Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:45 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Heading into the game on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins players and coaches understand that this isn’t going to be simply a game where they walk in and dominate and go home. Instead, they know the Jaguars have been improving and know that they can’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s an easy opponent. One thing that will make it a little tougher is the fact that this will be the Dolphins’ second consecutive game on the road.
“We do our best to kind of keep things as consistent as possible,” Philbin said. “Obviously, the stadiums change when we go on the road, but when we go on the road, you kind of try for the most part, London was an exception, but you try to leave about the same time. We like to have our meetings about the same time. We like to do the vast majority of our work just like we do here if it was a home game. When we meet Saturday night at the hotel, it’s really just meet, talking to the team. It’s not a lot of technical football stuff. We should have it down by then. We do the same thing when we are on the road. We keep the schedule really exactly the same, so they feel like they are getting ready to play a game like they do 16 other times. So I think consistency is a big thing and knowing what to expect when we go on the road is important.”
Branden Albert has been on both sides before where he’s been on the team that is the favorite and also the underdog that isn’t expected to win. That’s why he knows best on how to string together victories and keep the momentum going.
“You just have to take every game one game at a time and treat every game, win, lose or draw, as the same. You can’t get too high. You can’t get too low. That’s one thing we’ve learned. If you win a game, you can’t be too happy. If you lose a game, you can’t get too down. You have to stay an even attitude, and that’s how you stay up. I think we had a good week in practice. As long as we keep it up and keep the attitude up, then we’ll go each week fighting and trying to get better. I think we can pull something off, but we have to prove it though.”
Last season, the Dolphins found themselves in a similar situation when they faced off against a winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. They lost that game and struggled to get anything going much of the night. Mike Pouncey said they’ve learned their lesson since then though.
“No question. They got their first win on us last year. We came in there taking them lightly and they beat us. We can’t have that happen this week. You just come in and prepare the same way we’ve been preparing all year. Each team in the NFL has a lot of talent on it. There aren’t any bad teams in the NFL. We’ve got to go in and prepare like it’s a playoff football team. They’re in their groove right now. They’re playing really well, they’ve been playing really well all year on defense. So we’ve got to go up there and play better.”
We’ll find out soon enough which Dolphins team shows up. If it’s the one that’s played the last six quarters at a high level, the Jaguars could be in for a long day in their own house.