Hurricane Irma: Here's how a Week 1 bye will impact the Buccaneers and Dolphins
Is it bad to have a Week 1 bye? Here's what happened to three other teams that got stuck with it
The league's decision to move the game to November due to Hurricane Irma means that both Miami and Tampa Bay will now have to play 16 straight games this season, which isn't sitting well with some players.
Before the decision was officially announced on Wednesday, Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler said he wanted the game to be played this week because guys need the bye week to recover from the rigors of an NFL season.
"It would be tough," Cutler said playing 16 straight weeks, via the Miami Herald. "Guys kind of need that bye week to get healthy and push through the second half of the season. This is the latest bye week I ever had. It's not an ideal situation not to have a bye for us."
Dolphins corner Byron Maxwell also sounded less than pleased when he found out his team might be losing their Week 11 bye.
"I don't like that possibility, just being honest," Maxwell said. "I like my bye week. For the most part, your body needs it. Especially with the brutal NFL season. It's a marathon. It's not a sprint. If any way they can get the game this week, I would like that."
If Maxwell needs some advice on how to handle playing in 16 straight games, he might want to call someone who played on the 2001 Cardinals, because they were the last team to do it.
Although the NFL does everything in its power to avoid giving a team a Week 1 bye, three teams over the past 20 years have gotten stuck with one. From 1999 through 2001, there were only 31 teams in the NFL, which meant that at least one team had to be given a bye for each week of the season.
Here's a look at the three teams that drew the Week 1 bye and how they did during their 16-week stretch.
1999: Chargers (8-8)
Based on the Chargers' 1999 season, it's fair to think they definitely could've used a bye that came later in the season, but that's not what happened. After getting a Week 1 bye, the Chargers shot out to a 4-1 start. However, playing 16 games in a row seemed to eventually wear on them as they lost six games row at one point. The Chargers eventually finished the season 8-8.
2000: Bengals (4-12)
Getting a bye in Week 1 definitely didn't do anything to help the Bengals early in the season. In their first three games of the season (Weeks 2-4), the Bengals went 0-3 and only scored a total of seven points (That's 2.3 points per game if you're scoring at home). The Bengals ended up starting the season 0-6 on their way to a 4-12 finish.
2001: Cardinals (7-9)
The Cardinals actually had one of the most unique situations in NFL history in 2001. Following their bye in Week 1, the Cardinals also didn't play in Week 2 because the NFL canceled every game after 9/11 happened. The Cardinals didn't get on the field until Week 3, and then they promptly went and got blown out by the Broncos 38-17. The Cardinals got off to a 2-6 start before finished the season with a 7-9 record.
One other team in recent history also got stuck playing 16 straight games, and they did it twice.
After re-entering the NFL in 1999, the league decided to give the Cleveland Browns a Week 17 bye in both 1999 and 2000. In 1999, the Browns went 2-8 to start off the season, then faded down the stretch by going 0-6 over their final six weeks to finish 2-14.
In 2000, the Browns started 3-8, before fading again and going 0-5 down the stretch to end up at 3-13. Although there was no way the Browns would've made the playoffs in either season, they probably could've benefited from not playing 16 games in a row.
In 2001, the Chargers received the Week 17 bye, but they didn't have to play 16 games in row because they ended up not playing in Week 2 after 9/11 happened.
If you're keeping track, that's a total of five teams that have gotten stuck playing 16 games in a row. None of those five teams finished with a winning record, and they went a combined 24-56. If you're the Dolphins and Buccaneers, that's definitely not good news.
It's especially not good news because Thanksgiving could turn into an ugly time for both teams this year. With the game now being played on Nov. 19, the Dolphins have a four-game stretch that consists of Tampa, at the Patriots, home against Denver, and then home against the Patriots.
Of course, things won't be much easier for the Bucs. With the Dolphins game now in November, Tampa will have to play three road games in a row. After going to Miami, the Bucs have to travel to Atlanta and Green Bay.
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