It’s not the time to rally the troops and prepare to leave a sinking ship. It was only a preseason game and the first one of the year, but the Dolphins are in a predicament of sorts.
The team everyone is watching because of their huge offseason moves and draft class is under the gun, needing to play better in the second game of the preseason against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that wants to prove they aren’t bottom feeders of the NFL.
You can see how this is a signature game for both teams.
A win by the Dolphins and the whispers do not begin that they are overrated. A loss and well, the talk in the media begins.
A win by the Jaguars and everyone on the bandwagon or the “lifers” as I like to call them, are expecting this team to go to the playoffs this season. A loss, and it is back to normalcy where everything is the same, nothing changes and these are the same old Jaguars everyone knows.
But if you ask me (and I know you did not), there is more riding on this game for the Fins.
Miami looked sluggish and out of sync in the first half. Handling the football was costly and before they knew it, Dallas was ahead 17-3 at the half.
Shade of Super Bowl VI? Not exactly. But the Dolphins for all the positive energy this team has brought this offseason played flat in one half and scratched itself back into the game in the second.
How does Ryan Tannehill play with more reps this week. Does Mike Wallace make an appearance and an impact? Can the defense stop the Jaguars (it should be able to)? Does Chad Henne (or Blaine Gabbert) light up the secondary?
What happens if Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas fumble the football? What’s Mike Gillislee’s role this week?
A lot of questions and many options to choose from this week for Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin.
The facts are simple. The Jaguars do not have to win this week, but show improvements across the board. The Dolphins need the win. Losing to a Dallas team expected to go to the playoffs this season is one thing. Dropping to 0-2 on this early year at the hands of the 2-14 Jaguars is a harder pill to swallow.
Who knew a preseason game would be this important so soon?