<warning lengthy post>
It's been a long while since I posted in here, but have been watching closely from afar. For all you "old timers" still lurking, I do miss you... Once dubbed the Manute Bol of this site for rejecting nonsense, I am reborn once more again as an ambassador of truth.
Let's put batted passed, Ireland, OLine issues, etc all aside for now focus a little on body of work, because all teams have issues, right?
While defending the integrity of our beloved Dolphins, particularly in Jet country as Jet Day arrives....I kept drawing back to the 2nd quarter of the HOU game, when things went magically all wrong......an anomaly right? It must have been, since we quickly reasserted ourselves and played HOU mano a mano for 54 of 60 minutes. I never once felt dominated or inferior. Even last year , during, and especially after, our initial five games, I never felt like a bottom feeder....Ever since week 6 last year, we have proven that we can win any given week against anybody.
Better coaching, an emerging player here and there, and some health, who knows? We can certainly make a splash, perhaps shock the world?
Supreme optimism aside, how do we really prove competitiveness? We'll...part of my justification has been, "when has anyone dominated us?" ...."We're in each game"...."Aside from a meltdown, or few, we were right there"...and so on...last year we played DEN, GIA, NE*2, DAL, JET*2 all at a high level.
So...in my natural obsession to seek truth, I decided to look at how each team fared by quarter in 2011....If you are winning the battles, you should win the war right? Now, there are tons of variables...but for the sake of argument, let's assume that teams that win more quarters, win more games and are conceivably the best, or most competitive teams...agree?
Great...now for the data.
Of the 64 quarters played by each team, ties weren't as big a factor as I had thought, while tied quarters represented an average of only 15% of totals) Also, OT is not accounted for,,,
Here are last year's regular season standings compared to "quarter wins", or "QWs". (*playoff team)
GB 15-1 * NO 40 *
NO 13-3 * NE 36*
NE 13-3 * SF 26*
SF 13-3 * GB 34*
BAL 12-4 * HOU 33*
PIT 12-4 * BAL 31*
HOU 10-6 * ATL 31*
ATL 10-6 * PHI 31
DET 10-6* PIT 29 *
GIA 9-7* DET 28*
CIN 9-7 * TEN 28
TEN 9-7 CHI 28
DEN 8-8 * DAL 28
PHI 8-8 SD 28
JET 8-8 SEA 28
DAL 8-8 CIN 27*
CHI 8-8 CAR 27
ARZ 8-8 JET 27
SD 8-8 BUF 27
OAK 8-8 MIA 26
DEN 25*, GIA 25*
The obvious outlier is the GIA...and everyone still contends they over achieved (along with DEN), cause they did...but good for them.
At 8-8, ARZ 21 had the 4th lowest and OAK 19 had he second lowest QWs...hmm, they look like overachivers too?
CAR 27 and MIA 26 posted decent QWs but were only 6-10, while PHI 31 missed the playoffs at 8-8. Underacheivers perhaps? I'd say so....
PIT, CHI, SD, CAR, and DEN all were mid-tier QWs but also had the highest total ties. It's obvious that many of these teams used stout defenses and, time killing, clock mgt to their advantage...
Though MIA was middle pack QWs, there's more story to tell :)
I was also surprised how many teams were dominated, loosing every quarter in some games...So...I took a further look at what teams were dominated more often than not....dominated=loosing more quarters in a game than they won.
NO was the only team NEVER to have been dominated ! NE and SF were in 2 games, DEN in 3,
CIN,BAL,SEA,HOU, PHI, ATL all with 4...MIA had 5. Hmmm...all playoffs team, what is MIA, PHI and SEA doing in there again?. Obviously 3 teams on the cusp, but MIA is still preceived as a rebuilding bottom feeder, while PHI is a contender, and SEA is a solid team on the verge???
Then I saw one outlying pattern in the data...aside from NO, MIA, after week 5, was never dominated again, and had a league best 11 weeks in a row of competitive football....non-dominated football.
* STL was dominated 12 times, IND 11, and TB 10...
So....MIA, despite the poor start was as competitive as any team in the league and ranks among all playoff bound teams in competitive quarters played....
But we knew that ? .... I suppose my research led me down an empty path,,,, "Thanks Captain Obvious for making us read all this BS"
And after 2 games in 2012... MIA has a league leading 5 quarters won. Tied with NE, HOU and ATL...all among the league's "elite" teams...!!!!!!!!!
Yeah.. we're not quite elite..... but we are definately on the door-step....Hang in there fans!!!!
Some nay-sayers would contend that my research just proves MIA is a middle of the pack team ranking low 20's in quarters won. My rebuttle is that ever since the first 5 games last year, starting with DEN, our body of work since has been a much different story. Many of the best teams had BAD games, while we remained very consistent...even our loss to PHI last year was not as bad as it was on paper...Wining 4-5 more quarters and 3 more games in 2011 and we would be perceived VERY differently this year.... fact is, WE ARE closer to being a contender than we are a middle-tier team or , especially, a "rebuilding" door mat.
And I know it's hard to compare 2011 to 2012, but there is more continuity in our roster and those player's ability to block, tackle, run and catch, than the changes in coaches and scheme... i.e. despite a zone blocking scheme, #22 still hits the hole, reads the blocks, accelerates, jukes, and protects the ball the same he has ever... There's an arguement over scheme and coaching VS talent....but that's for another day :)
So now, I look at each quarter as it's own micro-game, and my perspective of our Dolphins is much better than the wing and a prayer approach I have felt these last two years.... Hell, we deserve to be recognized ...and by week 8, all the media will be saying..."Can't take MIA lightly, they're for real, Philbin has this thing turned-around, don't sleep on MIA, who would have thought MIA would be in this?.... etc etc etc etc..
We'll I'm not surprised, cause quarter after quarter, no matter who we have played, we've proven WE BELONG and WE CAN WIN. Since quarters won and games "not dominated" ARE A STRONG indicator of elite teams, stats prove we are in the mix folks... Yeah, yeah...it's early....
<KoolAid flowing...mixed nicely with Everclear and a lime..>
Fk the JETS!!!!!!! This week sets the bar for us for sure.... and I'm not as queasy for Jet's week as I have been in the past.....No turnovers and I think we got this one, hands down!
Sorry again for the length...