Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 16 Editorial - Part 1 of 3 - "The Loss Of A Season"


It's important to note, that while the season has one game remaining, versus the Steelers (a game that still has playoff implications, though not for us), the week 17 finale will be more of a pre-season game in a way.  With that in mind, this week I will be offering up a 3 part thesis, of which below is the first part, starting out with a somber tone and gradually picking us all back up by the end of part 3.  Because I know you want to mourn right now, and I know you can't just switch it back on.  Hopefully by the end of the week, you'll be looking forward to the Steelers game, and perhaps to the offseason (trust me, there will be plenty of blogging going on once the season ends officially).

It wasn't over when starting quarterback and 2008 team MVP, Chad Pennington was lost for the season in week 3.  It wasn't over when they started out with 3 consecutive losses.  It wasn't over when David Martin and Matt Roth, two integral pieces of the previous season, were moved along.  It wasn't over when veteran starting corner, Will Allen, and jack of all trades, Patrick Cobbs, both succumbed to season-ending injury.  And it wasn't over when we lost our best offensive player, Ronnie Brown, and our best defensive player, Jason Ferguson, also to injured reserve.

Despite losing the above 7 players, losing the ability to run the wildcat altogether, suffering through lingering injuries to Joey Porter, Anthony Fasano, Jake Grove, Justin Smiley, and some of the worst use of personnel and play-calling on both sides of the ball that I've ever witnessed, it wasn't over until yesterday, in week 16, when we finally just let the flood gates open, and fell behind 27-0 to a Houston team that continues to be unbeatable by the Miami Dolphins.  The Texans now hold a 5-0 edge in head to head match-ups with Miami.  And this one stung the hardest because it not only knocked Miami out of slim playoff contention, but it was embarrassing to watch.  

At least the first half was.  The second half was borderline brilliant.  But that was sort of how it played out for the Dolphins this year, wasn't it?  Unable to play 60 minutes of consistent football.  Unable to get a lead.  Unable to not trip up on their own shoelaces.  Missing out on that Ginn TD that was called back was detrimental.  It was clearly an accidental trip that was called on Lousaka Polite, but it was the right call by the refs.  They did make some blunder-ific calls, but half of them benefited the Dolphins - however, they got it blatantly wrong on the forced fumble that they called an incomplete pass.  The receiver secured the ball immediately, turned, took two full steps forward, and then was hit by Vontae Davis, jarring the ball out.  It was as clear as night and day (unless you live in Lapland).  Those two calls clearly cost us the game, but we didn't really deserve to win.  Good effort in the 2nd half, but Houston's first half was even better, and they deserved to pull this one out.

Doesn't make it any easier to swallow for Dolphin fans all over the world, most of whom are sulking and trying to avoid reading about their favorite team right now. 

It's important to note, that while the season has one game remaining, versus the Steelers (a game that still has playoff implications, though not for us), the week 17 finale will be more of a pre-season game in a way.  With that in mind, this week I will be offering up a 3 part thesis, of which below is the first part, starting out with a somber tone and gradually picking us all back up by the end of part 3.  Because I know you want to mourn right now, and I know you can't just switch it back on.  Hopefully by the end of the week, you'll be looking forward to the Steelers game, and perhaps to the offseason (trust me, there will be plenty of blogging going on once the season ends officially).

40 comments:

  1. Tin,

    I'm really still feeling optimistic. Truth be told we've lost waaay too many pieces to perform admirably in the playoffs this year (again our heart guy (Cobbs), NT, CB1, RB-1A, now maybe RB-1B, etc. etc.). That said, our young guns have taken a full serving of NFL gameday experience this year and we still swept the Jets!

    Even more, our hated rivals knock off the last remaining unbeaten's backups and move into a draft postion directly behind us. Furthermore, the only other team that's probably salivating over Dez is Chicago and yes they still don't have a 1st round pick. So yeah, this team, plus a couple key veterns that'll hopefully return for 1 more (JT, and ferge) plus a more experienced secondary and QB, plus either Spikes or Dez (and another year of Parcells). I'm still feeling fairly decent about my beloved Fins.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    We need a few more pieces before we can get to the next level. I'm still optimistic about this team's future and the direction we're headed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll get into it in detail next week, but I doubt either Spikes or Bryant
    will be available when we choose. Not to say I wouldn't replace Crowder in
    a second with Spikes....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, the Knight is back!
    There will be more addition and subtraction next year, but had we not lost
    the players we lost (no insignificant backups, just starters) we would have
    looked much better this year, or at least we should have. We'll never know
    now. There are alot of uncertainties heading into 2010 - Fasano, Ferguson,
    Ronnie Brown - will any of these guys still be here? Same for JT, Porter,
    Ginn, etc. There could be even more turnover next year than there was this
    year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Why replace Crowder? Replace Ayodele who can't do anything.

    Is that picture of the Dolphin on the girl considered beastiality?

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    Tin, we're still mathematically in the playoff race. Not that we should gear up for that or anything.

    "Unless you live in Lapland" LOL

    Those silly Lapish. What are they anyway, a mix of Mongolians and Lilliputians?

    ReplyDelete
  7. They are just hugging, you dirty minded freak! lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Besides, Dolphins and Humans have always had that 'special' connection...

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    I think Ronnie definitely comes back. Not sure about the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    LOL, are you sure?  :-E

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    But they're not suppose to literally connect.  =-O

    ReplyDelete
  12. What I am looking forward to the most now is something we haven't seen since 2005 an opening day win!!! If you go back a look we haven't won our first game of the year in forever except that one against the Broncos in 05.  We need to stop with these slow starts and come out of the box swinging!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    And before that we always seemed to win week 1 or even start off 2-0.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lapps are Santa's reindeer breeders!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never actually met anyone from Lapland, only reindeer....

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Santa is real?

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    You've met a reindeer?

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Tin, Brian Cushing is the real deal. He's having an amazing rookie season. Did anyone see Lex Hilliard run into him and bounce off like he hit a tree?

    ReplyDelete
  19. well we didn't exchange names or anything...

    ReplyDelete
  20. you mean bounce off like he hit some jelly mold boobs.....

    ReplyDelete
  21. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    LOL, he don't look like that anymore and his arms are huge.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    LMFAO

    ReplyDelete
  23. Brian Cushing was my drink trigger yesterday...everytime I heard them mention his name or if I saw him, I had a drink.  ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Knight who says Nuts!December 28, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    This blog sucks. Going back to the professionals.

    Nuts!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    So you must have been bombed. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  26. The Knight who says Ni!December 28, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Gee Home, that's real original.

    ReplyDelete
  27. you must be hungover now

    ReplyDelete
  28. duh!   8-)

    and no hangover either!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tin, with all due respect based on our current record, we could see a draft slot anywhere between 12 and 19. And based on current mock drafts (as we all know these are highly scientific endeavors..), Bryant is going anywhere from 13th to 17th and Spikes, I have no idea how is in some cases falling into round 2. I'm just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  30. that's true, but it's too early to tell. Bowl games, all-star week/games,
    the combine, and pro-days will drastically change the landscape. Not to
    mention draft order and positions of need.
    In my preliminary listing of projected 1st round, I have Spikes at #9 and
    Bryant at #14. That's based simply on who i think are the best players, and
    will change as more information comes in, as well as confirmation of
    declared underclassmen, etc.
    I don't see any way that Spikes falls past the top 20, since he and Rolando
    McClain are the only two ILBs even going to be considered in the first
    round, and there are several teams that need one, especially in the
    mid-round area. He could actually slide up into top 5 considering who is
    picking there. Bryant I have listed as the 2nd best receiver but based on
    the fact that the teams around us (tenn, houston, nyjets, nygiants, ) aren't
    going to draft a WR there, he very likely could fall to us, but that's only
    if he gets past Jacksonville, Cleveland, Denver (who may need a WR if they
    decide to dump Marshall).
    For the record, when doing my own analysis, I never look at mock drafts of
    the 'experts' or veteran bloggers. I pay close attention to College ball
    during the season and start making lists from week one and molding a vision
    through out the year. I take into consideration injuries/game
    time/suspensions/strength of schedule/size of school, etc. when i do my
    mock draft next year, it will also include the effects of the all-star games
    and combine/pro-days. only AFTER I've got all that information, will I
    listen to any rumours/buzz from the media.

    ReplyDelete
  31. my gosh, i have to teach you two everything.  lapland would be where the blonde is

    ReplyDelete
  32. since when do you need a drink trigger

    ReplyDelete
  33. I don't, but it makes it more like a game, therefore more fun.  Like in college.  Oh wait, I forgot, maybe I do, I'm so PNP.  ;)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ok I know i'm hours late on this, but knight that was to funny dude.

    As for Crowder the guy sucks.  He makes plays after the damage is done.  Plus our safeties have to make up for the lack of talent from all the LBs that we call starters.  That's the reason they lead the team in tackles and continue to be out of position on the deep passes.

    During pre season I said it was funny how each of sees how good a player is.  Some of us will veiw a player as not being a problem as you do with Crowder and I will view him as no more than a backup.  We are not going to agree with each other.  But I will say this if the Dolphins let everyone of the LBs go with no compensation it wouldn't bother me one bit.  It's the safeties that will be effected.  Maybe for once they can act like they are the last line in the defense, instead of the making up for poor play from the guys in front of them.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The safeties creep into the box on running plays and back off on passing
    plays. Those deep pass issues are a result of the safety biting on the
    play-action, not on the linebacker missing a tackle. FWIW, Gibril Wilson
    sucked at pass defense but was top-notch in run defense for most of the
    season, and while they are designated as Bell-SS and Wilson-FS they seemed
    to switch places throughout the season, and this could have caused confusion
    at times and hurt the Dolphins. Ultimately, that is a coaching issue. The
    other coaching issue was repeatedly putting joey porter or akin ayodele to
    cover the tight end. Considering the quality of tight-ends we played
    against (Gonzalez, Clark, Gates, etc) this seemed like an obvious mistake at
    the time.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The Knight who says Ni!December 29, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    Right now we're #15 if the draft were held today. We could end up as high as #11 though I doubt we will.

    I'm not so sure Spikes is going to be a top NFL ILB. I've seen him play a bunch of times going back to last year and the announcers talk about him more than I see him making big plays and standing out. I see him chasing people an awful lot. He scares me a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The Knight who says Ni!December 29, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    All I can say about Crowder is when he's out we look worse on defense.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree completely. The only nit picky thing I would add is I think if the Broncos didn't trade marshall last year they probbaly don't let him walk and I could even see a franchise designation here. Also, I think Cleveland has way too many other issues they need to address, and here in Florida it's pretty open and closed case Jax is going after Tebow (have a nice WR in Sims-Walker too).

    Really, I think our biggest obstacle is Parcells and the words "reciever" and "first round" in the same sentence. Think they might be hoping for Aurelius Benn in the 2nd round. Jason Fereguson coming back will be a huge factor too. But I agree with you Tin, I would love an upgrade at the MIKE LB spot too. Will be looking forward to your upcoming draft analysis. You did a great job last year.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Based on my initial draft projections there won't be alot of talent at ILB
    in this draft. There will be TONS of good WRs, and a fairly good amount of
    D-line, Safeties, Off Tackles, QBs, but ILB is currently at 'drought
    status'. I seriously can't name 5 ILBs in the draft this year of note,
    whereas last year there were many (there were also a few good ones in free
    agency that we passed on).
    This is an area that we'd have to hit in free agency or trade in 2010.
    While I don't think JD Folsom is going to be starting in 2010, this next
    game will be very important in judging how many ILBs we need to bring in
    next year.
    Keep in mind when thinking LBs, that Matt Roth is still going to be a free
    agent unless Cleveland lays down the money. And before you think it would
    be impossible for him to return, keep in mind that you thought the same
    thing when Jason Taylor was sent packing in 2008.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks knowno,
    For what it's worth, this upcoming draft is packed to the ceiling with solid
    WRs, and even though we all have differing opinions on which one to take, I
    don't feel worried about any of the top 10 to 15 prospects being NFL busts.
    There are a handful who will get the 'elite' draft status, but the middle of
    the pack is much wider and stronger than it was in the 2009 draft. It's a
    bad year to be a senior WR, basically. And while I still see WR as THE
    first round pick the Dolphins should at least have as Plan B, they could get
    someone good if not great in round 2. My only real wish for the Dolphins is
    not to draft next year's Pat White, i.e. a player who doesn't fill a need
    and doesn't 'fit in' to a game control/power running attack or a
    run-stopping defense. I don't know off the top of my head who next year's
    Pat White is, but I just want Miami to be conservative with their picks this
    year and draft for need.
    I will start the free agency/draft blogs literally in January, I'll do them
    concurrently so everyone knows whats available at both ends so we don't put
    too many eggs in one basket.

    ReplyDelete