Mike Pouncey knows how to read the standings and a football schedule.
Teams that lose five in a row just do not make the playoffs, no matter how bad the rest of the conference is.
So Sunday’s trip to New England is indeed “a must-win game,” as Pouncey told reporters at the team’s annual turkey giveaway Monday.
But is a win even possible? Technically yes. But it is also almost impossible to envision.
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The host Patriots opened at or around 17-point favorites, depending on the book, making Miami the biggest underdogs of Week 12. That is eye-opening. But here’s a stat even more telling.
Miami’s moneyline figure is +1200. That means oddsmakers and bettors believe the Dolphins have a 7.7 percent chance to win.
Which actually sounds about right. The Dolphins have not won in Foxboro since the Wildcat game. Their average margin of defeat in those eight games?
Eighteen-point-three points per game.
That’s right in line with how the Dolphins have played this year. Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay was their fifth double-digit defeat of the season.
“Obviously, everyone’s pissed today, especially the way we played in the game,” Pouncey said. “We had every opportunity to win that football game and it came down to the very last play. It’s just disappointing because when you play those teams, you have to win those games, win those type of football games. We just didn’t take care of business, and now we’ve put ourselves in a situation where we have to keep fighting out of. It seems like this is a must-win game for us coming up this weekend.”
Pouncey was in good spirits some 24 hours after the game, however. He was among some 20 players who passed out Thanksgiving dinners to South Florida families in need.
“Thanksgiving’s one of my favorite holidays,” Pouncey said. “I’m a fat guy. I love to eat.”
He said the community supports his team through the good, bad and ugly — and few years have been uglier than this one. The Dolphins lost to a dreadful Buccaneer team because they turned the ball over five times and committed 17 penalties.
“The way we played these last four weeks is unacceptable,” Pouncey added. “We pretty much beat ourselves.”