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Week 10: Bills at Dolphins
Dang, that means that "ole" Big Dave turns 53 in a month. Time sure does fly out the window, so, don't laugh as you'll be there before you know it.
When I was a kid, I was introduced to the game of football when my Dad was in 'Nam and we lived with my Grandmother in Baltimore. I watched Johnny U take the Colts to the Super Bowl and beat the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys looked unbeatable that year, so, it was a surprise win for the Colts. In those days defenses could jump on the backs of their teammates to block field goals, so, seeing rookie Jim O'Brien kick the winning field goal made it an exciting game. I'm not even going to talk about the great TE John Mackey making a fantastic catch in that game despite Unitas trying to fumble the game away. We could sure use a John Mackey to line up with Charles Clay, eh?
That year, my Uncle taught me to hate the Jets (and Joe Namath), because they had beaten Shula's Colts two years earlier in the Super Bowl. On this day in 1970 (Nov 22) as the Colts went on their way to win that Super Bowl, our Miami Dolphins killed the Colts 34-17. My Uncle was so frustrated that he left the room several times. I heard the term "Fish" used to describe the Dolphins for the first time in that game, and let's just say that it was done in contempt. The Colts were just overwhelmed in that game, and this was a sign of a Dynasty forming in South Florida.
My dad returned from 'Nam and we moved to Key West, Florida a month after the Colts had beaten the Cowboys in the Super Bowl, and I was then introduced to the Miami Dolphins as they went to the Super Bowl 3 straight years. So, in the first 4 years that I watched the NFL all of my teams went to the Super Bowl in each year. Little did I know that I would never see 3 Super Bowls again from my Dolphins. Thanks to the WFL and cheapskate Joe Robbie for dismantling our dynasty.
Joe Robbie, the Dolphins owner, was so cost-conscious that he had assistant coaches record their outgoing phone calls so he could review them to assess their value to the team. This sort of behavior led one fellow team owner to say Robbie runs “a $2-million operation like a fruit stand. (link)
Fistpump Does The Dolphins A Favor
A big attaboy goes out to Sparano for beating the Kansas City Chiefs this week. He even gave his trademark "fistpump".
I like Sparano, but not as our head coach. What I liked about him was that he brought discipline back to this team. We were one of the most penalized teams in the NFL before he became our head coach. Unfortunately, his dinosaur approach to the game didn't work. It didn't help that he didn't have a QB. Parcells and Ireland did him no favors.
His time at head coach at Oakland is coming to an end as there are rumors flying around that Jim Harbaugh is on the outs at San Francisco as he has lost the team and has caused a lot of friction in their front office. Unless HC Joe Philben has a terrible December and the Dolphins fail to make the playoffs, it looks as if our coaching staff will be in place for 2015. So, I do not see Harbaugh as an option for this team.
Due to the Dolphins getting their butts kicked to the Chiefs 34-15 in week 3, the Chiefs hold the head-to-head tie breaker over the Dolphins. If the season ended today, this is what we are looking at.
Talk about it here.
Will Peyton Manning's Broncos Lose a 3rd Game in a Row?
That's the big question. I find it hard to believe that this will happen, but the Dolphins have a favorable matchup. Peyton's receivers and offensive line are hurt, and Miami's talented defense is just on fire right now. In the far past, Manning had problems with Jimmy Johnson's defense because of the pass rush and our corners, and I would say that our defensive line is deeper and more talented than those defenses. Our corners are not press corners, so, what you was from the Patriots a couple weeks ago will not be the same, but we have good corners. Unfortunately, Cortland Finnegan is probably going to be out, so, Jamar Taylor will have to repeat what he did last week. We need the "baller" Jamar Taylor from the Bills game, not the "suckish" one from the Lions game. Peyton will surely go his way as often as possible.
One of our forum VIPs, John Knighton, posted several quotes from a Broncos forum on their thoughts on the upcoming game.
"This week we get the Miami Dolphins.They are 11th in points per game on offense, 4th in PPG on defense and 9th in turnover margin at +3. I have major worries about this game and our team. Miami has one of the best pass defenses in the NFL and they have historically kicked our butt with a record of 5-11-1 all time. Miami matches up well against us too. Someone talk me off the cliff."
"we have no chance"
"Being on that cliff is just realizing the reality. For me miami defense >> broncos defense. Grimes is just amazing. That defense has kept them in everything. If Tannehill is playing a good game(chances are will just like most QBs who play denver) it's a loss. I've been saying miami 27-21 and sticking to it. Its another week of being outcoached with adjustments only happening by one team."
"Miami is very good. And with our injuries, and the way we're playing, a loss wouldn't surprise me. This game is huge. Will potentially make or break our season."
"We are a vastly better team than the Dolphins. Don't let a single bad game color your entire view of this season. This is not an early road game. By the way, historically the statistic that is most predictive of future success is net yards per pass attempt on offense. We're tied with GB at #1 in the league, Miami is #28."
"sanders is out. OL is awful. we don't get turnovers. we have no kicker. coach fox claps a lot. the dolphins have enough film to watch to know how to beat us. Dolphins 24, Broncos 14. real prediction, but i'm crossing my fingers hoping for reverse mojo."
Talk about it here.
When most of us saw this week on the calendar we wrote it down as a loss and tried to figure out playoff scenarios another way. Afterall, beating Denver in Mile High is something very few NFL teams have done. It is going to be loud, cold and probably windy. It isn't quite as inhospitable as Lambeau but it is close. Add to that Denver is coming off a stinging loss on the road to the Rams and you have the back drop to the mountain the Dolphins have to climb. Another annoying trait about Miami is they don't know how to drive. Whey they are clearly in the driver's seat for a playoff spot they tend to faulter. Put them two games down with four to play and they can beat anyone it seems. Go back to last season. They beat some good playoff teams to get right back into the middle of the hunt and then fell apart the final two games. So here they are again. They're at a place where a win would put them at the top of the pile for the 6th seed wildcard, or if we dare dream larger, the division title. NE plays both Greenbay and Detroit in the next two weeks. If Miami can do the unthinkable and pull offf the upset in Denver it will most likely put the title on the line up in NE a few weeks from now. I dare not think it. Seems like every time I begin to believe in this team they do something to shatter my new found confidence in them. So like most of us, I still have this penciled in as a loss.
How they can win:
How they can lose:
I think the pressure is more on Denver than Miami this game. The media has made a big deal of their last 3 games. Also, Denver loses the head to head against NE so if they continue to fall behind it means the road to the superbowl won't be in Denver. Miami .... what if. If they win, it means they can afford a hiccup down the road. If they lose, they're back to needing to beat etiher Baltimre or NE to get in the playoffs.