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What pundits are saying about the AFC East

The Dolphins are 5-4 and in third place in the AFC East -- the Bills also have a 5-4 record but Miami beat them a few weeks ago so Miami is ahead by way of the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Anyway, the Dolphins are becoming something of the sexy pick in the division as they try to win their fourth consecutive game Sunday in a matchup against Oakland. Seems even some of the pundits at ESPN are on the bandwagon.

The crowded house set at the worldwide sports leader asked the question which AFC team is best.

Tom Jackson:  “As crazy as this sounds, it is going to be the Miami Dolphins. Fewest turnovers in the league, that’s a good starting point for a ball club. Franchise quarterback, premier rusher in the league, we talked about Joey Porter. Now you start looking at schedule, it is very important – we’re going to play four teams that are 2-6 and one team that is 1-7 … If you were drawing up a schedule that was going to get you to the playoffs, this would be it. And let's remind ourselves that Bill Parcells, he is not coaching the team, coach (Tony) Sparano is the coach, but in December, he (Parcells) really knows how to win football games.” 

Quickie analysis of the analysis: I don't think anyone in South Florida is claiming that Chad Pennington is a franchise quarterback. He's a good QB for this team. He doesn't make many mistakes. He's an upgrade over anything they've had in a decade. But franchise QB? I don't think so.

Anyway, Jackson was not alone in picking the Dolphins as the best team. Keyshawn Johnson agreed and while his explanation is rudimentary, there is nothing incorrect about it.

Johnson:  “When you look at the Miami Dolphins, they are ahead of schedule … They’ve already beaten two of the three teams in the division … So when you look at the schedule, and you look at everything that has happening (sic) with this football team, there’s an opportunity there for them.”

For the record, Cris Carter and Mike Ditka picked the Patriots as the best team in the AFC East while Chris Berman went with his Buffalo Bills ... and the Patriots ... and the Jets. In other words Berman picked everyone except the Dolphins.

Berman:  “I asked the question who is the best team in the division? My head is telling me New England – expect to win, they know how to win, their coaching is great and they’ve got a lot of guys who won’t accept losing at all. My heart is telling me Buffalo – Yes, I enjoy a team being built, and seeing them, kind of, grow. Though, that’s settling a little bit. But my eyes, from last week, the Jets are an interesting team.”

Amazing how Berman could pick practically every team in the division and still might end up being wrong.

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first.

You had to know Berman would pick the Bills

Mando,

Are you really surprised by what berman says? I mean this dude every year picks the bills for everything.

The fins have a great chance to win the division, but lets not kid ourselfs, this team is a team thats in a re-building process; however I see them 9-7, if they can some how get that 10th victory, they will make the playoff because I think in the AFC two teams from the east will make the playoff.

Berman is a tool. Always has been.

Remember when Berman was wrong about 4 Superbowls in a row. Picking the Bills.

Berman is the biggest fraud on TV these days. In front of the camera he sounds like a great guy. But behind the scenes he is curseing everybody out and treating everybody lie s---.

The schedule is in Miami's favor for the stretch run. They need NE to beat the Jets this week and to take care of NE next. Even at home, NE is going to be a tough game to win since the Wildcat is not going to surprise them this time. A win though would set up Miami nicely as Miami would have the tie breaker over NE and leave the final game to even the score with the Jets.

5-2 may be enough to get into the playoffs but you would need the Jets and NE to finish 4-3 to have a shot at the division. You would also have to worry about Baltimore and Indy for the wild card spots.

Armando, I see four winnable games based on the records - Oakland, St. Louis, San Francisco and Kansas City. We have New England at home next week, while the other division games against Buffalo and New York are away. The games at St. Louis and at Kansas City could be more difficult than the records dictate simply because of the cold weather we are bound to run into. Then we have to play those cold division games away in December as well. It puts a lot of importance in taking care of business against Oakland and NE. If we win against both of those teams and particularly NE we will be 7 – 4 and rolling. But then I see trouble in River City… St. Louis will be ready for that game and we will all set up for a trap game. Then on to cold nasty Buffalo where they will be looking at playoff aspirations of their own where we don’t get out with the victory. That leaves us 7 – 6. We take out SF and don’t get trapped again by KC… 9 – 6 heading into the showdown at the Meadow Lands. Winner take all baby!

Keep talking and predicting. If the experts were always right they wouldn't have to suit up and play on Sunday...done deal. The games would be decided on a keyboard.

Ok, Ok. Now that I got that off my chest, it's going to be a great rush to the finish line with the 150 to one odds horse in the thick of things. No matter what happens, I am very proud of what the players and management has accomplished. Going to the playoffs would be an added bonus.

The high expectations for the Fin's playoff participation won't start to take hold until the next couple years. Then you will have more to write about.

Miami has to take their schedule one game at a time, anything can happen in this league, we all know that. That being said, i believe Pennington and our RBs give us a great chance to win in second half of the season.

I see what your saying about franchise QB in Pennington, but he is doing very well for us. I would not be surprised if he started for us next year and groom Henne some more. I have confidence in this team in getting it done. I believe we need to get the ball to Ronnie a little more. If our Defense can play with a little more intensity we should have this in the bag. I feel like we are a better team than everyone else in our division, man i hate the JETS! overhyped

Armando,

How can you respect Tom Jackson, but when he claims Miami has a franchise QB, you try and make him clueless. I believe that Tom Jackson know a hell a lot more about football than you do. Actually, when you look at the total body of work that Pennington has displayed, it is very evident that Pennington is a franchise QB. Also, look at the QB's Bill Parcell's trusted, guys like Bledsoe and Testaverte, do you see some similarities with them and Pennington? I would say there are very close similarities. Henne, no doubt is the future, but Pennington is our immediate future over the course of the next few years. He continues to play at the high level he has, I would just like to see more connections with the wide outs. That will come, with an off-season to work together and get chemistry and cohesion together. This year they are just learning together on the fly.

Chris Berman is not to be taken seriously when it comes to football and in particular his thoughts on the AFC East. Berman *hates* the Dolphins because he grew up as a New York Jet fan, with his father taking him to Jets games in Shea Stadium. The Dolphins pounding of the Jets during the early 1970's when Berman was growing up and the Dolphins were a dynasty gave him a hatred of the Dolphins because they killed the Jets during those years. Everyone knows about his love of the Bills that has been discussed, and as Steve Young told him this year he is emotionally involved with the Patriots, and has become a shill for the Pats. Berman is always the MC for the Patriots Opening kickoff dinner and gala, that the Patriots hold at the end of the pre-season and before the start of the regular season which he is paid by the Pats to do. He socializes with the Pats top brass, the Boston media, and all the Patriots players, so he is tied into the Patriots financially and emotionally. Also, when he is off, he is always drinking and partying at this bar/resturant in Boston, owned by former and current ESPN staffers, so he is basically a Boston sports fan who falls all over the Red Sox and the Patriots because of his close ties to that city. Berman has become a shill for the Pats and should be taken off the football coverage, because I don't think a football host should be openly rooting for the Pats, Bills, and Jets on the air because of his personal connections. James Brown doesn't do it, Costas doesn't do it, although Costas is too detached, and Curt Menafee on Fox doesn't do it. Berman's a fraud and a Dolphin hater, and as long as the Dolphins are alive this season he will keep picking against the Dolphins because of his personal agenda. Because Bob Kraft is head of the Broadcasting Committee of the NFL he has too many NFL Broadcasters on his payroll shilling for his team, or kissing up to the Pats because Kraft is in effect their boss because of the great power he has. Don't get too upset over Chris Berman, the man has become a sad joke, and no one takes his opinion seriously. He's a Dolphin hater, and always has been.

Patrick,

We do not play at Buffalo this year, that game is being played in Toronto. Toronto fans aren't very excited with the NFL playing there. They are a big CFL city.

Berman is a douche. Always rags on the Dolphins. Another that hates the teams success and brand. It all comes down to the Pats in 2 weeks, Jills are going down and the yets always take a nose dive, perennial losers.

"Amazing how Berman could pick practically every team in the division and still might end up being wrong."

Armando, awesome analysis. Only hope it comes true.

i expect berman to be...well...berman...

the dolphins do have a franchise qb if we are ahead of schedule for a rebuilding job salguero....sure he may throw a bad pass here or there but jake delhomme just threw 4 int against the lowly raiders....happens to everybody even brady in his career....i just think it is nice to get recognition for good play after last year's suffering

GO DOLPHINS....PLS BEAT RAIDERS BY 20 TO SHUT UP MY FRIENDS ON THE WEST COAST....

This is going to come down to the last game of the season!

Mando, Mando, man oh man this is scary business. The beginning of the season I
m hoping for 6 wins, then things start to happen and now we start looking at the playoffs and possibly a division title. I'm still sticking with going with going 3-3 in the division and then finding a way to win 3 games after that. Anything more than that is gravy. They only have 2 cold weather games left on the schedule, Kansas City, possibly, and the Jets. other than those two games every other game is either at home or in a dome, dome sweet dome. Just stay healthy, gain the experience of beating the teams in the divison and accept everything else as gaining knowledge towards the ultimate goal, a super bowl win in 3 years.

If cold weather is a factor for the Bill's game in Toronto, it'll be on the walk between the hotel and the bus.

The Rogers Centre is a dome.

Lot of things falling right this year.

Patrick,

Not only is the Buffalo game in Toronto but it is in a dome, as is the game against the rams. The only "Cold" weather game we have is against K.C.

Guys dont forget that we have Dan Carpenter in our team, he kicked in cold weather at montana so he is used to this, i think this is one of the reasons he beat feely for the starting job

We need to play better against the teams we are supposed to beat if we want to be considered a playoff contender. Just like everyone else on this board, I am expecting us to beat Oakland, San Fran, St.Louis, and KC. But if we play like we played against Seattle, we will lose some of these games. Look at what happened last night, you all saw how close San Fran came to beating a good Cardinals team in their own building.

I understand a win is a win, and that is what we got on Sunday. But we really need to play better and beat the teams we are supposed to beat if we want to make the playoffs. If we can do that, December 28 @ Giants Stadium could be for the division. Not to mention Chad's first trip back since being cut. You think he is going to play with a chip on his shoulder?

It might be cold dec 28th against the Jets in the Meadowlands.

armando

how can u say that chad is not a franchise qb? look at his stats. he's right up there with all the best ever. best completion percentage and all that. he IS the difference this year.

the only reason he's not thought of better is bc the jets are always bad (except when the play the dolphins!).

chad is totally underrated. dolphins scored huge with him.

Ever since I yelled "Dolphins RULE!" while jumping out of the bedroom window, when Berman caught me with his wife, he has hated on the Dolphins.

Guys, thanks for the reminder on the Buffalo game being in Toranto. In the dome is even better, hopefully it will make a difference.

As long as Pennington keeps winning, he will not be replaced... Therefore he is a franchise QB!
Armando by you saying Pennington is not a frachise QB you are saying that eventually in the near future the dolphins are going to start losing because of his play...
Sorry i believe if Pennington keeps playing the way he is playing, he is the franchise QB... The only way i would agree with you is if Pennington was not bringing anything to the table and even possibly losing us games, but we were still winning, because of defense or running game (ala Rex Grossman year of 2006 Superbowl) would i say Chad Pennington is not our franchise QB.
I usually agree with you Armando, but not this time...

Berman hasn't been relevant since 1995, if not longer. His gimmick is old, his catchphrases are tired, and he is nowhere near close to being an unbiased journalist. Everybody knows that this guy HATES the Miami Dolphins and will praise the Patriots and Bills for hours on end if you let him.

This one is for Patrick,

"The games at St. Louis and at Kansas City could be more difficult than the records dictate simply because of the cold weather we are bound to run into."

FYI - It will be cold in St Louis on Nov 30th but no one that's sitting inside that dome will care about the weather outside :-)

Go dolphins!! and screw the Jets too

My definition of a franchise QB? A guy that can make ALL the throws, a guy that can put the franchise on his shoulders if necessary and win games. A franchise QB is one that you are satisfied with and not looking to upgrade from.

In that regard Pennington is not a franchise QB.

How many of you wouldn't trade him for Drew Brees or Tom Brady (when healthy) or Peyton Manning or Tony Romo or even Phillip Rivers?

I would even tell you Matt Ryan looks more like a franchise QB (for the future) than Pennington. I'm not saying Pennington is a bad QB. I think I said pretty clearly he is a good player.

But a franchise QB? Nope.

When the Dolphins were 0-2, the people on this board predicted a 2007-like season of utter futility.

When the Dolphins were 2-2, the people on this board thought the sky was the limit.

When the Dolphins were 2-4, the people on this board predicted another frustrating season.

When the Dolphins were 4-4, the people on this board predicted a playoff season based on "easy" triumphs over weak sisters like Seattle. Of course, the victory over Seattle was anything but easy.

I say what I am about to say to all you people with no pleasure, no malice, and no vindictiveness. Nevertheless, I must say it:

F_ck you, you f_cking dummies.

P.S. Go Dolphins.

No one expected Camarillo to spell Wes Welker, now that Camarillo has emerged does that make Devone Bess somewhat expendable? This seasons secondhalf Playoff-Push would benefit with a new wrinkle, just as the wildcat surpised new england, inserting a New, Fresh, strong and Hungry reciever into the Bess spot could prove to be just that! no insult to Bess, but Camarillo solidified this spot, replace Bess with Anthony Armstrong(clearly the best reciever during preseason) or Brandon London. Of the two, Armstrong seemed to have that Zack Thomas attitude, this guy will give you 110 percent on every play! Didn't anybody else watch the preseason tapes?

please respond. Go Dolphins!!!!!

" We do not play at Buffalo this year, that game is being played in Toronto. Toronto fans aren't very excited with the NFL playing there. They are a big CFL city."

Cullen Still: As someone who lives near TO I can tell you that Toronto is actually the worst CFL city in Canada. I don't know a single Argos fan yet (almost) all the football fans I do know are Bills fans, who actively hate the CFL. The city is 5.5 million people and they can't even crack 30,000 attendance for an Argos game, but will crack 30k for a preseason NFL game.

What pundits are saying about Armando Salguero:

George Will: "This is a center-right nation. Armando is a seldom-right prognosticator."

William F. Buckley: "I would rather be governed by the first 100 people in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard. Similarly, I would put more stock in a monkey flipping a coin than on the prognistications of the puerile, pedantic, putrid Armando."

Charles Krauthammer: "There is a tendency among liberals to blame President Bush for every misfortune from hurricanes to toilet back-ups. It is called 'Bush Derangement Syndrome.' There is a tendency among Dolphins fans to completely disregard Armando Salguero's prognostications since they are utter rubbish. It is called common sense."

Pennington is the most accurate QB in NFL history, yet he's not worthy of being a franchise QB? That makes no sense. Right now, he's arguably the team MVP. That, along with many other factors cited above, makes him a franchise QB.

Jimbo sez: no playoffs for the Dulphins. They blew it against Houston and Baltimore and they will probably lose to St. Louis or KC. Miami's inferior talent will lose out in the end.

It's about time the schedule finally works for us after being screwed over by the schedule makers for the past two decades - perennial bye-weeks by the end of September, "home" games in a gale in London, always playing the Steelers in a hurricane or in the swamp last year, always playing the Patriots in Foxboro at the end of December (remember the snowplow game?), and rarely playing division opponents at Miami during the heat of September - still happening with only the Jets coming to Miami before the end of October this year. Occasionally, the NFL screws up and gives the Phins a break.

first off i think miami can make playoffs but they gotta do it with a division win.
here are my thoughts on playoffs

4 division winners if miami misses the cut
Pitt
SD/Denver
Tenn
say NE

if it plays out like this then we gotta beat out Baltimore and the Colts for the wildcard.
baltimore beat us heads up so we would need another win then them and colts could get hot.
in other word start rooting against those two teams.

That Chris Berman be all hairy, obnoxious, sweaty, loud and many mo adjectives found in a bowl of Campbell's Alphabet soup using groupings of four letters. His combover aint gitin it done either. Shoot, Mama McNabb rather be sharin a curry smellin cab in 105 degree heat sittin on hot vinyl seats with Ernest Borgnine, Ed Asner and George Kennedy eatin a bowl of Campbell's® Chunky™ Hearty Bean 'N' Ham Soup (A full serving of fiber in each can) in rush hour in Manhattan than next to the tv set when that crazy Swami be hatin on my beautiful Dolphins. Just ask my boy Donovan - he crazy like a man whose do-rag be on fire due to some hair processing chemicals (you know- relaxer, toner and invigorating sheen)that spontaneously combusted and made his head like a science project gone all bad an stuff and he be yellin "Hep me - my head be on fire! Booyah!!"

budtki whay r u watching

too Much gas: Nice job!

Mando,
The Dolphs do have a franchise QB: Henne.

Pennington has proven his MANHOOD and deserves to continue to start.

come on Mando, the way you described franchise QB in your comment, described Pennington this year. He has put the offense on his back and won some games when he needed to, that throw to Ginn was right on the money last week, he makes the throws (accurate passer), i would take Pennington over Matt Ryan anyday. In fact i would take him over Phillip Rivers!

If we had poo poo McCown, we would not be in this position. Pennington came in late and picked up the offense very fast, very smart QB, not many of them in this league

No doubt Penny is NOT a Franchise QB Mando. Anyone that thinks otherwise, either doesn't know football or simply just isn't paying attention. Hey, aren't Flacco and Ryan Rookie starters? And how about this nobody Cassell guy. He hadn't started a game since High School? Tell me again why these guys can play now but not Henne? Henne was a 4 year starter in college and Cassell hadn't started since H.S. Win or lose I am finding it extremely hard to watch these games with Penny at QB. All these little dink and dunks are forcing me to drink. I say if Phins Jump all over Raiders on Sunday like they should, Henne should get some quality second half time.

off topic for a sec, what do you guys think about bringing in CB Miller just released from the JETS? Top returner, good Special teams play, and decent Corner to boot. Plus im sure he would be motivated to play hard vs his old team..... Thoughts?

OK People, Yes Penny is a smart football player. But get real people, he has a major noodle arm and all this dinking and dunking is not going to get the Phins far. HOW MANY PLAYOFF GAMES DID PENNY WIN IN NY? 0 WHY WOULD JETS LET A FRANCHISE QB GET AWAY? I WONDER IF SOME OF THE POSTERS HERE ARE ACTUALLY WATCHING THESE GAMES. I think they see the W and Pennys Extremely padded and overrated stats due to all his dinking and dunking and think OH BOY this guys' awesome! I bet if you go back and rewatch these games and look at just how many passes go for less than 5 yards you might be surprised. The truth is the guy just can't get the ball down the field with any velocity what so ever. Wake up People Chad Pennington is not all that. I have said it before and I will say it again, "Chad is hurting ALMOST as much as he is helping this offense".

I have to agree with Armando on the franchise tag for Pennington… He’s done a great job of game management, he’s done well in limiting turnovers (pick 6 not withstanding) and his accuracy is excellent, but it stops there. Now that’s a far cry from what we’ve seen since Jay Fiedler… Just one question, is Pennington closer to Fiedler or closer to Marino? I would have to say Fiedler and he certainly was no franchise QB.

A few years ago Pennington could have been considered in the franchise category but injuries have taken their toll on his arm. Pennington has to rely on anticipation to complete the difficult deeper throws. He cannot throw one of those laser passes required in close to the goal line. I’m not saying anything bad about Pennington. He fell into our laps and is just what this team needed after the debacle last season. But can I honestly see him taking the team on his back and willing it to win like Danny used to or any of the QBs Armando mentioned have done, no. Let me think… No.

We should keep him as long as he will stay and continue to mentor Chad Henne even after Henne beats him out. He would make a perfect backup, but the key would be to have Henne clearly beat him out. Then he will not feel like he was benched without being give a chance to compete. Pennington will make a fine coach one day.

No way Buffalo is going to win this division. We trounced the Pats earlier in the season so there is not reason we can't beat them again. The biggest challenge Miami will probably face are those NY Freakin Jets.

very interesting to see everyone jump on the wagon so quickly, kind of makes me less optimistic. Lets just get by Oakland first, then we will be tested on the big stage against NE. Speaking of NE, isnt it crazy that we will be rooting for them Thursday nite?

Patrick, remember; the Bufalo game is in Toronto(indoors), the st. louis game Also is indoors!

yea berman is a moron. probably the reason more of them didn't pick the dolphins is because they're afraid of the possibility that a 1-15 team from a year ago could actually win the division.

being from Toronto, i agree...yes we aren't the greatest CFL city. But we do support our CFL team. That being said, we are definetly NOT a Buffalo Bills city...we just love the NFL game. It just so happens Buffalo is our closest team.

Either way, it should be a mix of fans in Toronto, not all Bills fans. Go Fins, 2-0 against the Sh*tty Bills this season. and F*ck the Jets too

You're correct Ziggy, if da raiders were able to beat the Jets, they are equally able to beat our Fins! One game at a time, remember, WE ARE REBUILDING.

I think we should bring CB Miller, wasn't he a 1 or 2 rd pick 2 years ago, he is a top return specialist could be our #2 CB and prob. help on kickoff coverage.

Pundits my butt. Let it play out. We are letting people tell us what will happen when; since Lady Brady fell down the division is wide open.
As far as Pennington is concerned, I think he was a steal for a free agent. 5 mill a season. Wilford is costing us the same thing and is worth a bucket of hockey pucks.
Is he a franchise qb? Why not? He is a way better upgrade than the others we have pass through the door and plays better than other qb's that have the franchise label on other teams.

totally agree with that!! Bring Justin Miller in he is a definite upgrade and really really fast. I like him in dime and ST. Pease look into his availability...

also chad is a franchise quarterback and always has been... Mando your a hater

J Miller was a pro bowl returner in 2006 he should be our P returner and on defensive ST coverage

Pennington's career yes while shaky at times was very promising in the beginning because of his accuracy. plain and simple. he is the all-time leader in completion percentage for s*** sakes, he also playedon the lowly Jets his whole career in NFL and underachieved some years because of injuries and Media hype in New York. the years if you go back where he made pro bowl and led a team of total losers to the playoffs he had QB rating avg over 100 for the season. When did Pennington fall so far out of good grace? He isn't old yet and is a smarter QB than every other franchise QB w/ exp excepting a handful of greats we've seen in the past years Look up the stats they don't hold BIAS

is he a franchise QB if he is the team's MVP this year? Hater, you sure your a dolphin fan?

Penny is a good player. But not a franchise QB. Period.

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