That's right. We are at the quarter pole of the season. We have 12 games remaining, with 4 complete. The first four games were the height of ecstasy. The first four games were the lows or purgatory.
What a microcosm of a season in these first four games.
We've gone from screaming that we need to open up the game plan more and let Henne throw the ball, to screaming that we need a new QB because Henne can't throw the ball.
We've gone from screaming that running Ricky Williams is a dumb idea and we need to use Ronnie Brown more, to screaming that running Ronnie Brown is a dumb idea and we need to use Ricky Williams more.
We've gone from people telling us this is our year, to people declaring this should be a rebuilding year.
I don't know what to think anymore.
I personally believe that this team still has its best games ahead of it. I personally believe that what is wrong with Chad Henne will be solved by Chad Henne. I personally believe that the only reason Riky Williams has any success is because of Ronnie Brown, and the only reason Brown has success is because of Williams. I personally believe that this might not be our Super Bowl year, but it sure isn't 2007 either.
But, I am just one fan. I am just one contributor. I am just one person living and dying each week with the fortunes of the Miami Dolphins.
And, maybe I am wrong.
But I don't think so. I think we will see improved play from this team in the next few weeks.
And, more importantly, I think we have seen improved play from this team in the past four weeks as well.
Think about it. Chad Henne, who has admittedly thrown four interceptions so far this season, is on pace to finish the year with 336 completions on 524 attempts for a 64.1% completion percentage. He's on pace for 3,856 yards passing, 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. That would give him a season Quarterback rating of 86.18.
Ronnie Brown is on pace to end the season with 192 carries for 904 yards, and 4 touchdowns, along with 4 fumbles.
Ricky Williams would add 172 carries for 704 yards, along with 8 fumbles.
The wide receivers? Brandon Marshall is on pace for 108 catches for 1,360 yards and 4 touchdowns. When you take into account that no Miami Dolphin has ever surpassed 90 catches in a season (O.J. McDuffie in 1998) and the 1,300 yard mark has only been reached 3 times in franchise history (Mark Clayton 1984 - 1,389 yards, Mark Duper 1986 - 1,313 yards, and Mark Duper 1984 - 1,306), that would be a pretty good year for a Dolphins wideout.
Meanwhile, Davone Bess is nipping at Marshall's heels, looking to reach 84 catches of his own, accounting for 980 yards.
Switching sides of the ball, the defense isn't too shabby either.
Yeremiah Bell is once again leading the team in tackles, on pace to bring down a ball carrier 144 times, surpassing his career high of 100 in 2008.
New Dolphin Karlos Dansby is on pace for 116 tackles, along with 4 sacks.
Surprise success story Jason Allen is looking to reach the 8 interception mark, to go along with 20 passes defensed.
CFL rescue Cameron Wake is currently on pace for 12 sacks, with Kendall Langford and rookie Koa Misi each tracking for 8 sacks.
Then comes arguably our MVP thus far this season, Vontae Davis. VD has been all over opponents wide receivers, shutting down their game. He only has 3 passes defensed and one pick this year, but quarterbacks are actively, and admittedly, not throwing his direction. Brett Favre went so far as to describe Davis as, "the best cornerback you've never heard of." High praise from a future Hall of Famer.
So, while we are all down right now, trying to deal with a loss heading into the bye week, remember, it's not as bad as we think. This team is going to be okay. We, as fans, are going to be okay.
Use this week as a chance to catch your breath and get ready. The rest of the 2010 season is going to be a great ride!
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 1) Welcome back to Big Ben. Can the Steelers continue to win?
2. New Orleans Saints(3) - Move up to number 2 because, well, no one else was ready to jump them. But, scratching out a win against the Panthers isn't something to brag about.
3. New York Jets(7) - Yes, it was a win against Buffalo, but the Jets really are starting to put the pieces back together. By that, of course, I mean Revis, Pace, and Holmes.
4. Green Bay Packers(4) - I'm beginning to question what to do with the Packers. A squeaker against the Lions, and a ton of turnovers. But, they are a good team. Don't be surprised if they fall...or climb.
5. Baltimore Ravens(5) - Only team to be able to beat the 2-4 quarterbacks of the Steelers.
6. New England Patriots(10) - Even with the loss of Randy Moss, this team could be trouble. It will be interesting over the next few weeks how that offense changes.
7. Houston Texans(6) - One spot fall following a win over the Raiders. More because of what the other teams did than what the Texans didn't.
8. Atlanta Falcons(8) - Beating the Super Bowl Champs in New Orleans brought the Falcons into the top ten. Beating the 49ers late brings them to the top eight. Look for them to continue to climb.
9. Kansas City Chiefs(13) - Four position jump during a bye week. Have to give some love to the only undefeated team in the league. Tough game against the Colts next.
10. Chicago Bears (9) - Not ready to write them off yet, but will someone please block on that offensive line?
11. Indianapolis Colts(2) - Wow. From #2 to #11 in one week off of one loss. This could be the year the Colts actually struggle. But, then again, this could be the year Peyton Manning wins an MVP award - or 5.
12. San Diego Chargers(18) - I don't love the Chargers here, but it was an impressive win - even if it was only against the Cardinals.
13.Dallas Cowboys (16) - Maybe the bye week is just what Jerry Jones ordered.
14. Washington Redskins(22) - Donovan McNabb won in Philadelphia! Have I heard that before?
15. Miami Dolphins(11) - Special teams aren't all that special. Long bye week ahead.
16. Minnesota Vikings(17) - Brett Favrehasn't had time to gel with his receivers. Maybe bringing in Randy Moss the week after the bye will help.
17. Philadelphia Eagles(15) - Kevin Kolb looked lost last week. Without Michael Vick, this team could be in trouble.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (30) - Big jump off of one win, but when it's against Peyton Manning, that can happen.
19. New York Giants(25) - Maybe 10 sacks against the Bears is just what this team needed. Then again...maybe not.
20. St. Louis Rams(29) - Sam Bradford is winning. More than can be said about Jimmy Clausen.
21. Cincinnati Bengals(12) - They won against the Panthers and slid down two positions. This week, they lose to the Browns and fall 9 more. At least Terrell Owens came to play. I wonder if the rest of the team was having popcorn.
22. Denver Broncos(19) - Team #2 that I don't know what to do with. Orton looks great. The rest of thea team - not so much.
23. Tennessee Titans(14) - Team #3 that I don't know what to do with. Sometimes they look good. Sometimes, not so much.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(20) - Loss to the #1 ranked team shouldn't hurt this badly...but the Bucs just aren't a good football team.
25. Arizona Cardinals(23) - As the Cardinals transition to QB #3 for this year, it has us asking two questions: (1) Seriously Kurt, can you please come back now? And, (2) should they really have traded away Matt Leinart?
26. Cleveland Browns(28) -Finally put it all together for a win.
27. Detroit Lions(27) - Barely losing to the #4 ranked team should jump them up some. But, it's still the Lions.
28. San Francisco 49ers (24) - No, I swear, they are supposed to be a good team.
29. Seattle Seahawks(21) - Lost playing the Rams.
30. Oakland Raiders(26) - The Bay area was full of "darkhorse" hype this offseason. Neither team look worthy of that hype.
31. Carolina Panthers(31) - Nailbiter against the Saints. Some positives here, and at least Jimmy Clausen is on the field. That's more than can be said about Colt McCoy.
32. Buffalo Bills(32) - The Jets just made the Bills look bad. Wait, let me reword that. The Bills always make the Bills look bad.
Targets of Opportunity
- Just one this week. The trade of Randy Moss to the Vikings excites me. Not only does this allow Vontae Davis to cover (and shut down) someone else when the Dolphins travel to Foxboro, but now the Jets and the Patriots have to face Moss as they face the Vikings, something the Dolphins avoided.