While Sunday's game with Jacksonville will be billed as a dud by the national media, some local writers and many on this site, those that truly follow the Miami Dolphins know that this game is huge for many within the organization. Fin Fans need to be watching this game closely.
I am stating here that Miami must win this game vs. Jacksonville for the immediate future. It does not matter that style points. It simply must win this game. Pretty or ugly...it must win it.
If the team does not win, all hell could break loose. It is one thing to play the Pats and 49ers close in loses, but the Dolphins cannot lose to a very flawed Jaguars team led by Chad Henne. If they do, it will call into question everything this current Dolphins team is doing. From the owner, to the GM, to the HC, to the new QB, to impending FA's. winning this game is paramount going forward for everyone involved with this team.
A lose this week means Jeff Ireland will burning on the hot seat. He should have been churned out two years ago. However, it is crazy talk that he is "safe" for next year. If the Fins lose to the Jags and Chad Henne, Jeff Ireland is too toxic to bring back. Jeff Ireland needs this win this week more than anyone.
Joe Philbin gets many hall passes around here. I agree he deserves much more time to do his job. I am not saying he will be fired. There is no chance of it nor should there be. However, Sunday is game he has to have. Philbin also needs credibility going forward with his team. He needs momentum and by winning 2 or the last 3 games would do that. I would be very impressed with a 7-9 finish. Heck, 6-10 matches last year's team. However, his team is at a crossroads game. Bottom line is his team MUST deliver in front of an empty stadium Sunday. They must come out with energy and execute. They have to do fundamental things to win like block, tackle and win the TO differential. If the team is lackluster, his direction he is taking the team will rightfully be called into question.
As a rookie QB, Ryan Tannehill deserves some slack. In fact, he has actually performed better than I thought he would. With that said, he is starting to take some heat. It is one thing to lose to the Pats and Niners. It is another to lose to Chad Henne. All RT has to do is have his team WIN the game...stats be damned. The **** storm that will come if Henne finds a way to win Sunday will be enormous.
It is hard to fathom the different ways the season could end. Win a couple games and the Fins come away with a solid 7-9 season considering where many of us thought they were at the start of the year. It would build momentum in what will become the most important offseason in many years in Miami. Come up short Sunday and look out. I was scorned for thinking the Fins would lose to Seattle and hence end up losing six in a row. Posters re-set some of my threads saying "see, the Fins will not lose six in a row...blah, blah, blah". Well, I was off....they have lost 5 of 6. A loss Sunday would mark another three game skid and losses in 6 of 7 games. The Fins MUST win this game to help build for the future.
Sunday will be an ugly dog fight. Mike Mularkey is a good football coach and is coaching for his career. Chad Henne will play loose. The Jags have some outside weapons in Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon and nice TE with Mercedes Lewis. On D, Jason Babin will be matched up with Nate Garner and got a strip sack of Mark buttfumble. No, the Jags are not the Pats. They can be run on a ton as Buffalo and the NY Jets proved. They also have a hard time protecting the passer. However, that is my point...if the Dolphins are inept in being able to exploit these things, then the leaders of this organization will need to be held accountable.
This Sunday is a must win.
In many ways, the season can still end strong with home wins vs. the Jags and Bills. However, if they go the other direction, look out...