There is an old saying that if you really want to put an exclamation point on something, you kick a man when they are down. You can say that for the Miami Dolphins they are down, and the NFL is about to kick them to put that exclamation point square on their chest. Dolphins fans have lived through the Brett Favre passing Dan Marino‘s touchdown marks and so on. We watched as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick recently passed Marino and Don Shula for the most wins by a QB and coach, and a few years back we watched that same duo lead a team to a perfect regular season.
Here we go again.
Miami Dolphins fans can only watch as Aaron Rodgers inches closer to keeping his Packers undefeated and makes his personal run at Marino’s all-time yardage record of 5,084 yards. Rodgers however isn’t alone his quest for that number. Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Drew Brees are closing in as well and with three games remaining it’s more than likely that at least two maybe three of them will pass Dan The Man.
Currently, Brees is the closest and according to NFL.com he only needs to average 239 yards a game in the last three weeks to beat Marino’s mark. He currently averages 336. Brady and Rodgers are not too far behind. Brady needs to average 270 and Rodgers 320. Brady is averaging well above that number while Rodgers averages just below his. Still, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that one of these men will erase Marino’s name from that book.
Records are meant to be broken but in Miami where 16 quarterbacks have started at the position since Marino left, it only magnifies the problem that exists for Jeff Irleand, Stephen Ross, and whomever the next HC will be. It is especially worse when you realize that the Dolphins opted for Jamar Fletcher over Drew Brees, and Nick Saban took Ronnie Brown over Aaron Rodgers who fell to Green Bay at 24. Add the insult of Brady playing for division foe New England and the whole thing is gut kick.
Sure records can often be meaningless after so many years and Marino’s yardage mark hardly compares to other pro sport records like Roger Maris‘ 61 home run record shattered by steroid allegation players or Cal Ripken Jr.s’ iron man streak of consecutive games played. It doesn’t compare to Wilt Chamberlain‘s 100 single game point record, but it doesn’t have to. It’s Miami’s most beloved player who holds the record so it’s sacred, to Miami fans.
Adding insult to injury is the perfections seeking Green Bay Packers who look to make a perfect regular season seem trivial. With three game left, the Packers stand on the brink of doing something that the New England Patriots did in 2007. Finishing a regular season perfect. Still, only the Dolphins have managed to close that deal and finish the season with a Super Bowl victory. Suddenly, being perfect through 16 games isn’t all that awe inspiring.
Green Bay will face Kansas City, Chicago, and Detroit to close out their quest for perfection. Only the Kansas City game is on the road. It will be in the playoffs that will pit the Pack against more prominent teams that stand to knock them back into almost but not quite’s. Standing in their way should they reach the post season perfect, possibly New Orleans and San Francisco and in the Super Bowl perhaps the New England Patriots. Oh the irony that would be.
With all of the talk in Miami pointing towards Stephen Ross, Jeff Ireland, and planes with banners begging for Ross to fire his GM, the NFL quietly creeps up on some of the Miami’s standing records it’s a kick to the groin. A not so subtle sucker punch. Yes, it’s that exclamation point on a team that is already down.