Written by Matthew Cannata at 1:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins are 5-3 and sit in third place in the crowded AFC East. Moving forward in the second half of the season, they are well aware of where they stand in the AFC and the NFL and what they need to do to cement themselves as one of the better teams in the league, which would in turn, give them a playoff berth for the first time since 2008.
“I think we’re in a spot where every game that we play from here on down the road is critical,” Kevin Coyle said. “Being the fact that we have five wins has made them critical because we certainly aren’t where we want to be and we’ve got to fight and scratch each and every week, but we’ve put ourselves in a decent position that we’ve got to go out and try to control our own destiny. That’s a tough thing to say or do, but certainly one week at a time is the way to do it. We’ve got to go out there and focus on this game and then the game that comes right after that, four days later. It’s a spot where we now know that the margin of error for us is not very big and so we can’t have any slip ups down the road. We’ve got to go out there and earn every victory.”
Joe Philbin, Bill Lazor, Coyle and the rest of the coaches have been preaching to take it one game at a time and Coyle said that all of the players are buying into that philosophy.
“I think, right now, we’re at the point where we went through some tough times at the end of last season as everybody makes sure that we keep remembering, and that’s a good thing. I think when you go through something like that, it’s quick to be able to make sure that we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, that we’ve got to go out and take care of business each and every week. And take pride in that fact – as a player, as an athlete, as coaches. You ought to pride yourself in the fact that you come out every week and you earn the respect of the team that you play. People across the field look at you after the game and say, ‘You guys played one heck of a game,’ win, lose or draw – that you went out there and really earned their respect. That’s something that we talk about a lot with our players that, when you put the tape on, there’s a certain standard of play that we want to have. It better reflect that each and every week. There’s only so many opportunities you have. We’ve had eight more regular season opportunities and we’re going to try and make the most of each and every one.”
Ryan Tannehill summed it up best though when he said that a win is a win in the NFL regardless of how many points you score and how many points you hold your opponent to. In the end, as long as you get a win, that’s all that matters.
“I think when you come down to it, we’re coming off three wins. That’s the bottom line is it doesn’t matter if you win ugly, you win pretty, you win. And that’s the bottom line in this league is we’re here to win. Offense is here to score points and I think we did that last week. We’ve had flashes of good weeks, good halves throughout the season. Now, hopefully we can just put a string of good games together.”