For those of us Dolphin Diehards old enough to remember Laugh-In, there was an award that was given, and it was kind of like a reverse-Espy. You had to do something boneheaded to 'win' it, and the 'trophy' was a golden hand with a single finger raised. Of course, it wasn't the 'bird' finger (especially with the censorship of the late 60's), but that was the intent. It was the dreaded Fickle Finger of Fate.
In light of our recent Dolphin history, the entire '07 season probably deserved this 'award' (well, except for Greg Camarillo's OT catch in the Baltimore game).
With the seemingly overnight transformation of this team into a competetive squad (we are competetive @ 6-4, and a full year earlier than even the most optimistic 'informed' forecasters), this year's squad is probably due a real Espy. There is sooooo much to be thankful for...
Joey Porter maintained his NFL leading Sack total, and now has 13.5. That is more than anyone on the team had last year (JT finished with 11), and there are 6 games to go.
The Offense again generated over 300 yards despite the modest score. That is the SEVENTH consecutive game we have achieved that.
We again had fewer penalties than our opponent (3 to 7).
We again enjoyed a time-of-possession advantage (32:34 to 27:26).
We again had a late scoring drive that ate up clock, put points on the board and essentially won the game.
We again played stout run Defense, as we ceded a paltry net of 57 yards to the Raiders. Huggy-Bear's son found the road a lot more bumpy this time around. We ceded 187 total yards to the team from Oakland: last year they had more than that Rushing against us.
It's simply not a secret. Doing all these things enabled us to overcome our deficiencies and beat a team that we were superior to.
We have had several players produce 100-yard games. Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Pat Cobbs, Greg Camarillo and Ted Ginn have all gone over the century mark in either Rushing or Receiving this season. There is a lot to be thankful for so far.
As to the 'award'...
Our coverage unit is really just one of those ghosts that sits with you at the end of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World. They look comical, are completely harmless and in fact aren't really there at all. They get my Phickle Phinger, and I'm actually looking forward to see who loses their head this week.
I propose a new strategy, Coach Boom-Boom: just have your gunners interfere. Go down and tackle the guy before he can catch it.
I know it's a penalty. Who cares? Better to let them have the ball at the forty or so, than have to send your PAT-defense unit out on the very next play. A gut-check drive was needed to beat a lousy Raider team after another horrendous effort on coverage: we had it in us (or more correctly, Penny led us to it), thank goodness. It WON'T be enough against a good team, and that is precisely what is arriving here next Sunday.
The Pats hung 500+ yards on a decent Jests Defense. It will be a tremendous challenge to stop them, and every aspect of the game will be critical for us to have a chance. Another lapse on ST, another illusionary coverage deployment (full of observers instead of tacklers), will prove fatal in the W-L department.
Coach Tony's crew have made a lot more good moves than bad so far, so we will have to have faith. A win in such a critical game would do wonders for this team's PO chances, not to mention deal a vicious blow to the Patsies' cause (3 division losses- talk about a 'wicked pissah'! Put that in your beans and eat them, Boston). I've got my phingers crossed.
This is easily the toughest game we will have played thus far. The Cheatriots will be hungry for revenge for the beating we administered in Foxboro.
This IS the Darkside coming here. It's Darth Belichick-Vader and the Imperial Scorn-troopers and they will come loaded for bear.
Let's all be ready to give them the Phinger.