Let’s Get Ugly!

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!!!

Phins Up!

BEL

Topics: 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

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  • phinion

    Two weeks ago I was called clueless for suggesting the same things! LOL
    We are not Indy nor the Saints! Copycatting hasd never worked for anyone aside from the team they are copying that is because they have the personnel to do it and most other teams do not!

    We need to run first and run early to keep out of 3rd and long situations where they can sit back in a short zone and DT marshall to pick off Henne.

    We have the best back tandem in the league and we need to use them to help set up the big play pass everyone wants to see more of!

    By running on 1st down (and of course not EVERY first down!) you make 2nd and 3rd down a tossup for the defense, Will they run or will they pass? They have to guess and if they only have a 50/50 chance of guessing right you have a better than 50/50 chance to throw into a run defense or run into a pass defense. That will breed success, yards and points!

    Lets stop trying to pretend we are something we are not!
    We are a hard nosed run first offense who has the ability to gain 300 yards when we want to!
    That is powerful if used correctly.

    We had a pass happy offense for 16 years with no SB wins!
    Saints got beat this week by a team that ran for 260+ yards!
    Maybe we should copycat that system since we have the personnel to run for 260+ yards in every game!

  • PhinsFan

    I hate to say it but I agree. I was another “Henne’s gotta open it up” fans.

    A random analogy in coaching popped in my head…
    Remember in ‘Days of Thunder’ that cheesy Top Gun-esque Nascar movie? Robert Duvall, crew chief, was making a point about tires. He says, ok run ## laps your way; Tom Cruise tears around the track. Then comes in to pit and says, now ## laps my way and the tires are still intact the way Duvall said to run.

    Now in my vision Sparano tells Henning, we tried it running and won two and tried it passing and (although Sp. Teams was more to blame) got two losses so lets get dirty.

    I don’t need to see the WildCat ditched, nor zero throws down the field, but we need to get back to what works with those plays thrown in on appropriate times. If the defense is putting all of their guys on the line then one or two over the shoulder passes to Marshall/Hartline (or even attempts) will stop that.

    Go Phins!

  • phinion

    You can argue successfully that we were a bit too conservative in the first two weeks. But the situation actually called for it. We led in both games throughout the game and in those situations, protecting the ball and eating the clock is the thing to do!

    And I don’t fault Henning for trying to go against the grain vs the Jets and NE who both probably expected us to run first after watching the first two weeks of film.

    The main point everyone should be looking at is we have shown an ability to both Pass AND Run with the players we have. There aren;t a whole lot of teams that can do both so effectively!

    By using that balance in a game we can basically handle any defensive alignment thrown at us. It is time to give Henne some audibles so when he sees them stack the box against the run he can call to a Pass and beat it. When he sees a Passing defense he can call a run to get the yards.

    Keeping the defense off balance and tiring them out will win more games for us than trying to throw all over the field and make quick scores!
    Teams like the Saints and Indy are weakest on defending the Run! And if you run all over them the Mannings and Brees can’t get on the field to score!

    We proved we can pass and run when we want to. Time to disguise to the defense which one is coming! Then we catch them in the wrong defense and gain yards, score points!

  • phinion

    I would also remind everyone that another team we know and love played the same type of offense. They had three powerful runners who got the majority of the snaps and when they didn’t we were hitting our star WR for big plays…

    They were the 72 Dolphins and they were PERFECT!
    If we want to copycat something we should copycat that!
    Because this team could be as good as them now that we have the passing and run in one tightly knit unit!

    Haven’t had that balanced of an offense SINCE the 70′s!