Today in a 1:00 kickoff the Miami Dolphins will take on the Kansas City Cheifs in Arrowhead Stadium in what could be the cooldest game played in Miami Dolphins history. Miami comes into the game winners of 7 of 8 games and a 9-5 record, good enough for a 3 way tie in the highly competitive AFC East. KC comes into the game 2-12 and are coming off of another heart breaking loss to San Diego at home in the last minute of the game.
Like Miami, KC is a very young football team that unfortunately for KC fans have struggled mightly all year long. They have missed Jared Allen immensely, as the Cheifs come into this game with only 6 sacks for the season, which is just an incredible number of sacks. Needless to say that they are on pace to set a record for the fewest number of sacks in NFL history. The man who is largely responsible for this mess, Carl "The King" Peterson is stepping down as GM and there is definately questions of whether Herm Edwards will be retained once the new GM has been hired.
In what has been a tough season for the Cheifs, they may have found there QB of the future in Tyler Thigpen. He has played some good football for Kansas City the last few weeks and along with Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez & Dwayne Bowe, they form a nice quartet of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Also, this team has played hard all year long for Herm Edwards and have been close in several games this season. The Cheifs would love nothing more than to deal a blow to Miami's playoffs chances.
Keys to the game will be containing the quartet, especially Gonzalez. The defense for Miami comes into the game riding a 3 game strecth of keeping opponents out of there end zone and they will need to continue to play good football. Thigpen also has some mobility, so he gives them an extra dimension. Offensively, even though the line is patchwork, this is a game were I believe the Ricky & Ronnie Show needs to shine as the weather conditions certainly could affect Chad Pennington and the passing game. I expect shorter passes to the TE's in the game depending on the wind for the game. Turnovers will be key as well and Miami has done a great job of not turning the ball over and will need to continue that trend.
Tough game, tough conditions. Find a way to win. That is what this team does.
Jason Taylor recently said that he would not be surprised if the Redskins cut him at the end of the season. He is due to make $8 million next year and his production fell way off this year. I would say that 1.5 sacks is a huge drop for Jason Taylor. Joey Porter ended up sliding into Jason Taylor's position and had the best season of his career and is on pace to break the Miami Dolphin sack record.
Frankly I don't care if JT is or is not a Dolphin in 2009. We are a young team and we need to get even younger. Every year he talks about retirement and I just don't think his heart is in it any longer. In fact, I think he retired "in spirit" a couple of years ago.
During closed meetings with Parcells, he asked to be traded. He even hinted about it during the 2007 season. He wanted out of Miami and he got what he wanted. What he did not get was a productive season and he did not get the playoffs. Part of the reason of being ineffective is because he was in dancing condition and not in NFL condition. There is a difference and that was his choice as well. He also was not effective because he was forced to play on the other side of the line.
He will always be one of my favorite all time Dolphins, but leaving the way that he did tarnished some of the way that I feel about him as a fan. I am sure that will pass in time.
In the meantime, I would be ecstatic if JT's Redskins lost their last two games. No, it's not to rub it into his face. Don't forget that with each loss that 2nd round pick that we are getting from the Redskins becomes a higher pick for us.
Coach Sparano Will Not Let Dolphins Overlook The Chiefs
The Chiefs are having a terrible season, but I can bet you that Parcells and Sparano have been on the edge of their seats all week. When you look at the playoff picture, this is the game that gives the Dolphins an edge over the Patriots as a win will give them a one game advantage over the Patsies in the playoff picture. Winning conference games is one of the tie-breakers.
Over the past few years many of the "expert" analysts have been poking fun at our AFC East division as only the Patriots have been worthy of the playoffs. Who' da thunk it that there would be three 9-5 teams in our division at this point of the season. Of the three teams only the Dolphins are the up-and-coming team. The Patriots are a team that are built on veteran players playing for the cheap as they have bought into Belichick's winning formula. You cannot take anything away from that. The Jets would appear to be an up-and-coming team based on the improvement that they made over last year's record. Well, Jets fans are an impatient lot even though I believe they have a very good head coach. They went out this year and bought a lot of over-the-hill talent with a "win now" attitude. It worked and it benefitted our Dolphins as Pennington has shown true leadership in getting the job done on offense.
Here's the playoff picture entering tomorrow's game. Remember that only the top 6 teams get into the playoffs: the three divisional winners and the three teams with the next best records.
Kansas City Is Redefining "Cold"
The coldest game the Dolphins ever played was a 14 degree game with the New England Patriots back in 1977. Temperatures have been in the single digits this week and that has been their highs of the day. Right now they are predicting a 13 degree game on Sunday by game time.
VP Bill Parcells has changed the personality of this team. Most of the coaches on this team have coached in cold weather before as well. Something tells me that when Parcells gets done with this team that weather will not be much of a factor in any game.
They are not calling for any snow on Sunday, but things change there better not be any of this stuff going on ....
They say that records were meant to be broken. This time Dan the Man lost a record to his best replacement to date: Chad Pennington. Pennington completed 17 straight passes between the Buffalo Bills game and the 49ers game to break Dan's Dolphins record of 15 consecutive passes that he accomplished back in 1992.
One record that will not be broken will be Dan's 5084 yards in a season. This year Kurt Warner and Drew Brees were on pace to break it, but as usual, they fell off pace.