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Dolphins make it truly fun to see Sunday's win

FOXBORO -- It was truly gratifying to go into the Dolphins locker room late Sunday afternoon after the incredible 38-13 victory over the Patriots and talk to the players about success and great plays and, well, something other than losing.

It was great!

During my early years covering the Dolphins I dealt with winning teams almost every year. I covered teams that believed a punched ticket to the playoffs was a right rather than a privilege. I covered teams that mattered and had a swagger and an excitement about them.

The Dolphins played like that Sunday, like the good ol' days. It has been a long time as everyone knows. And it was awesome.

I guess this is where I address the improvement column. I wrote in Sunday's Herald the Dolphins had shown no improvement in the first couple of games this year from the start of last year. I still believe that. The Dolphins were no better after two games this year than after two games last year.

And I don't think any right-thinking fan could argue the opinion which I backed up with statistics. Fact is, no one argued the point with me before Sunday's game. I got plenty of hindsight emails from people busting my ... chops after Sunday's game.

But none came before people knew the outcome of this game.

I was nonetheless wrong when I failed to suggest that Miami's course toward improvement could change at any point this season. Because that is what happened in this game. The Dolphins, for one day, showed improvement. Despite how unpredictable and even improbable, the Dolphins made a giant leap in one week and in this one game.

The Dolphins went from losing one 34-10 to winning one 38-13. They went from losing to a perpetual doormat to destroying a perennial winner.

We'll see if that improvement continues.

Interestingly, and I think importantly, I didn't hear any boastful predictions out of the locker room. Players didn't predict this is the beginning of big things. Players didn't act like all their problems are solved. Players didn't even buy into the, "We knew we'd do this all along," mistake.

Ricky Williams, Vonnie Holliday and others instead spoke of building on this victory. They spoke of needing to clean up some issues that persist. They spoke of not taking two steps back now that they've taken one forward.

It was good to hear.

It was fun to watch.

It was great to cover.


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omg, get over yourself mando...

In all honestly i didn't see any improvement either. But I thought the potential was there with some of the young "studs" on the oline and dline. That was the key to this victory and too any future improvement.

I for one loved every minute of it. It was funny hearing the game and in the beginning hearing the Pats have the best defensive line in football. Funny stuff. I'm sure the Vikings wouldn't take offense to that. This whooping was hilarious. I only wish I could watch it next week.

Great stuff, Mando. Thanks for appreciating this day. It truly was great to beat down on the Pats.

I felt like we'd all been transported to Bizzaro NFL land while watching today's game.

Mando is right. The Dolphins hadn't improved at all over the first two games. The thought of blowing out the Pats in Foxborough was inconceivable.

But it happened.

You have to be kidding Armando! How can you have the nerve to write this blog after your earlier column titled "Improvement won't be coming soon for Miami Dolphins". You even wrote phrases like "But the idea that improvement will be easily attained and, indeed, is already at hand is clearly wrong".

Grow up, rcognize when you are wrong, and stop writing crap and write more jounalistic stuff, which by the way, when you do, you are pretty good.

Dude... let's see what happens after the bi-week.

I for one will just relish the moment. It has been the most difficult thing having to watch my team lose game after game. I just hope this win carries over and helps this team to beleive in itself and use the momentum to hopefully win several more games. Beating a team like the Patriots at home is quite a feat. If they can beat them at home then maybe they can beat other good teams as well. Go fins!

Excellent stuff, Mando. It indeed feel like the good old days.

It was real nice to see this victory. It has been a long time since I seen the phins dominate someone. I hope this is the beginning of building the team to respectability. We should have won that Jets game. We could easily be 2-1 now going into the bye week.

LOL, Mando. No need for a non-apology clarification.

Your article was spot on, but I think coming out with the article on game day or right before was poor timing.

And boy did the fins make you eat crow. Ha!!!

Smiles around the house. And it's nice to see these humble, quiet, and confident fins realize that there is still a long way to go, but that if we do the right things (stop the run, protect the football, and minimize penalties and turnovers), we can beat anyone in this league.

Keep up your efforts and people, please leave Mando alone. Let's just enjoy this for a couple days before coming back down to earth.

The improvement was obvious after Jets game.We outplayed the Jets but failed to execute in the red zone and Farve had jump ball miracle play. Obviously we took a step back in arizona and that game was over early! We dont have the secondary to contain 2 stud wideouts like that, so it was easy to say yeah this team is gonna suck..or here we go again...or Sparano is too soft....This team is making serious improvement .We are gonna have up and downs all season ,and the trick plays will only work for so long , but the fondation of football is built in the trenches and boy both sides of the line looked really good against really good comp today ! And we are young. Did you judge our progress because of one game mando? Give it time man.

It was great indeed. Thanks Mando for deflating the playoff talkers early.

Miami just gave the New England patriots a whooping at their home the miami dolphins must be the greatest.... for the critics eat your words,, eat your words!!!

Oh boy!!!... THAT FEELS GREAT!

Just enjoy... there is no need to argue about Mando's mistakes...

Oh yeah... we won at the unbeatable team home...

genius, that was genius!!
everything worked out pretty good for us.
who would've thought the outcome of this game?
now my question is: after a big win for us this week, will the bye week affect us negatively after? that means we'll have 13 games in a row!
our running defense looks strong and will face a tough challenge in week 5 vs LaDainian Tomlinson, that'll be fun to watch.
congratulations to our fins and hopefully its the beggining of a winning streak!

Yes! This was one to savor. I finally WANT to watch repeated highlights on every national network rather than avoiding them like the plague.
I'd like to think we would have beaten the Pats even if they had Brady. Yes, Cassel was flat, but the Pats defense was awful. Maybe the game would have been more competitive, but I think we still would have come out victorious.
Its great to hear about veteran leadership demonstrating how keep the emotions in check and stay focused on the long season. I hope this taste of victory carries forward in momentum.

I for one am truly glad that i actually got to watch the game for once considering that in Tallahassee they never show Dolphins games. Boy did they pick the right time to air one. It feels so good just to be able to actually cheer watching your team instead of getting upset at losing all the time. We should build on this for the coming weeks but dont expect the Wild Hog formation to keep working, this isnt college. But it will give the team the confidence they need to start performing up to their paychecks...

I was saying the exact same thing on the Dolphins message board I post at! They really HADN'T improved at all from last year and not only that, the Cards game was a clear step BACKWARDS.

And then this. Has any team in NFL history made a bigger improvement in one week than the Fins just did?

It's a shame certain people feel the overwhelming need to try and ruin certain other people's enjoyment of the moment by making personal attacks, but that's today's America for you. I honestly feel that September 21, 2008 will be forever remembered as the official day this franchise turned around and started going upwards from rock bottom. There have been a few "false positives" before (Bears '06 anyone?) but this just feels like the real thing.

Tricked? No tricks, just winning options. Tricks are risky. They needed something different. A version of the 2 minute drill where defenses have to react instead of plan. How could Belicheck do anything about it? The New England defense had to spread out and Miami could run away from their strengths. 8 men in the box, no problem, the box is now your trap and Ronny and Ricky are running the secondary over. Spread the field to protect, no problem we pick a weak spot, overload it with blockers and kick butt.

Great game!

Squirm, you little weasel.

Great win.. We have to definitely improve our special teams. Carpenter needs to get that ball into the end zone on kick-offs. Other then that it was great to see my Pat's fanatic friend cringe everytime we scored.

"Fact is, no one argued the point with me before Sunday's game."

What? Try reading your own blog Armando! I saw plenty of fans (Who got shouted down by your pessimisitc supporters no less) comment on how far off base you were with your column. You're just flat out lying at this point.

Yes It Was A Great Win Folks Now They Have A Bye Week ,after That Its The Rivers And Tomlinson Lead Chargers,lets See If The Wannstadt Cursed Fins Can Build On This Great Win..

i was waiting for the cops to show up i was yelling so loud !!

it was a physical & smart approach. using the no-huddle to keep the same defense on the field.

i was most impressed with the way TIN changed the game plan to throw on first & throw down the field. i actually saw peny hum one hard down the middle.

fins didn't forget what was working, my boys fasano & camrillo. the pass opened up the run and did it ever. it has been a long long time for me not to have to sweat a nail biter to the end (jets game recently). all the receivers protected the ball as did the brown & williams company. that stock should almost double when the markets open !!!

damn good feeling, canes whop butt saturday and fins sunday, indeed memories of the good ole dayz !!

by the way, did anyone hear what penny's passer rating was for sunday, had to be over 120 ?

I don't take back any of the stuff I said about Porter. Or the other players, or the coaches and staff. The dolphins have beaten these patriots before, WITH Tom Brady, and they still sucked. Wins and Losses, the only two things that matter here, and Miami is still 1-2 and haven't proved a damn thing. At the end of my basketball career I had a 22 and 27 point game, didn't mean I was great again all of the sudden, or young. 3 sacks in a game is good, but it sure as hell doesn't mean the old Joey Porter is back. He's still nearing the end of the road until he can prove otherwise.

found it 113.7 with 85% attempts complete. 85% was the days highest. wow.

porter looked awesome. if he didn't get the sack he pushed it to lankford, ferg or merling. don't try to knock porter.


The bottom line Mando: you were dead wrong.

You are actually saying last years team was one week of practice away from beating a Belichick coached team on the road.... HA!

Why is it so hard to admit that this team was improving everyday right under your nose?!?

Because if we're to believe what you're saying: yesterday's game was really just a fluke..... a lucky shot in the dark.... by a team that had one good week of practice.....

Sorry Mando, but I think this team has been improving throughout the entire offseason. You're just jaded, and couldn't see the improvement.

So just admit it buddy...... everyone around the country was shocked yesterday..... not because the Fins won, but because they thoroughly whipped the Pats.... and you don't thoroughly whip the Pats without busting your butt all offseason while steadily improving everyday......

You were asleep at the wheel Mando!!!

Ry86 Why Must U Rain On The Dolfan Faithful,lets See How Things Go After Bye,its True That Joey Porters Not The Man He Used To Be ..but Then Again Iam Sure Ur Not The Man U Used 2 Be...just Ask Ur Wife

Hey we were one catch away from being 2-1. I had my reservations about porter, but he shut me up this week. And doing it to new England made it so much better. Hopefully they keep that fire going to there next game. They have to Stay Hungry.

I am a Dolphin fan living in New England. I had a chance to attend this game and chose not to because I didn't want to sit in a crowd full of puffed-up holier-than-thou Pats fans and suffer a bad loss. Doh! I work at a law firm and they are all hiding from me this morning. Don't worry Dolfans, I will snake 'em out.

Mando = Laughing stock

You had to enjoy yesterday. Take it for what it is, one great victory against division rivals and the great Patriots in their building. But when the dust settles it was just one win in week 3. But it was a sweet victory that we can all savor for a couple of weeks now that we're on the bye.

This is a good time for the team to work on somethings they need to get corrected like special teams coverage, and to keep the offense evolving, and the secondary continuing to improve on their communication.

Geez who would have thunk it. A great win like this... Funny I just read some hack beat writer, who never played a down of football, beat up this team in an over the top way yesterday. This idiot, said that we were worse then last year and that we weren't going to improve anytime soon. Then this same dolt quickly glosses over what he wrote yesterday and actually tried to rationalize it and defend it. Some of these local yokel beat writers are pretty sad, right Mando?

Does anyone know if NFL Network is re-airing this game? I was out all day Sunday at my kid's soccer games and the DVR didn't work for some reason.

the only thing i can say about that game is WOW!!!! AWESOME!!!!!! GO PHINS!!!!!

As a long suffering Dolphins fan living up here in New England, yesterday was like the SuperBowl for me. I'm the only one smiling at work today, just like when the Giants beat the Pats in last year's Superbowl! Luv It!

Man what a game,loved every minute of it. But if you look at the season so far as a whole you have to be excited no matter what other peolpe say. If you look at it ,phins could easly be 2&1 if not for their own mistakes.They were a play away from beating the jets. And the Arazona game was a game of mentel errors.All of which has nothing to do with talent. The game proved that yesterday. We still have huge problems in the special teams but I do not think its about talent. That said its about mathups and each week I believe we match up to most any team we play. Getting our secondary back completely healthy is hudge. Shutting down Wess and Moss was as big and undertaking as shutting down Bolin and thier other big receiver. They proved when their all together and stop makeing mistakes they can compete for the win on any Sunday. I'm excited for the future of this team. They may not win them all but I think they will make them fun to watch as they once was.That is what so great about this game no matter how great your are or had bad you are your team has a chance to win or lose any game. The fun comes it the competeing and keeping it close each week and I think this team is set to acomplish at least that. Go Phins. And Thanks for a Great WIN.

I went to the Phoenix game, and yes, it was awful -- in fact, as I left the stadium I thought they were WORSE than 07, because at least in 07 the team fought hard in just about every game. In week two they were flat, lifeless, and mistake-prone. But here's the thing. We can analyze and debate all we want, but the truth is none of us -- including Armando -- are in a position to make a truly educated assessment of the Fins progress. Final scores are what count -- but they don't tell the whole story. Sparano and his staff are the ones looking at the film. They're breaking games down position by position and play by play. We can say, "Oh, the receivers aren't any good," or "Tedd Ginn must not run good routes," but unless we're breaking it down the way the coaches do, we don't really know. Sparano defended Ginn and the wide receivers, he said the defense was close, etc. Was he just reaching for positives or making an educated assessment based on what he saw when he stayed up all night watching and rewatching the game? Probably the latter, don't you think? We got a good staff here. We should trust what they say.

I don't know how anyone could say they didn't see improvement over last years team in that first game. You can't compare the Washington game last year with this years Jets game. Yes both games went down to the wire but last year we had Chambers, Taylor, and Thomas. Also the team last year visibly gave up and was winded in the fourth qtr. and OT. This years team is much more conditioned physically AND mentally. They never gave up in game one and if that pass went to us we win the game. There was clear improvement and a lot of experts saw it and have been talking about it ever since, even after the Arizona game. I'm not saying we're world beaters and I still think they will only win 4 to 6 games but the improvement on the team was evident from the moment Parcells took the job. Unless ofcourse you're a glass is half empty kind of person and thrive on negativity. All of the crap from fans calling Sparano a gumba and saying he is clueless to the people screaming about how Parcells has never done a thing and is an ego maniac. I'm glad all of those people are hiding under their rocks right now but they'll be back after the next loss. Patience people.



You gotta love COACH BADABING!


Were people really thinking that Sparano wasn't an improvement over Cam? That's too funny. That's part of this whole team hasn't improved argument right? And people are saying that after week two they still weren't sure that Sparano was an improvement over Cam. Because of the scoreboard?! You can look at the guy and the way he runs the team and know he is an improvement over last year. If people didn't see that they are truly clueless.


You are such a fraud and a fake!!! You come out with this article AFTER you wrote a article with nothing but negative results. I hope you learned something, let the season play out a bit and give it a chance to grow. All you write about is all the negative stuff about the fins AFTER 2 FREAKING GAMES!!! Games are won on the field NOT BY A NEGATIVE JETS FAN (LIKE YOU)!!

How about Ferguson? Improvement over last year. Fasano over Peele, Bess over Booker, Long over (frankly anyone on the line), Recognizing Roths ability to move to lolb, Pennington over Green,Beck, and Lemon. The conditioning program, the mental approach to practices, the accountability from players . There were PLENTY of signs that this team had improved over last years team for those of us who were looking for them.

You seem more concerned with justifying how YOU were right, instead of doing your job. We are really getting tired of your overinflated ego. Grow up.



It's sad to see how much satisfaction people get into throwing something at someone else's face. What does this do to you? SLeep better at night? Increase your self-esteem? Maybe enlarge your penis? I would go for the latter since a good part of you are vigorously attacking Armando. I am not defending him specifically, I am just defending another human being. Just because someone has an opinion doesn't mean you have every right to degrade them as a person. Sometimes people throw any kind of moral values out the window over a bleeping game of football, how pathetic,sad, disgusting, some of you guys are.

-JP (Your imaginary pre-frontal cortex)

I see some of the haters (of me) are out today. Here's the deal: If you're only commenting on here to just rip me, at least have a reason.

Because otherwise your comments will be coming off here. For example Chris S writes Armando=laughing stock. What does that add to the discussion?

Chris S if you have a problem with me, be a man and tackle it head on instead of taking sideswipes. By the way, Chris S is the same guy who ripped me when I wrote Jason Allen was in danger of losing his starting job, saying Allen was a great player and that would never happen. So dude, let he that is without sin cast the first stone.

AndyK: You say, "We are really getting tired of blah blah." WE? How many of YOU are there? One way a weak person props himself up is by projecting numbers where there are none. You are one individual and that is your lone opinion. And if YOU are tired of ME, I would inform YOU no one is forcing you to click on the headline or my big fat face to get here. WE will somehow survive without YOU.

FINSFAN: I am not a Jets fan. And yes, I wrote this blog post after the game ... what do you expect me to do? You want me to know what's going to happen beforehand and write it in advance? And yes I ripped the Dolphins for their first two games this year in my column. Guess what? They lost both those games and looked HORRIBLE doing so in Arizona. They deserved to be ripped. They looked awful. Weren't you aware of that?

And guess what else? When they played like they did yesterday I praised them and wrote how great it was. When they do well I write what they did well. When they lose, I write why they are losing. That's my job, sir.

The bottom line I am trying to convey in this post is the gratification among players and others when the Dolphins pulled Sunday's great upset. If some of you haters want to distract and detract from that, I will delete your comments. I don't mind specific criticism and there is plenty of it on here because I'm a flawed person like everyone else. But I don't write this blog just to be insulted for insult's sake.

I love it when Mando doesn't take crap from the peanut gallery.

Whoop dee doo, Edith, Whoop dee doo!!!! Nice job Phins!!!!

Mando owned up to his mis-speak in his column. Give him credit for being a man. But Mando, don't drink the Haterade...give the team some love. This team went out and did the impossible. I don't think anyone ecpects them to run the table, but it sure is a glimmer of hope. It's a building block. It's baby steps. The Parcells era has taken down a protege and give the Dolphins a win and more importantly- a division win. Like BostonFinFan, I live in MA and must endure the constant butt kissing to Brady and Belechick every day. Now I can't wait to hear all the whining on WEEI on my commute home as they all drown their sorrows. They'll be lining up on the Tobin Bridge all ready to jump off the Pats Bandwagon. Go Dolphins!!!

How is this for a fact. You pulled the article and added the new article. You also wiped out all the comments after it mysteriously popped back up. Oh and I love your comment during your blog... unfortunately here comes our offense...our boring offense...here's 3 and out coming...oh...wait they look good!!! No way we looked as bad in our first game last year compared to this year. That's why people are mad at you.

Thanks for quick insight into how a column is constructed. I think by the blog hits their are thousands of us that read your blog for the insight and don't post. Our muted silence is a deffrence to the respect we have for your opinion.

where are you mando ?

Ya'll boyz r winners now. So c'mawn ova Mrs. McNabb's house and eat some delicous Campbell's Chunky Beef Stew like my boy Donovan does.

I'm here diggler, although I'm getting ready to eat an Arroz con pollo lunch.

drswarmy: I didn't pull any article off the web. And I did not mysteriously put it back up. I don't handle the web posting of articles at the miami herald and I don't write the headline and I don't make it sunny or rainy in the morning, either.

Let's enjoy the win.Stop trying to downplay it. When we lose we have to suffer til the next week so enjoy the victory and stop looking for reasons to not be proud.

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