Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
There are always various moments during games where a team will gain momentum after a big turnover, a blocked kick or punt, a touchdown or a long field goal. After that, there are some teams that take advantage of that momentum by scoring or making a big stop on defense.
However, there are also teams who do nothing with it and give it right back. The Dolphins found themselves in that situation against the Kansas City Chiefs and also for a brief few minutes against the Buffalo Bills. Against the Oakland Raiders though, they rode the wave of momentum throughout the entire game and Bill Lazor was impressed.
“I was encouraged yesterday in the first half. One of the things that stood out to me on the sidelines was the way that our receivers played. I thought you saw guys when they got the ball in their hands that were excited to have the ball in their hand. They were really working as hard as I’ve seen them work to do something with it. I thought they were physical blocking for each other on the perimeter. At times, you can include the tight ends with that. I thought that they started to develop an attitude of how they wanted to play with the football in their hands. I think there were times when I saw from our offensive line, I think it showed up in the Patriots game, the other win that you were talking about, the offensive line felt a kind of momentum that they could control the game up front. I think what we have to do as an offense is we’ve got to capture those moments, those feelings. But more important than the feeling, what led to it? What was the execution? What did we do correctly, and when that is not happening, why? We’ve got to pinpoint that. We’re all adults. We’ve got to talk about it, show it and make sure that we put our guys in position to capture that positive execution more often.”
Joe Philbin said they spent a lot of time talking to the team about capturing that momentum and running with it. With that accomplished, he hopes that it will continue for the remainder of the season.
“The one thing we did talk to the team about going into this game was momentum. How do you capture momentum? Then maybe more importantly, how do you sustain it throughout the course of the game? Certainly, even in the two losses we had, I would argue there were periods in time where we had momentum in the second half of those games, but we certainly didn’t sustain it. We didn’t complement one another, offense, defense, special teams. I thought after the opening kickoff yesterday, we just kind of kept playing. We grabbed some momentum and we never let up. We never gave it back. Yeah, consistency, that’s a great question. That’s one of the things we’ll pose to the ball club when we get back to work tomorrow."
"Now, we have to start playing at a consistently high level. It’s time. I told the team before the game that we’ve been at this thing since July 24th. You know what to do. You know what your job is. We haven’t changed a whole lot. Let’s go out and play football. Let’s play football.”