DAVIE, Fla. -- When you have two undefeated teams playing at a high level, something unexpected could be the difference.
"It’s huge," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “They have excellent specialists. We feel like our specialists have played very, very well up to this point in time. They have a good group of core players, as do we. ... It’s going to be a very good matchup in special teams.”
The Dolphins take the third phase of the game very serious, and it’s one reason Miami is 3-0. Philbin plays several starters on his special-teams units and also is getting tremendous production from his rookie class.
Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis is perfect in six field goal attempts, which includes two makes of 50 yards or more. Seventh-round pick Don Jones has been a monster on special teams and he caused a critical fumble last week against the Atlanta Falcons. No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan also has contributed.
The Dolphins are starting to find their right mix of aggressive, special-teams players.
“I think special teams is all about who wants it the most,” Jones said. “You got to line up and say, ‘I’m going to kick your tail on this rep,’ and then do it.”
Most of the hype this week has revolved around the big keys on offense and defense for Miami and New Orleans. But winning on special teams could also go a long way.