins asked the NFL for a late season bye rather than the traditional bye week granted to teams playing in the International Series contests.
The Miami Dolphins will face the New Orleans Saints in Week 4 at Wembley Stadium. This will mark the fourth time that the Dolphins have played in London since 2007. They are 1-2 when playing in the International Series.
Teams that play international games usually have a bye week immediately after to account for the considerable travel. However, Miami will not be subject to this. Instead of a Week 5 bye, Miami will get a week of rest in Week 11.
Since the 2007 season, there is an insignificant correlation between when the Dolphins have their bye week and their regular season winning percentage. Generally, a late-season bye week is an advantage to teams because it can provide much-needed rest as they prepare for games with greater playoff implications. The Dolphins have the sixth-toughest schedule in the NFL this season, so they will need as much help as they can get with a late-season bye week if they want to make a consecutive playoff appearance.
To dig deeper into bye weeks beyond its placement along the season, teams need to consider multiple scenarios when coming off a bye week or facing a rested team.
The following is an examination of games following bye weeks in the 2016 season. They are ordered by winning percentage.
Coming off their bye week Miami will face the Patriots in Foxborough. The last time the Dolphins won there was in 2008 after Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL in the season opener. The Dolphins won the AFC East that year.
In Week 6, the Atlanta Falcons will host the Dolphins after coming off a bye week. The Falcons — fresh off a haunting Super Bowl defeat — have showed signs of strong starts in recent seasons. Through the first four weeks of the past two seasons, they went for a combined record of 7-1.
While the Dolphins have a tough schedule for 2017, they can take solace in knowing that the only team they face coming off a bye week is Atlanta. The Eagles played three rested teams last year, defeating the Vikings, while losing to the Cowboys and Giants.
While fans talk about when their favorite teams have a bye week, they need to consider how many teams they play coming off their bye and where these games are played.