The Miami Dolphins are 5-1 for the first time since 2002. The offense leads the league in passing, rushing, and scoring. The defense has allowed just two offensive touchdowns in the past two games.
Now, the Dolphins have an opportunity to pick up their sixth win of the season with a road trip to Philadelphia when they take on the reigning NFC Champion Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
Here's what Head Coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and several members of the team had to say as they prepare for this weekend's big test.
Having Fun While Working Hard
LB David Long Jr.
(On what's fueling the defense's week-to-week improvements) – "I just think the togetherness. I feel like we are playing as one and just playing off each other's energy. Somebody's making a play, getting hype for them. Playing off one another. I think that's the thing you see and going from week to week, just being more confident and actually playing off one another. That's all."
OL Isaiah Wynn
(On playing under Offensive Line Coach Butch Barry?) – *"It's exciting. He's always full of energy. Same guy day in and day out. It's definitely fun to have him leading the charge in our room."
WR Braxton Berrios
(On being a part of the league's most prolific offense through six weeks) – "Fun. Simple answer. It's been really cool to see it from a firsthand perspective, see everything that goes into it. And then watching Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practice really come alive on Sunday, it's been awesome."
A Battle of 5-1 Teams
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On the difference in preparation for a winless opponent versus a team with just one loss) – "I think it is really hard to turn it on for good teams. I think you're already behind the 8-ball if all of a sudden you're going to say, 'Alright, now we've got to work hard.' It was everything to me how we approached last week in terms of making sure that we're at the stage of the development of the team to worry about ourselves. This week will be no different in terms of that. Having said that, me personally, I get so fired up to play – the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the best teams in the National Football League. When you are trying to be your very best, you want to play the best. So I know all of our guys will be excited for that."
Offensive Coordinator Frank Smith
(On the Eagles talented defensive front) – "A very good group that knows who they are. They play together very well. They've had a lot of success there. They have their style of play and the way they want to attack an offense. Like we've talked about earlier in the year, as you have success in the season, every game gets more important. They are going to be a great challenge for us for what our long-term goals are, but our short-term focus has to be right now on how do we make sure that we're at our best when our best is required Sunday night."
QB Tua Tagovailoa
(On whether facing the Eagles can serve as an internal litmus test) – "I think it's always good when you're facing a team that went to the Super Bowl, where they were just that short of winning it. It's always a test to go up against a team like this where they understand what it takes, they know the work that needs to be put in to make it there. And it definitely is a good opportunity to see where our team stands and where we're at with that."
Playing in Primetime
WR Jaylen Waddle
(On the potential pressure that comes with a primetime game) – "No, no pressure at all. We're going into a hostile environment against a good team. It's going to be fun. It's going to be real competitive going in, but I wouldn't say pressure no."
WR Tyreek Hill
(On going into a road atmosphere on a big stage) – "I love it. This is what football is all about. Going against a real good opponent, Sunday Night Football, no better stage. I feel like our guys are ready with the way we practiced today."
RB Raheem Mostert
(On how much he looks forward to these types of matchups) – "It's two teams that are 5-1. An unbelievable matchup. I know the stadium is going to be rocking. Sunday night, they're coming out with the mean green unis (uniforms), and I think those are cold. It's going to be fun, man. The atmosphere is going to be great. I know that – me personally, I was with Philly my rookie year, and I know what the fans bring, the energy and the boost that they're going to have for their team. We just have to be able to control the exterior of everything and handle it well."
For more analysis on Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.