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Random thoughts from the Dolphins victory

The Dolphins beat the 49'ers Sunday in what was the final regular-season game at Dolphin Stadium. I wish you could have been there because it was truly electric despite the fact San Francisco is in now way a rivalry game.

In my opinion this game had the feel of playoff football and that's what I wrote for Monday's edition of The Miami Herald. Anybody disagree with that?

It began with Joey Porter and San Fran tight end Vernon Davis jawing at each other before the game. Davis didn't stop talking even after his team lost 14-9. Davis complained that he wasn't used to block Porter on Miami's final defensive play -- the one on which Porter beat backup tackle Barry Sims for the clinching sack.

"I know that if I was out there," Davis said, "he wouldn't have got that sack."

Porter has 17.5 sacks this year after adding one today. He still trails DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys for the NFL lead. Ware, who had three sacks against the New York Giants Sunday evening, has 19 for the season. Ware is one bad dude.

The Miami fans also were bad (as in very good) Sunday. It was Orange Bowl-loud at Dolphin Stadium and it had serious repercussions for the San Francisco offense. In the final series of the game, with victory and defeat hanging in the balance, the fans were loud enough that SF quarterback Shaun Hill couldn't hear the complete play-call in his coach-to-quarterback helmet.

Hill thus called the final two plays with the crowd in his ear, so to speak. He called the right plays. But he called them to the wrong side of the field, the side opposite the side offensive coordinator Mike Martz intended the plays to go.

Chalk one up for Miami fans on that one. Last time I remember local fans actually having a role in the game was in the 1980s when Ron Jaworski couldn't get a play off twice in the closed end of the Orange Bowl and ended up throwing an interception as a result. Anyone remember that? Anyone there that night?

Other quickie observations:

The Dolphins offense had three false start penalties -- one on Andy Alleman, one on Ernest Wilford, one on Samson Satele. Hard to understand how a center or receiver get away with a false start. Come to think of it, they didn't.

After Wilford got called for his penalty with 12:56 left in the second quarter I didn't see him in the game again. He didn't have a catch all day.

After Satele got called for his penalty with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter, it wasn't long before the Dolphins experimented with Al Johnson at center. Satele did eventually come back to the center spot, however.

Ted Ginn Jr. had two receptions for six yards. Not his best game.

The Dolphins converted only 1 of 7 third down plays -- that's a 14 percent conversion rate. Tells you the Dolphins have issues at the WR position. Miami missed Greg Camarillo on Sunday.

David Martin's catch of the 61-yard TD was great in that he came back to the pass, timed his leap perfectly, out-fought the defender for the catch, held onto the pass, and kept his feet so he could score. Excellent athletic work.

Congratulations to tight end Joey Haynos on his first NFL touchdown.

Congratulations to Nathan Jones who had zero sacks this season but had two on Sunday while blitzing from the slot corner spot.

And congratulations to the entire Dolphins organization for making the 180-degree turn from winning their first game of the season one year ago in Week 15 to winning their ninth game of this season in Week 15.

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uh, mando? they have only played 14. They are 9-5.
S/B "Their ninth game of the season in the 14th game."

Even more impressive, huh?

I'm glad at what the Dolphins have accomplished this year. I agree with you Mando, Camarillo was missed today as our passing game struggled. But although our offense ended slow, I'm just glad our defense ended on top.
Porter saved us with the monster sack. With how much he wanted it, I don't care who was blocking him, I'm sure he was getting no matter what. Go Fins!

Mando, great job with your blogs. you are pretty on point most of the time.

I completely agree about the stadium today, the electricity was unbelievable. It had all the makings of a playoff game yet it was just the 9ers. Even a few years ago when i was a season ticket holder it was never remotely as loud and alive as it was today. This certainly rivaled some of the games i have been to at the OB.

Kudos to the defense for stingy play, even being on the field an obscene amount of time. The offense has some work to do, but i loved how the stadium exploded in response to porters sack. Amazing.

Can you believe we have locked up a winning season, are tied for first in December, and have a legit shot at the playoffs just one year after going 1-15!?!?!? It has been a great season so far.

We're winning ugly but that's what teams short on talent but long on heart and effort do in the NFL with quality coaching. Kudos to Tuna, Ireland and most importantly, Sparano!!

Here's hoping Santa brings us a playoff spot from running the table into the big tournament!! Go Fins!

LeftCoastFinFan,


There are 17 weeks in an NFL season, and 16 games. This is because of bye's.

Mando was right, Next week is week 16, then the final week is week 17.

LeftCoastFinFan, it is Week 15 due to the bye week which everyone has already had. Just how long have you been a FinFan, let alone a football fan?

Ginn remains incredibly inconsistent...at best. In my view, he should not start...although the alternatives are not great. But, Brandon London is bound to to better than 2 catches for 6yds - with one drop. Clearly, rookie FA Bess is better than Ginn at every facet of the game - route running, catching, blocking and not being a afraid to get hit. Speed...not that relevant.

I agree. Martin should replace Ginn, with more involvement now probably from Haynos. Cobbs and London should also get more throws their way. Ginn doesn't have any of the qualities of a number 1 WR, except speed. I've seen enough from him, he is a liability more than an asset to the team. He has as many TD's as Haynos and undrafted rookie TE. Ginn is gone for 2009, no question.

Winning teams find a way to win even when the stat board say's otherwise. It was the will of this team to deny san fran victory.I have to say on miami's last drive with just a few minutes left,already in field goal position on 3rd and short, it was a sin to call a pitch 5 yards back behind the scrimmage to run towards the sideline. WE lost 5 yards and the field goal on the 4th down hit the goal post. A simple handoff straight up the middle would have atleast got back to the scrimmage line,would not have stopped the clock, and the gield goal would have made the distance to give us some comfort before giving the ball back to san fran. The defense came through though,but you got to question that mentality on a call like that in crunch time in a tight game. Great win though,just not the smashmouth ball I was hoping to see from a fired up miami team. Kansas city next, we got to get things right for a good finish. GO MIAMI!

Armando,

Great post. It is pretty clear that the loss of Smiley and Camarillo has really taken some punch out of the offense. That shouldnt surprise anyone because they were 2 of the Dolphins' best offensive players. Henning is trying to make up for it by getting the tight ends involved more, but I think the team simply needs more plays from its receivers, like Armando mentioned. More consistency from Ginn would really help the offense out, but he has shown dramatic improvement from his rookie year and has flashed big play ability, so I think the fans should be patient with him.

Just like I predicted on this blog last week, Vernon Gholston was inactive for Sunday's game against Buffalo because they wanted him to contribute to the franchise in some way, so they had him greet fans outside the stadium. They are just trying to get him involved any way they can.

"Last time I remember local fans actually having a role in the game was in the 1980s when Ron Jaworski couldn't get a play off twice in the closed end of the Orange Bowl and ended up throwing an interception as a result. Anyone remember that? Anyone there that night?"

I REMEMBER IT, MANDO!!!! It was a Monday night. And the Dolphins were COMPLETELY outplayed by the Eagles. Then Don Strock came in to relieve David Woodley, and the Dolphins came on like gangbusters at the end of the game and won it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but was that also the game in which Duriel Harris injured himself in a victory celebration after scoring a TD, and thereby costing his chance at the first 1,000 yd. season for a Dolphins receiver?

Memories, memories, memories.

Mando, I was curious that no one commented on how foolish it was for Shaun Hill to spike the ball on 1st and 10 on the Dolphins' 21-yd. line, with 1:20 left to play. It was a ridiculous decision. 1:20 is plenty of time when you're on your opponent's 21, even with no time outs remaining. That crucial waste of a down was critical, because it was on that series of downs where Porter sacked Hill on 4th and 10. I cringe whenever I see QBs spike the ball needlessly.

Mando, I was curious that no one commented on how foolish it was for Shaun Hill to spike the ball on 1st and 10 on the Dolphins' 21-yd. line, with 1:20 left to play. It was a ridiculous decision. 1:20 is plenty of time when you're on your opponent's 21, even with no time outs remaining. That crucial waste of a down was critical, because it was on that series of downs where Porter sacked Hill on 4th and 10. I cringe whenever I see QBs spike the ball needlessly.

Great game.

It was a great sack by Porter to seal the victory.

It certainly proves one thing. Coach Sparano stated that football is a game of mistakes and if you look at this game, Miami made fewer.

Armando - how about learning to use proper English -- "used to block" should be "used to blocking". And I was at the Philadelphia game in 1981 (the same game that Duriel Harris injured his ankle in while spking the ball after catching the game winning TD from Don Strock). I think you must have forgotten about the Bears game in 1985 (4 years later) -- the loudest game ever in the OB.

Is it just me, or is Henning getting away from the running game?
Ronnie had 67 yards on 10 carries, I think he had 1 carry the first half.
They should be pounding Ronnie and Ricky the next 2 weeks in cold weather.

That was a great sack by Porter, but it was just as big a mistake to be throwing his helmet off on the field. By my eye that play should have been flagged for Delay-of-Game and Porter's Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty still could have given them a 1st down at the 11.

Whew.

Ted Ginns last 2 game stats 3 catchs for 21 yds 0 tds , 3 drops 1 rush for - 6 yds , 1 drive killing penalty for - 15 yds. and 2 of catchs he ran for the sideline.

jmc 860..its true man. we need 2 run the rock more. just look at the time of possession in this game

I remember that Eagles game with Jaworski at QB. I believe it was on a Monday night and Philly was riding a win-streak. I really miss that Orange Bowl noise; glad to hear the fanz getting the decibels back up where they belong yesterday.

Fin fans have an owner who is 100 percent committed to winning. Things go bad, and they have in past, but one thing is clear, this owner will spend and spend to get it right. so next time things go bad just look hard at other teams and ask yourself, does the owner care about winning? bottom line only? both? The Fins have an owner who wants to win bad, I wish my 1st team at heart, Da Bears, had such a commitment from ownership. Go Fins!!! Playoffs or bust!! who-da-thunk of that saying one year ago?!! actually me!

The game plan seems to have a lot to do with Ginn not getting many looks. Martin, Fasano, Ginn, Bess, Haynos, & Brown all had catches by the 2nd quarter. They have really spread the ball around. Plus only having the ball 21 minutes cuts way back on the opportunities. Ginn better step up and stop the drops though. He needs more of an "attitude". Not T.O. attitude but attitude nonetheless.

early 80's against the Eagles and Jaworski? I remember that game. Duriel Harris caught a TD...wasn't it a Monday night game?

Or are you referring to the 1984 game when we blocked the extra point to stay unbeaten? Betters blocked it, I think.

Anyway, I agree. I have been hammering the local fans for not coming out and supporting the team. Well now, they deserve some credit. Nice job local Dolfans! Keep it up! We need you there!

Could not agree more with JMC and Legendary fins. We really need to get back to the run game. I am not sure what the time of possession was in this game, but it felt like our Defense was on the field the entire game. We are not going to be able to win games that way. Our Defense has been playing great, but at some point they are going to start to ware down.

Side note: I live in Hoboken, NJ which is about 15 minutes away from Giants Stadium for those of you not from the NYC area. I was at my local bar where I go to watch the Dolphins every week which is always filled with trashy Jets fans. Like always, I was standing there in my Ronnie Brown jersey and Dolphin Hat when the Jets sacked JP Losman and scored on the fumble recovery.

I had Jets fans screaming in my ear for San Fran to win. As much as I wanted to turn around and punch all of them in face, it almost felt good to know that we are pi$$ing them off. It just goes to show how far we have come in the past year. Before the season began, none of those a$$hole jet fans thought the Dolphins would be one of the teams competing with them for the division. Well, now its week 16 and its all tied up.

I hope we run through the Cheifs next week and destroy the Jets on their turf. Lets go Dolphins!!

Could not agree more with JMC and Legendary fins. We really need to get back to the run game. I am not sure what the time of possession was in this game, but it felt like our Defense was on the field the entire game. We are not going to be able to win games that way. Our Defense has been playing great, but at some point they are going to start to ware down.

Side note: I live in Hoboken, NJ which is about 15 minutes away from Giants Stadium for those of you not from the NYC area. I was at my local bar where I go to watch the Dolphins every week which is always filled with trashy Jets fans. Like always, I was standing there in my Ronnie Brown jersey and Dolphin Hat when the Jets sacked JP Losman and scored on the fumble recovery.

I had Jets fans screaming in my ear for San Fran to win. As much as I wanted to turn around and punch all of them in face, it almost felt good to know that we are pi$$ing them off. It just goes to show how far we have come in the past year. Before the season began, none of those dumb jet fans thought the Dolphins would be one of the teams competing with them for the division. Well, now its week 16 and its all tied up.

I hope we run through the Cheifs next week and destroy the Jets on their turf. Lets go Dolphins!!

Each week this team shows that it has guts. They have clearly learned how to win in tight games and nothing has come easy for this team, except the week 3 game in NE. To see how much of a turnaround one team can make in one season provided they have the right leadership in place is just a testament as to how great the NFL really is. I truly beleive that with 2 key free agent wideouts or 1 coupled with a young stud in the draft(not likely)and this team is a force in the AFC. To see what we are doing with arguably the worst talent at wr in the NFL is amazing. I definately beleive that we can win in KC and set up what will be an absolute game for the ages at the meadowlands in week 17. Jets have not exactly looked like gamebreakers the last 3 weeks but you can throw out all the stats when these two teams get together.Sparano will be coach of the year, and speaking of that, how many of you Dolfans out there are like me and absolutely love seeing a guy on the sideline with fire in his heart? It truly carries over to the players as we have seen the last few games, and to not surrender a td in 3 games in the NFL is amazing. This team may not be ready for a deep run yet, or even a berth this year, but make no mistake about it this team is playing as good as just about anyone in the AFC right now and i assure you that nobody wants to play the Miami Dolphins if and when we get into the Playoffs.

Bobby F: I appreciate the attempt to clean up my English. I am not to be confused with Beckett or Lawrence. But I believe "used to block" is correct.

The "used" here means utilized rather than accustomed.

Think of it as "Davis was not utilized to block Porter." Rather than, "Davis was not utilized to blocking Porter."

And someone pointed out that Eagles-Jaworski-crowd game was also the game Duriel Harris blew out a knee while spiking the football after a score ... Is that right? Anyone remember that?

SCORE MORE POINTS!!!!!!!!!!
SCORE MORE POINTS!!!!!!!!!!

they are really doing this with smoke and mirrors. and i say that with the highest respect. it shows what great coaching can do. joey has played well, but they have no offensive weapons at all. i am loving the ride and i put this into perspective given how horrible they were last year. so kudo's to you tony!

Glad the Dolphs won.
Why pick on Ginn?
Pennington completed 12 passes for the game and 7 of those were to te/rb.
If Ginn had a bad game with 2 receptions did Bess also have a bad game with 3?

Are you guys talking about the nov 11 1984 game?, mia 24 phil 23 ?

I didn't like the decision to replace Satele with Andy Alleman. I know Sparano did it to send a message to Satele and I agree he has not been holding his own very well at the center position, but the move seemed to shut down the offense. I usually agree with the approach and actually did at the time because I was watching the line play and the penalties were stupid, but the line seemed to completely lose continuity. Center is not an easy position to learn in the NFL and not a position that should be jerked around too much...

I did attend both the Eagles game and the Bears game. The Bears game was the loudest football game I have ever been to. The upper deck of the OB was actually moving, I know I could feel it. It got a little scary up there! Thanks to the fans who were able to attend this game for making home field advantage relevent again!

It Was A 4pm Sunday Game, That Wasnt The Game Duriel Harris Blew Out His Leg. He Spent 1 Year With The Cowboys That Year And Was Hurt The Following Year

we had two 3 and outs were we threw on first and second down when we were up by 2 scores. We literaly had the ball for less than a minute in game time. I was going crazy screaming run the ball on one of those downs, at the very least you run some clock.

Duriel Harris Blew Out His Leg In Game 6 Of The 85 Season. A Monday Nite Game Against .....thats right boys and girls... JETS,JETS,JETS...hope this helped you out.

i dont know why, but i think the wild cat is gonna play a big role vs. the Jets .. we have been shying away from it, but our line is shacky and in the meadow lands on a cold windy day, we are gonna have top force the Run.

I'm impressed at how they were able to get that win under the circumstances. I'm even more impressed to hear that they're not done. After every game, you don't hear from the coaches or players "at least it's a win." You hear, "we did this wrong, we have to fix these things." I love the fact that they're not completely satisfied with a close win. They want more. They strive for a better performance than the last. It's amazing to see how these guys live in the real world and know that the performance given on Sunday won't be good enough next game. I love how these guys think. They only need two more for the playoffs and I hope they can do it.

When Will you guys quit bit@hing about my b.f.f teddy. you'll hurt his feelings.

No need to wish I was there, because I was there ;-)

Dolphins 13, Eagles 10 (1981), on Monday Night football. Heck of a football game. If I recall correctly, Jaws marched the Eagles straight down the field on their first possession for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead, but the crowd really was a big factor, and the Fins kept them out of the end zone the rest of the way. The Orange Bowl crowd was also a big factor in another game I saw on TV that year, at home against Buffalo to end the season.

Cuban Menace, you are wrong. The Dolphins-Eagles game in question was 1981. It was Monday night. Strock came off the bench to relieve Woodley, and won the game for the Dolphins on a TD pass to Duriel Harris in which Harris injured himself jumping up to spike the ball (and thereby cost his shot at the Dolphins' first 1,000 yd. receiving season). Late in the game, the Orange Bowl crowd was so loud that Jaworkski had to keep turning around and asking the ref for more time.

The game which you're referring to (Miami 24 - Philadelphia 23) occurred in 1984. It was the Dolphins' 11th consecutive victory to open the season (they lost the next week to San Diego). They won after Philadelphia's PAT attempt with time running down was blocked, I believe by Doug Betters.

I can't believe I remember all this. But ... IT'S THE DOLPHINS!!!!! THE DOLPHINS!!!!!

Cuban Menace, you are wrong. The Dolphins-Eagles game in question was 1981. It was Monday night. Strock came off the bench to relieve Woodley, and won the game for the Dolphins on a TD pass to Duriel Harris in which Harris injured himself jumping up to spike the ball (and thereby cost his shot at the Dolphins' first 1,000 yd. receiving season). Late in the game, the Orange Bowl crowd was so loud that Jaworkski had to keep turning around and asking the ref for more time.

The game which you're referring to (Miami 24 - Philadelphia 23) occurred in 1984. It was the Dolphins' 11th consecutive victory to open the season (they lost the next week to San Diego). They won after Philadelphia's PAT attempt with time running down was blocked, I believe by Doug Betters.

I can't believe I remember all this. But ... IT'S THE DOLPHINS!!!!! THE DOLPHINS!!!!!

Ginn is more of a deep threat and will develop once Henne takes over at QB. Pennignton although extremely accurate cannot through the long bombs that Ginn is good at due to his speed. Look for Ginn to blossom once Henne takes over.

First off Vernon Davis should just STFU he talked so much trash about him going to be better than Sharp,Gonzo,and Gates he cant even catch a ball,second I would be lying if I did not say im happy with this teams turn around but I am also scared of this teams skin of the teeth wins.Playoffs or not we still have alot to work on in both sides of the field.Our d has kept us alive in games but also it has cost us wins as well. We just got by ST.,Seatle,San Fran etc I would say Denver and New England were our biggest wins but we all seen what happened when Cassel got his groove,not to mention that these two wins were the only two against teams with a winning record we may have a better record than Arizona as of now but they have nothing to play for they are already in the playoffs not to mention this team would get smoked again by these guys.I do not think we will win our next two games we may beat KC but I know the Jets will somehow beat us.Let us play some teams with more than 7 or 8 wins and see what happens.

Nathan Jones has 2 sacks, Jason Taylor has 1.5 LOL!!!

Sparano is saving all the great offensive plays to use when we kick the Jets out of the playoff race!

As for Ginn. . .I don't think there's any hope for him. Good receivers find ways to be playmakers and kick returners who don't like to get hit rarely succeed

Nathaniel, DAMN!!!, bet you cant remember what you ate before the game? lol..

Move Ginn to the slot.Make Cam and Bess our number 1 and 2 wideouts.

I ate leftover hot dogs and beans, just before the game. It was all I could find in the house after coming back from the office. And then my wife surprised me with a Burger King fish sandwich and french fries, which I gulped down hungrily.

I remember everything by what the Dolphins were doing. I remember causing a flood in my house when the Dolphins played the Bengals on Monday night in 1983. And I distinctly remember being upset that the flood might cause me distress during the Dolphins game - not that I might have ruined my house.

I remember the January/82 playoff classic against San Diego. I remember when the game went into overtime, I would watch the game in my father's bedroom with my father and my brother on my father's beautiful color TV, when the Dolphins had the ball. But when the Chargers had the ball, I watched the game on my dinky black and white TV in my room, because I couldn't stand the shame of seeing the Dolphins lose to San Diego with my father and brother.

I remember making love to my fiancee in a hotel room in Buffalo in 2003, and we coordinated our multiple sessions around the Dolphins game on TV. (That was the same Sunday as either Pedro Martinez throwing down Don Zimmer or the Steve Bartman game in Chicago. Whichever it was, I remember my soon-to-be wife yelling at me for wanting to watch the game in addition to the Dolphins game, so I missed it.)

Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins.

Mando,
Thanks for the flashback..:) I WAS at that game. Monday Night game with Howard, Don, and Frank...right? I happened to have been on the 15 yard line about 20 rows up from the field that night. Needless to say I didn't have a voice the next day at work. I think Jaws back away from the line a half a dozen times...Again, thanks for the memory...

Nat., Hard Core Bro. Hard Core.

TMI dodsworth.. TMI

I remember the absolute shock of seeing the Dolphins lose to the Patriots in the January/86 AFC Championship game. Never in a million years did I expect Marino to lose. I watched it with my maternal grandfather. He naively said to me, in the 4th quarter, "The Dolphins still have a chance." I knew they didn't. God bless you, Grampa.

I remember Uve Von Schamann kicking a FG to beat the Jets in the strike-shortened 1982 season. The Dolphins would have gone to 4-3 had they lost (such a pathetic record it seemed to me at the time), but Von Schamann kicked a 49-yd FG in the closing seconds for the victory. I remember watching the game with my friend Paul at my house. And I jumped for joy when the kicked was good, and while I was in mid-air Paul hit me hard in the stomach. We were about to come to blows but my father came between us.

I do it different yo.
1 session per day, every day except period, the last thing I do before I go to sleep.

And frankly I don't remember any sessions, with wife or gf, after a couple hours.

But eveidently she likes them cause she's always ready to go.

Your women really likes you Master if she's ready everyday.
And you don't even remember it after a couple hours? That's cold!

I don't mean to be cold baby but business is business and if I don't do $2million/month then I ain't s hit.

you're still not s hit...

Your A Stud masters., no golden parachute for you huh...

Masters, I guess i should have took buisness instead of polit. sci. huh. p.s. I have a senate seat for sale.

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