Mike McDaniel is known for being very candid and providing a unique perspective in his press conferences, and following a 26-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs, it was no different. Despite a tough loss, McDaniel was thoughtful and very vocal about how he felt after the game.
Mike McDaniel Gave No Excuses
One of the first things that Mike McDaniels said when he got to the podium is that he thought the team was going to play better because they weren’t giving any excuses or complaining before the game. He mentioned the cold, injuries, and attitude as all being in really good places before the game, confusing him as to why the team didn’t perform to the expectation that he thought they should play.
“It’s tough…Everyone poured their heart and soul into it [the game]…There’s a lot of moving parts… the team understood the gravity of which you have to approach each team… Nobody used anything for an excuse. That’s one thing I didn’t see in the locker room. No finger poninting or excuse making. We didn’t hide from it. I’m proud of a lot of things with this team.
You have to learn from it and prepare for the future.”
The Dolphins struggled all game to get the offense going 1-12 on 3rd down and only completing 4.6 yards per pass attempt. Miami only had three drives go for more than 30 yards, with one of them ending in their only touchdown and the second coming late and ultimately ending on a 4th down failed conversion.
The Dolphins Haven’t Won a Playoff Game Since 2000
The Detroit Lions haven’t won an NFL Playoff game since 1991. However, that streak may end tomorrow night in Detroit when the Lions host the LA Rams. If they do pull off the win, the Dolphins will then be the team with the longest drought without at least one playoff win.
Daniels didn’t specifically mention the drought of years without a playoff win, but he did mention the need to get better every year.
I think everyone has to get better…if you’re staying the same, it is getting worse almost…I think that goes across the board….We learned to have high expectations for that unit [offense]. We need to learn from it as we try to take another step forward [for next year]. I was expecting to play next weekend.”
The Dolphins did make the NFL Playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, although they were heavy underdogs and barely squeaked into the postseason with a 9-8 regular season record. While the result is the same, it is fair to say that the Dolphins did take a small step forward this year, going 11-6 during the regular season, although they were just 1-6 in games against teams with a winning record.
It is unlikely that Mike McDaniels will be making too many drastic changes this off-season. Following the best regular season since 2008, with the team going 11-5, Dolphin fans and the executives will likely take a deep breath for a few days and realize that despite a tough loss, things are still trending in a positive direction.
You can watch the entire press conference in the video below: