You may disagree with me but Sunday's home game against the New York Jets is a must-win game for the Miami Dolphins.
I realize that the Miami Dolphins are 9-4 and a loss would still make them AFC East leaders. But the vibe around the team right now, after the miserable loss on Monday night against the Titans, isn't one I like to feel.
Listening to Tua and Mike McDaniel speak the last few days has me down. Their tone and body language aren't ideal and I get it. They just lost an improbable game against the Titans where they did something that the previous 767 teams didn't do and that's blow a 14-point lead with three minutes left to play.
They're saying all the right things and assuring everyone that they will learn from Monday night and use that information to get better. But their delivery of those words sounds and looks like they're coming from a wounded team. I don't expect them to be in great moods with smiles everywhere but I would have liked to detect more confidence. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Feels like I am.
I used the phrase must-win because if the Miami Dolphins lose and the Bills beat the Cowboys then the division is up for grabs with three to play. Miami has the Cowboys, Ravens, and Bills in their next three games and the Bills have the mighty Chargers and Patriots before the last game against Miami. And can you imagine what the world would be like if Miami lost to the Jets? That's a world I don't want to live in.
There is no time to dwell and feel sorry for ourselves. Yes, the typical rash of injuries that plague the Dolphins are once again happening and everyone is questioning if Tua is the guy again.
It doesn't matter. Deal with it, next man up, whatever needs to be done to beat a Jets team that had their best game of the season last week. This Jets team might smell blood in the water and would love nothing more than to be one of the reasons the Dolphins season got derailed in December.
But I don't this happens. I have faith that this team can pull it together this week. There's too much leadership and still a good amount of quality players who have a ton to play for.
Mike McDaniel needs to have this team loose and ready to play. I don't want this team not have fun anymore. This team got to where it is by having fun with celebrations. Yes, they don't always make me feel great but now is not the time to change our personality wholesale.
This team has everything it needs to get to 10-4 and get into the hardest stretch of the season. These keys of the game getting turned will get them there.
UPDATE: Before this was being published. Mike McDaniel had his press conference and I'm glad to report he looks like he's in a much better mood. Trust me, you want him cracking jokes and having fun with the media. If he's not doing that, then I get concerned.