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Fourth quarter belongs to the Miami Dolphins

Before I get to the primary point of this post let me update you on a couple of things: The Dolphins are reporting no injuries for this game. Everyone is good to go. The Patriots are banged up. LB Adalius Thomas and Eric Alexander are out. RB LaMont Jordan is doubtful. LB Tedy Bruschi, C Dan Koppen, CB Mike Richardson, DT Richard Seymour, and S Ray Ventrone are questionable.

Now on to my prose:

It was the best of times it was the worst of times ...

Oh, never mind.

As everyone knows the Dolphins are riding a four-game win streak as they enter Sunday's game against the Patriots. Ask coach Tony Sparano how it is his team has won those four consecutive games and he points to, oddly enough, time of possession.

He has this theorem that the team that holds the ball the longest, typically wins the game. I have a corollary from this thinking that the team that dominates the fourth quarter, holding the ball most in that game-deciding period, has the greatest chance to win.

And the Dolphins have proven my corollary (I love this word) the past four games.

If we can agree a quarter is 15 minutes I would tell you the Dolphins have dominated the final quarter each of the last four games with at least 10 minutes of possession time in each.

Against the Bills, the Dolphins held the ball 10:40 in the fourth.

Against Denver, the Dolphins held the ball 11:48 in the fourth.

Against Seattle, the Dolphins held the ball 10:31 in the fourth.

Against Oakland, the Dolphins held the ball 10:16 in the fourth.

The Dolphins had long game-clinching or game-winning drives in each of those games that either bled into the fourth quarter or ran clock off the fourth quarter.

So it is no coincidence that Miami has won six times this year when it has held onto the football at least 30:00. But it is also no coincidence the Dolphins won the past four games by controlling the clock and ball when it matters most -- in the fourth quarter.

Hey, this is my second post of the day so if you missed my first one on the Wildcat package, click back there and check it out.