What could possibly be bad about the Phins' 5-4 record? What is there that's negative about it?
I'll tell you...it makes us as fans greedy for more.
While it might just be part of the psychology of the fan to do so, some inner drive to vicariously revel in the triumphs and tribulations of Sports teams, it is no less palpable. It's HERE. NOW.
A quick trip to the grocery store this morning saw some familiar faces, Dolphin fans I know and see regularly. They wore their hats and shirts through the 1-15, and they were wearing them when we started off 0-2 this year. True Phinfans do.
The difference was that now my friend Rick had his hat back a bit, relaxed, and when I stared at it he smiled. My friend Mike had broke out his Offerdahl jersey. I haven't seen it in two years, not since the shutout of New England.
The feeling is everywhere. I went into Walmart, and said 'nice hat' to a guy sporting the Aqua, and he smiled and said ''team ain't no cupcake no more". Fans FEEL it.
They look at the schedule and see the imminent arrival of the Raiders, hollow shells of their usual sinister selves, and they dream of 6-4, tied in the AFC East with this Thursday's casualty in the NE- NYJ showdown.
They see games against the 49ers, Chiefs and Rams, all current NFL dregs.
They see our rematch with the hated Cheatriots (and don't be fooled by the Jests' trouncing of the crappy Rams: this game is IN Foxboro, and the Patsies disposed of the Bills easily. The Pats will win this game more than likely, just as they did the first matchup with gangrene) and dream of 7-4 and tied for 1st place, with our destiny in our hands.
How can this be bad, David? The reader asks as they scan the title...Doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with 5-4.
There isn't...if one is reasonable in their expectations. I get caught up in it, too, and I was gushing positive vibes yesterday afternoon just like you. Perhaps that is also part of the psychology of the fan, to ride the wave of success to greater and greater speeds.
All waves end at the shore, though, and we need to seriously address some critical issues. If we don't, then we are going to wipe out against good teams.
We are utterly laughable on Coverage: our 'Special' Teams are anything but. Opposing ST Coaches see the film, too...our weaknesses will continue to be exploited until we fix them. Failure will cost us a game or two.
We are the worst team in the NFL on 3rd and long. We are one of the best on 1st down, so this is truly baffling. I have to assume when it comes down to it, that our OLine must bear some of the blame. 3rd and long is a blitz down for defenses, a down in which there is reasonable expectation of a pass play, so the heat gets turned up. This is another thing we MUST fix if we are to do anything. If we stay incapable of converting, we won't compete with good teams, simple as that. Failure will cost us a game or two.
Like Rich's blog alluded to, we won...BUT.
We will win some of these next games, even if we don't fix those problems. We'll overcome such a vulnerability against, say the Chiefs, because we are better than them.
Are we better than the Cheatriots? The Jests? Maybe? Sometimes?
Maybe and Sometimes won't beat those teams...not in the season's home stretch. They are veteran teams, full of savvy players. We must play smart, disciplined and stay on them giving 100% all game, or we'll lose. We may do those things and still lose, but to have a chance we simply MUST.
This staff has done wonders with this roster. There are several holes still to fill, and I expect an exodus of players, say 10-12 this coming offseason, regardless of what happens this year. We are winning because we are more capably led than some of the teams we have beaten. You can't hit on ALL the talent trade-offs: look at Crocker. Anderson. Wilford. These guys have contributed very little, or even hurt us at critical times (it was Anderson that committed the hold on Ginn's return, and it was completely unnecessary). Crocker is already gone, and some of these others will be, too. To be where we are is nothing short of remarkable.
Truth be told, we have a real shot. The only two games on paper that are truly scary are the Patsies and the Jests. The rest should be won. They would be by a good team; these are the types of games good teams win.
The worst part about being 5-4 is that win-starved Phinfans already believe we are a good team, and we might well be. I just think to become one we need to fix the leaks before we sink.
I'm sticking to this until Sunday at least, because if we beat the Raiders as we should and are at 6-4, I'm going to be 'drinking the koolaid' by the gallon. At least until Monday morning ;)