Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
There have been signs all season long that the Miami Dolphins have the potential to be a playoff team, and there have been very obvious signs pointing at the growth of the team as a whole. Nevertheless, the team finds themselves in a less than favorable position with a 6-5 record in an AFC Conference that couldn't be tighter if it tried.
The Dolphins went into Mile High Stadium and put on what was arguably their best offensive performance of the entire season, in a hostile environment no less. Unfortunately, the normally top-tier Dolphins defense struggled mightily to stop the power-rushing philosophy the Broncos attacked them with, and allowed future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning to put the nail in the coffin.
“We knew it’s important." Ryan Tannehill said about the Broncos game. "One of the top teams in the AFC, conference game, on the road. Getting into the last stretch of our season all these games are big and against a good team, we knew we were going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Very few individuals can honestly look at the offensive performance the Dolphins put forth against the Broncos and say the loss was on the offense rather than the defense; ironically enough, one of those individuals is apparently Tannehill himself.
"We were consistent pretty much the whole day. It got to the middle of the fourth quarter there and like I said we had that negative-yardage run, the tip-pick and that can’t happen in that crunch situation." said Tannehill. "You’ve got to find a way to move the chains.”
Tannehill has never been shy about taking responsibility for losses, which is an admirable trait considering what other players in the league have been doing lately whenever they lose. He's blossoming into a true team leader, and his play on the field is doing the same. Tannehill is also well aware of the situation the team is in, and recognizes the gravity of the situation.
“We feel like we got to win. The situation is what it is. There’s a lot of good teams in the AFC."
Last year the Dolphins were in a similar position to make it to the playoffs, and they failed to take care of their own business against their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. This time however, Tannehill seems more determined then ever to make sure their playoff hopes aren't crushed by their own play.
"Getting into December football, coming up in the next couple of weeks and that’s when teams either make it or fall back.”