Finally, the Miami Dolphins have a number in the win column. As someone with a degree in math, I understand and appreciate the power of the zero. I also understand that it means nothing. Not that it is nothing, but it represents a void, an emptiness...nothing. And, it's good to have that nothing gone. The work to fill the W column has finally begun.
But, we as fans have to be careful. Just as we are quick to move to the gloom and doom, sky is falling reaction to a loss (or three), we are just as likely to declare this the greatest team ever because of this win. We are quick to declare Chad Henne a sure bet, superstar Quarterback; to name him the greatest QB to walk the face of Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin Stadium/Dolphins Stadium/Land Shark Stadium since Dan Marino.
This over-reaction is understandable. Think about it. Why are we called "fans?" Fan is short for fanatic. If we weren't going to be overly hyped or overly depressed based on our team's wins and losses, could we truly call ourselves fanatics?
But, again, we have to be cautious. Look at the latest win. The Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills 38-10; a true routing of a Division rival. But, as has been pointed out multiple times already, the Bills are a team in disarray. Their secondary has been completely demolished by injuries. The offensive line is inexperienced and ineffective. It's a team the Dolphins should beat.
So, with this win, I don't think the Dolphins have proven anything except that they are not a team worse than the Detroit Lions (think about it, for one week the Lions had a better record than Miami. Scary isn't it?). Don't get me wrong, I am happy that they won. I am happy how they won. I am happy with the offense, the defense, and even the special teams. It was a great win. But, it was not a season defining win.
Chad Henne looked good out there. He managed the game well, and there were times when you could see the game making sense to him. He does have a cannon for an arm. He can throw the deep ball. But, again, I think we have to be cautious in our optimism about his future. One game does not make a career.
But, since really, all of this has been covered, I thought I would take this posting a different direction.
Braylon Edwards was traded today, to the ever lovable Team That Shall Not Be Named. What does this mean for the Dolphins, especially as they prepare to face that team this week on Monday Night Football?
Edwards, thus far into the season, has 10 catches for 139 yards. In comparison, Ted Ginn, Jr. has 14 catches for 138 yards and Davone Bess has 20 catches for 157 yards. So basically, Edwards is somewhere between Ginn and Bess in current WR prowess. Would he be better on a better team with a decent quarterback? Probably. But, remember, Edwards' has been known to drop a lot of passes as well.
Cleveland Browns' fans seem to be relieved that Edwards is gone, saying that he was a cancer on the team and he actually hurt their locker room. But, didn't Oakland fans say the same thing about Randy Moss when he left to go to New England? That seems to have worked out. A big part of Moss' discontent, and the assumption here is it's the same with Edwards, was he was stuck on a horrible team. If that really is the reasoning behind Edwards' attitude, that may improve as long as the Team That Shall Not Be Named continues to win games.
But, that's where the Miami Dolphins come in. First and foremost, the team has to find a way to shut down the Jets' passing game. Last week, Mark Sanchez looked like the rookie he is. New Orleans figured him out and shut him down. The Dolphins have to do the same thing. The secondary has to be ready to cover the WRs. Do I think Edwards is going to be highly effective on a team that he will have reported to just five days before game-day? No. Do I think he could be effective, though? Yes. The Dolphins defense has to pressure Sanchez. Jason Taylor and Cameron Wake need to build on their five sack day this week, and keep hitting the quarterback.
Basically, I think the Team that Shall Not Be Named has sold its soul for this year. If they don't win a Super Bowl this year, the Braylon Edwards Experiment may not be worthwhile. However, if somehow, the team does not go into their normal Novemeber and December nose dive, maybe it was worth it. I guess time will tell.
As for Miami, I am pleased that the organization did not press for Edwards. Would he help this year? Maybe, but truthfully, are the Dolphins a Super Bowl team? I don't think so. So, if the team's not bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Miami, then should four players (two current players and two draft picks) be given to Cleveland for a guy who (1) has character issues and may or may not work out of them and (2) could be suspended for allegedly assaulting someone? That's a steep price, not to mention the contract he will now demand, for a team not ready to complete for a championship.
The Dolphins are finally starting to come around and put the team together. The dominant running game, the effective passing game, the "You Don't Run On Us" defense, and the establishment of a secondary, are all starting to gel. The enthusiasm all of us had before the season is starting to come back. Maybe, this will be another 2008, instead of the 2007 that some were starting to mention again.
So, with a little luck, the Dolphins could move out of the Buffalo position in the AFC East (hat tip to RZ for the Buffalo position designation) and actually be within one game of returning to the top of the division. With a 2&0 record in the Division, Miami would very much be in the playoff hunt, fighting against the 0&3 start statistics. But, this is the same team that won the Division after a 0&2 start last year. So, why not us?
TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY
- Congratulations Michael Crabtree. You finally figured out that sitting at home and "training" was not as effective a strategy as actually playing football. Seemed like the 49ers really missed you. Guess they called your bluff, forcing you to fold. Too bad you can't ever get the money for the games you didn't play back.
- Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Favre. Okay, I think that fulfills the Brett Favre quota for this post.
- Come on Tebow. Get better. What exactly does cleared to practice in controlled situations mean anyway?
- Speaking of college football, what's going on at FSU? Bowden won't be asked to leave and is still the Head Coach, but Jimbo Fisher will have staff and player decision power, recruiting, and coaching responsibilities? So, what exactly is Bowden doing?
- Eli Manning has plantar fasciitis. I really feel sorry for him. It hurts. I was diagnosed with it while I was deployed back in 2008. When you wake up in the morning, and you step out of bed for the first time, it REALLY hurts. Basically, the ligaments that run in your heel and through the arch of your foot get irritated and inflamed. So, your feet hurt. Then, when you go back to bed, your feet relax and your body tries to heal. But, when you wake and flex your foot back to the 90 degree angle needed to walk, you basically tear all of the tissue that healed the night before. Then, if you run or add more stress to your feet, it gets even worse. The only thing they can do for it is give you a series of stretches to try to make it better, and then if it is bad enough, they will do surgery. My guess is Eli will be having surgery on his feet this offseason.
- Will Billingsley, a member of our Practice Squad, was arrested Monday night after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Apparently he tried to throw her out of his home, and she ended up with scratches on her neck and arm. To make matters worse, he added the charge of resisting arrest when he pulled his arm away from the cop. Here's the full story.