The Miami Dolphins are facing an early season “must-win” contest against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday but not for the reasons you might expect.
A loss today puts the Dolphins in 2nd place in the AFC East with 14 more games to go. Needless to say, this game will not eliminate Miami from the postseason discussion. A loss today will likely knock Miami out of the top 5 power rankings around the media circuit. A loss today, well, it’s a loss.
A victory, however, doesn’t make Miami a front runner for the Super Bowl, a victory doesn’t make them the favorites to win the AFC East, and a victory doesn’t get them a WC birth. No, this “must-win” game is all about getting Miami mentally prepared for the season. It is the exclamation point to what Mike McDaniel has been coaching this off-season. Execution wins football games.
The Dolphins have lost to the Bills seven straight games and a victory will shed that monkey off their backs. It would be a statement that the Bills are not the unbeatable juggernauts they are made out to be. For the Dolphins, it’s about showing up. It’s about saying, “We can do this”.
Last week’s comeback victory was a complete team effort and Miami should be building off of that win. Carrying it over into this week and then into the next, one game at a time.
Miami has won seven straight games at Hard Rock Stadium and has lost seven straight to the Bills. One of these streaks will end today.
Winning today is a message, not to the media or the Tua Tagovailoa doubters, it’s a message internally to each of the players. A message that says, “we can run with anyone”. A win today gives Miami more confidence heading into a stretch of the season that could see favorable match-ups all the way to their bye-week.
Beating Buffalo is a confidence-building win and those types of games are “must-win” types of games. The Dolphins have the team to beat the Bills and it won’t be easy and if they do, it’s the kind of game that will set up the tone for the entire season.