In the first week of the 2014 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins came out of the gate with a statement and defeated the New England Patriots, 33-20. With the season spinning in a downward spiral though, that memory seems so distant. On Monday, Kevin Coyle and Bill Lazor admitted that it’s a different Patriots team now than it was then and things will need to be different for the Dolphins to win.
“I guess what I can is that, each game is a new game and new opportunity,” Kevin Coyle said. “I think our players enjoy the challenge of playing New England. It’s a great football team. We prepare well to go against them. I think the fact that we’ve had some success, the players realize that we can compete and that’s what we have to do. This is an outstanding team and they do a great job and are playing great football right now. It’s a huge challenge for us to go up there. It’s not an easy place to play. They’re really on a roll right now. We’ll be ready and we’ll give it everything we have to play our best game of the year.”
Bill Lazor said that their offense is completely different than it was in the first week and noted that they are playing with much more confidence now.
“I know the day we played them, our guys came off the field with a lot of confidence. I watched the Patriots play defensively today, I think they’re playing with a lot of confidence, both in the front and also in coverage,” he said. “We’ll look at it very closely. It will be the ultimate chess game, trying to figure out what will they do the same and what will they change, who are they now compared to who they were then, who are we now compared to then. We’ll certainly factor it in and take it into account. The way they’re playing now appears different to me.”
If the Dolphins lose this game, they will all but be eliminated from the playoff race and the attention will turn towards 2015. If they win, they’ll be right back in the thick of things. It will be up to the coordinators to come up with their best game plans and push the right buttons on Sunday to come out with a victory.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs