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The NFL released schedules for every team in the league Tuesday, and for the first time since 2008, the Miami Dolphins do not have any Monday- or Sunday-night games on their schedule.
Miami does have one prime time game on the docket, a rare Thursday-nighter against the Bills in Buffalo on November 15.
Still, it is a measure of the team's recent struggles that Miami will only get one marquee game on their schedule. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the team has had one or fewer prime time games only four other times.
Miami opens the season on September 9 at Houston. The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans in six tries, including a 23-13 loss in 2011. Miami hosts the Oakland Raiders in its home opener the next week.
Other home matchups include the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams, as well as the three AFC East Rivals. Tim Tebow and the New York Jets come to Miami in Week 3, while the Patriots are in town on December 2. The Dolphins conclude the season with a trip to Foxboro to face the Pats.
Following the Raiders game, Miami hosts the Jets then flies to Arizona to face the Cardinals. It is quite conceivable that the team could start the season 0-4, as all of its first opponents have playoff hopes.
Indeed, for a team coming off a very disappointing 6-10 season, only a handful of games seem like probable victories at this point: a road trip to Indianapolis and home dates against Seattle and Jacksonville.
In a statement issued by the team, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said, "Our players, staff and organization are excited about the 2012 season, which kicks off against Houston on Sunday, Sept. 9. We look forward to the challenges that await us and encourage our loyal and supportive fans to stand behind us as we begin this journey."