After a 31-17 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Miami Dolphins are back at Hard Rock Stadium this weekend and looking to return to the win column.
Sunday will mark just 42 days since the Dolphins last faced the New England Patriots, who just played arguably their best game of the season, a comeback 29-25 win against the Buffalo Bills.
Now, the teams meet again, this time at Hard Rock Stadium.
Here's what Head Coach Mike McDaniel, his staff, and several members of the team had to say this week as the Dolphins prepare for their divisional matchup against the Patriots.
Protecting Home Field Against New England
QB Tua Tagovailoa
(On why the team has had so much recent success at home) – "Well, I think for one, it's the fans that we have. The fans definitely make the atmosphere one to remember as far as third downs, they're really loud. And it's when the guys go out there and we're all warming up. The guys see the crowd, the guys are playing catch with the fans, we get to see our families. It's just an atmosphere that we feel comfortable in, so it's always important for us to get a dub every time we play here. But it's important for us to win any time, whether it's home, away, it doesn't matter. We want to get a win anytime we can."
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On planning for New England, who is known for trying to take away the opposing team's best players) - "That's the fun part of football. You're trying to cost analysis. If they are taking away one thing, you're giving up another thing. If people are going to overplay one thing, you have to be able to execute another. I think if you really commit, you can put 11 players on one guy. But that leaves other players available, and the structure of the defense a little vulnerable. We'll always have a feature player in our scheme. We'll always have him involved in some way, shape or form. But when people overcommit to something, other guys have to make plays, and other parts of your offense has to go. That's the cool balancing act of NFL gameday, which is one of the reasons why it's so fun."
Getting Pressure Up Front
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
(On the performance from Miami's defensive front against Philadelphia) - "I think they did well. Philadelphia undoubtedly has the best offensive line in the league. I thought overall when you consider that, who we were playing, I thought that they probably had their best game against the run this year. I thought Raekwon (Davis) made good advances in his quality of play."
(On the play of LB Bradley Chubb) - "I think he's played well all year. He made three or four big plays against New England in the first game that helped us win that game. He's been consistently good all year. Lately, he has had some sacks, which is what everybody notices so they think the play is much better. But I think he's had two or three sacks in the last two games. He played about 110 plays in those last two games. How did he do the other 107. He's been doing good."
LB Bradley Chubb
(On the week-to-week growth from the defensive front) – "I feel like over these past couple of weeks, we kind of just learned each other, learned how each other likes to push the quarterback off the spot and just playing off each other. We kind of saw on the sack that me and 'JP' (Jaelan Phillips) had, I came inside, Zach (Sieler) wrapped right around and just kept him contained in that pocket and stuff like that. So it's just like I said – learning each other and growing as a unit and I feel like we just keep taking strides each and every week."
Learning From the Loss
Head Coach Mike McDaniel
(On the constant search for improvement on the road and at home) – "Ultimately, as a football team, we're trying to progress to the point that doesn't matter where we play or who we play, that you're able to win those games. So we have to learn stuff from the game regardless of the outcome."
WR Jaylen Waddle
(On what the offense learned from Week 7) – "How important the small details and kind of how one thing can overflow into the next thing. When you're playing a good team, that stuff just stacks up. You get a limited amount of opportunities and a limited amount of mess ups. In an important game, on the road, against a good team, they're going to make you pay."
For more analysis ahead of Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, listen to the latest episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield.