Can any game truly be called a “must-win” when you’ve started the season 2-0? Probably not. But for the Miami Dolphins, Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders comes close. Miami is currently undefeated and alone atop the AFC East standings, one game in front of the New England Patriots. The offense is playing well. The defense is dominating. So what gives? Why would I call the Oakland game a must win? Because of the schedule.
The Dolphins have had an easy go of things in the early part of the season, insomuch as any match-up can be called “easy”. The Dolphins started the season with a game against the Tennessee Titans. A game in which the Titans were down both starting tackles and their starting QB at various points. Then they squared off against their division foe the New York Jets. Sam Darnold is going to take that team places, but they aren’t there yet. After Sunday’s game against a struggling Raiders team, the schedule gets a lot harder for the upstart Dolphins.
After Sunday, the next four weeks see the Dolphins square off against the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals in back-to-back road games. Then the Dolphins come home for a two-game stretch against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. All four of those games are going to be much tougher tasks than what the Dolphins have faced thus far. Coming out of Sunday’s game with a win and heading into that stretch at 3-0 will be crucial to Miami’s playoff hopes staying alive.
If the Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins are going to come out of this game with a win, who’s going to step up and turn in a great performance? There are three key players who should be in line for a big game on Sunday. Let’s take a look at who they are.
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