Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dolphins Show They Can't Be Stopped

(c) NFL Video

The Dolphins O-line committed several penalties last night in their 31-27 dramatic win over the New York Jets, but when they weren't committing penalties, they seemed fundamentally as sound as they have been all year. Sure they've been able to move the ball on the ground, but this performance included impressive down-field blocking by Justin Smiley, absolute brick wall pass blocking, and Jake Long's best performance of the year, and the first time he looked to be back in his 2008 form.

It wasn't just that they held the Jets to zero sacks, it was the way in which they did it. They stopped the pressure altogether. And that gave Chad Henne a chance to show what he can do. To my memory Henne only had one poor-looking pass in the entire game, a rocket of an overthrow to Anthony Fasano. His other 5 incompletions included a terrible drop from Ronnie Brown on a check down pass that ricocheted off Brown's chest as he turned to look upfield before the ball arrived.

That was one of the few mistakes by Miami in the game. There were a couple of iffy pass interference calls on Miami that should never have been called, including one on Will Alllen late in the game that resulted in a 49 yard gain for the Jets, and a touchdown on the following play.

There was also the call against Gibril Wilson when he came up to hit the Jets tight end on a deep route. There was the holding penalty on Jake Grove that negated a big play. And of course there were TWO fake punts by the Jets that burned Miami.

So this game shouldn't have been so close, but it was, we got the win, and head into the Bye week looking like a significantly better team than our 0-3 start suggested.

We didn't come out unscathed, however, as both Patrick Cobbs (who got quite a few snaps) and Ricky Williams (138 yards from scrimmage) both left the game in the 4th quarter with injuries. Ricky came up hobbling on what was likely an ankle issue, but he was jogging to the sideline so it probably wasn't serious. Cobbs on the other hand looked to be in serious pain of the 'something just popped' kind. I wouldn't expect him to be back anytime soon if at all this season, but we have Lex Hilliard already active so there shouldn't be a huge drop off. In fact, this could be a blessing in disguise because being a man down and NOT needing to sign another running back, the injury leaves us a man down on the active roster, meaning either Chris Clemons or Patrick Turner could finally get a chance to dress for the game. More on that as information comes in.

We now have a week off, so I will be doing some fun stuff over the dry period to keep the blog going, including hosting a non-dolphins game (blasphemy!) on Thursday as my alma mater #23 South Florida hosts #8 Cincinnati in (play dramatic music here) THE BIGGEST GAME IN SCHOOL HISTORY (being a relatively young program, we get to say that at least twice a year).


  1. <span>How 'Bout those Miami Dolphins??  Fuck Yeah! 
    Running offense - #1 
    3rd Dwn % - #1 
    4th Dwn % - #1 
    Time of Pos - #1 
    Points per game #15 
    Total D - #8 
    Pnts/ gm allowed - #11 
    T / offence - #15 
    IN the top half of the league in all these stats and at the VERY top in many of them.  This team is for real boys and girls. 
    I predicted it! (well a little 6 yr old did, LOL) That kid is getting a new bike if this keeps up!!</span>

  2. Where is everyone this morning?  Hell I'm still half drunk and at work with less than 3 hrs of sleep. What a game.  I loved that the Dolphins wouldn't let the Refs give it to the Jets, even though they tried!

  3. That's as good an O-line performance as I can remember for a long time. As you said, Henne had time to make throws and as for the run blocking - to see Smiley 30+ yards beyond the LOS looking to pancake someone on that screen to Ricky (I think it was that play) did this old correspondent's heart a power of good. Also, to see those big bodies just plain overpower the Jets D with both base and WC running plays and grind out the yards was something this franchise hasn't really had for decades, with the exclusion of the year Ricky put up a big season shortly after he arrived.

    I couldn't get to sleep last night. I managed a couple of hours before the game, then about an hour lying there thinking of all those charges from Ronnie and Ricky before I had about 30 minutes of fitful sleep and got up to reload on caffeine and read all the post-game stuff.

    That was great, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The one really complete team performance last week was against the Bills, who were subsequently beaten (6-3) by a team with a QB having stats 2-17-23-0-1 (comp-att-yds-TDs-INT). We are still susceptible to big plays in the passing game, due partly to inconsistent pressure and dropped coverages and we also give up big plays on ST. Both kill momentum. We also gave up >100 yds rushing, but those fake punts padded those stats.

    I'm pumped that the team (a) have recovered the 08 attitude (b) wiped the smile of piggy Ryan's ugly face (c) ran with impunity, executed the base and WC Offence and (d) overcame all the penalties, fake punts and any other adversity thrown in it's path. But, and it's a big but, after the bye is the Saints. We'll have to play even better than that to get a W against them.

  4. Home Superbowl 2010October 13, 2009 at 7:02 AM

    Henne is our 10 year franchise QB

    Best O-line ever in development

    Best Rushing Offense in Dolphins History

    ***** The DYNASTY BE TINS! *****

    I mean FINS!

  5. Home Superbowl 2010October 13, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    Our stats will soon reflect as such

    ***** The DYNASTY BE FINS! *****

  6. PS One of the funniest comments I read post-game was "I bet all the Ginn-haters will be on Teddy's back after getting only 6 YACS after the Henne bomb?!?" ;)

  7. The Knight who says Ni!October 13, 2009 at 7:15 AM

    Good morning! What a great game. Obviously winning makes it that much better but it was a great game to watch whether you were a fan or not.

    Can we stop with the Wildcat being some sort of exotic formation. It is power football with some interesting options. It's awesome is what it is.

    Our OL earned their money last night big time.

    Chad Henne played great. Give him time and he'll make the throws.

  8. what a great game guys makes u pround to be a dolphins. i can just see all the jets fans with here foot in there mouth. who agrees ronnie is a beast ???? cant forget bout ricky!!!! Hene was just awesome. nuff said. loved the bomb to ginn. darelle revis hasnt been beated by alot of the big recievers but good old teddy took him to school.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Just been reading the SS and found that Eddie has some similar thoughts to mine. Time I was put out to pasture. Pass me the gun. One round in the chamber should be sufficient. Goodbye cruel world! :'(

  10. Agreed Knight - entertainment from the get go. Even when we went behind, like last year, I always thought there was a way back. That's what good teams do!

    The wildcat is just another way to create a mis-match. Always has been and always will be. And until someone finds a way to correct that, we'll run it and run it and it will undoubtedly evolve to hopefully keep us a step ahead and the mis-match on our side.

    I also agree about Henne. He doesn't look like a rookie out there and backing Chad Sr up can't have done him any harm whatsoever.

  11. PPS First round results in ......

    Crowder 1-0
    Ryan 0-1

    Think the tub of lard may have lost the taste for round 2?

  12. my favorite part of the game was rex ryan throwing his defense under the bus
    in the postgame

  13. LOL, he SHOULD have run the ball into the tunnel....

  14. true, everyone at work this morning was talking up the game and Henne and
    they're all seahawks or giants fans.

  15. Just deleted my own post ...... derrrrr.

    Agree with your summing up of the entertainment Knight - fantastic spectacle to watch from start to finish and for the first time this season, I had that "08 feeling" that we would find a way to win even when behind.

    The wildcat is just another way of creating mismatches - nothing more, nothing less. Until somone figures a way to stop it, we'll keep running it and the more variations we come up with, the harder it will be to defend. If it keeps evolving, we hopefully keep winning the mis-match battle.

    Agree with the Henne comments too. He looked really poised, not at all like an overwhelmed rookie and the time he had behind Chad Sr will have done him a power of good. If we keep running like this too, that play action to Ginn could become a weekly fixture and expect other receivers to get in on the act too.

  16. The Knight who says Ni!October 13, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Henne looked like a veteran last night. Sure we have some holes and we need to fix some things, but it's amazing what you can do when you have a good QB. Good stuff!

  17. Lol, but at least he spat out that it was ultimately "his fault" (I didn't see him suit up to help though!) :-D

  18. If he'd done that, Al Davis would offer a 1st for him in a trade instead of just a 2nd? ;)

  19. I loved his expressions on the sideline. He looked like a spectator who had
    never seen a football game before.

  20. ...there were a lot of good things about this game, but the most important was that we soundly beat a very good opponent ...the Bills win was nice but even Cleveland beat them ...but the Jets are another story ...mock Ryan all you can (and I do) but he put together a sound team and we beat the snot out of it ...take out the bad ref calls and the fake punts and we plain old dominated them

    ...Henne is looking much better than I thought he would ...not to take anything away from him, but the OL was awesome in pass protection ...Henne was rarely even pressured ...and when you compare that to the very successful pass rush the Jets D has put on every other opponent this season, the OL performance becomes one of the best I've ever seen.

    ...speaking of "best" performances, kudos to Crowder who played a fantastic game ...long overdue as it was.

    ...on the down side, the Edwards acquisition and performance gives us a good idea just how much difference a true #1 receiver can make ...yes, Ginn caught a bomb in stride and took it home ...but compare that to what Edwards did for the Jets and its clear we still need a #1 receiver ...imnsho.

    ...and the secondary ...the rookies made some plays and lost some ...Davis got burned badly twice but also made some very good plays ...Will Allen has to step up or lose his starting job ...the secondary remains the weak spot in our defense.

    ...ST still is not a strength ...I've not looked at the numbers as yet but my game feeling was that the Jets ST had about a ten yard per return advantage on us ...that is a significant advantage for their offense ...we have yet to find a break out returner.

    ...Cameron Wake was the guy responsible for stopping the fake punt runner and he whiffed on both.

    ...and Cobbs may be out with a knee injury.

    ...but enough with the downside ...I was hoarse this morning and still grinning ear to ear ...we beat the Jets and we did it despite the refs ...and we needed to do that because that's what it will take to beat NE ...take the refs and the fake punts out of the equation and we damn near stomped them ...about time!

    ...it was a heart stopping thriller of a game, the best I've seen in a long, long time

    ...bring on Brees, eh :)

  21. We Have PlaymakersOctober 13, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    He's going to be the real deal.

  22. lemmus, just to clarify, Wake was not in on the second punt fake, it was
    Jason Taylor who whiffed on it. Still, I was disappointed in our defense
    and the fact that Wake, coming off a 3 sack performance, was not given much
    of an opportunity to rush the passer and was relegated to special teams. He
    was in on some snaps, but not nearly enough, and I didn't see him at all in
    the 4th quarter.
    Still, take away those penalties and it wasn't as close as it seemed. A win
    is a win.

  23. ...and before I forget it amid all the celebrations, kudos to tin for the game time chat blog which just keeps getting better and better ...I lost his game stream in the 1st quarter and had to switch over to justin.tv to watch the rest but the chat blog made it almost like watching the game with friends 8-)

  24. Take away those bogus penalties and the NON-Touchdown touchdown by Edwards (one foot in twice does not = T.D.) He never got the other foot down!!!! and we crushed them.  I love it.

  25. We Have PlaymakersOctober 13, 2009 at 8:27 AM

    Last night was like a dream come true.  Seriously.  That first drive was one of the best offensive drives I've ever seen a team put together.  Pure domination.  Was extremely pissed off watching the 2nd quarter & was screaming for Henning to cut it loose.  By the 2nd half he did & now we know we have a QB which is HUGE!!!

    I'm glad we have a bye-week b/c we need Ricky healthy & ready to play the Sainst.  The combo of him & Ronnie are unstoppable.  Ricky looked like he was in his prime last night on that pass play & in several other runs.  My only other concern about this team is the lack of a pass rush.  We gave Sanchez WAY too much time & if we do that against Brees then he'll do the same thing Manning & Rivers did to our secondary.  Big ups to the rookie CB's & all the other players the Trifecta has drafted.  If only the Trifecta had set up shop a year or two before...but hey I think we FINALLY got ourselves a QB!!!  Enjoy this win all!!!

  26. "Slack-jawed" I think the term is?

  27. ...hhhmmm ...ok, I was taking Sparano's word for it being Wake ...but you're right about expecting to see more of him ...it is possible that they didn't feel he stacked up as well against the Jet's 1st stringer as he did against the Bill's 2nd stringer; I don't know of course ...but you've got to give their coaching decisions some room after a team performance like this.

    ...still, it would of helped the secondary quite a bit if there had been more pressure on Sanchez ...he had way too much time to throw imnsho ...if we give Brees that kind of time we'll be singing a different tune after the Saints game

  28. sorry about the stream, upsetting because it was a really good one for a
    change, but they went private early on, then the second one went kaput in
    the 2nd quarter. The mood in the chat was quite different thanks to the
    fast pace of the game and the movement of the offense. Usually we just end
    up talking about herdfan's margarita addiction....

  29. I couldn't get signed in for the live chat last night.  It kept telling me my password was incorrect. >:o

    I am really concerned about Cobbs. Any word on his injury? He is a big part of our WC and ST.  I guess it was a good idea to keep Lex on the 53 man roster huh?

  30. Lemmus - we may already have at least one and maybe 2 receivers who will be good enough to start on the roster already. Hartline seems to be knocking very loudly on that door and since Turner was drafted ahead of him but is behind in terms of "catching on" at the NFL level, we hopefully hit on at least one of these. We ARE getting better, but "Rome wasn't built in a day".

  31. several things did go right on defense....for example, no one mentioned
    dustin keller all night long, and the Jets running game was completely shut
    down in the 2nd half (terrible 1st half tho). Also, despite not getting any
    sacks, Porter was back and healthy and Merling played an insane number of
    snaps. Ayodele played the entire game. So we had no injury issues heading
    into the game.

  32. Opps forgot to put on the Orange for the Orange out! 

  33. ...Ricky leaping over tacklers! ...when was the last time we saw that? ...for an old man he sure does play like a young one ...but then on that great reception and run we saw him let a db (Revis?) run him down like his fuel pump just stopped pumping ...Brown runs the WC much better than Williams but in our base run offense Williams is every bit the playmaker that Brown is ...here's hoping that the limp we saw near the end of the game isn't serious ...we need Williams healthy.

  34. "...Ricky leaping over tacklers! ...when was the last time we saw that?"
    We saw Ronnie do it recently. Do you think they're rehearsing this stuff
    together outside of regular practice?
    Give credit to Revis, he just plain HUSTLED on that play. Ricky had to run
    60 yards to get there too.

  35. ...yeah, the first loss came on the opening drive just as they got into the red zone ...talk about frantic searching for another stream ...I'm just going to have to stop taking on clients where I have to do work in their offices after business hours on nights the Dolphins play ...just not worth the suicidal blood pressure surges ...not to mention not getting much work done.

  36. WHP - check out the highlights - it's even better when you know the final score - I keep watching it over and over!

    I was watching a tape of the perfect season on America's Game yesterday to get me in the mood before the game and Shula was commenting on Zonk saying "he's the only RB in the history of the NFL that's been called for unnecessary roughness on a tackler." A flag came in and Shula told the offical that he was marching the penalty off in the wrong direction and the ref said "look what 39 did to that poor tackler!"

    The official commentary said that #39 had a running philosophy that challenged the lays of physics. Zonk told it like this. "Two bodies CAN occupy the same position at the same time as long as one is bigger and faster and going in the opposite direction - they are there at the same time, but the littler one gets out of the way." ;)

    RnR (especially Ronnie) are bringing a little of this to our running attack this year. I like it! :)

  37. ...no UK, Rome wasn't built in a day ...but Edwards made their offense last night and he did it only a few days after being traded from Cleveland ...I'd love to believe Hartline or Turner were going to grow into Edwards type receivers but so far, only Hartline is showing up and he looks more like a Camarillo than an Edwards ...watching that Henne strike to Ginn made my mouth water for more and I'm sure we'll see it ...but watch Edwards catches and you see the difference a good big receiver makes ...Ginn will never make that kind of play, simply can't because he's too small both height wise and physical build ...he has to get clear of the defenders to get the ball ...Edwards can go up on defenders to get the ball and its a real difference maker ...Turner was supposed to be that man for us but so far the coaches aren't even dressing him which doesn't bode well. 

  38. ""Two bodies CAN occupy the same position at the same time as long as one is
    bigger and faster and going in the opposite direction "
    That's called sex isn't it?

  39. *but with Cobbs out, someone new is going to get dressed. My guess would be
    Clemons, but it could just as easily go Turner's way.*

  40. "That's called sex isn't it?"
    ...so THAT'S why I liked the game last night so much ...Monday Night PORN!!! :)

  41. Hey, hey, hey!  What is this?   Stop talking about me.  *DONT_KNOW*

    I could not get to sleep for what seemed like forever.  That was a classic IMO.  

    So Matt Roth will be back now for NO, correct?  I think Knight asked this question the other day, who is going to be gone to make room for him?

  42. knight,  i asked the same thing in tin's chat room last night.   how is the wildcat a gimmick but the jets two fake punts were just 'brilliant' plays

  43. that guest post was from me

  44. I don't think it's fair to compare 2 rookies to Edwards (a pro-bowler?) ..... they haven't had chance to drop as many catches as him yet! lol. But seriously, this organisation doesn't seem to like over-paying for quick fixes and I guess they have a better idea of what they have in Hartline and Turner than we do and must see something there. Hartline seems to be quicker than Camarillo to me (football speed), and who know what Turner is - the next Keyshawn or the next bust (from what I've read, his head is swimming and he seems to be overwhelmed - not a good sign, but maybe he can work through it?) I know what you're saying about Edwards (and Ginn not being that) but outside of Boldin, Fitzgerald, Marshall, Johnson and maybe a few other emerging stars, there aren't too many of those truly elite good, big strong fast difference makers in the league. Also, sometimes the little guys can do it (Steve Smith, the Marks brothers etc etc).
    I also think Henne will make a lot of our receivers look a lot better when the game really slows down for him.

  45. Oh damn I forgot all about Roth.
    If Cobbs is seriously hurt, then no one would have to go for Roth to slide
    back in.

  46. ...be interesting to see which way they go ...Clemons is a true Free Safety which they badly need ...but after watching Edwards kill them last night, the temptation to try Turner in a game is going to be intense ...and Henne has a lot of throws to Turner in 2nd team practices so the timming and connection should be there already ...hopefully Turner turns out to be a gamer ...Cobbs is a key ST player so that is also part of the equation, eh 

    ...considering that Brees and the Saints are next up, I'd go with Clemons myself but then what do I know ...I trust the coaches on this one.

  47. Lol @ Tin and Lemmus.
    That was more fun than watching porn. More grunting, only the Jets faking it and Ronnie's money shot with 10 seconds to go was a classic.

  48. Herdfan just brought up that Roth will be back. I forgot about him. If
    Cobbs injury is serious, then he would be put on IR, opening up a free spot
    for Roth. Don't know what kind of shape Roth is in though...he could
    replace Walden/Wake/Anderson or he could be on inactive list for all we
    know. Either way, it's likely one of the rookies gets active as opposed to
    having 6 OLBs active.

  49. ...you have to give it to the coaching staff on that last play call ...it took cojones to call the WC when the game was on the line ...and probably the entire season

    ...and then again, maybe not ...considering the success we'd had with it all night putting the ball in the hands of our best player makes perfect sense in retrospect ...it was definitely a money shot! ...the look on Ryan's face was priceless :-D

  50. I don't agree with anyone that much you included.  :)   But you are correct with this point "<span>Can we stop with the Wildcat being some sort of exotic formation."  Right on.  The Wild cat is part of the Dolphins offense just like the I formation

  51. Tin,

    What do you think of the articles in the SS and MH about possibly trading for Josh Cribbs and what's his draft value if picks are involved ???  Also, would you trade Matt Roth for him ??? 

  52. LOL Randy WPB, I wrote a blog about this same subject earlier