STILL IN SNOWBOUND TORONTO -- I just wanted to share you some thoughts about the Dolphins that have popped into to brain in the hours following Sunday's 16-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Today I wrote about how the Dolphins continue to prove doubters wrong with each passing game. Some players on the team take great satisfaction in that there are still some holdouts that don't trust Miami will continue to compete for first in the AFC East after finishing worst in the AFC East last year. They point to media that is critical -- did you hear the announcers on Sunday's telecast? They point to fans who have been late to jumping on the bandwagon. They point to fans who jumped on and then off after the New England loss and are only now getting back on. I think its time we believe these Dolphins, however imperfect, are not going to simply collapse the final three weeks of the season.
In fact, Tony Sparano earlier this season promised his team would be playing better late in the season. And they are.
The playoff picture in the AFC is still muddled but it seems likely the AFC East will only have one representative in the postseason, that being the division winner. So the Dolphins will likely have to win out to get in the playoffs. It's in their hands, but it is a tough assignment.
The interesting thing is if Miami wins out and finishes 11-5, they not only will make the playoffs, they will be seeded as high as No. 3 in the playoffs, which would give them at least one and possibly more home field playoff games. Amazing.
It was easy to rave about the defense's performance against the Bills. They didn't give a TD and left the Bills such as Lee Evans saying things like, "We didn't have a clue how to score."
But did you notice Chad Pennington's second half performance?
He was 11 of 11 for 75 yards without taking a sack.
The Dolphins coaching staff is trying to maximize every ounce of talent from every player on the roster.
Nathan Jones got lots of playing in the nickel and dime defense for the first time this year. Backup linebackers Charlie Anderson and Reggie Torbor provided good pressure on the quarterback and combined for 1.5 sacks. And on offense, Brandon Frye got work at left guard even though he's a left tackle by trade.
The Dolphins had only one active player Sunday who did not play: Chad Henne.
I'll file again later today when I land so check back.