Dolphins in line for home cooking

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins had a brutal September schedule in which they played three of their first four games on the road. That included tough dates at Indianapolis and New Orleans.

Miami escaped September relatively unscathed with a 3-1 record. Now, there is an opportunity to reap the benefits since the Dolphins have minimal travel in October and November.

The Dolphins could take advantage of some home cooking over the next two months. Miami will play five of its next seven games at Sun Life Stadium and leave the state of Florida only once in a two-month span. The Dolphins' two road games in eight weeks are against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Nov. 11) and New England Patriots (Oct. 27). Miami also has a bye in Week 6.

"It's big, playing at home is definitely an advantage," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said after Wednesday's practice. "We like playing at home, and it's easier when you don't have to travel. You get to stay at your home a little bit longer and see your family a little bit. It's big, but we still have to go out and play."

First up is Sunday's home date against the defending champion Baltimore Ravens (2-2). The Dolphins are coming off a short week of preparation after losing Monday to the Saints. They will need to feed off their home crowd to beat Baltimore.

This is a golden opportunity for the Dolphins to pad their record. If Miami simply protects home over the next seven games, it's record could be 8-3 entering December. That would put the Dolphins in a great position to make the postseason for the first time since 2008.

"We started on the road early and did fairly good," Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said. "We're 2-1 on the road and we'll take that. But we've got to be able to win at home. You have to be able to protect your home, your house, your environment."