It seems that over the past several weeks, it’s been the biggest game of the season for the Dolphins every time they’ve stepped on the field. On Sunday against the New England Patriots though, it really is the biggest game of the season because if they lose, their season is over and it will be time to look ahead to 2015. Joe Philbin seems to agree with that notion.
“We certainly need to play our best game of the year. This team, what have they won, eight out of nine? They’re playing awful well, so we’re going to have to play awful well. We’re going to need to play our best football,” he said. “We’ve played well, for the last nine weeks ourselves, I think we’ve played relatively well, but not well enough to win eight out of nine, for sure. We’ve got to play better, but I’ve seen it on tape and we’ve got to put it all together.”
Jimmy Wilson said everyone knows how good the Patriots are and this week will be no different.
“I think, every week, you have to give your best to win in this league. Especially against guys like this, you can’t have any mistakes. You can’t let a big run rip off or let a big pass, not tackle guy or have mental errors, or they’ll make you pay. We’ve got a good offense also and we’ve got a great defense. It’s going to be a good game. I don’t know what everybody is expecting, but we’re going up there and we’re trying to come out with a victory.”
Cameron Wake said he expects a tough game, much like every other time the two teams have faced off. He said that both teams have the same goal – to win the game and that he’s confident in the guys in the locker room to go out there and put their best foot forward. If they are able to properly execute, he knows that they will be hard to beat.
The silver lining in all of this, despite the fact that the Dolphins have been sliding the past few weeks, is that they have had success against the Patriots the past two games. It’s important to note that both those games were in Miami, where the Patriots usually struggle. Mike Wallace said that part of it is because they hear so much about the Patriots in the week leading up to the game that they have no choice but to go out and beat them.
“I don’t think we get geared up more for those guys, I don’t know what it is. We know the challenge that they’re going to present every single time, every single time. There is not one time when you play those guys that you think you can barely get a win and sneak out of there. You know what you have to do when you play those guys. I think it’s just, when you play them, you’re mindset is just different. You just know, who you’re playing against and you know the challenge that they’ve presented for so many years for the entire league. It’s just normal. I don’t think it’s just us, I think it’s every single team in the league, when you play the Patriots it’s going to be like that.”
As I mentioned in another post, this game will tell us a lot of what the players think about Philbin as their head coach. Do they respect him enough to go out and lay everything on the line or will they come out flat? We’ll find out in just a few short days.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs