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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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Not only is the Buffalo game in Toronto indoors, it can't even be considered a home game for the Bills. Granted there will be more Bills fans the Fins, just because of the city's proximity, but it will be nothing like playing at Ralph Wilson.

But I do think we are getting ahead of ourselves thinking division title. One win at a time folks.

And for the record Cullen, the NFL is huge in Canada. It's actually more popular than the CFL.

I'm listening to you on 790 right now... Pennington doesn't make those around him better? Please listen to the tape of what you have said. You sound like an idiot. I can't believe they let you write for the Herald.

I'm listening to you also, mando. Good stuff! And I know you just said Pennington does make guys around him better. This guy T is a dope.

penny is an excellent QBack.just need a more talented supporting cast around him.But, a franchise QB he is not.

You guys are so dumb. Pennington is one the most accurate passers in NFL history & your complaining about his arm. Oh, I'm just wondering who threw that pass on the money 40 + yards in the air on the money to Ginn last week? Was it Feeley? Culpepper? Beck? Henne? When he drops back to pass almost every pass he throws is on the money with touch. How can you complain about the QB position this year? & in Miami of all places.

You guys need to really think about what you see with penny. When he drops back to throw, don't just have that feeling he sees the field, knows where his guys are going to be (& by the way, his guys are less talented than most in the NFL) & is most likely going to put the ball on the guy's numbers. How is anyone complaining. I think Chad is seeing the field & getting better.

Pick any other team in the NFL & we will give them Ginn, our best receiver & we take theirs. Then look at Pennington. Lets take a few, Indy - Reggie wayne, Arizona - Boldin, Dallas - TO, Patriots - Randy Moss, Buffalo - Lee Evans, come on... I could keep going but I would take every other teams best Wideout over ours & then look at what chads rating would be then. You can't say Chad hasn't played like a franchise QB this year. No way.

Somebody back me up on this ........

Out of all the stupid posters I have ever read on this blog, Louden, you take the cake. You're entitled to your own oppinion on Pennington. Fine. You don't like him. Whatever. But to say, "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." I would argue YOU are the one who knows nothing/ hasn't been paying attention. Look at our points per game compared to last year. Look at his stats. I hated the thought of bringing in this noodle armed Jets castoff. Man, watching him play has changed my mind. Yeah, he doesn't rocket a ball 70 yards. But how many bad throws does he make? He barely has any interceptions, and several he DOES have weren't his fault. He throws it away/ runs with it when he needs to. HE MAKES PLAYS. Are you still watching last years fins? You realize this is Pennington, not Harrington, right? You're a schmuck.

Henne doesn't play until Pennington gives us a reason to play him. At this rate, Henne never takes a snap in the NFL. (Exaggeration intended.)

Steve... I disagree on Ginn. Improving, and improving fast this year. Wouldn't trade him for anyone until we know for sure what we have. A young Steve Smith eventually?

Pennington is playing better than Cutler, Rivers, Brees (look at the records, not to mention head to head competition). The name of the game is what have you done lately. Based on reputation, Pennington is not a franchise QB, but he is this year! I actually feel good about the Fins with him under center to start a game winning drive.
Give me the 15 - 20 yard completions by Pennington, than the sexy 50 yard ints thrown by Rivers, Cutler, Brees and Manning. Remember Fins Fans Danny was horrible his last two years, throwing pick sixes left and right! Recall how many times Penny bit-h-slapped the Dolphins when we had a great defense! We're good!!!! Go Phins

Pennington is playing better than Brees? Really? Brees has 1,000 more yards, twice as many TDs and has a higher QB rating. Rivers has a better QB rating than Pennington, has 21 TDs to Pennington's 8 and has thrown for 500 more yards. Cutler has a better arm, has thrown for 700 more yards, has thrown 10 more TDs and is 10 years younger.

Dolfan in the middle of Raider Nation, I think you don't know anything about football.

Steve you are a moron. Get somebody to change your adult diaper because you just pooped yourself with your post.

berman has a man crush on the bills and reluctanly gives the fish any credit. How many times have we heard "nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo bills". Its pretty ridiculous!

ATHOS, ATHOS, ATHOS  Sorry man but you are putting WAY too much emphasis on Pennys inflated stats.  Go back and watch some of these games.  I have.  Penny is the " KING OF DUMP OFFS"  As a matter of fact he just might be the only QB in the NFL that can complete 3 straight passes and still not pick up a 1st down.  I'd be willing to bet that atleast half of his completions have gone for 5 yards or less.  Not all that impressive in my book.  Oh and the Ginn touchdown, well lets just say the pass wasn't exactly on a rope.  It was however thrown into double coverage and if you go back and watch you will see that Chad is lucky that it wasn't picked. You say I am a schmuck? Get a clue dude.

your right louden, we'd much rather have Culpepper, Feely, Beck, or Lemon throwing interceptions instead of Pennington choosing the smart "dump off" when needed. And why is when Brett Favre throws perfect 40 yard pass into double coverage it is amazing and beautiful when it is a TD however when Pennington does it he lucky and it was stupid throw?

Which team do you cheer for on Sundays? Not the Dolphins thats for sure

Penny has one of the best qb ratings so far this season. That being said, even if he does check down, have you watched the NFL? Its all about checking down these days, very few teams consistently throw down field, except maybe the jets but thats why Favre has thrown more ints than anyone in the game. Still funny though how Chad has more completions of 25 yds or more than Brett. Befor eyou criticize Chad get the facts straight otherwise go back to playing Dungeons and dragons with your imaginary friends idiot.

"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."

Louden, I bet if you actually knew something, we'd be more impressed. Pennington is No. 5 among QBs in yards per attempt, with 7.91. Even No. 32 on that list has more than 5 yards per attempt. So you're simply completely wrong.

Berman hasn't mattered in over a decade, just the poster above said. I actually haven't watched his pre-game or post game in at least long as well.

NO, Pennington isn't a franchise QB. A QB in his mid 30's, signed to a 2 year contract, isn't a franchise QB. Hopefully, Henne is our franchise QB in waiting.

Every year Berman would pick Tampa for the longest, now it's Buffalo. Why can't Pennington be the "franchise" QB? I don't care who's on the bench and how old Pennington is, he is the best thing we have had in a long time and it's good to see him winning here. I would love to get him a ring here in Miami.

I feel like I am in the Matrix. Why do we even have reporters and the media anymore? Is your sole purpose to conduct a study to see how easily you influence the opinion and therefore the reality of your readers?

In preseason, you clowns were busy with article after article proclaiming all that was wrong with the Dolphins. Now all you monkeys are busy with article after article setting up expectations of the playoffs. When those expectations aren't met, you will proceed with article after article inciting fans to call for the heads of the coaches.

Give it a rest. You "sports reporters" are as accurate as the weather guy and it is sickening watching your readers let you sway them in one direction and then the other. We need a country of thinkers not lemmings.

Pennington isn't a franchise QB. A franchise QB is someone you would pick to build your offense around. You would find players that complement his strengths. No team in the league would consider doing that with Pennington. There are throws he can't make. He's not a great athlete. He's a guy that works very well within his limitations. He's cerebral. He's accurate. He limits mistakes. He can manage an offense. But in the modern NFL, simply providing good QB play doesn't turn a guy into a franchise QB. If you want to say that Pennington has been a quality starter for the Dolphins, all reasonable people would agree with that. If you want to say he's a franchise QB, a lot of perfectly reasonable people are going to disagree. You have to have a very loose definition of "franchise QB" to place that label on Pennington.

your not an anarchist your a fascist communist by going onto a free blog ,where fans show support or not for our dolphins, based on OPINION. you sir should give it the proverbial rest and go out and get laid. LOL

ok new kid i'd semi agree with you based on that point of view but aren't we building and growing as a team around Pennington right now? how do you know he isn't the starter for the next 3-4 years? we are building no matter who is QB and right now its because of Pennington not HENNE Don't get me wrong Henne has mad skills but does he have experience with success in NFL? Is he a team captain let alone a leader yet? Give it some time and Pennington will make Henne even better than he is right now

as far as his arm is concerned there are no concerns any more nor shoiuld there be... he is still improving himself as a player.... have you ever seen this type of play from him week in and out in New York besides those couple of years where he was considered one of the BEST in the LEAGUE. to get that kind of mention at anytime is enough for me. I can see why it is not only important now about arm strength. Tavaris JAckson Michael Vick, even Brett Favre and cutler are almost liabilities because of there arm strength. INTS dopped passes, trying to force the ball... those qualities hurt just as much as a weaker arm and I think if you ask anyone catching Penningtons passes they won't complain

Go Dolphins!! we believe!

Louden you are a tool.

For the guy that posted that Pennington has won 0 playoffs games. That is wrong. Back in 2001 or 2002, he led the Jets to a 41-0 blowout of the Manning led Colts. So, the guy has playoff experience and has done nothing his whole career but get the job done. Plus, he has always been a Dolphin killer, so it is nice not to have to face him twice a year.

While I'd love to see the Fins go on a run and make a mad push for the playoffs, I'm forcing myself not to get my hopes up too high. This team still clearly has some growing to do, and we should be thrilled with what we've seen so far. That said, I'm very happy with the 5-4 record, and there's really only one thing I need to see by the end of the season, regardless of the final record: a hellacious smackdown of the Jets. Go up to the Meadowlands, knock the living crap out of Favre, and beat the Jets by 30 to finish the season. That's really all I need - I want to see Jets fans cry.

Louden is a New York Bandwagon Brett fan. I bet your the type of person who thinks they should lose to get a better draft pick. Or that Ginn Jr. is a bust in his second season... dude get a clue. haha wish i could slam you more but i'm just too busy laughing at your posts... thanks for that dude... I got a clue..here it is, Louden your a tool

Curtis My Favorite Martian.. Berman might as well have been saying I hate the dolphins. we are the Rodney Dangerfields of the league we get no respect..but im glad i hope it stays that way to make this team stronger and put a little chip on their shoulders.

If Chad makes all the throws in a game that he needs in order to win the game, as a team the way the coaches plan it, and then has success in the post season against the "franchise QB", with all the same plays, Does it even matter about the throws he "can't" make but rather more about the ones he Will make to win? and then will you say he is a franchise QB if they do get to the post season??

I wonder whether you'll answer that...

  Again,  People putting WAY too much stock into stats.  Well thats ok in the end the laugh will be on those of you that are in DENIAL.   Thats right, 27 years of being a loyal diehard Phins fan entitles me to my opinion.  GO PHINS

It's not about stats even. your stuck on those yourself. Louden are you blind? or just retarded??

Just for the record Louden Pennington has won playoff games and in case you forgot he beat Manning and Indianapolis not long ago 41-0 in the playoffs and also beat San Diego and Bree's 20-17 on the road in the playoffs. So you might want to get your facts straight.

Who would you rather have throwing the ball in a two minute drill?

Favre or Pennington? Lets leave out what has been accomplished in the past because we are in the NOW. Based on this season who would you rather have?

So Armando thinks Penny isn't a franchise qb. FINE..I wasn't a believer either because I was spoiled by the greatness of Marino. But Penny is doing a fantastic job for us and based on this season alone, I would grant Penny another 4 to see what he can accomplish with a well meshed group.

We've all been spoiled here in Miami by Marino. But then again, he never did win that game. As much as it hurts to say it, all the greatness in Dan still never earned him a ring. So I think this season us Dolfans can accept Penny in the so caled "game manager" role. Although we know he is doing a lot more than that.

Lets remember some previous game managers who just happen to have a super bowl ring, or even a super bowl appearance..
Trent Dilfer, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Kerry Collins, Brad Johnson,Rex Grossman...etc


Im so proud of the fins this year I only wish Zach Thomas would be here to enjoy it... JT as well although he fell out of favor with his antics..but regardless his effors here were marvelous.

by the way..I know EVERYONE knows this already but it deserves to be repeated daily..The J-E-T-S , suck suck suck.

BY THE WAY!!..I don't know what Ara-wackoff or these other Jets fans are on. The Jets haven't had a Super Bowl appearance since their ONLY win..in 1969. The dolphins have had plenty, last one in 85'..the Bills well we know they were great in the 90's and the Patriots Dynasty of the 2000's...so lets see.

Fins appeared twice in the 80's
Bills appeared i believe 3 times in the 90's and the Patriots have appeared 4 times in the past 8 years..

the Jets...well...sure theyve won games in the regular season..umm let me see..oh I see SOME playoff appearances..but..I can't seem to find any Super Bowl Appearances..since 69'?

REALLY? And here I am wasting my time on this green garbage?

pfft..

Go fins!

I am still trying to imagine the Dolphins at 6 and 4, 9-7 and 10-6 are way off somewhere. But if you are going to dream, go to 12-4. Small minded people do small things.

12-4 sounds so nice a 10-6 and no playoffs again would be devastating... Plus i look for the phins to do damage in the Playoffs if they make it..; Make some noise Phins!

1. we have one of the best turnover ratios in the league.
2. we are in the top 10 in the league in total yards, so we're controlling the clock with long methodical drives downfield and wearing out defenses.
3. our defense is very solid
4. we have put ourselves in position to be in control of our destiny with our remaining schedule.

the only thing that concerns me is, we are averaging about 21 points a game and are giving up 20 (21-20) we are keeping these games too close. but us winning and not turning over the football is translating into close wins. i think our destiny is totally in our own hands this season, we just have to go take it!

it's all gonna come down to the final sunday of the reg. season against the jets, is almost inevitable, it's going to be epic!

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