Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:05 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManaics
The Miami Dolphins started their tough stretch of games on Sunday with a victory over the San Diego Chargers and now they’ll turn their focus to the Detroit Lions. Looking ahead, the Dolphins will play the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night and then conclude this stretch against the Denver Broncos before playing the New York Jets. How important was this victory heading into this stretch of the season? Joe Philbin and several players said it was huge for them.
“Without a doubt. It’s November already,” Philbin said. “We reminded them that it’s November and this is a team coming into our stadium with a winning record. We kind of stubbed our toe the last couple of times we were at home. Good teams win at home. We wanted to play well at home. There’s not much more than that.”
Charles Clay added to it saying that it’s big anytime you come home and win but to come out the way they did against the Chargers, it was big for them. Ryan Tannehill said that there was a sense of urgency for this game as they understood that it had playoff implications in terms of the wild card race and also because they are entering the second half of the season.
“Well there was definitely a sense of urgency. We’re getting into the second half of the season. The intensity turns up. This is when teams either separate themselves or get caught in the middle. We want to separate ourselves, we want to take the next step and be a good team. San Diego’s a good team and we have a bunch of good teams coming up on our schedule, so we’re going to have to continue to play well.”
“We have to build on it. I think we’re kind of tapping our potential here. We’re getting into a big part of our schedule and we have to continue to play well. There are no cupcakes on our schedule. Every team, week in and week out, is a good team and has a chance to beat us if we don’t show up, so we have to take every day with a sense of urgency and take advantage of it.”
Of course, there always seems to be one player or coach who takes a more reserved look at the situation and this time, it was Jared Odrick, who said that they can’t get too excited about this victory and really need to focus on the Detroit Lions now before it’s too late.
“It could, but we’re not going to let it. I think we got a bunch of humble guys on the team. Obviously we are going to go celebrate it tonight and then we’re on to the next one. It’s that’s quick. Can’t celebrate each game for too long. You win one, you got to go on to the next one. You celebrate for too long and somebody else will be celebrating your win streak for you. The thing is that, you really have to, in a way, just kind of get all your feelings out tonight about the game, move on to the next one. Whether good or bad, whenever you lose or win, it’s on to the next one.”
It’s good to have guys like Odrick on the team who can keep the rest in check and put the pressure on everyone to get back to the task at hand and to focus. Without it, a team can get too high and then get embarrassed, even after a huge shutout victory like the one we saw on Sunday.