Another week, another win. Can you believe this? Did anyone see the Dolphins as an eight win team all year, let alone be eight and five with three to play? What a story. What a team!
My perspective this week has been all over the place, and I don't really know what to focus on. The excitement is really building though. I think, as all of us as fans look toward the AFC East Championship game in Week 17, we have to force ourselves to remember we have two more games before we get there.
Focus on one game at a time. Even as a fan.
This week the San Francisco 49ers make the trip across the country to come visit the Dolphins. So far this year, teams making this trip have only won once. The bad news with that statement is, it was the 49ers who made it successfully. The good news? They did it against the Bills and continued to help us win the AFC East.
Currently, the 49ers are averaging 309.8 yards per game, 98.7 rushing and 211.2 passing. That makes them the 22nd ranked offense. With the 19th ranked defense giving up 335.2 yards total, 104.4 rushing, 230.8 passing. This team has made huge improvements during the season. But, the team doesn't scare me.
These scare me.
Mike Singletary scares me. I still have nightmares about him sitting back in the Bears secondary or blitzing after Marino. I don't want him in the stadium, let alone stalking the sidelines during this game.
But, if the Dolphins make it past those eyes, they can win this game (no matter what NFL Guru, Nostradamus reincarnate Trent Dilfer says with his in depth white board analysis). How? PTR. Punish the 49ers defense and hold on to the ball. During the Toronto game, the Dolphins had a time of possession advantage of 15:02. That essentially means, the Bills did not touch the ball for an entire quarter of that game.
If you only let a team touch the ball for three of the four quarters, their offense cannot do a thing. If you only let a team touch the ball for three of the four quarters, they aren't going to be able to score. Pound the rock and take whatever TDs and FGs you can get. Because, as long as you control the rock, the other team cannot score. If they cannot score, you win. Pretty simple isn't it?
So, once again, I state that we need to see Ricky Brown (and whatever the other RB's name would be then - Ronnie Williams?), touch the ball at least 20 times - EACH! Perspective II laid out my thoughts on this. Now, I hope that we start to see it.
Now, if we do pound the rock and win the game, everything is great, right? Well, apparently not. There was a lot of criticism, both in thephinsider site and elsewhere, about how Offensive Coordinator Dan Henning and Head Coach Tony Sparano are too conservative. How, the team lacks the killer instinct to put a team away. I have to problems with that.
First, and foremost, as soon as the Dolphins start opening up the passing game and do not find success, suddenly all of us as fans are going to be screaming that we need to just stick to the pound the rock motto. Everyone has their own opinions on how to win the game. But, isn't the point that we ARE winning the games? Nothing against passing the ball, and I would love to see Ted Ginn, Jr. on a fly route down the sideline, but if we are winning, do we need to take the chance? Why not give it to the two moneymakers in the backfield and ride them all the way to the playoffs?
Second, the Miami Dolphins are a running team. Plain and simple. They were built to run the ball. With two star running backs in the R&R Express, plus a wonderfully developing third running back in Cobbs and the addition of Polite as the Fullback, they have an extremely talented backfield. There will be receivers open and they can throw the ball, because of that running game, but if they try too hard to pass the ball, the pound the rock, control the game mentality that this team has to have is gone. This is not a shoot out, high scoring team, and just about every team out there will welcome a shoot out from the Dolphins.
Targets of Opportunity:
Tony Sparano needs to be considered for Coach of the Year. Unfortunately, he will not be. He is over looked because of the (wide) shadow of Bill Parcells. But, Parcells was not at the Toronto game, as he does not travel to away games. That means that during half of the Dolphins' games, the great Tuna will not be there. Here is another article from Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that expresses this best.
Rookies to the blog. I definitely consider myself a rookie to this blog. By no means do I think I understand everything going on here, and many times I worry about contributing something and making others fee like I am stepping on their toes. But, I am also excited to see so many other rookies joining all of you veteran Phinsider-ers (Phinsiderans? Phinseiderites?), and contributing great things. I know a part of this is the success of this year, but I also feel like that is bringing out some of the fans who were dejected after last year. I know I have been vocal in the difference between Bandwagon fans and true DolFans, and I know some of these new comers may be bandwagon fans, but if we can even get a few die-hard fans in here, I think we are all better for it. So, welcome to all of you as a fellow rookie, and I am glad to have you all here with me.
The Jets. God I hate the Jets. I'm not going to rant about them...yet. Like I said, we need to focus on the 49ers as fans. But, I hate the Jets.
You know, we may want to re-invade the (now) Buffalo blog again this week. Try to get them ready for their big game against the Jets. We NEED Buffalo to knock out the Jets this week. I would rather go into the Week 17 matchup with them behind us already. It would make me feel better at least.
Well, that's it for me for this week. Talk to all of you soon!