Miami Dolphins need to play angry and with a chip on their shoulder

The Miami Dolphins final regular season game comes down to beating the Bills to win the AFC East. It shouldn't have come down to this.
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

This week the AFC East will be decided. There is no "next week." The Miami Dolphins are coming off their worst and most embarrassing loss of the season and it needs to matter, to them.

Pro athletes have an insane ability to put away bad games and move on. Fans are the ones that tend to hold onto stuff. This week, the Dolphins need to channel that loss. They need to take their frustrations out on the Bills. The Dolphins need to play angry.

At some point, the Dolphins are going to grow tired of the narrative that they can't beat a good football team. They say they don't listen to the stuff outside. They say they take it one game at a time. What they need to do is take this one personally.

Miami got their butts whooped. They lost Xavien Howard, for how long we don't know. They lost Bradley Chubb for the year. Miami got punched in the face. Not Tua, not the offensive line, not the defense, and not Miami's "Cheetah." The entire took this one on the chin.

There is a difference between playing angry and making dumb mistakes because you are playing out of your style. Anger isn't a style. Anger is giving more effort than what you think you have left in the tank. Playing angry means hitting the opposition harder than they expect. It's about taking accountability for every play you step on the field for.

Bradley Chubb
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

While Miami is trying to hold off the Bills race back into the division title, they were only five weeks ago three games out of the division lead, the Dolphins are trying to undo the carnage that was left on the field last week.

Throughout the year, Dolphins fans have said, "Wow, would hate to play that team coming off that big loss" but no one is saying that about the Dolphins. Can the Dolphins channel that or will the Bills rise to the occasion and use Josh Allen's snub for the Pro Bowl as motivation to prove they are the best?

This will be a tough game. From start to finish. The Dolphins can not afford to try and keep pace with the Bills but instead, dictate the terms of the game and force the Bills to keep pace with them.


Buffalo used a great defensive scheme in their week 4 meeting and ran away with the game. Miami has to come up with a better plan offensively to force the Bills into changing their defense around. This will be on McDaniel and the execution will be on the players.

The Dolphins, at home, must set the tempo early and keep their foot on the pedal the entire game. They need to play, angry. Winning this weekend doesn't just lock up the AFC East. It gives them much needed momentum and internal faith heading into the playoffs the following week.

So the Dolphins got blown out in Baltimore, it's over, move on. But move on knowing that if they can't play their style of football and let the Bills instead play theirs, they will struggle to win the game.

The Bills may be playing for the playoff life. If the Jaguars and Steelers both win their games this weekend and the Bills lose in Miami, they miss the playoffs. The Dolphins have to play like their playoff entry is at stake as well.