It's been awhile. While I have been busy writing for my real life job as a grad student, I have been pondering what to write here as an amateur blogger.
For this blog tonight I will cut to the chase and give you three reasons why we as Dolfans are being duped: The Dolphins have won 3 in a row, the defense is living up to it's billing as a top 5 defense, and lastly the play of Matt Moore has been Pennington-esque.
First, the Dolphins are 3-7. The Dolphins are 3-7 with a mish-mash of pieces that barely fit in the first seven games, but all of a sudden they look like they are playing like they are 7-3. Are the Dolphins 7-3? Hardly. Yes they beat the Chiefs, Redskins, and Bills, but the Chiefs win was probably the most significant because they had won four in a row leading up to the game v. the Dolphins.
Second, the recipe has worked the past three weeks of scoring in the first quarter and forcing turnovers. Isn't this the way that good teams play? How come the Dolphins didn't force turnovers after the Browns game? Why?
Third, the Miami Dolphins have a QB that has now thrown 7 TDs to 4 INTS. That is classified as Pennington-esque because of the accuracy. Matt Moore has been on fire. Resilient, but not consistent. No TDs last week in a win. 3 TDs v. Chiefs the week before and then 3 TDs today.
In the 2nd half, Matt Moore did not throw much. However, he didn't connect with many receivers and it's not like the Dolphins advanced the ball. With the exception of a near fumble that was reversed by the replay officials, the only big play in the second half was the blocked punt for a TD by Lex Hilliard, courtesy of Chris Clemons the new Special Teams ace.
So, I won't argue that the Dolphins wins have been pleasantly surprising...but where does the buck stop?
It stops at Steve Ross' office in Manhattan.
Ross sees every game. He wants Sparano to win every game left. Ross wants attendance to rise in the closing weeks of the season. He wants to make good on his investment.
Sparano is no longer embattled at 9-7 hypothetically, but he is not in the playoffs unless something strange happens. Marty Schottenheimer while in San Diego was canned after losing in the playoffs after earning a bye and lost to New England.
Ross will fire Sparano because Ross watches the 49ers. He watches what Jim Harbaugh did with a makeshift offensive line, a draft bust QB in Alex Smith, and lastly Ross sees what a good defense looks like and how that model has consistently worked for the 49ers who are now 9-1.
So, what will the Dolphins do at the end of the season after the Dolphins are 5-11 or 9-7? Mark my word, someone will be fired. Either Ross fires Ireland and hires Peterson to be the head Czar in Miami to hire a coach and GM, or Sparano miraculously keeps his job.
All I know is when the Dolphins win, it makes Ross look darn good because he's been faithful to Sparano up until the end of the season. That's when it's easier to relieve Sparano for his coaching duty. That's when it's easier to cut the chord that has crippled the Dolphins with the same recipe for disaster the past decade. Make-shift team building and no franchise QB.
It's a plane, it's a train... it's the Dolphin Defense! The reemergence of the Dolphins D!
After a disappearing act by the Miami Dolphins D forcing turnovers, the Dolphins like an act in Houdini have reappeared!
The Miami Dolphins defense rose to the occasion backed by a huge interception in the red zone by Karlos Dansby in the 4th quarter.
It just keeps getting better for this team. Dolphins go from a horrible tasting, cheap two buck wine, to a more full bodied merlot in a couple of weeks.
A win at home? This is unheard of and it took 7 losses at home to get the win...finally. A home win!
What a difference a couple of weeks makes!
Where was this intensity and urgency to win games early in the season from the defense? Was it coaching? Player personnel?
Who cares at this point?
Have the offense and defense caught up to eachother and started to feed off each other? It looks like the players are gelling and they are playing to win games and by more than a touchdown.
Truly, this team is a Jekyl and Hyde of going 0-7 until the month of November.
November has been magical and the next two opponents prove challenging: Buffalo and Dallas.
Could the rest of the schedule give way to a six win season?
The red zone touchdowns are happening, with two touchdowns today by Reggie Bush who looked fresh in the 4th quarter to score from 18 yards out.
Big plays from Anthony Fasano (3 catches for 98 yards) and Brandon Marshall (7catches for 98 yds) are happening down the field as well as huge third down conversions from Davone Bess (4 catches for 47 yards) allowing the Dolphins to go 8/14 on 3rd down.
Matt Moore (20-29-0-1) played efficiently, making his throws despite the costly interception early in the game.
He managed the offense and lead the team on the field. He did the little things such as scrambling to get first downs or manageable third downs.
Next up is the Buffalo Bills, if I am the Bills I'd be "very very afraid" of the Miami Dolphins Defense (Billy Madison-Adam Sandler).
Next week, at home, is going to be a blast and hopefully a big win for the Dolphins!
Go Dolphins and yes Fins Up!!!
So, coming off of the Dolphins first win... in...November, I have a new found appreciation for Sparano's style.
Of course I have been so adamantly blasting him since the Cleveland game and wishing for his firing.
Surely, I have wiped my closet clean of half-sleeve Dolphins pullovers, bent-bill caps, and dark sunglasses.
However, maybe it was the early December of 2007 parody of Sparano stuck in an ESPN Mayne Even that sold me on his style where I was sold that Sparano would be a head coach in the NFL and certainly better than Cam Cameron at the time.
When I heard his name mentioned as a candidate and Ireland and Parcells were giving him serious consideration I was thrilled!
Sparano opens the scene mimicking the same gestures that the real Soprano does in the last episode of the Sopranos. Tony Sparano looks around the diner and notices people moving about the place. It's a great parody, but I am not so sure he was super thrilled to be in it, but it must have made interested GMs laugh before he did job interviews that season.
Sparano the Grinder
You see, Sparano is a grinder and a hard worker.
Who goes against doctors orders after a hernia surgery and game plans for the Patriots game? Tony Sparano.
Sparano shows that he cares for his entire football team right down to the front office staff and his support staff in the building.
Sparano isn't complaining about the wrong Little Debbie Cakes like Nick Saban did.
Sparano isn't complaining about his wack-job of a GM who can't put a team together that features playmakers and a darn QB.
Have the Dolphins ever had a good GM?
Sparano just goes about his business and fires up the team every week. The team plays fired up and will down the stretch of this season.
Sparano doesn't care what the critics think nor does he care what Ross thinks and he doesn't care what we as fans think.
If the Dolphins keep Sparano
Here's what I think, keep Sparano if he rallies to save the season with an at .500 or better record. Keep him and then support him with better coaches and players.
Fire Ireland because he can't think for himself and he makes bad decisions with roster and talent development. I am not convinced that Jake Long was the best pick for this passing era of the NFL, but he selected him because Parcells said so.
Sparano is running a team that lacks talent yes, but if guided correctly then this team could win more than 4 games down the stretch.
Lost in all of this has been a clamoring for a new coach by the media and fans.
Sparano unwavered, along with Daboll put together the greatest gameplan for a Dolphins game I have seen over 15 years.
I am sure that the Dolphins have been marred by poor play at the QB position.
Who's to say that Sparano doesn't have the plan for a QB next season?
It took 9 weeks but in week 9 the Miami Dolphins have finally joined the NFL this season.
The Dolphins played by far and away their best game of the season dominating the Chiefs from beginning to end in every aspect of this game.
Whether it was Reggie Bush being used correctly and running up and down the field or it was Brandon Marshall proving maybe he does have some talent left, the Dolphins truly played a complete 60 minutes of football.
Not only did they show offensive fire power behind Matt Moore who played almost a perfect game but for the first time this year the Dolphins defense lived up to their preseason expectations.
Matt Moore proved he can be a capable backup this year as he has increased his value in what most would consider an unfavourable situation. Reggie Bush has also showed his value as he has been nothing short of dominant these past 2 weeks.
Kevin Burnett had his best game as a Dolphin and even the old man Jason Taylor showed up outdoing Tamba Hali in the pass rushing department.
Tony Sparano got everything he could have wanted out of his team in a much needed first win for Tony. This was I’m sure feels quite good for Tony who obviously hasn’t removed the monkey off his back but at least might have lessen the load.
Obviously their will be cynics as when your 1-7 its hard to feel stratified, the Suck For Luck crowd was pretty disappointed as it appears the dreams of Andrew Luck in aqua and orange have all but faded.
Well next up is the Redskins another winnable game for the Dolphins and probably a date with Matt Barkley at the 2012 NFL draft.no comments
It's about time! It's finally here Dolfans, the week we finally win. Not only did the Dolphins win, they did it in Sparano stomping fashion 31-3 over the red-hot Chiefs sending Coach Haley for a shower and a shave!
Truly Sparano's Dolphin teams have never stomped an opponent since the Wild Cat ran over New England 38-13 in 2008. Our missing tight end (Fasano) all over milk cartons sold at the local Publix, was found in time for the first half to catch two huge TDs.
Our Diva Receiva fresh from teaching young corner Vontae "Drunk" Davis a lesson on professionalism played a Monster game. The Beast was alive with 5 catches in the first half and finished with 8. In the second half he capped drive with a nice catch a sweet TD catch between two defenders! Matt Moore looked like the second coming of Jay Fiedler finding Fasano twice and Brandon Marshal once. 3 TDs and incredible accuracy. He was on fire and had all day to throw. (Jay Fiedler because he was a decent addition to the Dolphins after Marino left and had an aerial attack under Chan Gailey. )
Reggie Bush was a man on a mission and it almost seems that his 44 yd TD had Kim's influence all over it.
So, do the Dolphins reappear now out of the doldrums of losses and ineptitude? You betcha! It's gonna happen. A win next week? Oh yeah. Who's up next? Washington.
Guaranteed, just not yet by Brandon Marshall.
Okay Dolfans, we've braced ourselves what's upcoming the rest of the season, an almost astonishing photo finish to 0-16...only to not be the worst team. The Colts are a bumbling and stumbling bunch that want to stink more.
How is any of this possible? Bill Parcells preached that you are what your record says: or "You are what you are."
At the beginning of the offseason after Tony was not fired, but then given an extension: Steve Ross proclaimed that he wanted to see a "dynamic offense."
In reality, this Dolphins team is so exciting to watch!
The last few seasons under Sparano, the Dolphins were playing boring running a 1980s version of the New York Giants ground and pound attack. Playing to keep the games close, only to win more games in the closing two minutes of games.
This year's team features excitement of a different kind:
You can first look back to the New England game and there was a glimmer of hope until the 3rd quarter when Tom Brady engineered two big no-huddle drives and you saw, the best (and most of us were led to believe) well-conditioned cornerbacks Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, crawling and hunched over on the sidelines with severe cramping.
Meanwhile, Henne and company was busy lighting up the stat sheet for 400 plus yards and some serious milelage from Reggie Bush.
Then there was the Houston game: Dolphins had a chance in the 3rd quarter to come back down 17-0. Two huge Dan Carpenter field goals were missed and then there was the Daniel Thomas fumble to stall the drive at midfield. Then Houston woke up from heat stroke and then Matt Schabb found Andre Johnson after he beat Will Carrol further icing the game.
Then came week 3, I was totally psyched about seeing Daniel Thomas run over the Browns. Then came the 4th quarter...Colt McCoy stole Chad Henne's thunder with a stunner with a minute left.
Week 4 saw Chad Henne play a game of deja vu with a run and fall on the concrete-like turf ending his season with a severe shoulder separation. (see Chad Pennington)
In came Matt Moore and he threw two huge passes, one was lost in the sun or lights by Brandon Marshall, the other, Brandon Marshall failed to gain "positioning" on Gilchrist, a rookie and did not come up with the ball.
Week 5, was a bye so the Dolphins didn't win nor lose. The headlines were dynamic with Sparano Watch 2011.
Week 6 v. The Jets, The Dolphins owned the ball the entire first half, then the Jets woke up and Mark Sanchez delivered a crushing blow with his pass to an open Santonio Holmes. Dolphins lost 24-6.
Week 7, The Tebow game. After the Dolphins owned the ball for the entire game and owned the game defensively helped by 2 missed Field Goals from generally accurate Matt Prater, the Dolphins found a way to squander and let Tebow part the waters and all of a sudden look like a left-handed John Elway.
Week 8- Versus the Giants, the Dolphins went to the locker room in the 3rd quarter thinking they had the game won 17-13 over the Giants, only the Dolphins forgot that they had to play "hard" in the 4th quarter. Dolphins lost by 3 and had two drives to come back.
So, there you have it. The Dolphins bring excitement every week in that they play hard and have been in 4 games out of 7.
In my book they could be 4-3. Just like the Chiefs!
While the #SuckForLuck sweepstakes has been going strong now for 8 or so weeks, I have come to the sad realization that this team might be too good to finish 32nd in the NFL.
The fact is that this team competes and if it weren’t for 3 big time 4rth quarter collapses then this team would have a win already. While it doesn’t appear other then the Redskins game that there are a lot of winnable games on the schedule, I also didn’t expect the Dolphins to come so close to beating the Giants.
The only thing that could potentially separate the Dolphins from Andrew Luck are the pathetic Indianapolis Colts. Minus Peyton, the Colts are probably the only team that has looked even worse than the Dolphins.
While it still is possible the Dolphins get the first overall pick my money is on the Colts getting Luck.
Below is a link to the Andrew Luck Power Rankings from This Given Sunday
So the big question is….if Luck is off the board, do you trade an arm and a leg to get him or do you draft Landry Jones or Matt Barkley?
Right now I don’t have the answer but I do know that this team has a lot of holes and trading away Luck would cost A LOT. Dolphins have holes in the secondary and could use a talented young TE as well as just some overall help. You don't finish last or second to last in the league without reason.
While I don’t think Barkley or Jones are as good as Luck, they both look like pretty solid NFL prospects. Barkley really impressed me in a one on one duo vs. Luck in primetime going throw for throw with Andrew.
Barkley has shined of late and has probably passes Jones but there is still plenty of football to be played. All 3 options seem like they would shift the Dolphins into the right direction. It’s been since 1983 since the Dolphins have drafted a QB in the first round, let’s all hope for our sake that streak ends this year.