Thursday, September 13, 2012

Raiders QB Palmer on Miami heat: 'It will be a factor'


The Miami Dolphins face off against the Oakland Raiders Sunday in their home-opener at Sun Life Stadium. Though much is still a mystery about how good or bad both teams are, one thing is certain: it will be a hot one.

South Florida features early-September averages of 88 degrees and 87 percent humidity, which has been a strain on visiting Dolphin opponents since the team's inception.

"It will be a factor," said Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, via the team's website. "It’s something that has already been talked about. It’s already been addressed as far as hydrating and getting ready for it, mentally prepared for it."

As is tradition for home day games, Miami is expected to don its all-white uniforms, meaning the Raiders will be in their black tops. The pressure will be on Oakland to stay refreshed for 60 minutes of football.

"We're going to have to do a good job with our rotation and keeping those guys fresh and keeping them where they'll be at their best in the fourth quarter," said Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Historically, Miami has held a significant home-field advantage in early-season day games. In the past 20 seasons, the Dolphins are 16-4 in September games that started at 1 p.m.

The NFL had been scheduling fewer early games in the beginning of the season in Miami at the request of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, in the interest of fan comfort. Certain sections of the stadium can get almost dangerously hot when in direct sunlight.

But the Dolphins themselves are happy to regain the edge that the heat gives them.

“You see teams come and play us and they bring their tents on the sideline,” said Dolphins' center Mike Pouncey, according to the Palm Beach Post. “They can’t take the heat, so it’ll definitely be an advantage for us.”

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