Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It STILL Isn't Over


Despite the Dolphins terrible showing at Buffalo, allowing them to stay in the game before giving up 17 points in less than 3 minutes towards the end of the game, the Dolphins are still in the playoff race.

With New England getting trashed by the probably Super Bowl bound Saints, 38-17, the Dolphins could climb back to within one game of the AFC East with a win over the Patriots on Sunday.

I know that sounds pretty unreasonable considering our performance two days ago, but the fact remains it is a possibility.  As much as I would love to have a good position in the 2010 draft, I'd much rather win the division, or at least be 'in it to win it'.  That's what football is all about - winning.  Other sports often say it's all about going out there and doing your best, but in the NFL, it's better to do your worst and somehow come out with a win. So, right as I was about to start working on the 2010 draft prep, the Patriots said to me, 'wait a minute, we're going to leave the door open'.  

With Ricky Williams putting up Pro-Bowl numbers since becoming the starter (in 3 games he has rushed 69 times for 336 yards, 4.87 avg, and scored 4 TDs), and the probable return to health for Jake Grove and Justin Smiley, plus the increased experience of Joe Berger and Nate Garner, there's no reason why our running game can't carry us to the wins we need.  The question of course is not if our defense can hold up, but if our coaching staff can use the right players on defense at the right times.  I'm still blown away by the fact that while we were getting to the Bills QB in the first half, we took JT and Wake and gave the lion's share of reps to Quentin Moses, who hasn't played all year, and who played terribly in the loss.  I'm sure there'll be an announcement today that JT hurt his pinkie and Wake got locked in the janitor closet during halftime, hence the Moses playing time.

Clearly our best defenders right now are Randy Starks and Tony McDaniel, yet they too were pulled to give more time to Soliai and Merling.  I'm all for rotating, but sometimes when you see a player is hot, you have to sacrifice the reps of another player to keep the hot one on the field.  Our coaches don't seem to get that.  I'm very disappointed in them this year overall.  I questioned them a lot last year for a few calls here and there, but this year I've often questioned entire gameplans, personnel decisions, and the Pat White debacle in addition to the few calls here and there (which seem to be an every game occurrence these days).  There have actually been at least two moments where I thought they were actually trying to lose games on purpose.  I know that sounds crazy, but if you're even slightly paranoid, you might have felt the same thing.

So, the bottom line is that the Dolphins still have a chance to win the division.  If they beat New England, they'll own the division record tie-breaker and there could be a repeat of last year, coming down to the final game of the season for Miami to knock NE out for the AFC East crown.

So what do you think needs to happen for the Dolphins to win out their final 5 games?

50 comments:

  1. A start to winning the last 5 games is to have the coaching staff to stop waking and baking before the game. 

    I agree with you about the coaching staff, I have been saying the same for the last 5 weeks, this coaching staff has proven nothing.  They are IMHO still as much a question mark as some of the players.

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  2. Sorry to say this, but this season is over. No way we win the last 5 games (against tough opponents) if we can't beat the Bills. The loss of Jason Ferguson hurt our defense badly, as he was the main reason for our stout run defense in the first half of the season. We don't have a passing game (due to lack of quality at WR and an inconsistent young QB, who tends to overthrow his targets) and we don't have a good defense. Doesn't help if our coaches make some bad calls, either. You can't win 5 consecutive games in the NFL only with a rushing offense.

    As for the draft:
    If we go offense, I want Gresham, Damian Williams or LaFell. If we go defense, I want Cody or McClain.

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  3. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    Well I don't think it's the coaches as much as everyone else. I think JT and Porter wear down late in the game, and along with two rookie corners and safeties who don't excel in coverage we become vulnerable late in the game.

    I know everyone keeps screaming for more Wake but maybe the way we're using him is to get the most out of him. Sometimes increased playing time makes guys less effective.

    Unfortunately for some, the coaches are experimenting with different players and it may not sit well with everyone. But this is how they gauge the talent they have and there is a lot of long-term thinking going on that may not sit well with all the fans on game day. I know this to be true because this is how Parcells did things with young and unproven teams.

    I do agree that the coaches have not utilized Pat White in the best way and the timing hasn't always made sense. They've also made some other mistakes but all coaches make mistakes.

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  4. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    As for how we'll finish, I'm not sure. Without the ability to consistently make big plays we're always vulnerable to lose a lead late in the game. We almost have to play perfect and even if we run the ball 40 times to control the clock, it's not always a lock.

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  5. I totally agree with what you are saying about playing who is hot...Sparano is very statistically driven, he keeps those numbers in his head and seems to have a problem deviating from it under any circumstances.

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  6. 'not always a lock'  i think we have see over and over this season, how running the ball and having 8 minute scoring drives only results in our D giving up 2 minute scoring drives.

    yeah, i would think controling the clock hasnt done much for us this year

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  7. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    Because we can't make big plays consistently on either side of the ball.

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  8. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    Wouldn't that mean he would play who is hot based on stats?

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  9. Thus the reason, I am not totally blaming the coaching staff.  If we had 'big play' makers on offense and they still were making the same bone headed moves, i would blame them.  I still think we are several players away from being big time

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  10. No, I mean he sticks with a player is only in for a certain number of plays and rarely deviates, even if they're hot. 

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  11. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    We need some playmakers in the passing game at both WR and TE, and it would be nice to add an impact defender who makes big plays. Three players could make a big difference.

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  12. Heard a good one today... bring in Weis on offense and Groh on defense! If the Fins continue to play hard AND STILL LOSE GAMES AT THE END... then, that's on the coaches, and their jobs should also be on the line. Henning's play-calling is on par for a man in his 70's... good days, bad days! Pasqualoni needs to go back to college ball, but mostly, he just needs to go. How many more players and coaches have to step forward to take the blame for losing before it becomes obvious that maybe, just maybe, it's time for the DC to take one for the team!

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  13. <span>Heard a good one today... bring in Weis on offense and Groh on defense! </span>

    <span>If the Fins continue to play hard AND STILL LOSE GAMES AT THE END... then, that's on the coaches, and their jobs should also be on the line. Henning's play-calling is on par for a man in his 70's... good days, bad days! Pasqualoni needs to go back to college ball, but mostly, he just needs to go. How many more players and coaches have to step forward to take the blame for losing before it becomes obvious that maybe, just maybe, it's time for the DC to take one for the team!</span>

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  14. Ooh I disagree big time. You want 'big playmakers', well Cameron Wake IS a
    big play maker, he has proved that. He had a huge game vs Buffalo in week 4
    (3 sacks, 2 hurries, a forced fumble, 6 tackles) in his first NFL action,
    yet they don't play him on defense in week 12 versus an even more banged up
    o-line? I saw him on one play push the RT all the way into the QB in about
    1.5 seconds. Fitzgerald rushed an incomplete pass to avoid the sack.
    Everytime he's in on defense he gets closer to the QB than any one else.
    Tell me any other player in the NFL with his production per snap that is
    sitting on the bench.

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  15. A lack of talent means very few wins, that's as simple as it is.  Those of us who thought the talent of this team was up to NFL standards have been brought back to our senses ME INCLUDED.  I think we have more talent than 2 years ago.  The offensive line is clearly better with more depth and running game is on solid ground.  Henne I hope will settle in with time he has the tools or so I think. 

    The problems I see for this team is the passing game on both sides of the ball.  The NFL is now a passing league.  If you can't make plays in that area (and we don't) .500 ball is all we will ever see down here.  At least at this time.

    Last years draft was almost as if it never happened, with the execption of Davis and Smith the rest of them suck.  We can't have another draft like that.

    As for the our chances of making the playoffs ?  That was over 2 weeks ago.  Any time a team or coach says our destiny is in our hands, that translation means if we lose 1 game it's over.  The Dolphins lost that one game and it is over.

    For the players that want to stay on this team they had better make some plays from here on out.  If the Terifecta are worth their pay we should see the young guys on the field in the starting roles so they can judge their talent in game situations.

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  16. Tin,  I meant playmakers on offense.  I am not talking about playmakers on D, I think we have them, but tell me one BIG PLAY, playmaker on offense

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  17. I think Sperry will pan out in our favor. I know Fasano finally woke up
    this week, but he is not good in the redzone, and I can't forgive him for
    single-handedly losing the Atlanta game and helping to lose the Indianapolis
    game (can you imagine if we were 7-4 right now?). Haynos is much better in
    the redzone, and Sperry has the tools.
    Personally, I think if we had a big fast WR, we could open up the middle of
    the field with WR routes rather than depending too much on the TE hole that
    David Martin left (it's still possible they bring him back). There are so
    many receivers in the upcoming draft that I'm excited about. I'd like to
    say the Dolphins can't go wrong there, but they proved me wrong already this
    year with the Pat White pick with so much talent on the board.

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  18. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Why are you so high on Sperry?

    Fasano seems average at best. Did you see Haynos blocking where he drove the DE backwards about 5 yards on about a 9 yard gain by Ricky. At first I thought it was Jake Long then on the replay I was like whoa, way to go Haynos.

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  19. "but tell me one BIG PLAY, playmaker on offense"
    On the Dolphins or just in general? lol. Obviously we have Ricky and
    Ronnie. Outside of that, there's no one. Honestly I feel this is partly
    due to the fact we didn't start Henne last year (I was the one schmuck who
    wanted to start the rookie). If he was experienced and had time to develop
    with our WRs and TEs, they wouldn't be dropping balls now (maybe) and the
    coaches may have known better how to use their strengths.

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  20. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    I'm not sure what the deal is with Wake but I saw him on the field quite a bit unless someone else was wearing #91. I doubt the coaches don't play him at times because they know he's awesome. LOL

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  21. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    I'm talking about an ILB who can play the run, blitz and cover. A guy who's all over the place. Not just on the edge rushing the passer.

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  22. I heard a good one today too:

    PING is coming out with a Elin Nordegren golf club.  It is the only club guaranteed to beat tiger.

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  23. I'm not so high on Sperry, I just said he 'may' pan out. He is big, fast,
    and can catch better than Fasano. And he must be doing better than John
    Nalbone. All I'm saying is that Sperry is more likely to be here next year
    than Fasano (in my general manager opinion).

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  24. He was on special teams but I only saw him in on one or two def. snaps.
    Moses (93) played almost the whole 2nd half. He got run by about 6 times.

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  25. We had a chance for that and chose Pat White.

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  26. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    Umm... you said 'will' pan out so there.

    I could see Fasano coming back but he's not getting a big contract.

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  27. That almost made my drink come out my nose! :-D

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  28. not that R & R dont have the potential to be a 'big play' maker, but i meant more of a passing threat. 

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  29. well between your definition of 'big play' and Knight's definition of 'big
    play', i'm dizzy.
    All I can say is Terrell Hudgins, WR, Elon.
    Defensively, I would trade a 1st and 2nd to get Suh. How often does a
    player like him come around?

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  30. you should know better then drinking at work.  better hope the boss doesnt find out :)

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  31. Not that kind of drink....Red Bull.  I need the energy. ;)

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  32. ok, well, knight doesnt know what he is talking about, EVER.  he still thinks 'it was just a silly rabbit'.

    by big play maker, i meant a big play wr or te, that can help us score in 2 minutes.

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  33. So Pat White was a QB in college...riiiiiggghhhhhttt? Can someone tell me why his hand offs scare me? They seem soooooooooooo slow and awkward.

    And call me the odd man out. I want to win out the remaining games, but as for winning the division, I would rather come in second (not going to go deep in the playoffs anyways this year) and get a more lenient schedule for next year. ;)   ;)   ;)


    I am heading out to CO this weekend and will miss the Pats game since they had to move the damn time, and won't be near a computer so I am looking forward to filling in the blanks here with you guys when I get back!

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  34. "Can someone tell me why his hand offs scare me? They seem soooooooooooo
    slow and awkward."
    Because he's running the Option.
    They have TV and Internet in Colorado these days don't they?

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  35. 8 times this year our defense has given up more than 20 points in a game= Not going to cut it. 

    obviously, we have some real nice pieces going forward- The O line, the D line (I believe the strength of the team), Wake, potentially a couple CBs, Losaka, Ronnie (hopefully he stays for a while). But that said, I have no idea how this team is going to finish a season when we can't even finish a game.

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  36. Also, another question... Can you remember teh last time the Fins had a win locked up with 10 minutes left in the fourth. To the best of my knowledge I think it was the first NE game last year. 

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  37. Buffalo game in week 4.

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  38. Tin, Elin Nordegen is Tiger's wife. Everybody is thinking she hit Tiger with a golf club and stage the accident.

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  39. I get the running the option, I just don't think he is very good at it. JMO though!
    As for TV and internet, yeah, but not on the slopes ;)  and my hubby won't let me bring the laptop. grrrrrrr (I almost lost it last time....eeekkk)

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  40. "And call me the odd man out."


    why, did you have some kind of surgery you want to tell us about

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  41. TIn, loved the Jim Mora pic btw. Nicely done.

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  42. and I just have to laugh at Mora's pic up there. PLAYOFFS?? PLAYOFFS?!?! That is a classic.

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  43. lmao, I just said almost the same thing.

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  44. Nice, so we're averaging 1 comfortable win a year!!!!!   

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  45. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Who?

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  46. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    That I don't get.

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  47. The Knight who says Ni!December 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Yes they do but you have to plug it into a horse's ass.

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  48. Apparently making him take off the gloves has totally messed him up.  I have no other explanation for it.

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