Dolphins History Lesson: The Bye Week

Alain Poupart

NFL byes have been a thing since 1990 when the league started giving teams a week off and the Miami Dolphins have been pretty successful as a post-bye team.

Though not on the level of teams coached by Andy Reid, the Dolphins have done well immediately after the bye with a 17-14 record in those games.

This season marks the 11th time the Dolphins have gone into their bye on a winning streak. It most recently had happened in 2016 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills before the bye and won their next four games after the bye on their way to earning a playoff berth.

The Dolphins also had winning streaks going into their bye in 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2009 and 2012. Miami made the playoffs in five of those seasons (all but 1993 and the past three).

The Dolphins' longest winning streak heading into a bye was a four-game run in 2000 that was followed after the bye by the epic Monday night collapse against the New York Jets. The Dolphins, of course, rebounded from that loss to win the AFC East title in Dave Wannstedt's first season as head coach.

Hurricanes twice have forced the Dolphins to switch their bye to Week 1, most recently in 2017 when Irma caused the postponement of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and made a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center in Week 2 Miami's new season opener.

It also happened in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew was the culprit in forcing the postponement of the Dolphins home game against the New England Patriots.

Some fans also might remember the 1993 season when each team had not one but two byes. The Dolphins had byes in Week 3 and Week 7 season and came out of both to record victories.

The Dolphins' longest winning streak coming out of their bye is six games, which they did in 1992 and again in 1993 following their first bye.

The longest losing streak after a bye came, not surprisingly, in the 1-15 2007 season when the Dolphins lost five in a row after the London game until Greg Camarillo's overtime touchdown gave them a 22-16 victory against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.

The Dolphins' bye in 2019 came after their record fell to 0-4 with a 30-10 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers and they returned to action with a 17-16 loss against Washington when Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench to replace Josh Rosen and almost led a comeback.

Miami Dolphins and Byes

This year will mark the fifth time the Dolphins will have a change at quarterback for their post-bye game, the previous occurrences coming in 1993, 1996, 2004 and 2011.

The Dolphins hope this isn't a bad omen, but none of those seasons ended with a playoff appearance.

In 1993, the Dolphins had to make a switch because the bye came after the game when Dan Marino tore an Achilles tendon. Scott Mitchell had a successful starting debut, completing 12 of 19 passes for 190 with one touchdown and no interceptions.

In 1996, Craig Erickson got the start against the Seattle Seahawks with Marino nursing another injury, though it didn't go as well. Erickson was 16-of-28 for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 22-15 Dolphins loss.

The 2004 season saw a lot of going back and forth between Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley at quarterback, and Feeley took over for the post-bye game at Seattle, which marked Jim Bates' debut as Dolphins interim head coach. Feeley was 23-for-45 for 239 yards with one touchdown and two picks in a 24-17 loss.

Finally, Matt Moore got the start for the Dolphins' Monday night game against the Jets following their bye after starter Chad Henne sustained a season-ending injury in their previous game. Moore had a tough night in the face of constant pressure, completing 16 of 34 passes for 204 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-6 loss.

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