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Hurricane Irma might mean a Week 1 bye week for the Buccaneers and Dolphins

It’s the right move by the NFL, but it’s unlikely to do the Falcons’ NFC South rivals any favors.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Let’s start by applauding the NFL for making a rare good decision in the case of the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, which is going to be either moved or postponed thanks to Hurricane Irma. After seeing the devastation in Houston, trying to keep an NFL game that could draw upwards of 60,000 people to a single space in Miami would have been beyond foolish. The priority here should be ensuring that Irma does as little damage as humanly possible, and that lives are saved. As always, the NFL is dwarfed by real world crises.

As this is a football blog, though, we exist to analyze the football implications. There are two scenarios being discussed here, and while neither is ideal for the Dolphins or our ertswhile rivals in Tampa Bay, one possibility is far worse than the other. Playing on a neutral site pales in comparison to moving the game to the two teams’ mutual bye week in November and not playing this weekend, which would essentially mean both teams would have a longer layoff after preseason and then play sixteen straight games.

Let me be honest: As much as I dislike the Buccaneers on principle and want to see them fail, that feels incredibly unfair to both teams, which will face a baked-in competitive disadvantage no other teams will have to face because of an extreme weather event they have no control over. I’m hopeful they’ll be able to find a workable neutral site, because otherwise it’s very possible the Bucs and Dolphins will see their seasons derailed injury and fatigue.