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Miami Dolphins LB Jerome Baker: We’ve got the potential, but we just have to keep putting the work in

The Miami Dolphins reached the bye week with a record of 6-3.

Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins officially reached the bye week first place in the AFC East. Some are doubting the team’s legitimacy, but if you’re going to drop three games, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Germany aren’t the simplest places to play.

Miami held Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs scoreless in the second half of Sunday’s game as Vic Fangio’s defense took another step in the right direction. The Dolphins are getting healthy and will now have a bye week to pick up the pieces.

“I think it’s perfect,” linebacker Jerome Baker said of a Week 10 break. “Pretty much halfway through, I think this is the perfect time for us.

“I think the main thing we learned is we’ve got the potential, but we just have to keep putting the work in. We’ve got to keep believing in what we’re doing, believing what the coaches are saying and we’ll be alright.”

Opponents have scored more than 21 points against the Dolphins just once in the last five weeks (31-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles). Teams average 25 points per game against Miami, but that balloons to 30 when on the road. However, Fangio’s defense holds opponents to 18.5 points per game at Hard Rock Stadium.

“I think we’re confident,” Baker said. “I think we also know that we can be a lot better. There are some things we need to work on. We need to work on getting some more turnovers and things like that, tackling better.

“At the end of the day, we know we’re a talented defense, but we still have to put the work in and believe in what we can do.”

Miami plays five of its final eight games at home, beginning with the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 19. That said, Baker plans to use the bye week to rest up instead of worrying about what's to come.

“In the past, I didn’t get away,” Baker said of previous bye-week plans. “I kind of stayed in Miami, kind of still stayed around and kind of was still in it. You don’t really realize it later on, you’re like, ‘I wish I had a few days just to relax,’ and now you don’t have it.

“Now I kind of take that approach of bye week, step away a little bit. It’s good for you, good for your mentals.”