After a dominant 45-15 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 13, the Miami Dolphins hoped to carry that momentum into a three-game homestand.
They came up short however in a 28-27 defeat to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14.
In order to get back on track, Miami will have to beat a New York Jets team – coming off their biggest win of the season – that they just faced three weeks prior.
Here's what Head Coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and other members of the team had to say this week as they prepare to play the Jets.
Round 2 Against the Jets
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On what the team needs to do defensively to have success against Jets QB Zach Wilson) – "I think you have to get on edges of offensive linemen and disrupt his vision and I think if you allow him early confidence, he's going to play confident. So that's our objective to start the game and I think guys are up for the challenge there. One thing they're not doing is – you can tell it hit our locker room, too – they're not taking this team lightly. They know how tough things can be when you've lost a couple games in a row and then the amount of momentum you have from one game. So we're going to have our hands full."
QB Tua Tagovailoa
(On what he's taking from the team's first game against the Jets into the second) – "They have a good defense. But what we got to do is we can't be shooting ourselves in the foot this game. We have to go out there, take what they give us, and just play our game."
Offensive Coordinator Frank Smith
(On what stood out from the Jets win last week against Houston) – "Overall defensively, they have a very together system. You can tell they communicate very well, they play together well. They're physical. There's a lot of challenges they're going to present. Whenever you have to travel on the road in the NFL, every game is tough. When you look at the challenges that they gave Houston, those are obviously challenges defensively that we'll have to handle. I don't really – it's not like it's one thing. Every game is just so many different components that are little things that can add up over time. So for us to be able to come out on Sunday and do what we want to do, it's not really about whatever they're doing, it's about us and making sure we're on our plan and on our communication so we can execute together."
Learning From a Tough Loss
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
(On moving forward to Week 15) – "You just have to do it. That's part of playing in the NFL. I think the best thing to get it going is just to get out there and practice and prepare for the next opponent, and not sit around and just think about the last game."
Offensive Coordinator Frank Smith
(On improving offensively after a disappointing performance against the Titans) – "Whenever you have adversity, you can either run from it, hide from it, or you embrace it, learn from it, grow from it, become stronger from it. I think so many guys on this football team, that's kind of who they were and how they got here. I think a lot of us when we go through games where we had our expectations not met, it's time to go back to work. That hunger and that fire as a competitor, I mean for me, I know how I feel. I'm excited for every day, including today, as I know everyone else is in the building."
LB Duke Riley
(On the mentality of the team this week) – "We've got a lot of good-character guys on this team so I know one thing, we're going to learn from this game and it's just only going to make us better. That's just like everything we do in life, especially with the guys that we have and the leaders that we have and the captains and leadership that we have on this team. I know that we're going to look at this game and only get better from it and only make corrections. It's a blessing and a curse at the same time. No one wants to lose. I know for a fact no one wants to lose in this building. I hate losing. Everyone does. But I know one thing – you learn from every time make a mistake. We have a lot of grown men in this building and a lot of people, like I said, with good character and are going to come back to the drawing board and not point the finger, look at themselves and see what they can do better and improve on, just like myself."
For more analysis ahead of Sunday's game against the New York Jets, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.