Biggest Game Of The Year?
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins have played the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers. They opened the season following the laughable 1-15 2007 against the New York Jets. Tony Sparano said prior to the Arizona Cardinals week 2 match-up that the game was a must win. Now, 4 games under their belt, is this the Dolphins biggest game of the year? You bet it is.
The Houston Texans game will define this Dolphins team and where it actually is at in it’s rebuilding process. No other game to date will carry the significance of this game. The 4 previous games were just that…games. They were stops on the schedules. Nothing more.
Take the NY Jets for example. While the “homer’s” in all of us felt going into the game that Dolphins were poised to beat them, reality that resides in the depths of our minds knew better. Yet we almost pulled it off. Against the Cardinals in week 2 we all knew that the Dolphins secondary was going to be greatly taxed against the prolific passing game of the Card’s two All-Pro WR’s and ageless QB.
With two losses to open the season, very few gave Miami a chance to win at Foxboro against the Patriots. While the game was a welcomed success and very it made no declaration on the team itself or as to it’s particular destiny this season. It was simply a very big upset.
The San Diego Chargers were supposed to be solid barometer to the Dolphins offensive progress and their defenses ability to stop the run. Yet most believed that the Dolphins would face the perils they had in week 2 being outmatched on the field and in the end would indeed end up on the short end of a well fought battle. That of course didn’t happen.
The Dolphins wins against the Patriots and the Chargers have raised the eyebrows of fans and media alike and suddenly people are talking about the Dolphins as an NFL football team rather than a High-School one. This week however will hold a larger piece of the Dolphins anatomical puzzle. This is the game that will define this team.
The Houston Texans give the Dolphins their very first winnable contest on paper and they are still 3 point underdogs. The Dolphins are not expected to get blow out like they were against the Pats and Bolts, they are expected to be in this one keeping it close. How the Dolphins handle the winless teams are as important as how they handle the Championship teams regardless of records.
The Dolphins can come out with the attitude that they still have something to prove, respect to earn, and drive to succeed. Or they can come out and play flat like this game isn’t the marquee match-up on the calendar that invokes that extra step in their gait. No, this is not a trap game by any means, or at least it better not be, this is a must win game if the Dolphins truly plan on having their name mentioned when the NFL starts talking about division winners and wildcard teams.
It may not be the biggest game of the entire season, but it is the biggest game so far.