It was a difficult day for the Miami Dolphins in Buffalo on Sunday, as the team fell short in several key phases of football fundamentals in the 19-0 loss to the Bills. But that’s all in the rear-view mirror, as all of Miami’s attention now turns to a pivotal Week 17 showdown with the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins will be looking to repeat past successes, after blowing out New York 23-3 four weeks ago up in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In an interview with the Finsiders, Coach Joe Philbin talked about how it was time for the Dolphins to turn the page, and focus on this week’s crucial upcoming matchup against one of their biggest rivals.
“We’ve got to go back to work. We’ve got to improve,” said Philbin. “We’ve got to make certain corrections that occurred in the ball game against Buffalo, and we’ve got to get back to playing our style of football. That’s good, sound, fundamental football.”
One of those fundamentals is getting pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback, and last time the Fins faced off against the Jets, they certainly did that. Miami racked up four sacks, including three from defensive end Olivier Vernon, who’s tied for 5th in the NFL in that category with 11.5.
“Defensively, I think we set the tone of the game on the first play,” said Philbin. “We had an eight yard sack, we had a lot of negative plays, and we put a young quarterback backed up.”
Offensively, Miami had their best game of the season yardage wise (453 total) last time around against the Jets. They’ll be looking to have the same type of success, this time on home turf.
“On the offensive side, especially in the second half, we were able to break some tackles and get yards after the catch and yards after contact in the running game,” said Philbin. “Those things added up to points for us on offense.”
Another thing Miami had success at in the first matchup against New York was causing turnovers, forcing three, including two interceptions. In fact, that’s been one of the biggest constants all season for this team, as the Fins are the only team to record a turnover in every game this season. Coach Philbin is hoping that this trend carries over into the final game of the regular season.
“We talk to the team about taking things that you work on in practice and making sure they transfer to the game. This is one thing that’s been true to form, that we’ve gotten a takeaway in every single game. Now we’re looking at this week coming up, and it would be a great day to get multiple takeaways.”
Now after a long season, one game could decide Miami’s postseason fate, and Philbin says the team will be going all in, holding nothing back on the final week of the regular season.
“The guys have been working extremely hard. We started the offseason program April 15th, and we’ve invested an awful lot of time,” said Philbin. “They’ve (the players) made a lot of sacrifices, put forth a lot of effort and energy into the 2013 season and we’ve got a great opportunity on Sunday to perform in front of our home fans and play our best game of the year.”
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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