Dec. 4, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (center) celebrates his touchdown with teammate offensive tackle Jake Long (right) during the second half against he Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins Are Stronger Than Jets and Bills


I’m sick and tired of everyone picking the Miami Dolphins to finish last in the AFC East.  Really?  The reasoning is always the same, “uncertainty at the quarterback position and a weak receiving cast.”  OK, let’s completely ignore the defense and the explosive rushing attack.  Really?

First of all, let’s forget the stupid lessons taught by Bill Parcells.  “You are what your record says you are” is caveman talk.  The Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills were both 6-10 last year but the Phins were +16 in point differential and the Bills were -62.  The New York Jets were 8-8 and had a +14 differential.  Miami underachieved last yearTony Sparano did not maximize their production and they began the season with Chad Henne as their quarterback.  Down the stretch, with Matt Moore at the helm, the Phins defeated both the Bills and Jets.

Miami has uncertainty at the quarterback position but it is “good” uncertainty.  Moore is the incumbent and he sets the standard.  The Dolphins’ quarterback will be Moore or better, if David Garrard or rookie Ryan Tannehill beat him in the preseason competition.  Regardless, Moore is the bar and it is higher than Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, or Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Moore easily had a better quarterback rating than all three, last year.  I have discussed this issue in the past, Ranking the Quarterbacks of the AFC East.  Of course, since my post, the arrow has gone up for Garrard and Tannehill.

As terrible as Henne was with Miami, he holds a higher career quarterback rating than Mark Sanchez’ 73.2.  Yes, Sanchez is that bad.

So the Bills added Mario Williams.  He improves the team but from top to bottom, Buffalo cannot boast superiority in any positional set, offensive or defensive.  The Bills’ running game will be stout if Fred Jackson is healthy but I would rather have Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller, and Daniel Thomas than Jackson and C.J. Spiller.  I also think Cameron Wake will rival Williams’ stats.

I even expect the Phins’ receivers to be better.  The Bills have Stevie Johnson but not much else.  How can anyone think this team will be better than Miami?

The Jets are headed for a disastrous season, Five Reasons Why the Dolphins are Better than the Jets.  They are weak at the quarterback position and the offensive backfield.  Santonio Holmes may be their only decent receiver unless Stephen Hill provides immediate dividends.  Regardless, their offense will be terrible.

The Jets have a better secondary than Miami but that is all.  Their locker room was a huge problem at the end of the season and that is not something that can easily be mended.

I expect the Phins will take three of four from the Bills and Jets.

By the way, during the regular season, the New York Giants were 9-7 with a point differential of -6.  The Miami Dolphins are not as far away as you may think.

Follow me on Twitter @RiSantamaria

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Tags: AFC East Buffalo Bills David Garrard Mark Sanchez Matt Moore Miami Dolphins New York Jets Ryan Tannehill Tim Tebow

  • tmart

    I agree with ya buddy. These poor bills fans, everyone is pumping up their expectations right now and it’s just going to make them even more bitter when the bills fall apart like they do every year.

    • fins up

      I cant wait …I promise fins going to have a better record than them bills watch Smh

      • NFLjudge

        not if you start Garrard.

    • Daniel Pauletto

      You’ll might have a better record down the stretch… after you realize your season is in the toilet and you have to turn to Matt Moore to save you, AGAIN.

  • fins up

    Gm ,I just want to say thank you ,thank you for make me feel better about my team

  • Jose C

    Couldn’t agree more. Though we have not had the best record over the last few years, most of it has been caused by underachieving and poor coaching decisions. I am a big fan of Reggie Bush and feel that with the proper coaching calls, we may be a bigger threat than people make us out to be. I am not necessarily calling a Superbowl victory this year, but let’s give the new coach a chance and see how this season plays out!

  • Troub4

    you are 100% correct !!!

  • jcartwright67

    Nice facts on this post. Each year teams work to get better and I don’t doubt the Bills and Jets are “thinking” they have accomplished this. The Jets now have Sparano calling the offense. I hope they have a good kicker! We’ll see Sanchez the first game and Tebow the second. Miami fans; how would you feel about going into the ’12 season with Henne and Tebow running the Wildcat or some derivative of it? That’s what the Jets have at QB. Actually, Henne is better than Sanchez as this post plainly clarifies. The Bills added a few FA’s; one with game changing potential. The core D personnel and scheme is still intact and our dismal O scored 60-pts on them last year. We can all speculate the outcome but Miami is better on paper and Sunday’s than the Bills and Jets. The Patsies are who I want to show progress towards closing the gap this year. Splitting that series would mean something special.

  • Mike

    You have no receiver corps – a horrible QB situation. A new coaching staff and new schemes which always takes time for players to get accustomed to. Defensively, you’re fine, but your offense is in shambles.

    • jcartwright67

      ..”You have no receiver corps – a horrible QB situation.” Compared to who Mike? This post is comparing the Jets/Bills to the Phins. I’ll give you the coach and scheme aspect…but be reasonalbe. The Phins aren’t really changing the D. The 3-4 was a small part of the actual snaps last season. We have a superior QB situation than the Bills/Jets. Now, if you’re comparing us to Green Bay….granted! But, that wasn’t the post was it Mike?

      • Daniel Pauletto

        Putting your best QB in a race with some ancient, injury-riddled, stop-gap QB is not ‘a better situation’. Reggie Bush had great games against us — but we couldn’t stop the run all year.

    • B-

      Are you talking about the Jets or the Phins? As the above statement almost fits both teams (new coach for the Jets is Sparano)

  • eimersj

    Ah nothing sadder than seeing a group of sad saps incapable of seeing where they really stand. I guess you’ll find out soon enough, the seasons only a month away now. Enjoy the hope of preseason because the reality of actually coming to play on a Sunday is only a month away from slapping you Fins fans in the face. There is a reason that this drivel is on a fanboy blog and not on any serious sports websites fellas that should tell you something.

    • Alex Bernstein

      In the west coast offense you don’t need any big name receivers. You need a bunch of quick receivers who can make good cuts and have good hands. We have that. Devone Bess is one of the best slot receivers in the NFL, legedu naanee is a perfect mold for the west coast offense, and Chad Johnson has a chip on his shoulder. David Garrard is also perfect for the west coast offense. He has a career 61% completion percentage and can hit the perfect spot for the receiver. Chad Pennington did that in 2008 and I expect the same from Garrard (if he gets the nod). The one difference between Pennington and Garrard is Garrard can throw the deep ball, which is perfect for Johnson and Roberto Wallace (who will have a break out victor cruz type year). That’s just the receiving corps. Not too mention we’ve built up our line to be one of the best in the league so our quarterback will have hours back there. With the accuracy of Garrard and the protection of Long, Incognito, Pouncey, Hicks, and Martin our receivers will have more than enough time to get open and the Garrard can get the ball to them. Not to mention we may have the deepest backfield in the NFL (besides the 49ers) in Bush, Miller, Thomas, and Jerome Messam (who just had the most single season rushing yards ever up in Canada). This is just on the offensive side of the ball. On defense switching to a 4-3 is no big deal. a majority of our defense last year WAS in a 4-3 so I don’t know why people are saying it’ll be a tough transition. Sean Smith is ready for a breakout year and Vontae is still Vontae. We can have Solia and Starks in the middle to shut down the run, and Odrick and Wake on the end to shut down the QB. Burnett, Misi, and Dansby are a hell of a linebacking crew as well. There’s no reason for us not to make the playoffs at least as a wild card team. We’re going to surprise some people this year.

      • eimersj7

        Look you’re D will be solid probably top 10 (although you didnt get any better at safety which might hurt you guys. Its you’re O that is questionable. Last years O was dependent on the play action and the threat of the run because of how well Bush was doing which worked for you guys. But a west coast O needs to be able to throw the ball without playaction to be successful. It needs WR that aren’t dropping the ball every other play. Right now the Fins dont have that, not to mention Bush is great at running in a pro formation but can he run it from shotgun…I’m not sure if he can it isn’t something he did a ton of last year. Moore played well last year but he played well in a O that was dependent on the run and play action, west coast O’s generally are not reliant on the play action or the run to be successful, I doubt Moore will be able to dissect a D and then execute the play in the same way a guy like Fitzpatrick can (he threw a lot of picks but you would too with boken ribs). The offense is where the question marks are, I hear what you’re saying and there is promise in every team every year BUT nothing that yopu have stated is based in FACT or history, all of it is speculative and would need to work out perfectly in order for it to actually come to fruition.

  • Joe Peterson

    Dolpfaggots suck…

    • Joe Peterson

      I am a Bill’s fan in fact the Bill’s fan

    • srv2963

      youre either a jets or patsy fan ony those to types of cant spell to save their lives….. pick up a dictonary loser!!!!!!!

  • Jets land

    I’d say, your going 4-12!!!!! the last one you won was gift, and you almost blew it. You’ll be at the bottom again.

  • NWBill

    I notice that you didn’t talk about your new coach much, or his staff … if I’d been you writing this column, I wouldn’t have spent a lot of time talking about them, either. Philbin is a question mark because he simply doesn’t have the experience that the Bills or Jets coaches and staffs have …. so, that’s going to be a negative for Miami this year. Buffalo has had Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix for three years; that’s three years of his offensive skills, and three straight great drafts from Nix.

    In 2011, the Bills – with the injury issues – beat the Patriots in one of the best games of the season …. while Miami, well .. didn’t.

    You can talk about talent level all you want, but everyone knows that, even in lean years, the Bills are going to play you tough; the same can’t be said for either the Dolphins or the Jets. And your wins over the Bills last year? Well, when you play a team that lost more starters and had more players on IR than almost any other team in the league, well … you’re bound to get a break here and there. I’d take the Bills as a team over the Dolphins any day; they are MUCH further along in their development under Gailey and Nix than the ‘Fins are under Philbin … and have an underrated QB, wide receivers, and unheralded RBs. CJ Spiller was a revelation last year, and I think he’s going to be one of the surprise players in 2012 – if Gailey gets him enough touches. And, of course, Fred Jackson was THE RB tearing up the league until he went down, so … until YOUR running backs can produce like the BILLS backs have … you don’t have much to say on that score.

    I’d go to battle with Fitzpatrick any day over Moore or Sanchez; he’s smart, gutsy, one of the quickest releases in the league, and he has that gunslinger mentality that the great QBs need to have. The book’s still out on Moore (half a year of good play isn’t enough to base a career on!), you just drafted a rookie QB that has question marks of his own (otherwise he’d have been drafter higher), and you’ve got a rookie head coach and untested staff.

    At BEST, the Dolphins are treading water. Buffalo has taken big steps to move forward in increasing its’ talent base and depth, and already has a reputation around the league for being a dangerous team with its’ players intact and its’ spread offence.

    If I couldn’t be the Bills, I’d rather be the Dolphins than the Jets – who are going to have a bad 2012 season (the signs are all there), but I truly believe that the ‘Fins are now where Buffalo was two years ago; thin depth, a new coaching staff and GM, and questionable talent at key positions.

    But, hey … we’ll see what we’ll see in a couple of months. I hope you have a good season down there in Miami – but I doubt it’s gonna happen. Meanwhile, I think that this is the Bills’ year.

    • YouAreMakingMeLaugh

      Thin depth? Every position is loaded my friend with the exception of safety and some backups on the OL. New GM? Nope, the same one who has had two good drafts since seizing full control of the team last year. Questionable talent at key positions? I’ll give you WR and QB but don’t the Bills have the same problem? I truly believe you are crazy if you think Miami is in the same boat Buffalo was in 2 years ago. Your defense and offense were worst than Miami’s and the team was WAY less talented in 2010 than the Dolphins in 2011. I also think it’s the Bills year to reach be a sub .500 team.

    • SoupBow

      Sorry, but I believe the Miami Dolphins put half of the Bills on IR when they matched up. Granted the Bills staff has been together for 3 yrs. Don’t mean (SHIT) Miami is always a tough match up. Don’t b onesided ur being a (Douche)

  • hahahaha

    just when i thought it was impossible to feel better about the jets, a phins fan posts this

  • chris

    Its funny, you’d rather take miller and bush then Jackson and Spiller? Shows just how much of a homer you are. Jackson was a MVP candidate before he got hurt. Oh, as for that defense of yours? Secondary sucks, their going to miss bell. Lbs are good, dl not so much. As for last year…bills 17 players on it, including starting RB, starting center, pro bowl dt, Stevie was playing though a groin injury, etc. Sorry, I dont see them better then the bills, and just a tad lower then the jets. That being said, thanks for the laughs!!

    • nick

      did u just say miami’s DL was “not so much”? pick a better line in the east right now then see who the homer is. im not even a phin fan but i know i rather have miami’s RBs over any other team in the divison. and as far as stevie J. goes hes a slightly above average WR at best. he’s lost more games for the bills than he’s won.

      • eimersj7

        Nick are a bit delusional. You’d rather have Bush and Thomas than Jackson and Spiller. You do know that Jackson had almost as many yards as Bush in just 10 games…right? Not to mention Spiller who averaged 5.2 yards a carry the last 6 games of the season. Oh and Stevie has had back to back 1000 yard seasons, no Fins WR has done that. And the Bills have the BEST Dline in the East no question. If you dare even debate that it shows just how deluted you really are.

        • NWBill

          Anybody who says they’d take Bush and Thomas over Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller has to have his head (and eyes) examined. I understand loyalty to your team, but man …. the difference in talent level and experience between those two pairs of players is so big, it’s not even funny. There’s a case to be made for Fred Jackson being THE most productive RB in the league the past few years, and after the work CJ turned in last year once Jackson got injured just goes to show that teams playing the Bills have to contend with an explosive spread offense ALONG WITH two of the more talented RBs in the game.

          Good luck with that, NFL! You’re gonna need it – especially after our defense mauls you!

  • Ralph Wilson

    Pats will win the division again, Bills will come in second, Jets a close third or perhaps second, Miami dead last by a wide margin. 4-12 year. Sorry.

  • Daniel Pauletto

    What a joke. The Dolphins are going to have a terrible season. And it isn’t because you don’t have talent… it’s because you’re going to start the wrong freaking Quaterback… AGAIN. Matt Moore pulled your season out of the garbage can last year — and you repay him by signing an ancient QB with back problems and drafting this years Blaine Gabbart, an athletic, rookie QB with arm problems. The Bills two young corner will be better than your joke of a secondary that called itself “the best corner tandem in the league” before last season. And they were just a delusional then as you are writing this article. Ok, so we have Stevie and no proven 2nd WR. You guys have no WR period — how is that better? The personal commenting below about Nanae is insane. I live in San Diego and if Nanae could catch he would still be here. And Cameron Wake is great, but he’s still no Mario Williams. I can’t even believe I took the time to write a comment on this trash article that is doesn’t deserve… I just want it documented that I know more than the trash-journalist writing this madness.

  • JimmyKimmel

    you guys are all talking when in reality you have no clue how the season is going to pan out . We can sit here and talk smack about each others teams and who we have and you dont have but think about all the things that factor in after the season starts . For one injuries …. we expect the pats to take first no ? For all we know tom brady might break his leg in the first game of the season and they will lose the division . Bills were 7 and 0 last season and they started to slow down due to injuries .

    • YouAreMakingMeLaugh

      5-2 but who’s counting?

  • God

    You’re a moron. The Dolphins are terrible. They did nothing in the offseason to bolster there team besides muddle things by drafting a QB. Bush is a B player at best and the Bills did much more than just add Williams. They will have, if not the best, damn close to the best D in the AFC. Just a dolphin fan talking out his you know what.

  • srv2963

    Hey santamaria like you i have been a dolphins fan since i was a kid 1971 to be exact I live in Fresno CA, amongst all the knuckle 49r and raider fans im 49 years old seen the good times of the 70s and the good times with marino the best QB that franchise has ever had!! you can spit all the stats you want but when the s#*t hits the fan IT IS YOUR RECORD W vs L that says what your team is about… like or hate it parcells is right.. you have to win games to move on into the playoffs I hope fins go far but i see a them winning 9 games at the most

  • Stop Being Delusional

    Well, this is certainly the most biased article I’ve ever seen.

    I’m really not sure how you think Cameron Wake is going to rival Mario Williams’ stats. Wake is a 3-4 OLB who is trying to become a 4-3 DE. Much more talented men than him have tried to make that move, and many of those men have failed. Meanwhile, Mario Williams is back in his natural position with a line that has talent unlike anything he’s ever played with. Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus are going to eat offensive lines for lunch. It is very likely that their defensive line will be the best in the AFC East, and one of the best in the AFC. Also, Buffalo’s secondary is now ahead of where the Dolphins are with the addition of Gilmore and Miami’s loss of Yeremiah Bell.

    At WR, you gave away a monster in Brandon Marshall. Seriously gave him away, like candy on Halloween, for free. So your WR corps as a whole is much worse. Chad’s worse than Brandon by a landslide. Chad has been largely insignificant for a couple of years now, and Devone Bess is probably the only threat in that group. As far as #1 WRs go, Chad vs Stevie vs Santonio straight up would go Stevie 1, Santonio 2, and Chad a distant 3rd. After that, you have Bess and/or Hartline, but the Bills have David Nelson and the Jets have Dustin Keller (both had more yards than Bess and Hartline last year), sooo you still wind up in third. For sake of argument, let’s just do this…here are last year’s stats for your three top WRs:
    Brian Hartline – 549 yards
    Devone Bess – 537 yards
    Chad Johnson – 276 yards

    Buffalo’s TWO top WRs:
    Stevie Johnson – 1004
    David Nelson – 658

    And New York’s TWO top WRs:
    Dustin Keller – 815
    Santonio Holmes – 654

    1. Buffalo (top 2) – 1662
    2. New York (top 2) – 1469
    3. Miami (top 3 total) – 1362

    Moving on…Miami’s RBs haven’t proven anything. Reggie Bush just barely surpassed 1000 yards, and he can thank the Bills’ horribly depleted defense for that when they allowed him to go for 200 yards at the end of the season. I really don’t have anything positive to say about what’s going on with the Jets RBs, but for the Bills, Fred Jackson (who is indeed healthy and going full speed in training camp, you should do your homework before writing articles, son…) ran for almost 1000 yards while only playing 9 full games. In fact, he finished the season (in 9 games to Reggie’s 15) only 6 yards behind Reggie in total yards from scrimmage…1382 for Reggie, 1376 for Freddie. In other words, Reggie needed 15 games to be as effective as Fred was in 9 (6 extra games for all you math wizards). If Daniel Thomas can stay healthy (big IF) then Miami could potentially have better RBs than the Jets and RBs who are COMPETITIVE with Buffalo, but don’t say they’re better than the Bills RBs and claim something that’s entirely unproven. Right now, the Bills RBs are the best in the AFC East, plain and simple, no questions asked.

    Finally, quarterback. All three teams have issues at QB. Yes, that includes Matt Moore…or David Garrard…or Ryan Tannehill. You have no solid starter, and the guy you had last year only looked halfway decent because he had a freak of nature on the receiving end of probably 150 targets. On the whole, Sanchez is trash, but at times he can surprise you. Believe it or not, he’s actually coming off a career year. So is Fitzpatrick, who had the most yards and a higher completion percentage than both Sanchez and Moore. So, I guess my question here is…if Sanchez had more TDs and yards than Moore (and Henne, if you want to lump him in, I don’t care, it changes nothing) and if Fitz had more yards, a higher completion percentage, and more TDs than Moore (and Henne, if you want to lump him in, I don’t care, it changes nothing), then how on Earth can you justify saying that the Dolphins’ QB situation is better than the Jets OR Bills?

    Stats don’t lie. Look at those, they’re usually a good barometer. In the meantime, keep dreaming…maybe one of these days you’ll wake up and see the light.

    • YouAreMakingMeLaugh

      Wake was a DE before he became a OLB, you do know that right? Pretty sure you didn’t. He had 39 sacks in the CFL from 2007-2008 starting at DE, had 5.5 sacks starting in 1 game for the Dolphins at OLB in 2009, had 14.5 sacks playing DE most of the time and starting 16 games in 2010, and 8.5 sacks starting in 14 games and being asked to drop back more in 2011. Until the Bills prove anything Miami has the best D-Line in the AFC East. Your secondary was already ahead of Miami’s even with Bell so applaud yourself there.

      Can’t argue with the WR corp being worst, but can say that Hartline and Bess will probably have career years with more emphasis on the pass. Chad has only had 1 off year and that was in New England where he was targeted 32 times. Bess had an off year with Moore coming in and targeting Brandon Marshall most of the time, and Hartline was not utilized correctly. Take into account that David Nelson had 109 more yards and 26 more receptions on Hartline. Give Hartline those receptions and he would have had 957 yards receiving. Also take into account that Fitzpatrick often found himself throwing more because a. the team was down, and b. no Fred Jackson. Dustin Keller is a TE and the only other weapon outside of Santonio Holmes so of course he would have a lot of yards. You’re also forgetting that Bess and Hartline are putting up these numbers on a run first team that has on a 3 year average the 12th best rushing team in the league. As a receiving corp(WR, TE, RB, FB) 1. Miami, 2. Buffalo, 3. New York.

      I’ll give you the RB position because Jackson was on pace for MVP and Spiller was a good backup. Doesn’t matter if he barely broke 1,000 yards, he did it. Having his most healthy year and Daniel Thomas taking majority of the carries in the beginning of the season while putting up the numbers he put up was impressive. How is a 24 year old who played most of the year a “big IF” to stay healthy while a 31 year old who missed 6 games isn’t? Potentially better RBs than the Jets? Bush and Thomas>>>>Greene and McKnight. And that is not even considering Lamar Miller.

      The QB situation also doesn’t matter imo. Moore was above average, Fitzpatrick was average, Sanchez was average. Fitzpatrick had more yards because you guys were down a lot in your 1-8 stretch to end the season. you said Sanchez is trash, that’s all I needed to hear. Fitz and Sanchez 2x the INTs than Moore had so I’m okay with him being “halfway decent”. You’re speaking as if Moore didn’t have a career year either; take away the 6 TDs from Marshall and he still has better than his career best 8 TDs LOL.

      The only thing I will say is that Miami and Buffalo are stronger than New York.

    • jcartwright67

      The post struck a nerve…that’s obvious. The only stat that matters from last year’s Bills versus Dolphins meetings was the scoreboard…look that up! If we are going to talk history to support theories of performance this year consider this: the 92 regular season games between the teams in the series, the Dolphins lead 55–36–1 as of December 2011. For the record; that stat is as irrelevant this year as your ramblings. Another stat that won’t affect 2012: Cameron has had more sacks than Mario in the last 3-seasons and Cameron wasn’t even the starter his first NFL season…Joey Porter was. It’s a good thing the Bills didn’t break the bank for Williams….wait, or did they? How’s that going to affect your cap? Ah, its all fun and games… God bless you…let’s have a fun year. Go Phins!

  • Les

    I have the Dolphins finishing 8 and 8 or 9 and 7, doesn’t matter what Bill and Jets do. Either of those are an improvement over the last few years, and that’s what the Fins need. They need to let Tannebaum sit for first half, then throw him to the wolves and let’s see what he can do. He will fare better than his Aggies in th SEC.

  • rob

    moore is better than sanchez and fitzpatrick? you’re out of your mind. the dolphins are going to be worse than last year. YOU HAVE NO STARTING RECEIVERS