Ireland's best free agent move was CB Brent Grimes
In one season the Dolphins traded CB Vontae Davis and let CB Sean Smith go via free agency. Things looked like the Dolphins were just going backwards as Davis and Smith were considered the future of the franchise.
The Falcons let Brent Grimes go after missing last season due to injury, because they did not think he would come back 100% this year. Ireland rolled the dice on Grimes hoping for a bounce back and signed him to a 1 year veteran minimum contract. Ireland also drafted CBs Jamar Taylor, Will Davis and Don Jones in hopes that one would step up this year and move the Dolphins forward to the future. None of Miami's draft picks could stay on the field due to injury.
The Dolphins also counted on CB Dimitri Patterson to play this year, but he has been hampered with a groin injury that has kept him out of most action. When on the field, Patterson has been Miami's best playmaker as he has 4 interceptions (as does Brent Grimes),but Patterson has only played 229 snaps compared to Grimes 853 snaps.
Thankfully Nolan Carroll has had a career year himself and has picked up the slack. It is always good to see Dolphin draft picks stepping into leadership roles. This is something that has been missing the past 10 years.
Grimes has recovered fully from from last year's injury and ranks as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. According to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel, the Dolphins secondary has improved by allowing only a 72.2 QB passer rating this year compared to 83.4 last year.
Grimes will be expensive as he becomes a free agent after this season, but if the Dolphins want to continue to move forward they will find the money to keep him with us. Kevin Coyle designed a complicated zone defense, but Grimes has picked it up very quickly. He is one of the most phenomenal atheletes that I have seen in our secondary and I have watched this team since 1970. Unless he asks for Revis money, resign him as he's earned it.
The Fins/Steelers game could decide the final AFC playoff seed.
The loser of this game will have a very uphill battle to make the playoffs as they will need other teams to lose in order to make it. With the other seeds pretty much "locked" at this point, many of the national media analysts are making their choices on which team will grab the last playoff seed (#6).
Football Outsiders is predicting the Steelers to win the 6th playoff seed, so, if the Dolphins lose Sunday to the Steelers, we will be depending on other teams to get us into the playoffs ... and that is not a good thing.
Currently, the Ravens have the inside track due to beating the Dolphins earlier in the season. If the Dolphins also lose to the Steelers, you may as well start to think to 2014
ESPN's Herm Edwards believes that when the games are played out that our Miami Dolphins will own that last seed. If you do not have access to ESPN Insider, you can read Herm Edwards article "Why Miami will make the playoffs " here. Unfortunately the Dolphins had a chance last year and only won 2 of their final 4 games. Here's how things look at the moment.
The game should be the nationally televised game.
Since this game is so important, this should be the nationally televised game, but strangely enough the nation seems to be equally divided among the games. The green area will get to see the Dolphins/Steelers game.
WR Mike Wallace is going to "smoke" the Steelers secondary.
Mike Wallace is getting "hot" right now, and it has to do with the playcalling starting to adjust to his strengths. This Sunday, CB Ike Taylor is supposed to cover Wallace, but according to Pro Football Focus, Taylor is the second worst cornerback in the NFL (ranks 111 of 112 cornerbacks).
I imagine that loudmouth S Ryan Clark will help double Wallace up, and he's had a good month. I expect to see Wallace torch the Steelers secondary and shut Ryan Clark up. The question is whether the Dolphins have practiced the deep pass this week.
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