This is a question that many fans have asked since Day 1 of Training Camp. As I have said many times, this team has plenty of talent, but just how consistent can we be, and just how well can the rookie coaching staff game-plan, and call the game on Sunday? You could sit here and say that we could easily be 4-3, maybe even 5-2, with some better play calling and just an overall better coaching performance. But then again you could also say that this team might only have 1 win had it not been for the brilliant job of our coaching staff against New England, San Diego, and now Buffalo, against 3 teams who are certainly superior to our own. Inconsistency has been the key word for Miami this season. Ronnie had two great days against New England and San Diego, but in his last three has ran for a combined just buck 20, with 1 score. We heard Kendall Langford's name come up a lot the first few weeks of the season, but his play has seemed to slowly decline since, and teams are having more success running the ball to his side. Our secondary has looked fantastic, some weeks, such as this past Sunday, but others it looks as bad as their ratings on Madden. Roth's moving from DE to OLB has made Sparano seem like a genius on some plays, but on others, you are left scratching your head after a big run saying, 'where the heck was Roth on that play?' And Ginn...well, you know.
Inconsistency with a young and basically brand new team, (with all the new faces), is to be expected, but, at least to me, should not be tolerated. This team needs to be a little more consistent, on every stand point; running the football, the pass rush, (outside of JP, there is rarely any pressure on the opposing QB), STs, tackling, coaching, etc. If we can do this, if more or less the same team that has shown up on now 3 occasions so far this year, takes the field every Sunday, we have a chance to win a lot of games this season. I'm sticking with my 7-9, 8-8'ish prediction though.
Interesting, and HUGE game this weekend
This week-end's game will feature Miami taking on Denver out in Invesco...Mile High stadium. Invesco is always a tough place to play in, even taking the fact that it's 10 million light year's above sea level aside. It's a great stadium they have out there with great fans. Whether it's the host to a great team, or a lousy one, it's always a tough win. Denver, much like every team from that division, has a very vulnerable defense. They have quite possibly the worst run D I have ever seen in my life time, and have been struggling to defend the pass. It's looking like Champ Bailey will not be able to go on Sunday, which leaves that already banged up Bronco D in even worse position. While our running game has been nothing to write home about the past few weeks, it is still a very capable one, and part of the reason it has not got going is the fact that opposing teams are stacking up 8-9 in the box, trying to stop it. As proven last Sunday, you can't do that against this offense; not anymore. It's a real breath of fresh air knowing that our QB, if given the opportunity, can put up big numbers, and lead our team to a win. I'll have to say that I have not experienced that since becoming a fan. I expect much of the same this week, as Denver will probably try and counter it's porous run D by bringing up extra guys to help out. If they do, I expect another 300 yard performance from C-Penny; if the Broncos do the opposite, and play the pass, expect whoever's fantasy team in your league that has Ronnie, to put up a huge score. Either way, the Dolphins offense should be able to put up points; and man oh man will it have to.
Denver's offensive attack features the league's best young QB, at least in my opinion, in Jay Cutler. Cutler has tremendous arm strength, and pin point precision. He's also a very mature QB, and knows who to go to when he's in trouble. Brandon Marshall is having a big year, and has loudly turned into one of the better WRs in the National Football League. He's big, fast, and strong; the type of receiver that has been giving this Dolphin secondary fits all year. You can't just simply double Marshall all the time either, as Cutler has guys like Royal, Stockley, and Scheffler his big TE as well, who can all make you pay for giving them open space. One thing I don't want to see out of our D, is playing the same way we played Houston, trying to take away the outsides and leaving the middle of the field as open as Ginn was huge last Sunday, (couldn't help myself;-), had to get that one in some how).
This will be a high scoring affair, and a huge game for both teams. Denver is in the division lead by 2 games, but is just 4-3, and has been struggling as of late. Miami with a win gets back to .500, and goes back home for 3 more home games in a row, against very win-able opponents. If we can go into Denver, and steal a victory from the Broncos, we are putting ourselves in great position to make a mid-late season playoff push! But again, this goes back to being more consistent.
One last note. One thing that you gotta love about this team, and pawfectgent alluded to this yesterday in his blog entry, (and a great one by the way, David), was that this team works, and works hard. Never gives up on a play, never gives up in a game; All 53 guys on this team work their butt off, all the time. Something that you just could not say, especially by this time last year, about 2007's team.