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December to remember for Chad Pennington?

In case you are in the minority and do not subscribe to The Miami Herald, you may have missed the blowout sports front page story on Chad Pennington and his battle against the elements in December's wintry weather venues. So please click here and catch up.

The point of the article is that Pennington was found lacking by the New York Jets after three consecutive years in which he either struggled in December or simply didn't make it to December because of injuries.

In December 2007 Pennington completed 51 of 72 passes (72.9 completion percentage) for 448 yards (224 yards per game). He threw one TD and two INTs. His QB rating was 82.3.

In December 2006 Pennington completed 112 of 168 passes (66.7 completion percentage) for 1,178 yards (236 yards per game). He threw six TDs and five INTs. His QB rating was 86.4.

Pennington played no December games in 2005 because he was injured.

Based on his ability or inability to finish the season and do so with a flurry, the Jets decided to go a different direction this year. And Pennington, now with your Miami Dolphins, has responded with a very good December so far.

In December of 2008 Pennington has completed 35 of 48 passes (72.9 percentage) for 337 yards (168.5 yards per game). He has thrown three TDs and zero INTs. His QB rating is 112.9.

Great stuff in 2008 if Pennington can keep it up. But can he keep it up?

The fact is Pennington's two December games this year have come under hospitable conditions. Miami played its first December game indoors in Toronto and played last week at Dolphin Stadium under partly sunny cloudy skies.

The next two games? The final two games? The games that will decide Miami's playoff fate?

At Kansas City and at Giants Stadium. Brrrrrr.

But forget the cold, it is the rain, snow, and particularly the wind, that plays havoc with passes in these venues during the winter. If you clicked on my story, you read the Sunday forcast for KC includes 22 MPH winds. That was yesterday's forcast.

It's worse today. Click on this weather report for the sobering update.

So the questions that face Chad Pennington now is can he play up to the standards the next two weeks that he set the past two weeks to put a signature finish on a fine season? Or does he revert to what the Jets saw the past couple of seasons, which is a quarterback who threw as many interceptions as touchdowns in December?

Which do you think it will be?

[Side item 1: Channing Crowder, who missed practice Wednesday with knee stiffness, is back at practice today. He was limited.]

[Side item 2: Hey I got through this entire blog without mentioning arm-strength. Cool.]

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OH MY GOD, I'M THE FIRST!

I FEEL LIKE I'VE JUST WON THE ACADEMY AWARD!!!

I want to thank all the people who made this happen. But you're so insignificant, I won't bother.

I have a pit in my stomach because I know Chad hasn't been tested in places like KC this year yet. I've seen what he did for the ets the past couple of years and it wasn't pretty. I hope he's changed or something changed so the results will change.

As a longtime Dolphins fan, I used to resent Chad Pennington. His success against the Dolphins always bothered and bewildered me. I was dumbfounded that someone with such a relatively weak arm could consistently pull out victories against Miami. Now watching him as a Dolphin, I can see that there's no mystery to his success. He's a tremendously accurate passer, who rarely makes reckless throws, and almost always makes intelligent decisions. He's a great leader, a mensch, and a damn fine son-in-law. I would nominate him for Congress (if he's a Republican in the Reagan mold). He can't be Pope because Pennington sounds like a Protestant name. But I have no doubt that he would be as courageous and wise as Pope John Paul II.

Yes, Chad Pennington. My hero. Until Chad Henne takes over and Pennington can go wash cars or whatever.

Chad is the man. He eats babies in the winter!

Baby back ribs that is

Try to remember the kind of September
when life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
when grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
when you were a tender and callow fellow,
Try to remember and if you remember the follow.

Try to remember when life was so tender
that no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender that
dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender that
love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember and if you remember then follow.

Deep in December it's nice to remember
altho you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
without the hurt the heart is hollow.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
the fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow.

I don't think we have to wory about Pennington, nor Ricky (I seem to remember his best game was in a blizard in Buffalo). Will be interested to see how a talented rookie (Bess) from Hawaii does.

Come on in for our December to Remember Sales Event! You'll be glad you did. Take it from me - Crazy Eddy! How do I do it? Volume! Volume! Volume!

I see change, and I see determination. The Dolphins will do whatever is necessary for us to win Sunday. I'm confident. The weather and month won't affect him. He is playing lights out right now and has been consistent which is the key. The move to Miami must've changed something. Chad has proven his case.

Dude, what are you smokin????

Chad is the freakin man! Holy crap 'Mando. This is epic.

No doubt, i believe Chad will play great. the coaches will setup a nice game plan for him to succeed. I have been arguing this with everyone, he plays in a better system in Miami. Miami will rely on the running game a lot in this type of game, so i expect to see the same type of passing plays as we have been doing in the past games. KC is going down, Jets are next, go phins

Mando, weren't you going to delete pointless comments (like almost all the ones before this one)? ANYHOW, with that forecast I think the gameplan these next two weeks needs to contain heavy doses of Ricky, Ronnie, Cobbs, Polite, see where I'm gettin' at? Run, run, run. Maybe a few short passes to Ginn to see if he can get some YAC. But that bomb to David Martin (like last week) is going to have to wait until the playoffs or next year, because I doubt we'll be seeing too much of that. And that's fine with me, because that hasn't been our game this year. We've been winning with what Pennington has been doing thus far, and that gameplan can work fine I think in inclement weather. My opinion is you guys (sports writers) are making more of the weather than it actually will affect the players and the game. GO DOLPHINS!

We Will See, By the way tony your delicous with ranch dressing.

I think you are in the minority if you subscribe to any newspaper Mando. That's why the industry is going out of business as we know it.

Marcus, my friend, the newspaper reference is what we in the biz call sarcasm. Also: My name is Armando Salguero and I cover the NFL. I'm a member of more minorities than you can imagine.

bastards

Cold is not an excuse. I take Gatorade showers in sub zero temps.

Only the "minority" does subscribe. What are you going to do when the rag sells? BTW- jets suck

Mando, i hate to disturb your lunch hour , but whats the inside scoop that fin jet game might be switched to primetime?

Run Ricky Run

I'm not too worried about Pennington. When Chad has issues and throws INTs is when he has had to try to bring a team (the Jets) from behind in cold weather games. It is not his forte and it is not an easy task for any QB. Come on, the Chiefs will be starting Tyler Thigpen, I don’t want to pull a Joey Porter but… Who???

In these games the defense needs to dominate. The last three games have been won by the defense. As our coaches have shown all season, they will continue to rely on the strength of the team; defense, ball control and mistake free football. If the Dolphins continue to play good defense and do not turn the ball over than there will be no reason for Pennington to be pressed into winning the game with his arm.

But I will say this game is ripe for us to come out flat. Everyone is looking forward to playing the Jets for the division championship whether they admit it or not. Sparano has a big job this week of keeping the team focused on the game at hand because if they look ahead it’s all over.

Bill Parcells: Great comment!

Cuban Menace: It's good for me to push away from the arroz con pollo. NBC has until Monday to change the game. There are only a couple of choices but games this weekend will affect the decision. Also, if you are a Dolphins fan, you should root for the game NOT to be Sunday night, but rather during the day when it would likely be less windy.

Patrick: You are right not to worry about Pennington as long as the defense doesn't allow any TDs. But if another team scores 17 points, Miami might have issues, as it has not scored more than 16 in four weeks.

Chad cannot only lead the Dolphins to the playoffs and the promise land, he can coach them there too if he were the head coach and he can write a better Dolphins blog than you can, Mando.

I am sick to my stomach that he was not chosen as the Time Magazine Person of the Year. I bet Hillary Clinton and the crooked New Yorkers with political pull had something to do with that.

Agreed Armando, if we get behind we are in big trouble. Though we do seem to get ultra conservative when we are playing with a lead. I would love to see the Dolphins put a hurting on someone like they did to NE earlier in the season, but this formula seems to be working so I don't think thjey are going to mess with it.

Now, I want you to remember that no $@$^ ever won a football game by dying for his team. He won it by making the other poor dumb %$#%$# die for his team.

Men all this stuff you've heard about Miami Dolphins not wanting to fight wanting to stay out of the football game is a lot of horse dung.
Dolphins traditionally love to fight All real Dolphins love the sting of battle.

When you were kids you all admired the champion marble shooter
the fastest runner, big-league ball players, the toughest boxers.
Dolphins love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Dolphins play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Dolphins have never lost and will never lose a football game. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Dolphins.

Now a Miami Dolphin squad is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps,
fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious *&!!&#s who wrote that stuff about individuality don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.

Now we have the finest food and equipment room the best spirit
and the best men in the world. You know by God, I actually pity those poor *&!!&#s we're going up against. By God, I do. We're not just going to shoot the *&!!&#s. We're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease our cars. We're going to murder those lousy Chief and Jet *&!!&#s by the bushel. Now some of you boys I know are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out in the fourth quarter. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. The Jets and Chiefs are the enemy. Wade into them! Spill their blood! Shoot them in the belly! When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face you'll know what to do.

There's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying we are holding our position. We're not "holding" anything. Let the Chiefs and Jets do that. We're advancing constantly. We're not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy. We're going to hold on to him by the nose and kick him in the you know what.

We're going to kick the h out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose!

Now there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home And you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee
and he asks you: What did you do in the great Super Bowl?
You won't have to say: "Well I shoveled s in Louisiana "
All right, now, you SOBs. You know how I feel. I will be proud
to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.
That's all.

i bet they use and abuse the wild cat

12 tkls,0sacks,0ints,0forced fumbles

I say control the clock and run the ball 40+ times,,, and let chad throw it 15 times.

Sir yes Sir

Pennington is not going to let this opportunity go. Beat the Chiefs in order to have a chance to eliminate the team that dumped him? At the stadium where he was booed by his own fans, no less? Ohh...this boys's had this one in his head for quite a while, now. Don't you know that, already?

George C. Scott refused to accept his Oscar for "Patton." He said he would be staying at home watching the Los Angeles Kings game. As much respect as I have for Scott (R.I.P.), his petulant behavior ushered in the "Everything for a cause" aspect of the Academy Awards that has become so insufferable - from Marlon Brando refusing to accept his Oscar due to Hollywood's negative treatment of Native Americans, to Vanessa Redgrave's morally bankrupt attack on Israel. We've forgotten what the Oscars are REALLY about - and that's THE DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think we will see any problems. In none of those seasons did Penny ever have a running back combination like the R&R Express.

WE ARE BUILT TO WIN IN DECEMBER. PERIOD.

Armando,

Please tell the coaching staff to stop giving Ricky Williams the ball on 3rd and 1. Ronnie Brown is clearly the short yardage back. I cant believe they keep doing it.

they dont they give it to pollite

polite has carved his little niche on the 3rd and shorts

Luis, that's what I call a December game plan. That 3rd-from-last pass defense might end up proving to be a worthy risk though.

Fake GM, you are right. I think the coaching staff keeps out-thinking themselves: "the other side won't think of it, so we'll do it, and and and our guy who isn't a good 3rd and short guy will take it, and and and while our real 3rd and short guys (Polite and Brown) are running this way, we'll run Ricky, and and and they'll be fooled and and..."

Stupid is as stupid does.

Hey, Mando, no offense, but I care more for your side items. Crowder practicing is good information. And however you and the other blind fans delude yourselves, Pennington's arm strength IS a question mark, especially in inclimate weather.

As much as I hate the Jets, they are not stupid. Bad decision or not, the question of arm strength is a legitimate one. He is a QB in the NFL after all. I will be rooting for Penny of course, but I am very interested to see how he performs. It will serve as an indicator as to whether we keep him for a longer haul or try to install Henne sooner next year.

And for God's sake, don't question Penny about this and get his head messed up.

This game is going to be won in the trenches. KC do have a element of quality.

We need to be able to run the ball. I really felt that last week we went away from the run for too long in the game.

OL this is the game you need to step up in the running game. We run the ball we keep our D rested and it allows Pennington to go to the playaction for when we need/want to pass.

Most importantly though, picking up on a point made earlier by Patrick/Mando.. we need to convert and get the TD's rather than the FG's up to 16 points wont cut it.

Here's hoping I can pick it up online.

Pennington is a bad ass! I wouldn't trade Chad for another QB in the entire league. Favre and his walker won't get it done the last game, while Pennington will throw 4+ touchdowns.

Dolphins will lay the lumber to the jets and go 11-5 on their way to the AFC champsionship game. Yes, I predict they will make at least the AFC Championship game.

What do we expect? What did the Jets expect? Receivers to catch the frozen ball? Dancing Danny's to perform in cold weather. Gees Louise.
C'mon, he plays in New Jersey in December and his stats suck. I don't remember Marino or even the new god of qb's Favre doing all that great when it is snowing or very cold.
How many drops? How many fumbles? How cold was it? Field position? Who called the plays?
This ain't hockey. This doesn't even worry me. There is a different feel to this team. Sparano will find a set of plays to get a lead and force KC to do dumb things. Maybe he goes for bombs or short screens. Guaranttee that they won't throw or run the ball into interceptions or fumbles. Good game for Ted Ginn. Run out of bounds!! Run fast out of bound!!
Wasn't it Pennington who beat the Phins in December? Lets give the guy some credit.

They better run this game. KC is not so stout against the run.

What do we expect? What did the Jets expect? Receivers to catch the frozen ball? Dancing Danny's to perform in cold weather. Gees Louise.
C'mon, he plays in New Jersey in December and his stats suck. I don't remember Marino or even the new god of qb's Favre doing all that great when it is snowing or very cold.
How many drops? How many fumbles? How cold was it? Field position? Who called the plays?
This ain't hockey. This doesn't even worry me. There is a different feel to this team. Sparano will find a set of plays to get a lead and force KC to do dumb things. Maybe he goes for bombs or short screens. Guaranttee that they won't throw or run the ball into interceptions or fumbles. Good game for Ted Ginn. Run out of bounds!! Run fast out of bound!!
Wasn't it Pennington who beat the Phins in December? Lets give the guy some credit.

I think it's perfect.

Kansas City Chiefs game will be a rehearsal, a dry run b4 the jets game.

I am asking for 2 big games running the ball. When is the o line going to win the battle and open some highways. When is Ronnie Brown going to run with determined power, and become one of the elite backs in the NFL. Ricky Williams breaking down the sidelines for 50 yard gains. How bout Parick Cobbs, this guy if given the ball will produce. We have not developed the running game like we should have by now. Yes I am thrilled beyond words of where we are and thankful,but thats the thing, its right there, we could be better if we were more consistent in our power running game especially when these winter days show up and throwing becomes dangerous and non effective. Its time Dolphins,pound the pigskin,eat the clock, and step on the opponent until he's crushed. GO MIAMI!

I didnt realize the complications of dolphins playin sunday nite until now Mando.. Great Point! It will definately be colder and windier at night then during the day and it seems that farve always has his best games during the nite... But if the dolphins and jets win this week, the game WILL be moved to sunday nite...

How much better would this team be if the WR we made rich in the offseason had played even halfway decent. A perfect target for Chad. Seriously, what happened to E Wilford. He did some really good things in Jax. Now he can't play. What happened?!?! Armando, anybody. It is really strange.

Interesting game on Sunday. The usually loud Arrowhead is likely going to be 1/2 to 2/3 full. This isn't like Green Bay. It took a while, but the fans in KC finally have grown tired of losing and its showing at the turnstiles. I predicted it to be fairly dead after I saw how they blew the game last weekend, but Chiefs fans have been happy all week because their GM Carl Peterson was fired. He was despised to nearly the Matt Millen degree. Coming off of the good news, there will at least be a buzz of hope in the air during the game. Any early success by the Chiefs will be met with solid roars instead of golf claps like much of the season. Dolphins need a quick touchdown.

It will be very cold. Anywhere from 8 degrees to 20 degrees with wind. Thigpen is not really accurate, but bet on Gonzalez to catch up to 8 balls despite the conditions. Also, Thigpen is a good scrambler. The middle of the Dolphins defense can't lose focus or they will get gashed for 15 to 20 yard scrambles regularly. Hit Larry Johnson hard early and often to get him frustrated. The Dolphins offense is being slowly hamstrung (no pun intended) by injuries and lack of any big play ability. If the patchwork line cannot open holes against the Chiefs, I find it hard to believe that Pennington will pick the Chiefs apart with Davone Bess and his inconsistent tight ends, especially in the cold wind.

I'm betting on a cold, low scoring, gridlock filled game, which the Dolphins will pull out in the end on a defensive stand. Unfortunately, multiple turnovers is a possibility, just avoid the pick 6 variety. The Dolphins have proven they can finish close games while the Chiefs have not. Dolphins 13 Chiefs 10.

I see a whole lot of the wildcat this weekend

Just out of curiosity how many dolphins fans do you guys know that are going to the jet game ?

this game will be like the Pittsburg vs Miami last year in Pittsburg. cold wet soggy. the team that scores win Miami 7 KC 6

Ernest Wilford was never very good, look at the huge amount of talent in Jacksonville at reciever, anyone would have looked better than those losers.

BTW: KC game is a trap game, better come ready.

I watched Chad play as a sophomore at Marshall in the MAC championship game in 1997. The field was completely covered with snow so that you could not even see the yard lines. It came down hard and steady the entire game with gusting winds. Chad went 20/34 passing for 322 yards and 3 TD's with no Int's. Marshall won 34-13. His entire college carrer was played in the blustery winters of West Virginia. He knows how to play in the elements.

Baby Jesus loves Chad

Baby Jesus loves the Finz, GO BABY GO!!!!!!!

For the love of George Patton, the Fins MUST commit to the run this week! I haven't seen that enough this year, and THIS is the week to do it! The Chiefs are not good against the run, but Sparano shouldn't expect monster games from Ronnie or Ricky. He must be patient, but if he stays committed to pounding the rock, R + R will start breaking off long gains after halftime. Also, this contributes to keeping Tyler Thigpen off the field, and the way he's been playing the last month, that is a good thing. He is the one player for KC who scares me. If he gets on a roll, we're in trouble. Also, for our offense, we may have a lot of 3-and-outs, but that's okay. Just don't turn it over. We have the better defense, and have a better chance of winning the turnover battle. If the Fins can somehow squeeze out 2 TD's, they win. Actually, 2 TD's is almost a must, because you don't want Carpenter kicking FG's of any more than 30 yards in that weather!

Dude, why are we sweating KC? If we can't win there then we don't deserve to be in the playoffs. Where do you think we'll be playing in the second round? Either Pittsburgh or Denver....now thats "brrrr."

Comon.

Run the ball and play defense. Chad will be fine, just use the tight ends. My friends and I are heading to the game. Thought yesterdays forecast couldnt get any worse, it just did. We better bring home a W.

if we make the playoffs we wont play denver at denver we have a better record and a division champ

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