It’s hard to determine which had more of a face lift this season, Hard Rock Stadium or the Dolphins team that plays on it’s field.
“We definitely feel like we have the home field advantage,” said WR Jarvis Landry.
Coach Adam Gase’s paramount proclamation of winning at home has yielded six wins and only one loss going in to Saturday’s showdown with the AFC East Champion Patriots.
“It’s always important to protect your home,” said defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Unlike most teams around the NFL, the Dolphins can lay claim to protecting their turf against Bill Belichick and New England. For three consecutive years, Tom Brady and company have stepped back on to the plane licking their wounds from a loss in South Florida.
“Hopefully we can continue that streak, but at the end of the day we have to understand what we got to do for this particular game and go from there,” said Suh.
But where do the Dolphins go from there? Would it benefit them to go all out and try and keep the streak alive?
Heading in to the final game of regular season, the Dolphins hold the final Wild Card playoff spot in the AFC. But a win over the Patriots mixed with a Kansas City loss (in what could be the final game for the Chargers in San Diego) would flip-flop Miami and the Chiefs in the playoff standings.
So yes! Go for the win, Gase. Don’t rest your veterans or the thin offensive line.
Here is why:
Let’s assume the playoff standings stay where they are after Week 17. The Dolphins would have to go on the road to frigid Heinz Field and play the Steelers. Playoff time in Pittsburgh can be quite daunting, especially for a team that hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2008.
Back in October it was a win over these same Steelers that initiated the Dolphins season turnaround. But remember Ben Roethlisberger was injured in that game, and the Steelers will likely be taking a 7-game winning streak in to the Wild Card game.
If the Chiefs lose and the Dolphins win, then Miami moves up to the five seed and would get the Texans on the road in Houston. This is the ideal scenario for “Miami DolFans.” Houston seems like a ripe team for the picking in the postseason. Dolphins’ Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph could game plan against QB Tom Savage and not Roethlisberger (Who knows Joseph’s defense all too well from facing the Bengals for years).
Plus, an indoor climate game would be more suitable. Oh and maybe the clincher, Houston is twenty-ninth in the league in points per game (17.5).
Go for it Gase. Go for the “W.” Try and keep the streak alive against the Patriots.
Try to build that momentum to take in to the playoffs and stay away from chilly Pittsburgh, too.