Monday, December 14, 2009

Playoff Hopes Becoming Desperate, But Hope Exists

Dolphins vs. JaguarsWell it's not often that a team plays their most complete game of the season against an average opponent and only comes out with a 14-10 eke of a win.

As most of you have already surmised, had we not committed three turnovers, two of which were costly, and had our kicker jinxed by the CBS commentators, we would have likely had a nice 'comfortable' win, but instead we had to wait till the end to get a result.

But despite that there was something that was very different about this game.  Despite our inability to hold on to the ball at key moments, the team played solidly for 4 quarters.  We did not score in the 2nd half, but if you take away the 63 yard pass from David Garrard to Torry Holt, where free safety, Gibril Wilson, was once again out of position, the Jaguars were shut down in the 2nd half.  Our defense was not explosive by any means - not many big plays - but they were consistent.  The Jaguars had 12 possessions.  7 of them were 3 and outs.  By comparions, Miami also had 12 possessions, of which only 2 were 3 and outs.

Of course, 3 of our 12 possessions ended abruptly in a turnover, so it was by no means a perfect game.  But it was still our best one of the season.  I know some will say we had better games versus Buffalo and the Jets, but this game was bigger because of the timing, the injury-stricken squad, the playoff implications, and the fact it was a road game in front of approximately 13 screaming Jacksonville fans in one of the worst stadiums in the entire country.  

It was by far Chad Henne's best game of the season - some of his throws were awe-inspiring - and I can't say enough about our O-line and the unstoppable Lousaka Polite - who deserves another round of Pro-Bowl voting from us all for his performance on Sunday.  Also, props go out to Cameron Wake, who contributed a tackle, a sack, a QB hurry and a pass deflection, but most noticeably, for making big plays when it counts.  For the second straight game he made the game-winning hit on the QB as time expired.  Last week he pulled down Tom Brady, forcing a basketball pass into the chest of Channing Crowder - which was like two big plays in one, because it was Crowder's first career INT.  This week, Wake came around the edge and Garrard stepped up to avoid the rush, then rolled out to his left and got away from everyone.  Everyone, of course, except for Wake, who did not give up on the play, coming back to nail Garrard in the back to end the game.

So, all in all, a game full of impressive performances, just not an impressive score - but December ball is all about just getting the W at the end of the day.  Our playoff hopes were not helped by the fact that both New England and Baltimore won - and Tennessee's high scoring win versus the Rams points out that they have the ability to stir the pot, and should not be taken lightly.  They will be a much bigger test for our defense than Jacksonville.  More on that later in the week.

Winning the AFC East remains our only realistic way of making the playoffs, and for that we need to win the rest of our games, and have New England lose just one of theirs.  I suppose technically we could lose one as long as New England loses two, but that's unlikely.  Wildcard possibilities are slimmer than Nicole Richie circa 2004, but could happen IF Jacksonville now wins out and we do as well or if New England beats Houston and we win out.  Another scenario that could get us in is if Pittsburgh beats Baltimore and we beat Pittsburgh (and win out).  Basically the only way we are getting a wildcard is to win EVERY game.  It's that time of year where we start paying attention to what other teams are doing.  Still, ultimately I'd prefer to win the division.

Now, give your kudos to the Miami Dolphins for yesterday's win.

53 comments:

  1. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    Henne has arrived. I no longer view him as a young QB who still needs time. He looks like a veteran out there.

    That phucked up tiebreaker rule that has the Jaguars still ahead of us is BS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought Henne looked like a franchise QB out there. He was making all the throws and probably got into too much of a comfort zone on the one pick. Most teams that make as many turnovers as the Fins did don't usually win. Fortunately, they were solid everywhere else.

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  3. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    QBs throw picks from time to time. As long as Henne doesn't throw them in bunches week after week, which he doesn't do, I can live with a few picks here and there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. * Home Superbowl 2010*December 14, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    Responding to your last blog and the impostering of me
    I was not on your sight at all yesterday as I recognize I am too Boisterous,Intentfully obnoxious,(but not on your blog) and do not think sean smith is an elite Pro Bowl CB
    rather than make your bloggers uncomfortable
    I prefer to give them their Zen blog

    Viewing your site for new blog this morning I notice my view of the last dozen post of your chatroll room mention my posting name with ffr doing his usual insulting of me LOL
    However I only see "JET FAN"  as screen name instead of mine and in black
    Other bloggers were in blue

    U have my IP as well as phone # from previous live picture transmissions from Dolphin Camp
    On my sons Life
    That was not me!

    Dont remember but also thought I gave my e-mail address which no other Dolphin bloggers have
    How could my posting name be impostered on your site?

    Would love to read the chat
    However probably not possible,Eh?

    Please respond at your convenience

    Will talk later about game
    I am very concerned about us getting past the Hot Titans next week in Tennesse
    How Bout U ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The chatroll is hosted by a different site unrelated to the blog, so unless
    you registered on chatroll.com, anyone could use your name.
    I will get into the Titans in mid-week preview. Def. our biggest challenge
    left because I expect revenge to be in effect for Houston and I think
    Pittsburgh will end up fielding their second team if they are out of playoff
    picture at the end of this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    The Steelers are not mathematically out of it but I think they're mentally out of it. It doesn't mean they can't win games because they do have talent.

    We've never beaten Houston and I think we'd like to put an end to that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tennessee is the biggest test. I can't see us not coming out with revenge
    in mind vs Houston for last year's debacle.
    And I think if Pittsburgh is out mathematically in the final week, they'll
    field their second team.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree. Chris Johnson is the elite of the NFL and few, like him, can single-handedly take over a game. Tennessee is good, but they were playing a shitty team in the Rams, who can make anybody look good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    Everyone scores a lot of points against the Rams.

    ReplyDelete
  10.  <span><span>13kvFINS</span><span></span><img></img></span>
    <span>IFFF WE WIN next week @ a POSSIBLY VYoung-less Tenn, 
    and somehow OAK can WIN @ den, 
    WE'd pull ahead of den in the conf tiebreaker for the FIVE SEED!! 
    WE'd be 6-4,they'd be 6-5,AND WE'd pull EVEN w'balt(plyn nfc next wk)in the conf tiebreaker @ 6-4!! 
    GO OAKLAND,GO BUFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
     
    The 6,5,and POSSIBLY even the 4,or 3 seed(as DIV CHAMP) ARE w'in ONE GAMES REACH w'3 to go!! 
    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA   D   O   L   P   H   I   N   S  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</span>

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  11. Yes, but keep in mind we played a shitty team in the Bills....and lost.
    Any Given Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    The Bengals and Eagles lost to the Raiders.

    ReplyDelete
  13. bet we wouldnt,  tony would play it close to win it in the fourth quarter

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  14. I've said this on this very site before & I'll say it again---the best thing about this season has been the emergence of Henne.  As all of you know we've had a long, arduous struggle to fill the void left by Dan Marino & although Henne may never become a Hall of Fame QB,  it is evident that we FINALLY found someone that is on his way to becoming a very solid QB. 

    Although I still have doubts & concerns regarding this team as a whole, I have to consider this season to be a HUGE success (sorry Pennington fans) since Henne got his chance to be a starter & we now have reason for optimism as we look toward the future.  I heard the Matt Ryan lovers, I heard the Flacco lovers (I was one of them last year), I heard the San-chise talk (I thought we were screwed after his first three games), & I even heard the Pat White & Michael Vick comparisons (that's definitely most laughbale!) but the 2nd round selection of Chad Henne IMHO will be the best of them all.  John Beck--where are you now???  The truth is that I couldn't care less.  Another solid 2nd round pick though. LOL!

    It's hard to believe that after everything that has happened to this team this season, with three weeks left to go, we're 7-6.  I'll admit that I thought our season was over after the Buccaneers game.  And then after the Bills game.  And then before the Patriots game.  And even against the Jaguars on the road...BUT somehow, someway we're still in this thing!  As incredible & as improbable as last season was (we were all fortunate enough to witness a change), well, this season might not top that but it's still pretty incredible & pretty improbable.  The Titans have the best RB in football right now & they're clearly not the same team that started the season 0-6 so this is going to be a very tough game for us.  If we win Sunday, I don't think it gets any easier against a very unpredictable Texan team that seems to have our number but I'm not going to put the cart before the horse just yet.  HUGE game coming up in Tennessee.

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  15. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    I don't think we're playing it that conservative now. We just don't have the talent to pour on the points.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think it says something when we play that poorly and still come out on top.  I like the shift our team has taken towards more passing, but I wonder if we've lost our dominant run game for good.  Love Ricky, don't know about Hilliard, but I really value a balanced attack.  Maybe our Oline subs perform better in pass protection and once our grinders Thomas and Smiley are back in for good our run O will bounce back. I would love to see the practice squad RB Kory Sheets out there to offer some change of pace which I think we are missing with Cobbs out.
    The D is right on track in my opinion, and I love our depth on the line.  It was nice to have a Merling siting.  Chris Johnson will be a test, but Andre Johnson in the Texan game I think will be our biggest challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  17. But that's the thing, we didn't play poorly, we played really well, we just
    coughed up the ball and missed a FG. Other than that we played well.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kory Sheets is not on the practice squad, he's on the 53, and I agree I'd
    like to see him in the game.
    On Sunday, 45 players dressed for the game and only one did not play - Pat
    White. I would much rather have Sheets on the active game day roster than
    White.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    I don't think we played poorly. We made some key mistakes that prevented us from scoring more points. But I think the team played well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The team played very well, but those turn overs must stop.  The ball looked like popcorn while in our hands.

    How about a few props for the defense they way they have been playing in the 4th quarter !!!

    The hunt for a QB I think is over.  It would be nice to see Miami resign Penny and use Thigpen as a passing option of the WC if we use it next year.  Then we could use White like the Saints do with Bush.  PW is no QB that's for sure.

    As for Polite there is nothing polite about him, he is a beast !!!!  Thsi team is getting ever better folks, I truly believe we're but one more year away from being one of the teams to beat in the AFC.

    ReplyDelete
  21. speaking of building up the team, did anyone notice that the Jags waived CB
    Brian Witherspoon today? I know Miami's pretty far down on the waiver claim
    totem pole, but it being the end of the year, most teams aren't looking to
    bring in new people right now.
    He would be an instant improvement over Davone Bess in the return game.
    Field position could be the difference between making the playoffs or not.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I didn't see that, but I would agree.  I'm not sure if Bess is the right guy on punt return duties.  Ginn should be able to handle it if he doesn't scurry out of bounds.  Heck, we might get better trade value out of him if he busts one.  I doubt if he would be a downgrade over Bess.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sorry that was me Tin.  Didn't want to show up thinking I was Jet Fan or one of those other trolls.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Speaking of trolls, are you posting on the SS with a martini avatar today?  Why can't everyone just be who they say they are, no 'imposters'.  This tinshaker has a different url or whatever you call it...always makes me suspicious. 

    btw, I'm not confident about the Tennessee game, but I feel better about things overall after yesterday.  Does that makes sense?  I didn't think so!  LOL

    Did my part in pro bowl voting...took up half my lunch time...and I may need carpal tunnel surgery if I try to vote again.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Knight who says Ni!December 14, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    The field was wet wasn't it? Guys were slipping and the ball was popping out.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Not an imposter, that is me, but I was trying to figure out how to create an
    avatar - never did figure it out - and that one showed up all of a sudden
    on the blog. I wasn't there for five minutes before the jets fan started
    up....

    ReplyDelete
  27. i got nothing to add to the blog, just wanted to show off my newest members of the NLC club

    ReplyDelete
  28. i got nothing to add, just wanted to show off the new members of the NLC club

    ReplyDelete
  29. The Knight who says Ni!December 15, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Tin, the Jets fans or trolls are always there at the SS. It's non-stop and probably one loser jerk-off.

    ReplyDelete
  30. i agree, one 'home'style loser jerk-off

    ReplyDelete
  31. Doesn't look like they got the memo on the N part of that.  :-D

    ReplyDelete
  32. LOL, I believe he was asking tinshaker for a transcript of the 'after hours' chat.  I started to just save him the trouble and tell him you were fabulous!  What a loser! 

    ReplyDelete
  33. ok, herd's here, time for a little more respectable avatar LOL

    herd,

    i saw where he tried to deny it was him.  i just find it easier to ignore him. 

    ReplyDelete
  34. What I don't get is why? Seriously.....why would you go to another teams site? ESPECIALLy if that team beat you the last three times running. I know it is probably those New Yawker transplants now living in Miami but still. Buncho losers....but that is JMO though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Got nothing to add, just testing my new avi. lol

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh my!!!  I like!  ;) Wish Tinshaker hadn't changed the comment area from what it used to be.  The pics were much easier to view then!<sigh> </sigh>

    ReplyDelete
  37. Slush, we should really feel sorry for them...I mean, just like the Jest don't have their own stadium, they apparently don't have their own blog either....so they have to use another team's blog!   :-D

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hey Tin, I see where you posted on SS. I thought you where block?

    Or where you block from the work side?

    ReplyDelete
  39. So, you didn't see that happening with Jville did you ?  I'm sorry Knight but we don't need excuses we need to protect the ball.  Look at it from a coachs stand point, I don't think any of them were pleased with the turn overs. If it weren't for the turn overs the Dolphins would have blown them out of Florida.

    I don't see my statement as being critical and even if it is, it is true

    Contrary to what most people think I am not a negitive person, but I am critical and I will question what I see as a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hey Slush....  Where did you find that photo of me. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I woke from a dream during a nap Saturday afternoon.  It was a wonderful dream.  In it the Miami Dolphins had one out the rest of the regular season and sqeeked into the playoffs with a wild card spot after Balt. lost.  Our team then continued their winning into the post season.  Beating NE away, the Chargers and then the undefeated Colts to stop their undefeated run and make it to the Superbowl.  Then in the SB we squeeked out another tough win against the undefeated Saints winning it all, while in the process stopping two teams from breaking our 1972 perfect season record!! I had a great afternoon after that nap. (one because I NEVER am allowed to nap on Saturdays) and because I was just so happy about the way the dream turned out. 

    Wouldn't that just be the best sports story EVER? Let's hope that it can come true.

    ReplyDelete
  42. To be a 'best story ever' it would have to have some sort of trauma right
    towards the end, like Chad Henne's throwing arm got run over by Randy
    Starks' freightliner during practice week for the Super Bowl and Pat White
    had to start the S.B. and struggled throughout the game but our defense kept
    it close and on the final drive, down 17-13 and needing a touchdown to win,
    White suddenly learned how to throw a football and drove the field with
    magnificent catches by Ted Ginn, and great pass-blocking by Vernon Carey -
    throw in a couple big 3rd down White scrambles to move the chains, and
    finally ending up with a Ronnie Brown return to the line-up (hey, this is
    fantasy - why not?) and he busts through the middle to score the winning TD
    as time expires.
    Now THAT would be more like the best story ever!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Pffft! leave that little scrawny waste of a draft pick out of my dreams!!  Oh, I mean White, not Ginn, although he didn't factor into my dream either! LOL  I don't think we need any more trauma than we already have had to make it a great story. 

    ReplyDelete
  44. Rockphin:
    I hope your dream comes true...for me it becomes the best story ever because of my 3 preseason wagers... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Aren't you people EVER awake???  LOL,GIGGITTY,GIGGITTY(since I'm ALWAYS being asked if I ever sleep)!!

    I had Fienga in the late 7th on MY FIN 09 draft board....



    HEY TIN,what kind of year did Elons Terrell Hudgins have in 09?? I remember u were excited about him last yr!!

    Feeling that I'll GLADLY have to wait another 5 wks or so b/4 you'll share your draft thoughts/divulge ANY information,(thought I'd attempt to heat some resin outta'ya)...
    Though,IFFF it takes 5 more weeks,(I'll be soooo high off of the FINS),
    I won't care about the draft till February!!
    HOWEVER I'm looking forward to your draft thoughts,seeing that you played NCAA FF,
    and oughta have a GREAT GRASP on this yrs draft prospects!!!

    I'll give'ya 6 more weeks,for an indepth draft analysis!! CAN U TELL ME (statistically)what Hudgins did this yr??

    GOD     O       L         P         H         I          N           S     !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. "HEY TIN,what kind of year did Elon's Terrell Hudgins have in 09??"
    Based on the averages nfldraftscout uses to rank players, Hudgins is listed
    as the #31 senior WR in the 2010 draft. They do not project him in the 7
    rounds of the draft. This is due entirely to where he played and the lack
    of media coverage, because I have seen him on tape, and seen his stats, and
    he's definitely better than at least 50% of the players listed above him.
    These are his stats:
    2006 - 69 catches, 1027 yds, 8 TDs. He also had 1 carry for 21 yards and
    was 3 for 3 for 42 yards and a TD as a passer.
    2007 - 117 catches, 1474 yds, 18 TDs.
    2008 - 86 catches, 1116 yds, 10 TDs.
    2009 - 123 catches, 1633 yds, 16 TDs.
    It's important to note he put up these stats in an 11 game schedule, not 12
    like most schools.
    *
    "** Hudgins was the lone Southern Conference selection on offense and is a
    finalist for the 2009 Walter Payton Award which is handed out to the top
    offensive FCS player in the country. The nation�s leading receiver, Hudgins
    caught an FCS-record 123 passes for a Southern Conference-record 1,633 yards
    and 16 touchdowns this season to help lead the Phoenix to its first-ever FCS
    playoff berth. Hudgins, a first-team All-SoCon selection, earned two league
    player of the month nods during his senior campaign. During the course of
    the season Hudgins became the NCAA Division I all-time leader in receiving
    yards (5,250) and receptions (395). He concluded his stellar career by
    holding 10 NCAA records."*
    Hudgins broke all of Jerry Rice's NCAA FCS career records this year - most
    rec. yards, most 100+ yd receiving games (28 out of 45 career games), etc.
    He is listed at 6'2", 236 lbs, and runs a 4.65 forty.

    ReplyDelete
  47. WOWWWW,VERY NICE!!!

    ONE HUNDRED TWENTY THREE RECEPTIONS,(11 catches per)schiiiiiiiishhhhh !!!

    So your saying we take him in the 3rd/4th and cut WHOEVER he beats-out,
    SOUNDS GOOD TO ME...(I'm gathering your STILL EXCITED about him,LOL!!)  ;)

    OR When would YOU actually think we'd consider him???

    Didn't RICE go undrafted or in a rediculously late rnd,and become the greatest all-time??
    CAN'T RECALL OFFHAND!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Despite him not being recognized by the media scouts, I would expect him to
    go no lower than the 5th round, but more likely the 3rd or 4th. He lost out
    to Armanti Edwards (who won for the 2nd time) for the Walter Payton Award
    last night, so that's not going to help his media profile.

    ReplyDelete
  49. That's a good thing,cuz he'll be more likely to stay under the radar,
    but OUR REGIME leaves no stone unturned!!


    WHY'd you delete your initial reply to me??
    So that other teams/bloggers won't discover him here,
    (That's a good idea),schhhhhhhhh   ;)    !!!  

    ReplyDelete
  50. I didn't delete anything....

    ReplyDelete
  51. OK everyone, root for the Bills, Bears, and Raiders this week. Oh and the
    Dolphins too, duh!

    ReplyDelete
  52. FINS WIN,and ANY ONE of the above wins,                (buff,chi,oak)!!

    We'd surpass whichever TEAM the above TEAMS beat,(n3,balt,or den),
    and @least for the next week WE'D BE THE 4,5,or 6 SEED !!! 

    WE'VE COME TOOO FARRR, yet conquered ONE too few,
    GIVE'EM 60 minutes, ALL 53, AND FANS TOO, NOW GO BPHINS!!!!
    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! GOFINS!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. WHOAAA,HEAAAVVVYYY MANNNNNNNNNN, I didn't mean for that to rhyme!!
    THAT'S A GOOD OMEN,IF YOU ALL LISTEN!!! 

    ReplyDelete