With 3 addition victories and a 10-6 record we could've made the playoffs. If we would've beat the Jets and any other 2 teams we'd taken their spot as the wildcard team. Both with 3-3 division records,but we would win the head to head battle. The only chance we had to make the playoffs was to win the wildcard.
The last game of the season against Patriots was the only game we didn't have a shot to win(maybe the game against the Bear also). We were in every other game
Some of you would put the 9 losses solely on Chad Henne,but believe me he had a lot of help. Bad play calling, a special team that was anything but special, Poor O-line play, the lack of a running game and a defense that couldn't catch a cold wearing a thong vs the Bills in late December in Ralph Wilson stadium..Don't get me wrong Henne played a major part in some of the loses.
I'll try to say off the coaching and focus more on the players. I'll try to to summarize the games as much as possible.
# 1. At 2-0 and playing a division rival that's also 2-0 we had a chance to take an early lead in the division. The Jest would start strong taking a 14-0 lead . Henne and the defense would respond scoring the next 10 points of the 1st half.
Miami would open the 2nd half witha 78 yard drive to take the leead on a 11 yard TD pass from Henne to Brandon Marshall. 17-14 Phins. You would think we had the momentum in our favor.
Miami next drive would be all passes. Henne would go 2-4 for 68 yards completing the 1st with a pass to Hartline for 28 yards, the next 2 incomplete,the last on 3 and 10 a 40 yard pass to Marshall that end at the Jest 7 yard line. 1st and goal at the 7.The next play a 10 yard penalty would back us up to the 17. 1st and goal at the 17 Henne to Brian Hartline for a 15 yard gain to the 2 yard line . 2nd and goal from the 2 Henne incomplete. 3rd and goal from the 2 Henne incomplete. We kick a field goal. 21-20 Jest. Why didn't we try a run?
The next drives both defense hold their ground forcing the opposing team to punt. This was the beginning of things to come.Patrick Cobbs didn't see Eric Smith swooping in from the outside to block Brandon Fields punt.
The defense would only give up a field goal. 24-20 Jest. The defense will save us many times though out the season, by giving up only 3 or no points at all.
We ran 5 plays only to punt the ball. The only good thing about this was Fields punting from the Jest 47 yard line and having Roberto Wallace track it down at the 5 yard line.
Two plays later on 3rd and 8 from their on 7 Sanchez throws a pick to Allen at the Jest 23 who returns it inside the Jest 5 yard line. Rex Ryan throws in the red flag.After further revue incomplete pass 4th and 8 Jest. They punt.
We start with excellent field position at the 50 yard line. We can only get 18 yards,but we kick a 50FG.24-23 Jest.
The Jest get a couple 1st downs and move the ball to the 50 yard line.On 2nd and 10 Sanchez shuffles a pass right into Kendall Lankford hand at the Jest 45 with 4:35 remaining.. He drops it . This will be a a recuiring theme. 3 and and 10. Sanchez hit Edwards for a 20 yard gain over Allen. Allen over plays the route. He had help over the top from the safety. 1st and 10 at Miami 30 The Jest run the ball twice down to Miami 5. The defense holds them to 3rd and goal from the 3,before Alle give them a 1st and goal from the 1 with 2:06 remaining on a pass interference call. Of coarse the score a TD. 31-23 Jest.
Henne would get another chance to try and bring us back with 1:48 left on the clock. After a 5 yard loss,due to a penalty Ronnie Brown run the ball for 17 yards on 1st and 15 from the Miami 26. Two play later on 1st and 10 from the Jest 41 Henne hit Marshall on a ten yard pass that would end up being 30. Anthony Fasano made a bone crushing block to set him free. it looked to be a score ,but Brodney Poole tackle him out of bounds at the 11. in 3 plays we'd get 6 yard to go to the final play 4and 4 from the 5. Thye pass is picked off in the endzone by Drew Cole with 27 seconds left. Ball game.
Now it would have been nice to see Henne throw a TD and 2 point conversion to extend the game. No not nice great. A nationally televised game against a division rival that the media is so high on. It would had been his 3rd victory in as many meetings and the Phins 4th in a row. It would put us in 1st place wanting on the Patcheats.
But this 1 doesn't go on Henne. This is the defense fault. Keller had me thinking Gerbil was back he had 6 catches for 98 yards and 2 TD's.We shut him down in the 2nd half,but damn.This defense also gave up 28 points. The other 3 goes to the spacial team. No elite defense should give up that many points. They couldn't stop the run. The Jest rushed for 146 yards and Sanchez threw 3 TD's with a QB rating of 120.5. We had a couple of chances to make big plays ,but the defense literally dropped the ball. Not once.but twice. Game 1 Goes to the defense.
#2 At home vs the Patcheats. Phins take a 7-0 lead,before Henne threw 2 picks. The defense held the Pats to 2 field goals.That was all the scoring ing the 1st half.7-6 Phins.
As DC$ was placing the ball on the tee to kickoff the 2nd half(As if he had just peered into a crystal ball) Jon Gruden said"We say this last week when you get into these divisional rivalry these 2 teams know each other, often times there's going be defensive struggles. Turnovers ,special teams those are 2 areas that are going to decide this."We kickoff and 14 seconds later Brandon Tate runs it back103 yards for a TD and the lead. 13-7 Cheats.
We go 3 and out and it's time to punt. More bad things to come it's blocked. Two plays later TD. 20-7.
Miami would score their final points of the day on the following drive. Henne passed to Ricky Williams for a 28 yard TD. 20-14 Cheats.
Tom Brady answer with a TD drive of their own. 27-14
We' drive to NE36 yard before attempting a 53 yard field goal to cut the score to 10. Blocked. Not just blocked ,but returned for a TD.
Henne would add on to the returns by throwing a pick 6. This 1 goes to the special teams.
#3 A week after coming from behind to beat the defeating the eventual Superbowl champions in overtime. We'd face the Superbowl runner up. The Pittsburg Stealers. This 1 is easy. The refs took this 1 from us. this was a hard fought defensive battle. With 2:30 left in the game 3 and 2 from Miami 2 Ben Roethlisberger tried to dive into the endzone,but Chris Clemons put a savage hit on him forcing him to fumble in the endzone. Ikaika Alama-Francis would recover it Miami ball at the 20 right. Wrong. The refs gave the Stealers the ball at the 1. They kick a field goal to take the lead 22-20. Now there still 2:19 on the clock with the ball at Miami 29 yard line. Henne had more then enough time to get in field goal range. Dan Carpenter had already made 5 field goals on the day. But this 1 goes to the refs.
#4 the Ravens would get the ball 1st. They would move the ball with ease to Miami 32 yard line ,before Clemons and Vonte Davis drop an potential INT. The next play Ravens score on a screen play. 7-0 Ravens
We would answer with a TD of our own. 7-7.
The Ravens add a field goal to get the lead back. 10-7.
Henne would throw a INT after Brian Hartline falls down. L.Webb would return it to Miamis for yard line. The defense would stop them for no points.
The Ravens will score another field goal, 13-7.
We move the ball down to the Ravens 1. 3 and goal from the Henne misses a wide open Fasano. We kick a field goal 13-10.Half time. Why didn't we ran the ball.
We start the 2nd going 3 and out.
The Ravens would score another TD 20-10.
Another stalled drive.We punt once again.
Baltimore starts at their on 11 yard line. the move the ball easialy down to our 39 with a mixture of pass and run plays. 2 and 10 from Miami 39 Sean Smith would jump the route for a pick 6,but he drops the INT that would have cut the lead to 3.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/08/1914428/miami-dolphins-sean-smith-laments.html the Ravens have to settle for a field goal,but they miss.
Our next drive we finally move the ball. in 5 plays were at BAL22, before being forced to kick a 46 yard field goal with 12:43 in the 4th.. DC$ misses this after making 14 straight.
The Ravens would kick another field goal eating 6 minutes of the clock in the process. 23-10.
Henne throws a pick to Ed Reed. The get 3 more.26-10 ball game. As much as would like to put this 1 on Henne his 3 pick Wasn't the reason we lost this 1. This 1 falls on the defense and the coaching staff. the defense gave up 146 rushing yards(double the 73 we rushed for) and also let Joe Flacco light the up going 20 of 27 for 266 74.1% 2TD'S and 129 QB rating. The Ravens never had to punt. As far as the coaches go Ronnie Brown ran for 47 yards on 7 carries in the first half. He only ran the ball twice in the second half for 12 yards. AS a matter of fact we only ran the ball 3 time the entire 2nd half. This 1 goes to the defense and coaches
#5 This game goes to the Offensive line. The defense played fairly well holding the Bears to 16 points. The offense couldn't get anything going. Mainly because of the O-line. We only had 39 rushing yards and Tyler Thigpen was sack 6 times. The Oline gets this 1.
#6 This was a defensive battle. Points were hard to come by. I'll give Henne this 1 for his late INT, but the special team hand their hands in this 1 too. DC$ had a 41 yard feild goal blocked on our opening drive. You have to also look at the defense. Even though they shut Peyton Hillis down we let Ben Watson catch 10 passes for 100 yards. On Cleveland last drive facing a 3 and 10 from their on 31 with1:49 left Nolan Carroll would for a pick 6 at the 31. If nothing else we'd have been in field goal range,but you know he dropped it.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/06/1959166/rookie-lets-game-slip-through.html
Henne wouldn't had a chance to throw his pick if Carroll hold on to his. But Henne gets this 1.
#7 This would be another defensive battle, the special team get this lost. We only lost this 1 by 3. DC$ missed 4 field goals in this 1. Go figure the 1 thing we rely on more then anything else, as far as offense goes fails us.W e also had 2 more dropped INT's from Sean Smith.
#8 this was a game we should have won. The defense played well early on and Henne had a productive day,before he threw the 2 picks that caused used the game. The defense We punted the ball with a 10 point lead with 4:49 left in the 4th. How do we lose by 7. After the defense a up a TD on a 53 yard screen play Henne should've been able to hold on to the game. Henne was responsible for 10 of the 17 points given up late in the 4th. Henne gets this 1.
#9 This game here goes to everybody.It's was if they just gave up. We gave up 502 and only gained 250 of our own. Giving up 181 yards rushing and 321 passing is not what a 7th ranked defense looks like. We were actually in the top 5,before the last 2 games. Our QB's got sacked 5 times to their 0.We let Rob Gronkowski 106 yards on 6 catches and a TD. Our only offensive star was Brandon Marshall. DC$ even missed a field goal.
We should've been a playoff team. What the players we pick up in the draft, A little more consistency out of Henne, our special team leaning how to block and the defenders holding on to INT's. Another year under Nolan and the defense should be better. Upgrades on the line should help our running game. In defense of this regime and the moves they made on the O-line. Grove ,Thomas and Smiley played a combined total of 5 games. All by Smiley.