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ASince the first weekend of August, the Miami Dolphins have been on the road for five of the seven games they have played counting the preseason. Their last appearance at Sun Life Stadium was three weeks ago against the New Orleans Saints in the fifth preseason game.
Needless to say, the players and the coaches have had their fill of plane rides and hotel rooms by now, which is why this Sunday’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons is so highly anticipated. Thanks to a 2-0 start, the South Florida fans are just as excited to see their team and a big and energetic crowd is expected at Sun Life Stadium, which will be a welcome sight to the Dolphins.
“We’re excited,” said second-year quarterback
Tannehill enjoyed a 5-3 home record last year as a rookie, which also happened to be Head Coach Joe Philbin’s first season roaming the sidelines in that position in the NFL. So both of them learned quickly about the importance of protecting your home field.
The Atlanta game begins a stretch of four out of six home games for the Dolphins, which means emerging with a victory is even more imperative. Miami’s perfect start on the road now has it positioned to further separate from the pack in the AFC East and in the conference playoff race as a whole.
“To be a great football team in the National Football League you have to have an identity at your home stadium,” Philbin said. “It’s important for us. There’s been a great tradition of success that the Miami Dolphins have had, that we’ve had as an organization, playing home games here, especially in September, and we want to keep that up, no doubt about it.”
“I can’t wait. I’m excited,” Wallace said. “I love playing here even though I’ve only played here twice. I love the atmosphere and I love playing on this field so I’m really excited.”
All of the returning veterans for Miami know how much a vocal home crowd can raise their game and how the hot South Florida sun can wilt visiting teams not accustomed to it. They silenced the home crowds in Cleveland and Indianapolis and now they want to give their own fans a reason to get loud.
“It’s great to come home because Miami’s always supported us,” said Pro Bowl left guard
That’s precisely what these Miami Dolphins of 2013 are trying to create, a hostile and intimidating home environment. Atlanta will be the first test.