The Miami Dolphins currently hold a two-game lead over the Buffalo Bills in AFC East division. Second-year head coach Mike McDaniel has constructed the most efficient offense in the NFL.
Despite entering the Week 16 game against the Dallas Cowboys with 10 wins, the Dolphins faced questions about their subpar record against teams with a winning record this season. Prior to defeating the Cowboys on Christmas Eve, Miami was 0-3 against winning teams this year.
The victory over Dallas also marked the Dolphins’ first division title since 2008. Miami faces two AFC teams with winning records to close out the regular season before they move on to the postseason.
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But defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah said they are “just taking it game by game.” The Dolphins are instead focusing on Sunday’s matchup with NFL MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
“We going up there.… to Baltimore to play the Ravens. It’s going to be a tough one, but we’re ready,” Ogbah told Fox News Digital.
“The coaches will have a good game plan. I’m studying film. I’m seeing how I can stop Lamar… just going into the game just focusing on this game… we’re not really worried (about) the future. We’re just worried about this Baltimore game.”
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Ogbah is in his fourth year with the Dolphins. Before he made the move to Miami, he won Super Bowl LIV during his stint with the Kansas City Chiefs.
If the Dolphins are able to defeat the Ravens and the Buffalo Bills in their remaining two games, they will clinch the top seed in the conference. The No. 1 seed earns home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as well as a bye week for the first round.
McDaniel also welcomed the challenge of matching up with one of the best teams in the NFL.
“It’s exactly what you want,” McDaniel said earlier this week. “You want to be playing the best football teams in December and January. You want to go toe to toe with them, and you want to earn victories. To do that, we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to play the Baltimore Ravens this week.”
Josh Boyer served as the Dolphins defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, but he left the organization following the 2022 season.
In February, McDaniel decided to add veteran NFL coach Vic Fangio to the staff. Fangio was the Broncos’ head coach from 2019-2021 and spent last season as a consultant for the Eagles.
The 65-year-old’s coaching career spans three and a half decades.
“It’s different,” Ogbah said when asked about being coached by Fangio.
Ogbah also lauded Fangio for the coach’s ability to set players up for success on the football field.
“He’s definitely a genius, I would say. As far as defensive scheme… he know how to put guys in the right position to make plays. It’s definitely different. I’ve definitely learned a lot from him… he’s definitely evolved my game a lot.”
During his introductory press conference in February, Fangio hinted that he was nowhere near retiring.
“I think the Dolphins have a good thing going here,” Fangio said. “There are good components of the coaching staff led by Mike that made it intriguing to join that. I still have a lot of coaching left in me. It’s who I am and what I enjoy doing.”
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The Ravens host the Dolphins in Week 17. Miami then wraps up the regular season at home against the Bills on Jan. 7
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