Tonight, JL and I will have our mid-off-season radio show. You can check us out at www.Finsradio.net at 8 PM Eastern time this evening. We will get you caught up on all that has been going on in the world of the Miami Dolphins and take a quick look at what might be expected come the end of July when the Dolphins swing into full camp mode.
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Now, here is our next submission in our quest to find additional staff writers.
First Two Games Just Might be Make or Break for the Dolphins
Being a Connecticut Dolphin fan can be difficult at times. Not only do I have to go to a bar every week to watch my team play to watch the NFL Network Package, but living in the Northeast seats me next to a guy dressed like Fireman Ed. I see these fans every week and wonder what it would be like to sit with Dolphin fans. The occasional Dolphin fan walks in and we just give each other the nod. The nod is kind of like when Larry David gives his fellow bald man a fist pump to show their unity.
Nevertheless, today I am not here to talk about the fans I have to live with, but why I honestly think the Dolphins have a shot at making a run this year. If Dolphins want to make it into the playoffs, than one cannot look any further than the first two games of the season, at Buffalo and at Minnesota.
Week 1 is a division game against the Bills in Buffalo. Not easy to start the season on the road against a division foe, but if we are going to play Buffalo in Buffalo, I’ll gladly play them in September. Everyone who watches the AFC East knows that each division game is usually a battle and no one, I mean no one, wants to play in Buffalo in December. Buffalo in December has below freezing temperature and about a foot and a half of snow on the ground. Not a pleasant environment for a warm weather team like the Dolphins.
The Bills will not be expected to win many games this year, so I think it is safe to say that this will be a win. However, a loss here could ruin our team’s playoff chances. Yes, week one could decide our fate. The Bills are a team and city that are probably looking forward to beating either the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots. As we found out last year, they will beat one of these teams, maybe two. So seeing them in week one on the road is a little scary, but I think it will be a great chance to see our young team gain some confidence and show what we can do.
One thing our team lacks this year is leadership and we will be looking for this characteristic in training camp and week one. Big question here is will Chad Henne step up to the plate and show us Dolphin fans why we have so much faith going into the 2010 season. Overall, I am happy to see them week one on the road and I will chalk this one up as a win and a great way to start the season and division at 1-0.
Week 2 is a toss up and could be a statement game for the Dolphins. We are playing a team who I believe is one of the best in the NFL. This team is the reason the overtime rules in the playoffs will be changed for next season, the Minnesota Vikings. Now the first thing we need to talk about, and you know him very well since he played in our division for a year and has his own 30 minute segment on ESPN 6 weeks before the season begins, Brett Favre.
Now if Brett Favre comes back, which I feel is about 90% going to happen, then we are looking at probably the hardest game on our schedule. Some Dolphin fans might disagree with this because we beat him two years ago at the Meadowlands to win the AFC East (which I was there at the end of the game with about 10,000 cheering Dolphin fans and loving every minute of it), but this is a healthy Favre and a different team than those Jets. With Philip Merling’s arrest, not sure he will be intercepting a pass to clinch the game again for us, but that’s a whole other issue. This team can beat us every way possible. They can beat us in the air with a legendary quarterback and young receivers, on the ground with a top three fantasy running back, and a defense that will force Chad Henne to throw the ball.
However, if we are able to pull this one out, the Dolphins will go from being what some believe a .500 football team to one of the teams to beat. As of right now I am going to say this will be a hard fought battle on the road, but I will say we fall a little short. Two things could change that opinion though: (1) Brett Favre could decide not to return and Tavaris Jackson will have to deal with Mike Nolan’s blitzing defense, and (2) Pat and Kevin Williams’ could serve there four-game suspension for violating the league’s steroids and related substances policy, which would allow the Dolphins to run the ball all game and control the clock. If either of these two things happens, I give us a fighting chance to win this game, but for right now, we will say the Dolphins will start the season 1-1, maybe 2-0.
If we were to lose these first two games, I am not sure our team will be ready for what is around the corner. We go home to play both the Jets and the Pats on primetime. But if we win these games, I couldn’t see a better scenario for the Dolphins. Our schedule gets much softer as the season progresses so the season all depends on how we start it. Do we start off 0-3 like last year and watch our team try to fight back to .500 or do we start off 2-0 and make statement in the NFL? Only time can tell.