Week one of the NFL season left a little to be desired and while the Dolphins walked away with a victory many felt the team played poorly. In week two, many said, the Dolphins would get their first real test with the Indianapolis Colts. A close game turned into victory but still many had questions about the teams ability to continue winning close games. Week three did little to erase those thoughts but the victory against the Falcons made many believe that the Miami Dolphins were ready for the next step.
Then Monday night happened. A complete second half failure after a promising first half. The loss is only one and the Dolphins find themselves tucked behind the New England Patriots one game back. Ryan Tannehill was a turnover machine and the obvious disconnect between he and Mike Wallace has become apparent. The team is still however 3-1 with wins against the Colts and Falcons as well as win over the suddenly surging Cleveland Browns.
This week however will be a true test for the Dolphins. While the Baltimore Ravens are nothing close to the magical Super Bowl team of a year ago, they still are a well coached team. How the Dolphins respond to the week 4 loss will be vital for a team heading into their bye week the following Sunday. The Dolphins can afford to lose the game but how will a loss affect their drive and desire? Their confidence? This is a team that is showing all the signs of a rising contender. Maybe not in the vein of Denver’s high powered offense but Miami’s offense is no lackey.
The Dolphins need to step on the field Sunday for their 2nd home game of the season and take control early. Not to send a message to Baltimore but to send a message to themselves that this is their game and this is their stadium. Miami needs to put the New Orleans game behind them and beat the Ravens. They need to gain back their confidence and prove that the first three weeks were victories they earned instead of were handed. The Dolphins have yet to win a decisive game this year winning all three contests late into the 4th quarter. It’s time to change that.
Baltimore is an intriguing team that is up and down thus far in 2013. They won’t hit you from one angle with one player but instead try to utilize many offensively to gain an edge. Taking away that edge is imperative.
The Dolphins have the players and the ability to beat the visiting Ravens but they have to go out and actually do it. On the field where it counts. It’s not a “must-win” game as the term is so often used but it’s a statement game. A statement that says we tripped last week but that’s not who we are. The Dolphins need to make that statement.