Miami gets hot especially in September when the NFL season starts.
Sometimes opposing teams can’t handle the non-stop blast of humidity that has a sauna-like feel to it. In a matchup earlier this season, the Buffalo Bills bench was exposed to the sun down at Hard Rock Stadium and quarterback Josh Allen looked like he was about to collapse after a 21-19 loss to the Dolphins.
But, does the heat and humidity really give the Miami Dolphins a home field advantage in September?
|Home Score||Visitor Score||Record|
Figure 1: Average home score (Dolphins), visitor score, and record by the Miami Dolphins in September games between Week 1, 2019 through Week 5, 2022
It turns out that the sweltering heat has negative effect on the Dolphins’ performance over the past three seasons. On average, the Dolphins were outscored by nearly 20 points in home September games and posted a mediocre 2-7 record.
These September losses include 49 and 43 point drubbings to the Ravens and Patriots respectively. However, it should be noted that the Dolphins were the Vegas favorite in just one of these seven games (not expected to win).
On the flip side, the Dolphins record jumps to 14-6 in non-September home games, which is among the best in the NFL. In these games, the Dolphins outscored their opponents by an average of 5.4 points.
For reference, Tom Brady’s Buccaneers posted a 3-3 record in home September games and went a fairly average 13-11 in non-September home games over the last three seasons. Vegas favored Tampa bay in 75% of these latter home matchups.
|Team||September Record (Home)||Non-September Record (Home)|
Figure 2: September and non-September records for “southern” NFL teams (non-dome) for Week 1, 2019 through Week 5, 2022
Non-dome “southern” teams went a mediocre 11-18 in September home games over the last three seasons.
To be fair, two of these teams, the Jaguars and Panthers, posted 9 and 11 wins respectively between Week 1, 2019 through Week 5, 2022. However, they combined for 6 wins in September home games showing that the temperature and humidity in Jacksonville and Charlotte could have negatively impacted their opponents’ performance.