If a team were ever a reason for the nickname "Dan Ma-ring-no" it was the Buffalo Bills. Winning a Super Bowl is a team accomplishment and the reason why Danny does not sport a Super Bowl ring. As much as he tried to, he could not carry an average team with a sub-average defense to the Super Bowl.Oh, he made the games exciting all right, but when it counted the Dolphins were watching the Bills carry forward into the playoffs. Ironically, Dan's last playoff win was a 24-17 win over those cursed Bills on January 2, 1999.
A win on Sunday will not change what happened back in the mid 80s through the mid 90s, but it will mean a sweep for the 2008 season. With QB Trent Edwards out and the game in Toronto, it means that JP Losman will try to carry the Bills at the indoor Argonaut stadium. That is two advantages right there for the Dolphins who have never been known as a cold-weather team. With many of the Dolphins coaches being former coaches who thrived in cold weather, something tells me that this team will have a different personality in the years to come.
One of our blog writer, NFL Junkie, thinks he has the strategy for beating the Bills ....
The Bills are without Schobel on defense who has been huge coming off the end. His ability to pressure the passer allowed the Bills to rush only 4 guys. They still have some decent talent coming off the edges but now have to bring extra bodies to get pressure. The Bills will likely be stacking the LOS to prevent the R&R express from getting on track. However Miami shouldn't forget about the run. The Bills are small up front and can be blown off the ball. Pennington will have to be throwing a lot on first down. This has been a favorable matchup with Miami all season. Their pass catching backs, TE's and WR's on a 4-3 base defense. Once teams get into nickle and dime against Miami our receivers fail to create space and those throws get tougher. Mixing in the run on 2nd and even 3rd down will work to keep the Bills honest and wear them down in the 4th.
On defense, losman presents a different challenge. One that Miami has struggled with a couple of times this season. Losman holds the ball too long because he likes the deep ball. He's going to challenge Miami deep. If the Bills keep a back on Porter's side there's no reason to think losman is going to get a lot of pressure. Pasq is going to have to be smart as the Bills are likely to have a plethora of short passes to start the game. Zone blitzing and allowing Porter to go from wherever he wants would be good. Mix a steady diet of blitz and then dropping 8 guys into throwing lanes would probably cause losman to do a lot of running.
Lynch poses the biggest threat but even he's a little dinged up this week. It is obvious that Lynch should be Miami's focus. Stop Lynch and force Losman to make those throws downfield. Miami needs to double Lee Evans. In the first matchup against Moss and the Patriots the Dolphins Doubled Moss all day and were jamming him at the LOS. In the 2nd matchup they chose to blitz more and back the DB's off in single coverage. It was a huge mistake. Moss ate their lunch. Lee Evans has that same ability. You can expect Losman to lob a few prayers up to Lee Evans if he gets in trouble. Having another guy there increases Miami's chances of coming down with a few of those.
Jay Feely who?
I hated to see the Dolphins cut Jay Feely considering that he came off of a record setting season last year. Unfortunately holding onto Feely is the kind of thinking that got this team into the 1-15 mess of 2007 as Cam Cameron single-handedly tore apart a decent special teams unit by only thinking offensive output. Bringing in Feely was part of his mindset as he figured kicking field goals was the most important job of his kicker. Feely broke the Dolphins record for kick accuracy and that is not an easy thing to accomplish when he had Pro Bowlers Garo Yepremian, Pete Stoyanovich, and Olindo Mare carrying the torch before him.What about kick placement? Feely's kickoffs were always short and our special teams coverage units were poor, and this put teams in good field position to start their drives.
ESPN Insider evaluated 26 kickers for the 2008 NFL Draft, but they failed to evaluate Dan Carpenter. Thankfully Bill Parcells and his staff liked this kid as he booted Feely off the team by giving a stellar performance in preseason games and in practice.
Carpenter has been so consistent and dependable that he is actually leading the Pro Bowl voting for Kicker. No kidding.2 weeks ago he wasn't even in the top 5. Are the fans that impressed with him? Maybe, but he has 30 less scoring points than Patriots kicker Gostkowski (that could equal 10 field goals).So, get out there and help stuff the ballots for Carpenter.
Will the coaches and players vote for him for the other 2/3rds of the voting process? Maybe as he was just voted AFC Special Teams player for the month of November. He kicked all 11 field goals and kicked the game winning field goal against the Raiders. His kickoff placement has also helped improve Miami's special teams kick coverage units.
I am a network analyst at NCSU, so, I love anything in the IT field. Here are two cool little programs that do not use a lot of cpu memory (1.5 megs max) that I zipped up for you. One is a snow program that drops/accumulates snow on your desktop. The other is a christmas tree that you can control the opacity of that sits in the corner of your desktop.
Always scan everything with your antivirus program. I didn't create these programs, so, use them at your own risk.
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