- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins were a nice story early in the season. They got off to a 4-3 start with a rookie quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) and rookie head coach (Joe Philbin). The beginning had Miami thinking playoffs.
But that all feels like months ago with the way Miami has played as of late. Three weeks later, the Dolphins are 4-6 and playing awful football. Miami suffered a 19-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills (4-6) and could be headed for a downward spiral.
Here is a look at Miami’s next three games:
Nov. 25: vs. Seattle (6-4)
Dec. 2: vs. New England (6-3)
Dec. 9: at San Francisco (6-2-1)
The Dolphins will be underdogs in all of these games and look likely to finish that stretch at 4-9.
Philbin has a huge challenge ahead of him. Miami’s mental and physical toughness will be tested. Making the playoffs is no longer a realistically attainable goal. Therefore, it’s Philbin’s job to keep the young Dolphins motivated and playing well.
Miami showed earlier this season that it could be a tough out. But the Dolphins proved during this three-game losing streak that they lack the talent to compete over a 16-game season.
There is still plenty of football left to play. The Dolphins have to decide whether they will be playoff spoilers or spoil the rest of their season.
Based on their sloppy play Thursday night against the Bills, it doesn't appear the Dolphins have much fight left.