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Dolphins can win AFC East, but will they?

The Herald crew was the last of the media contingent to leave the Edward Jones Olmos Dome Sunday night because, truth be told, we suck at math. And for about two hours collegue David J. Neal was crunching numbers and scenarios to come up with this singular but important nugget:

If the Dolphins win the rest of their games, they win the AFC East.

Said another way, the Dolphins have to go 11-5 to guarantee themselves the AFC East title.

Now, Miami can make the playoffs without winning out but then we get into the minefield known as needing help from other teams. And the Dolphins don't want to tread there unless they have to.

The Dolphins are definitely aware of their opportunity. As coach Tony Sparano said today, his players knew Sunday's results when they stepped off their charter Sunday evening and they all understood victories over Buffalo in Toronto, at home against San Francisco, at Kansas City, and at New York would give Miami the division crown.

"Not looking ahead is a ridiculous statement," Sparano said, when it comes to understanding the possibilities.

The question is do you think the Dolphins can win out?

The trip to Toronto this week saves Miami from playing an outdoor game in Buffalo as the Rogers Center is an indoor facility. The home game against San Francisco is winnable but the 49ers suprised the Bills Sunday. The game at KC is winnable but the Chiefs have shown impressive fight at times this year and they beat Oakland Sunday. And yes, the Jets lost to Denver on Sunday, but they have a victory over Miami already once this season.

So again the question to you becomes: Will the Dolphins win out to assure themselves the AFC East title?

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They have 3 very winable games and tuff JETS game in the meadowlands. They will have to play better than they did yesterday, and that may be hard w/out Smiley. The game plan was extremely conservative yesterday. Its the playoff push, lets bring out all the plays. Bess was very impressive yesterday. E wilford needs to make some plays down the stretch, ireally think this guy could be a difference maker if he gains some confidence.

No. 9-7 and a nice finish to a great season.

FIRST... AND WE CAN DO IT... TIME TO START MASS PRAYER DOLPHIN FANS..

In 2001, the football Gods delivered to the Patriots a miraculous Superbowl championship. I think they owe us at least a miraculous division championship!!!

Here's hopin!

Heck yes! The Fins will win out! They know what they have to do and they will rise to the occasion! Go Fins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally, I think it's a less interesting question than "Should we?"

Even if we win the division and get into the playoffs, there's no way we have the talent to win the Super Bowl this year. However, if we land in the middle of the pack, we end up with some good draft picks in the upcoming draft. Combine that with ditching the deadwood and picking up a key free agent or two, we could contend for the Super Bowl in a year or maybe two. I'd rather go for that than to move down in the draft by chasing a wet dream.

On the other hand, we win out, Sparano and Ireland get all the kudos and awards they will so richly deserve for turning around the team in one year.

THE STORY TO THIS GAME WAS.... "STEPPING UP!"

IN THE FACE OF LOSING PERHAPS THEIR MOST PRODUCTIVE RECEIVER (CAMARILLO), THE FULLBACK, POLITE ...STEPPED UP!

BESS, AND TO A DEGREE RICKY WILLIAMS, AS WELL AS OTHERS, ROSE TO THE OCCASION. BUT IT WAS THE THREE FIRST DOWN CONVERSIONS AND ENERGY POLITE SHOWED, THAT PROVIDED THE KEY TO WINNING THIS GAME. SO THIS WAS HIS TIME TO COME THRU AND HE DID.

LET'S SEE IF THE DOLPHINS HAVE SOMONE ELSE STEPPING UP NEXT WEEK OR MORE IMPORTANTLY HAVE THEY NOW FOUND ANOTHER OFFENSIVE WEAPON THEY CAN USE?

I'm afraid between the loss of Camarillo, and NOW Smiley(HUGE loss) it's looking kind of bleak.

Smiley has been rock solid all year and has been a great mentor for Long helping make a lot of the calls along the line.

We barely beat the Rams ... a team we should have beat handily with a gaudy rushing stat.

Just talking playoffs is a win for us after the dismal year last year. If we do this well in one year how good will we be in one, two more? woot!

Mando, if I could answer that, I'd be God! Do I think they can...sure! Do I think they will...probably not! Am I mad at that fact....HELL NO!!! I'm thrilled that it's December and we're talking about the Dolphins even having a CHANCE to make the playoffs. I'm reading some of your posts today on the game yesterday, and I don't think you realize how far this team has come since last year. We were freakin' 0-12 at this point last year. That's gotta sink in man. If we lost the rest of the games this season, I'd STILL think this was a productive, positive season. I remember the Dolphins when they were the winningest team in the NFL. But that was a LONG time ago. We haven't been that in awhile. We've stunk for far too long. But one thing is absolutely clear, we're moving up once again. And because it's been so tough these past few years being a Dolphins fan, I want to savor this feeling for at least one season. Let's face it, NO ONE expected Miami to win the AFC East this year. Hardly anyone even thought we wouldn't be last in the division. So this team has already achieved more that I (and many others expected). Yes, I'd like it to continue, I'd love us to win the division and make it to the playoffs (even though I don't know how long we'd last, we still have plenty of holes on our team that needs improving before we become elite again), but I'm a realist. Congrats to Parcells, Ireland, Sparano and the whole staff who righted our ship in ONE year. At least give them the respect and honor they deserve for that (no one else could do it this decade). Let's talk about playoffs and all that next year, when I'll EXPECT us to play in the post-season. This year, I'm just happy we're not the worst team in the NFL (I can wear my jersey without embarassment once again).

This has been such a fun season. The Dolphins cant take any games for granted though. They squeeked out wins against Oakland, Seattle, and St Louis. They have a chance to win every game, but they have to play every game like it is a playoff game to have a chance.

I really don't think Parcells, Sparano and the crew came into this year thinking - let's go 4-12, they want to win games and have proven they can win with tough games like the 1st game against New England and Denver on the road.

No such thing as easy games and while our schedule looks very favorable it's all gonna come down to Dec 28th against the Jets. We will want it more.

I still feel the Dolphins haven't shown us all they are capable of and that the coaching staff will tweak the team to put us in position to win.

Yes, I feel they will win out. It just may not be pretty but we will win.


I think they can do it. This week's game is going to be tough though.

I may be wrong but we hold the tie breaker iver the Pats only when it comes to wild card playoff spot. They hold the tie breaker when it comes to div winner. so if MIA and NE win out we still dont win the div. I still hope we do but 10-6 is more realistic.

I would be very surprised if this team made it to the playoffs. I'm thinking more of a "near miss" - which is much more than I expected at the beginning of the season. Chad Pennington has been a definite upgrade, and so has Parcells/Sporano, but we can't expect miracles. Overall talent-wise, I believe this team has over-achieved, but there are limits and we couldn't afford any injuries and now have two very important ones - I think that keeps us out.

If the Jets have clinched a playoff spot some way or another and I don't even know if this is possible but if they have and we need the game to get in then we can beat the Jets. It's not likely but it can happen. When one team needs a win more than another that is better than home field advantage.

ddave

no chance. I love em', but it won't happen. Our defense is not good enough.

The rams have two personalities. One is the tough team that can defeat any other team in the league; and the other which is weak and feeble. The tough team showed up against miami sunday; for some strange reason, every ailing team seems to get well just in time to play the dolphins every year. So, in view of these facts, miami has greatly improved. Every game that miami has lost this year was due to OVER PRACTICING! The winning formula is: monday,teusday and saturday rest. Practice on wednesday, thursday and friday; stretch and play the game on sunday. The dolphins are undefeated when this formula is upheld.

Whether they win the rest of their games or not what a great year. It's December and not only do we have a winning record but we have a real chance to win the AFC East. Last year was a nightmare that wouldn't end and this year has been a shot in the arm to all Dolphans so I'm going to be praying and hoping they win the east in that order. Even the playoffs would be great but to even matter makes it exciting.

Sure, why not the 'phins? This is a hungry team who can beat the best and the worst.

First couple win streaks this season was 2 wins each, then they had a 4 game win streak. Why not make this a 5 game win streak to clinch the division title and a long-shot chance at a bye week?

It's definitely doable. But the loss of Smiley and the injury to Long is worrisome. Can Alleman, Johnson, et al step up sufficiently?

How fitting it would be for Chad Pennington to have an opportunity to vault his new team into the playoffs over his old team!

After what we saw in training camp, who would have dared think it possible?

For the second week in a row Quarterbacks have been leasurely waiting for their wide-outs to get open. If we do not put pressure on the Quarterback with our front 4 or 3 we will not win out.

We may get by the Bills, if we continue outstanding SP Teams play, but San Fran, KC, and the Jets are going to be a hard sell as a package. I say this because these are turn-over happy QBs, if you pressure them they'll reward you with the ball, but if you don't they'll reach back and bomb you all day long, Thigpen included. I am optimistic that the Phins will find another win vs the Blind and Bruised Bills, but I'm going to have to see some pressure to feel confident about the next 3 games. Peters and company are going to make it very hard for Porter but the media misses him already and so do I. Find your spot light Joey! Go get 'em!

Let me just go on record saying "Not a chance in hell". I shouldn't even have to explain myself

With that said I've been happier more often than not this year and that's a good start! I will say that @ never had to dust off my Dolphins gear. It was proudly displayed even last year! I was even ridiculed by DJs...Never wavered...Wasn't particularly happy though so GOOD START

david bond- yours is perhaps the dumbest post/idea I've read this year. Keep your day job.

No way we win out first of all. Buffalo could easily beat us the way we have been playing lately. Defence can't stop anyone. No pressure on the quarterback, no coverage, = 9-7 this year. I'm a huge fan but i'm also realistic.

Giants Were In Same Boat Last Year,why Not The Olphins?

As much as I would love to see the Fins win out and clinch the division, it is simply not going to happen. Three road games in December present nearly impossible odds for a rebuilding team like the Dolphins. They are not playing well lately, barely beating three patsies and getting blown out by the Patriots. Add in the two major injuries to two key starters, and the team is hurting.

Why do we have to even entertain thoughts of Division Titles? Typical press, instead of rejoicing in each win and just enjoying a wonderful turn around season, you have to start thinking about loftier goals so that we have something to be disappointed about should we not win the Division. Yes, they are winable games and yes, I hope we do win them along with the Division, but why not just enjoy each and every win and see where that takes us? Even if we were Division winners, we wouldn't be strong enough to last more than one playoff game anyway. After last year specifically and the last several quite frankly, this year has been the first year in such a long time that I've actually been able to feel hopefull about my beloved Fins. The team of Parcells/Ireland/Sparano have done an outstanding job of turning this team around and giving us something to be proud of again and I'm excited about any win we get. I'm also excited about the direction of the team for future years. Let me just enjoy that for one season before you start talking Division Championship...please!

And If Theres Something The Menace Knows About Its Boats And Rafts

It can be done. But it is going to take a lot of hard work. When we play with the lead we play well, not giving up ints or fumbles.
As you said, the 49ers are going to be tougher than people give them credit. Their coach isn't anyone that is going to allow his team to be run over.
The Jets are going to be tough. they have beaten us already this year and are pumped when they play us.
KC is also tougher than they look and it could be pretty cold when we face them
Buffalo was embarassed yesterday. They are going to come out fighting in Toronto. Also there are probably more Bills fans in Toronto than there are in Buffalo.
It ain't gonna be easy but it can be done with a lot of hard work, discipline and a little luck.

But Then Again They Havd 2 Play The Jets.

the cuban menace is back at work, if he abandons his job and comes back here I'm going to fire him.

I am just riding the high that everybody else is in regards to this season. I would say "let's make a run at the playoffs!"

We are now seeing signs of the injury bug but we have been relatively healthy all year. Who knows what next season will bring injury wise? (Let's not even count on 2010 given the unsettled situation with the CBA being nullified by owners.)

We have a chance to make the playoffs NOW and NOW is when we need to do everything possible to take advantage.

The Colts remaining games are very easy, the Raven's games will be hard for them. I say with 3 wins we'll get a wild card spot. Favre proved the type of cold weather qb he is last year in the post season and he's older now.
We'll make it.

Who would have thought that Ricky would be back playing in Toronto, IN A DOLPHINS UNIFORM a couple of years ago? Ricky must be pumped. Give him the ball!

See this is the problem alot of you say we have 3 easy games well look at the last 3 we have won,Rams,Raiders,Seahawks we just won those by the skin of our teeth yes a win is a win and Ill take anyone but we need to realize anything can happen.Anyway in my personal opinion I think we can do it and that this team needs to have the motivation knowing what lies ahead to guide us there.Now by the looks of it we should only have 3 losses we could have won the Jets game but really bad play calling shot us in the foot come on 4th and 1 a field goal to tie we go for it wtf, and we should have had the Texans game won as well but our secondary gave up some big plays.Our defense needs to come alive these last 4 games big time and we should get Fasano more involved in the passing game as well.Im not gonna knock San Fran or KC just yet but I do think that Buffalo and the Jets will be tuff games.

Salguero Sucks!

No...Miami will go 2-2 the remainder of the season. This team plays so close to the level of their competition, it's almost painful to watch...I'm almost afraid to see the San Francisco and Kansas City games. The fact that the Fins have been winning the close ones against horrible teams is great for the psyche of a young team, but continuing to play like that is going to catch up with them sometime. Great teams hand the a$$es of crappy teams right back to them...here's hoping the Fins are like that in a couple of years!

I wouldn't say not a chance in hell Marc. They have proved everyone wrong a lot of times this season when people said not a chance in hell. The most obvious being "the Dolphins will be fighting for the afc east title in 08'". Not a chance in hell was what any sane person thought at the beginning of the season but here we are.

Also lets see how Al Johnson does as Smileys replacement. Can the o-line block well enough to get the running game going? Lets see if Ginn and Bess can keep improving. And the big key has already been mentioned, can Pasqualoni find a scheme that will get more pressure on the QBs? That's huge! If our D-line and linebackers can find a way to pressure the qb this will get very interesting. But in my mind those are the four keys to a succesful run at the east. Now this game against Buffalo doesn't feel good to me. Buffalo was just embarrassed at home and will be firing on all cylinders, the question is will the Phins match that intensity? I hate going into a game when your opponent lost the week before AND has nothing to lose. They also will want revenge, like the Pats did, for the early season loss against our phins. The players shouldn't need the coaches to get them fired up at this point, they know how important these games are and they need to show it. They can make history this season if they win the east and that would be the best thing that has happened in Miami for years! Lets go Dolphins!!!!!

I think winning all 4 games is a little over the edge. This has been a Great Turn Around. I would have never believed we woudl be think of going 1-15 to win the division...However, I said it from he begining of the hiring of Purcells, HE WANTS TO WIN NOW. And we have. Lets fill the stadium on our last home game...This team and the Trifecta gained our respect and we needd dtoo show them by showing up.

Cuban you mean the 8-4 Jets? The team that just barely beat them in the first game of the season? Stop acting as if the Jets are some power house team ya knuckle head.

Ok The Menace Is On The Air Fielding All Calls.

Womnder what Jayson Taylor thinks...again, does anyone care? As for Zack, can't say much but positive things.

Wonder what Jayson Taylor thinks...again, does anyone care? As for Zack, can't say much but positive things.

Ok The Menace Is On The Air Taking All Calls

I like boys!

Care to wager Scott? I can't even remember the last time we beat the Jets...

I can dream just like anyone else. But Smiley going down Sunday was like the alarm clock sounding. Time to wake up. Wait till next year.

Edward Jones Olmos Dome. LOL Mando.

If the Dolphins can beat Buffalo this week, then they have a legitimate chance. Buffalo won't be easy though.

The Dolphins haven't played well in all phases in over a month. Luckily, three of those games were against some pretty bad teams. It's pretty scary that Oakland, Seattle, and St. Louis all had chances to win the game on the final drive. Those are some bad teams that should have been put away long before the last drive.

How big does that loss against Houston seem now?

i hate to say it, but i think a good draft pick in the opening round next year would help us alot more than one and done in the playoffs, even though i would love to see it.

Smart Bet Marc.ur On The Air With The Menace

Yes Scott Those Jets,they Control There Desteny,ur On The Air With The Menace,whats Ur Question?

The Menace Just Wants To Say That A Playoff Bound Dolp. Team Not What U Want.there 1st Game Woukd Be Indy(with Wildcard) Or Pitt With Div. Title.

I Think All U Know What That Result Will Be. Ok Ur On The Air With The Menace Next Question

To heck with realistic expectations! Do you think the players are going out there expecting to just compete? Hell NO, they expect to win everytime they step out on the field so I expect them to win every time they take the field. My expectations have been met, and exceeded, so I fully expect them to win out and get to the playoffs. As far as you people who are complaining about losing draft picks, what about the cash in merchandising from fans who are not ashamed to be a fan,and the added income from the play off game! We could use that money to get Joey Porters mouth wired shut! Throw caution to the wind and expect them to win out. Either way we wont be disappointed.

Ok Folks The Menace Is Now Taking Calls,no Subject To Taboo.

Remember Guys U Beat The 3 Worst Teams By Only 8 Pts So U Could Be 4 And 8 Right Now.the Menace Is Taking Ur Calls

I am so sick and tired of the great multitude of posters that say "we should have beat that team so bad, but we just barely squeaked by". Their logic is that this means the Dolphins suck because we didn't beat the Rams by three touchdowns. This is the freaking NFL dumb masses! No one truly "sucks" in this league. Every team is made up of Professional Football players people. Even lowly Detroit put up 21 on Tampa last week before the Bucs came back to beat them. Oakland beat the Jets. It's a cliche, but any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday. Stupid people piss me off.

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