Ok, it’s been a week since the down right embarassing performance the Miami Dolphins had against the New England Patriots. I must admit, for about 3 days I was pissed, didn’t want to talk about the game, didn’t want to read about it or see highlights, I wanted nothing to do with football or the Miami Dolphins! I know that sounds extreme, but that’s how bad I take it when the Dolphins lose.
Over the past week, I’ve done what most Dolphin fans have done, I’ve disected the first quarter of their season. They are sitting at 2-2, with both defeats coming against hated division foes. We can all say Miami should be at least 3-1 or maybe even 4-0 if it wasn’t for horrible special teams play, but let’s take a closer look at being 2-2.
During their improbable AFC East championship season of 2008, Miami started 2-4. They didn’t have an offense, except for the then effective Wildcat, and us fans were just happy about winning more games than 2007, the 1-15 season. Then Miami went on a winning streak! Over their next 10 games, Miami went 9-1 and took the division title.
In 2009, Miami started 0-3. Injuries took center stage and we were supporting a 1st year starting QB with one of the worst receiving corps in the league. As we all know, Miami was in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season last year but came up short, leaving plenty to be optomistic about heading into 2010, especially with the offseason aquisitions of Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby, and a draft that looked pretty darn solid.
The one common denominator in both 2008 and 2009 was how the Dolphins won, and how they lost. When Miami won, they won ugly. They ran the football, played good defense, and won the field position battle. Even when they were losing a game, they stuck to what they knew worked for them. When they lost, they got away from what has worked for them, and tried to keep up in a shoot out by throwing the ball despite not being built for that type of game.
In 2010, things haven’t changed. When Miami uses their running backs, who were chosen 1 and 2 in the first round of their respective drafts, they win! What was pretty about Miami’s two victories this year? Absolutely nothing! They ran the ball, played good defense, and they played the field position game and won both times. Against the Jets and Patriots, Miami got away from that. They fell behind in both games, and tried to win by passing the ball, they tried to win pretty…….that’s not them! No matter what, us fans need to realize that if we want a winner, we have to accept ugly wins. We can’t complain about how ugly or inept the offense looks. We can’t complain about not getting Brandon Marshall involved. We can’t complain about Chad Henne looking hesitant and not throwing the ball (which I am completely guilty of!).
When it comes down to it, all us fans should care about is winning. I’m not going to care anymore if Chad Henne is 0-25 with 3 picks, as long as the Dolphins win! You think many Patriots fans were too upset about Tom Brady’s stat line after beating Miami? He threw for 153 yards and 1 touchdown…..that’s it! If Henne would have done that in a win for Miami he would have been chewed up and spit out for not doing better. Brady was praised for being efficient and controlling the game.
As we look ahead to the 2nd quarter of the Dolphins schedule, what once looked extremely tough doesn’t feel the same anymore. They play on the road against the Green Bay Packers in week 6. Green Bay doesn’t scare me anymore. They don’t have a running game, and Aaron Rogers may miss the game after suffering a concussion on his last play against the Washington Redskins. They are 3-2, but look like a team on the slip. Then they host the Pittsburgh Steelers who are 3-1, but other than an overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons don’t have a big win on their slate. Then they visit a Cincinnati Bengals team that’s clearly not the team that won the AFC North last year. They finish up the 2nd quarter of their season with a game at the Baltimore Ravens. I’ll be honest, Baltimore looks tough and should easily be favored in this game. If Miami can get back to being ugly, they can easily be 5-3 heading into the 3rd quarter of the season. This would be huge for them considering the 3rd quarter of their schedule features 4 winnable games.
So coach Sparano, if you’re reading this, please get back to being ugly! Lock Dan Henning in a closet in whatever stadium you may be playing in and run the football. Ditch the Wildcat, play good defense, win the field position battle, and make sure Henne doesn’t have to throw the ball more than 25 times a game. This is how this team is built, this is how you can win. Don’t listen to the fans and media who cry for more out of Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall, listen to the whistle after a 4 yard run and a cloud of dust! This is what works for the Miami Dolphins, this is what the fans will just have to accept if they want to make the tourney at the end of the season, THIS IS WHO WE ARE!!!
Tags: Aaron Rogers Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Brandon Marshall Chad Henne Cincinnati Bengals Dan Henning Green Bay Packers Karlos Dansby Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Tom Brady Washington Redskins