With the last game of the 2014 season for the Miami Dolphins set for Sunday, they find themselves once again out of the playoff field. The game is meaningless and whether they win or lose, their draft position won’t change very much – one spot up or one spot down – or perhaps, they stay where they are regardless of the result. Therefore, does it matter if they win or lose on Sunday against the New York Jets?
If you ask Joe Philbin, he says yes as he thinks a winning season would be big for the organization.
“We’ve got a chance to have a winning record at home, we’ve got a chance to have a winning record overall, we have a chance to have a winning record in our division, those are all important things, very important things.”
Philbin said that regardless of whether or not the game has any impact in the standings or draft position, the goal is to win every time you step on the football field.
“To me it all starts with the way we approach things, we approach one game at a time. We approach this as a privilege to put the uniform on and put the whistle on as a coach to represent this organization. The goal is to win, every single time you step onto that field. You do things the right way and give great effort while you’re out there. That’s the only way I know how to go about preparing a team to play in the National Football League, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings, some had said that these last two weeks would help determine whether or not Philbin came back. That speculation was put to rest though when Stephen Ross announced on Sunday that he would be returning in 2015. Philbin, of course, was happy to hear the news and believes they have something special in the building.
“There has to be belief. They have to believe in me as the head coach or we’re not going to achieve any type of success here. I have to believe in them when they go out on the field that they’re going to give their best effort and execute and play together as a team like I want them to play. There has to be that faith and confidence. If you don’t have that, I don’t care what level of football -- I’ve been at Division III, 1-AA, the Big 10, the MAC, the NFL -- you have to have that on teams.”
While Philbin is looking at this game as one that can set the tone for 2015, Ryan Tannehill doesn’t agree and says that he doesn’t think it matters what happens on Sunday.
“Obviously, we want to finish on a high note and win a big game at home, our last game against a division opponent. But at the same time, there’s so much time in between seasons. We’re just focused on winning this game for this team and this season.”
Tannehill said that it wouldn’t matter to him if the Dolphins entered next season at 23-25 or 24-24, noting that was for the media to analyze and make stories of.
With Philbin’s status clear and with the draft order practically set, there should be no reason not to root like hell for the Dolphins to take care of the Jets on Sunday and come out with a victory to end the 2014 season.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs