You know the facts. Since 1990, only three teams have started their seasons 0-3 and still made the playoffs.
The 1992 Chargers started 0-4 and made it to the playoffs. The 1995 Lions started out 0-3 and made the playoffs. The 1998 Buffalo Bills started out 0-3 and made the playoffs. Everybody else that started out 0-3 since 1990 was playing golf by late January.
The Dolphins are 0-2, so history tells you they must beat San Diego Sunday to salvage a good opportunity to make the playoffs. The issue is so important, compelling even, that the great minds on the ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown set this weekend will look at several 0-2 teams -- the Panthers, Titans, and yes, Dolphins -- and tell their respective fans whether they should be patient or start to panic.
The issue will divide the cast among those that believe Sunday's game for Miami is a must-win and those who might think it's not any more important than other games. And in that respect, the divide cuts across the very Miami locker room.
I asked nose tackle Jason Ferguson this week if this game against San Diego is a must-win.
"Yes," he said quickly. "For me it's a must-win. We got to win this game. 0-3 is really hard. I've been there before. You give yourself a reason to go 0-4 and it's all over. And now it's 0-3 and it could be over because when you're 11-5 you may not make the playoffs around [this division.] It's definitely difficult but we put ourselves in this hole. And the good thing is you can look at last year and say we did it before. So let's get W, that's the main thing.
"Every guy in this room got to be thinking we got to get that W."
Perhaps so, but every guy in the locker room is not thinking this game is make-or-break, must-win, pull-out-all-the-stops time.
"It doesn't make the game any more important," linebacker Jason Taylor said. "Every game is so important. You try your darndest to win them all so we're not going to put extra pressure or focus on this game. It's going to get the same amount it deserves and it always would."
Suggest to Taylor that this game truly is make-or-break and thus requires added effort and he does not buy it.
"I totally disagree," he said. "There's no more sense of urgency than there ever was. It's not like we were chilling the first game and then we lost and now we need to pick it up a little more after the Indy game. It's always been pedal to the metal. So the sense of urgency has not picked up at all. It's the same team. Our defense is going to stay the same. Our offense is going to stay the same. We just need to execute better and not make mistakes and finish games."
So why is Taylor refusing to put an added sense of urgency on this game that Ferguson clearly sees?
"I don't want to start 'now-we're-pressing' and 'we're up against the wall' because we're 0-2. We're going to do what we do only do it better."
So where do you fall? And why?