Friday, November 20, 2009

RE-CAP: Miami @ Carolina

Well we've FINALLY gotten to a .500 season, completing a double-win-week with a 24-17 victory over Carolina.  

Once again we had the game wrapped up and a play-calling decision offered the game up on a platter to the opposition.  That's two games in a row that Miami tried to lose but failed.  The first one was in the Tampa Bay game, deciding to throw late in the game, which resulted in an interception and put Tampa back in the game.  

The second occurred last night.  With a 7 point lead and 44 seconds to go from their own 28 yard line, they faced a 4th and 3.  Anyone with a brain would kick the field goal there.  A ten point lead would be almost insurmountable with about 39 seconds left on the clock (even less considering there would be an ensuing kickoff).  If you missed the kick, it would still make Carolina have to go 70+ yards in less than 40 seconds with ZERO timeouts.  But instead the Dolphins elected to go for it, and failed to get a first down, and since the clock stops on a turnover, the Panthers were handed the ball back with 39 seconds left on the clock.  They proceeded to move the ball quickly down the field but ultimately came up short.

You could see Sparano getting visibly flustered as his players went down one by one to injury in the second half.  First Jason Ferguson hurt his knee (and you know it's serious as in season-ending by the way he reacted with frustration on the sidelines), then Jake Grove looked to have suffered a possible concussion but the reports were that it was an ankle injury (to me it looked more like he was spinning than limping), then his replacement Joe Berger got one of those high ankle sprains. that tends to nag someone for weeks.  It didn't get any better as Nate Garner, who started in place of Justin Smiley, had to play Left Guard, Right Tackle (Vernon Carey was shaken up and sat out two plays in the first half), and ultimately Center, also suffered a knee injury.  Joe Berger would return to finish the game at Center.  On two occasions I saw Justin Smiley wincing in pain in between plays as he rotated/stretched his right shoulder.

Bottom line is that the offensive line is banged the f*** up.  Still, I thought they did an incredible job last night.  It was probably the best pass-blocking the Dolphins have had all season, and the running game was respectable as well.  

The wind caused some havoc in the passing game, and Carolina somehow managed to go 3 and a half quarters without a penalty (despite a player grabbing Chad Henne by the facemask and pulling him to the ground in the first half - there was no flag) - otherwise the game could have been much more skewed in Miami's favor.  There were several passes by both teams that seemed to be lifted up or knocked down by the wind, and Carolina's last field goal was the ugliest looking successful kick you can imagine - like a drunken knuckleball.

Still, a fine performance by Ricky Williams and Company brought us out of having a losing record and puts us in the beneficial position of having ten days off and the Buffalo Bills on the other side of the mini-Bye.  It also put Chad Henne's starting record at 5-2.  That's a 71.4% win rate which is actually slightly better than Matt Ryan's and Joe Flacco's winning rate last year.

Your thoughts on the game?  

P.S. Yes, I do have a massive hangover.


  1. You mention the wind in the passing game, could that be the reason the didn't try the field goal?

  2. Sparano said he was worried the kick would be blocked.
    I fail to see how that's a huge concern as how often does a kick get blocked
    versus a 4th and 3 conversion?
    Carpenter's two field goals looked very straight and strong. There was no
    legitimate reason to not kick the field goal there. But let's keep in mind
    that the Dolphins had a 4th and 2 earlier in the half from inside the 20 and
    we were all yelling for them to go for it and they decided to kick the field
    goal. That would have been an appropriate time to gamble on the conversion,
    because it would have put the game out of reach had we scored there.
    Carolina would have had to ease off their running game at that point, and
    forced Delhomme to throw the ball.
    The bottom line is that football play-calling is like a chess-match, you
    have to do things to put your opponent at a disadvantage early, or else
    you'll be even matched and you could get beat on one play, rather than
    forcing your opponent to spend the entire game trying to get back to level

  3. I really liked the way we played. OK, Carolina (Delhomme especially) helped us, but we had some of that scrapping and clawing back from last year. The price we might pay for the victory might be one we can't afford this year in terms of injuries, but a win on the road in another "must-win" game was nice to see. It was an all round effort too. Starks showed up big time, JP and k-Wake gave good pressure, the rooks gave up a few big ones but stopped a lot as well, our receivers experimented in the passing game by catching a few this week (except Haynos) and Ricky was just Ricky. Hilliard did his future in Miami no harm either. All in all, it was a real TEAM effort. And Henne's development is continuing nicely - he stays calm, does what's needed and is learning all the time and the game must be slowing down a little more each week.

    I'm pasting a post I did on the SS below (apologies to anyone who's already read it).


    4th down as I saw it:
    The ball was between the 38 and 39 yard line of Carolina after the time out on 4th and 3 with 44 seconds remaining.
    Miami went for it, gained a yard and the ball was spotted between the Carolina 38 and 37. The play took 5 seconds and the clock wound down to 39, whereupon it stops by rule due to a change of possession.
    The choices on 4th down were (a) FG, (b) go for it and (c) pooch punt.

    If you kick a FG, you take no time off the clock, a missed attempt puts the ball at the spot of the kick (~46 yd line) and a blocked or short kick is returnable. A botched attempt probably loses even more yards and eats a little clock. A good FG puts the game away.

    We saw what happened when we went for it.

    The pooch punt would have also taken no time off the clock if it had been kicked to the sideline and left the Panthers with a much longer drive to complete. An in-field pooch might have been returnable and a botched pooch could have lost yards and eaten some time.

    There is risk and reward with each and all that really matters is what TS chose. Personally, I would have called a coffin corner pooch kick. But Tony didn't ask my opinion. lol.

  4. uk, a few issues with your comment:
    1. The ball was on the 28, not the 38.
    2. A field goal *does* take time off the clock, and would've taken off just
    as much if not more than a quick run for one yard.
    3. *"Personally, I would have called a coffin corner pooch kick."* I'm
    definitely not hiring
    you as head coach for my new franchise UFL team that I bought with my
    last paycheck. You
    never leave points on the field. The FG is the only logical call there.
    Carpenter had
    already nailed a FG with no problems to start the 4th quarter.

  5. The Knight who says Ni!November 20, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    The field was in bad shape and the conditions were obviously not suited to go for a FG there. They didn't just say let's do the wrong thing and not kick it. Remember Carpenter slipped kicking off. The Panthers would only have to drive 62 yards, not 70+. They get the ball where it's snapped to, 10 yards from the LOS.

    With all that's gone on with this team lately that was an impressive win.

  6. He slipped kicking off 3 hours earlier on the first play of the game. He
    didn't slip after that on a field goal attempt and 4 kickoffs.

  7. And if the field was so slippery, why didn't we go for it on 4th down in the
    3rd quarter in the red zone? We kicked there.

  8. Just one man's opinion but I think it's impressive that EVEN with the games we let get away this season (especially the Colts game)--with the schedule we've played--5-5 is pretty damn good with Buffalo up next. However it is upsetting about Ferguson who is just irreplaceble.  My only hope is that our O-lineman are relatively in tact.

  9. If anyone has any info or status on our injuries please provide....Thanks.

  10. Oops. You are right - I got my knickers in a twist with the 46yd FG attempt and my fingers were typing faster than my brain was thinking (derrr).
    I can't believe a good FG would take more than 5 seconds? (the clock was stopped prior to the kick).
    I can see both sides of the FG vs punt argument and I'm still calling a punt there. Delhome driving from inside the 10 with no time-outs is never going to get a TD. A blocked FG and he could. Do you know any other UFL owners? lol

  11. Everyone in my neighborhood has a UFL team.

  12. The Knight who says Ni!November 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    Sparano explained why they didn't kick the FG. The Oline was beat upk, the kicker slipped earlier and a miss shortens their field by 7-8 yards. It is what it is. We won the game.

    Nate Garner proved to be a worthy backup. The guy played 3 different positions.
    WHPs pic is the reason I'm for legalizing women going topless. I mean come on.  :)

  13. The Knight who says Ni!November 20, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Wench of the day.

  14. Okay Tin, what is that a picture of at the top? A rag doll bunny? I don't get it...but then it might be lack of sleep cause they (da Fins) had me some damn riled up again. I too was shouting at the tv wondering why they were not going for the field goal to put it really out of range. I did just listen to TS' presser and he said we barely made the extra point with the patchwork OL, so I guess I will just have to defer and realize I am a couch coach and he "should" know what he is doing. Oh vey!

    I thought as a team we came together well in the face of adversity. I mean people were dropping all over the place. I just am curious  (albeit thankful, nonetheless) why the Panthers did not run it more, they were getting a ton of yards off to the left side..I mean chunks and I thought once Ferg went out they would totally ram it down...just thought that was strange.

    Also, can someone tell me where the hell 83 is this year? I only watch the play as it is occuring on the field, but it just seems he disappeared this year. Is the injury still nagging him? Not quick enough? running routes crappy? What??

    Anyway, thanks again for this happy haven for us to come to! It is greatly appreciated! :)

  15. Really wish you would not have hacked into my pics knight. ;)   ;)   ;)  

  16. NOW(for the most part)"OUR"fate is in our own hands as far as the playoffs go!!
    WE play ALL the teams the are PRESENTLY in contention for the WC,(except for Balt,and Den)!!
    GO SD(probably takes the west w'a W SUN vs fast falling Den)!! 
    GO INDY(should have NO prob w'Balt)!!
    Cincy holds ALL tiebreakers in that div(unless they fold miserably),leaving Pitt,Balt as WC contenders!!

    And OHHHH YEAAAA, WE STILL face NE in MIAMI potentially for a division TIE!!
    (go nyj,that's hard to say/not likely to happen),and GOOOOAAAAHHHHH SAINTS in wk 12!!
    WE WILL BEAT buff,the SAINTS beat NE,and we're facing NE in MIAMI for a division TIE w'3 wks to go!!

    3rd and long is no longer "OUR" nemisis w'CH @ the helm!! WAYYY TO GO DOLPHINS!!

  17. I watched the game last night, but I didn't log on to chat. I did enough screaming at the tv without needing any adrenaline pumps from my fellow Fin fans!

    Fantastic OL play, Ricky rocked! LB play was spotty, but the DBs were all over the field! The D looked suspiciously like they were planning another laydown early in the 3rd, but they somehow fell out of character and played almost as well as they did in the 1st half!

  18. it's a torn up panther! come on!

  19. brother is a Panther fan, yep, the same brother who never fails to mention that the Dolphins suck, well, this win is especially gratifying!

  20. Hey where is Herdfan? Why is she not busting WHP & Knights chops for their pictures?  I caught all kinds of Shyte from here for my avitar!!  Wait, what am I doing? Keep up the good work guys. The picks are great!

    Duh, it is obviously a pink panther! (well at first I thought it was a torn up hello kitty, then I looked again) LOL

    Man I was up to about 2 am this morning I was so wound up.  Lusaka is just a beast! He really put some PUNISHING hits on those LB's. (and a couple of times DE's) LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSAKalaka Losakalaka losakalaka POP! Great team game all around!  Now let's all root for the Jets this Sunday (umf, there is that puke comming up again) It is really cool that we hold our own destiny in our hands now. We have to face each of the teams that are ahead of us in the wild card standings (except a few as 13Kvfins pointed out) Hope none of the injuries last night were toooo serious.

  21. The Knight who says NiNovember 20, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    My pics are classy.  8-)

  22. OK, but WHP's is hotter! :-P

  23. The Knight who says NiNovember 20, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    I don't think so. That wench I posted is my kind of look. WHP's looks like a whore. LOL

  24. Whoaaa! thems is fightin words!! you just can't go around calling other guys avitars whores! 

    It might be true, but you just can't go around saying it! LOL

    Besides like they said on Seinfeld.........they are real and they are spectacular!

  25. No, not least I don't think it was Mulva?  The girl in the steam room that Elaine trips into and feels up. 

  26. Mipple?  Dolores! 

  27. I know, i was just making a seinfeld reference. the o0ne you're talking
    about went on to play lois lane, and then one of the harpies on Desperate
    Housewives, and for the record, they're NOT real. she showed them in a
    movie in the 90s.

  28. Terry Hatcher?  That as one of the best sit-coms of all time.  I have a relavent "Seindfeldism" almost every day.

  29. Rockphin:
    Where am I?  I have the first comment on this thread.  I've been working, doing my part to make the world a more beautiful place for you guys.

  30. Well guys, you won't see me round until after the Buffalo game.  I'm getting on a plane in the morning to fly to Co. to see the family and do some really bad skiing.  Have a great time while I'm gone and GO DOLPHINS!

    I'll leave you with this.......

  31. lol, I am waiting for you to call out Knight and WHP for their "Porn" LOL

  32. OK, one last thing. I was reading on the Panthers blog today and a couple of the guys on there were pining over why they didn't go after Henne!!! LOL I love it. 

  33. They tried to, but like I pointed out, our pass-blocking was the best its
    been all season

  34. so I guess I need to start whipping out some hef nekkid guys for Herd and I to look at huh? Didn't realize this was "that" type of blog. ;)

  35. Slush:
    My thoughts exactly! :-P.

  36. Herdfan, Slush. Herdfan you post alot , I think this is the first time you have seen this. Tin gives the best breack downs bar none.

  37. Hawk, we are joking with folks who 'know' us and joke back.  Stop jumping to're going to hurt yourself.

  38. Very impressive.

  39. I like both.

  40. LOL @ Herd & Slush.   However there is no need for either of you to resort to that tactic...please don't. 

  41. The Knight who says Ni!November 21, 2009 at 7:48 AM

    I double dare ya! LOL

  42. The Knight who says Ni!November 21, 2009 at 7:56 AM

    Sophie: "My boyfriend told me I got gonorrhea from riding the tractor in my bathing suit."

    Jerry: "Alright, that's it for me. You've been great. Goodnight everybody."

  43. The Knight who says Ni!November 21, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    I was just joking.  :-D

  44. YEEEEHAAAAA, gained a game on 4 teams Pitt,Balt,Den,Cin!!
    Leaving us ONE GM BEHIND THE 5 and 6 seeds,(Pitt/Jax)
    who we play head-on w'head-to-heads being the ultimate tie-breaker!!!

    Houston's yet to play, so we've potentially gained a game on 5 teams ahead of us,(GO TENN!!!)

    GOD   O   L   P   H   I   N   S  !!! 

  45. That is very good because the Jets didn't even show up to play versus the
    Patriots, allowing them a 2 game advantage in the division. What happened
    to the Jets?

  46. BADDD KHARMA,GIGGITTY,GIGGITTY heheheheheheheheheheheheheheheheeheeeee!!