Last week, as the Dolphins-Bears game stretched into overtime, some Chicago players looked like they were beginning to wilt under the heat. This week, the Dolphins are preparing for their second consecutive home game against a Northern team, and with the high temperature expected to hit close to 90 degrees, Detroit’s players may have a similar disadvantage.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase said he does see it that way, with his players having trained all summer in Miami.
“I think our guys believe that the fact we train down here and we’re living in this that it’s to our advantage,” Gase said. “And I think it’s one of things where it kind of reminds me of when we were in Denver, whether the altitude thing was real or not, our guys felt like it was. They knew that if it’s a four-quarter game, that they felt like they had an advantage. I think our guys are starting to really see that and feel that way. That’s the biggest thing for us, we try to make it a four-quarter game and try to prove that we’re in the best shape possible to finish the game out the right way.”
Lions coach Matt Patricia said his team has to be ready.
“We’re just going to have to do a good job here of working through practice a high pace and a high tempo and making sure that we’re in great condition when we go down there,” Patricia said. “That will be a big part of it. And I think as you can see as the games go on down there, the teams in the end — conditioning will be a big part of the game.”
One advantage the Dolphins have is the design of Hard Rock Stadium, which has more shade on the home team’s sideline than the visitors’ sideline. The Dolphins aren’t just more accustomed to the heat than their opponents. They also get a cooler sideline than their opponents. That’s a real advantage, one that may pay off on Sunday.