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ORCHARD PARK (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. A win over the Bills would have kept Adam Gase’s team in the hunt, but Miami fell 24-16 and saw their record sink to 6-8 with two games remaining.

To outsiders, Miami’s final two contests might feel like formalities. Without a playoff berth in sight, fans and media will begin to reflect on a bizarre 2017 campaign that saw the Dolphins lose their starting quarterback in preseason and forfeit their bye week to Hurricane Irma, before attempting to write a Cinderella story into the postseason after a 4-7 start.

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase isn’t ready to look back just yet.

“I’ll think about it later,” Gase said, when asked to assess the difficult season. “I’m not worried about that right now.”

Nor should he be. Disappointment aside, Miami still has a locker room full of well-paid professionals with contracts to earn, families to feed, and pride to protect.

“Anytime you’re in this league, every week’s an evaluation,” noted Gase. “Doesn’t matter what week of the season it is. Our guys are ready to come back to work and find a way to get better and get to play another week.”

Miami will next travel to Kansas City for a Christmas Eve clash with the Chiefs, before wrapping up the season at home against the Bills on New Years Eve.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, in a separate post game interview, added his two-cents on where the team will find motivation over the final two weeks.

“It’s a great locker room,” Cutler said. “I don’t think we’re going to have any issues with guys shutting down. We’ve been in games where we’ve been two scores out, and the guys find ways to go out there and keep playing until the whistle blows. So as long as they let us play next week, we’re going to be ready to roll.”

In a season full of ups and downs, the Dolphins have fully embodied the parity of NFL football over their past two games. In Week 14, Miami dispatched of the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots 27-20 in dominant fashion. Six days later, they turned in an inconsistent performance against the 7-6 Bills.

Gase was asked how Miami could follow up the first of those performances with the latter.

“We didn’t play good. We didn’t do anything really well today. I can’t say we were doing things wrong. They just played better than us.”

To be more specific, Gase addressed the performance of Cutler, who never really found a rhythm while throwing three interceptions.

“There was a couple of [throws] where I thought we had some chances there whether he threw a good ball or guys – I felt like we were on the same page, we just didn’t hit ‘em. I’m going to have to go back and look at the tape and really see what was going on. Sometimes, you’re thinking one thing on the sideline, when you go back and you start talking through some things and you kind of have a better idea. It’s kind of hard for me to piece together exactly what wasn’t going right for us.”

The Dolphins will return to work at the team facility in Davie on Monday. Playoff chances aside, they’ll look to finish a difficult season on a high note.

 

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