Halfway Done


I apologize for being absent for awhile. I live in the Northeast, in Connecticut, where we just got hit with a December snowstorm in October. Couple that with the fact that my laptop is broken, and it’s been difficult. I sat in the dark and the cold all day Sunday, which means I had the luxury of not having to watch the Dolphins cough up another late lead. But the good news is, my apartment has power, I have a new computer and I am ready to go.

It’s week 9. You know what that means. The season is halfway over. Yes folks, it is halfway over and we are still waiting for the Dolphins to record a victory. As I wrote in my quarter-season observations, the Dolphins were on pace to finish the season 0-16. They still are. Do I think they will? No I don’t. Five of their seven losses have come by 10 points or less, and three of them have been three points or less, so it’s not like they are getting blown out every week. They are competitive, but they just cannot close. But obviously, it doesn’t matter what the final margian is, a loss is a loss, but it gives us fans a small glimmer of hope.

But here is my problem. Looking at the schedule the rest of the way, the Dolphins have a VERY good chance of finishing 1-15. They have Kansas City this week, which looked like a win after the Chiefs started the season 0-3. But after reeling off four consecutive victories, they don’t look like pushovers anymore. Then they get Washington, which is probably their best chance for a win. Washington’s QB situation is in shambles and they are the polar opposites of the Chiefs. They started off strong, and have spiraled downward ever since. If the Dolphins are going to get a victory this season, that is their best chance. The rest of the schedule shapes up like this: Buffalo, Dallas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Buffalo, New England, NY Jets. You can make the argument that Dallas and Oakland are winnable, but I don’t buy it. Give Carson Palmer a few weeks to learn that system and shake off the rust and Oakland’s offense will click again. Dallas, maybe. But that is a Thanksgiving day game and Dallas traditionally plays well on the holiday. I say realistically, at best, the Dolphins could finish 3-13. That is at best.

Personally, I am absolutely shocked that Tony Sparano is still the head coach of this football team. I don’t see the point of keeping him around. Fire him, use somebody on staff as the interim head coach, and start the search. Give yourself as much time as possible to find the right person. I heard something interesting today, and that is bringing Rob Ryan to coach the Dolphins. Seeing Rex vs. Rob twice a year would be pretty exciting, I have to say. The Ryan’s obviously have a good pedigree in this league, but the questions is would Rob want to coach the Dolphins? If he interested, talk to him. Please.

As for the players, Matt Moore looks like he is settling in a bit as the quarterback. His numbers are far from impressive, but he isn’t losing games, which is a start. The problem is, he isn’t winning them either. Reggie Bush finally had a good game against the Giants, but he needs to string them together to convince any Miami fan he isn’t a bust. Daniel Thomas is proving two things. 1) When healthy, he is a good player. 2) He isn’t healthy often.

The defense still looks horrible, and I’m still having trouble understanding what happened to this unit from a year ago. 6th ranked defense in 2010. Now, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t stop a team comprised of all the grandmothers from my street. Kevin Burnett has been an absolute disaster. We brought him in to be a cover linebacker, right? Jason Taylor looks ancient, and the pass-rush (while better than it was at the beginning of the season), still feels slow and disinterested.

Bright spot? Brandon Fields.

So the Dolphins have seriously looked horrible all year. Suck for luck is in full swing and personally, I am not against it. I plan on writing a seperate article on why settling for Matt Barkley or Landry Jones is a bad idea, and Dolphins fans should not be okay with it, so keep your eyes peeled. For now, here are some observations about the rest of the NFL season so far:

– Can anybody stop the Green Bay Packers? The team is 7-0, with not much of a running game and Jermichael Finley not producing the high numbers we all expected him to produce. Aaron Rodgers is seriously a beast, the best quarterback in the NFL, hands-down. I would bet my left arm we will see the Packers in the Super Bowl again this season.

– Why do we love the NFL? Because in any given week, a team like the Rams can beat a team like the Saints. It’s a crazy thought, but how do you beat Drew Brees? You keep the ball out of his hands. Other teams, take notice.

– How lucky are the Colts? In 1998, they had the first selection in that draft. Who was there for them? A can’t-miss quarterback named Peyton Manning. Fast-forward 14 years, a Super Bowl championship and a bunch of playoff appearances later, and the Colts look like they may in position to draft another franchise, can’t-miss quarterback. Take that Browns (Tim Couch), Texans (David Carr) and Raiders (JaMarcus Russell),

– Hey Broncos fans, still begging for Tim Tebow to be your starting quarterback? I have never seen a player more ill-equiped to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I get why Tebow is popular. He is that charming, sophisticated, pure boy that all parents wish their son would be, but that does not qualify him to be an NFL starting quarterback. He has no ability to look off his primary option, constantly turns his head away from the line of scrimmage and has terrible accuracy. At this point, he should be no more than a third-stringer on a team. Kyle Orton really got the shaft in Denver. I imagine he is sitting on the sidelines, saying “what the #$@%?”

– Let’s just say it. Cam Newton is great. I was wrong.

– Rookie quarterbacks. They look pretty good this year. Naturally, we passed on all of them. Already talked about Newton. Andy Dalton looks like a solid player, and the Bengals, with him and A.J. Green, may have the best foundation of any team to build on at the moment. Christian Ponder also looks pretty good, which I am sure Nole is quite happy about. Blaine Gabbart looks the worst of them all right now, but that may have something to do with the fact that the Jaguars really have no talent at receiver.

– Can the Ravens please figure out who they want to be? In week 1, they spank the Steelers. Then they go and lose to Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans (you’ll notice I leave Chris Johnson off there). In four of the next five games, they score at least 29 points. The one loss? To the Jaguars. Yup, those Jaguars. Whom they scored seven points against. I get that teams play bad games now and then, but really?

– Speaking of the Titans, what the hell has happened to Chris Johnson? As a fantasy owner of Johnson for his magical 2009 season, I have a soft spot in my heart for him. I figured after four games, he was just off to a slow start. Halfway through the season, he is on pace for 604 yards. He more than tripled that total in 2009. I wish I had an explanation for it.

– I still hate Mark Sanchez. 

Is anybody else loving watching the 49ers right now? Did ANYBODY out there expect them to be 6-1 right now. Jim Harbaugh has done an exceptional job, especially with Alex Smith. Right now, they hold a four game lead in the NFC West, which, in that division, is the baseball equivalent of holding a 55 game lead.

– Was anybody not expecting the Redskins to falter after their hot start with Rex Grossman and John Beck leading the charge?

– I really hope the Bills keep it going and somehow, someway, beat the Pats and Jets and win the AFC East. They are just a fun team to watch. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite success stories right now. The defense still needs to learn how to stop somebody, but who cares? The games are high-scoring, the offense is fun, and Fred Jackson is running like a man being chased by authorities.

– Still have my eyes on that Lions-Bills Super Bowl.

Those are a few observations. With the Dolphins season long gone, it has given me some time to focus on and learn some more about other teams. It’s been fun. In the meantime, I will continue to watch the Dolphins lose and hopefully have some Luck under center in 2012.

Twitter – @notquiterosey