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Third-and-short belongs to the Miami Dolphins

This entire season you've heard coach Tony Sparano took about the need to get "chunk yardage," because the Dolphins want, indeed, need more big plays.

But you've not heard him complain too much about short yardage.

Why?

Because the Dolphins so far this year are the NFL's best short-yardage team and because Ronnie Brown is one of the NFL's most accomplished short-yardage backs.

According to stats compiled by the NFL, the Dolphins have the league's highest third-down conversion percentage when there are 2 or fewer yards to go for a first down. The Dolphins have faced 20 such situations this year and converted 17 times. (Getting out the trusty Salguero protractor and figuring out the sine and cosine here and, voila, that's an 85 percent conversion rate.)

The next best team in similar situations is Indianapolis, which has converted 80 percent of those third-and-short situations.

TEAM

ATTEMPTS

CONVERSIONS

PERCENTAGE

Miami Dolphins

20

17

85.0

Indianapolis Colts

15

12

80.0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10

8

80.0

Minnesota Vikings

19

15

78.9

Green Bay Packers

8

6

75.0

It stands to reason that the Dolphins would be good at picking up the tough yards on the money down if they have tough people up front. And they do. Miami's $156 million offensive line is returning good dividends on the team's investment in this category.

But Brown also has a lot to do with the success.

Going back to the 2000 season, Brown is the third-best third-and-two or fewer RB in the NFL. And he's in pretty impressive company, as the chart confirms.

PLAYER/TEAM

ATTEMPTS

CONVERSIONS

PERCENTAGE

Joseph Addai, Colts

53

42

79.2

Adrian Peterson, Vikings

53

41

77.8

Ronnie Brown, Dolphins

53

40

75.5

Larry Johnson, Chiefs

75

56

74.7

Brad Hoover, Panthers

35

25

71.4

So what does this all mean?

Basically these facts are important for an offense hoping to stay on the field and control the ball and the clock. You don't win the third-and-short situations, you don't win too many games unless you have a dynamic and explosive offense.

And these statistics are of particular importance this week because, with the Saints game Sunday, one way Miami can win the game is to shorten the game by keeping the football. If the Dolphins have the ball, the Saints don't.

If the Dolphins extend drives by successfully converting third-and-short, they keep the ball.

Great how that works, isn't it?

[THURSDAY PRACTICE UPDATE: As you might have noticed over there <--- on the twitter feed, I've tweeted that Matt Roth, fresh off his first day of practice Wednesday, is sitting out practice today. He was at practice but his left ankle was taped and he was limping. Guess there is now zero doubt about whether he plays Sunday or not.]

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Stop stealing Tim Graham's material.

My deepest apologizes, Tim Graham is the crook. Nice post!!!!

Thank you NMDOLPHAN. DOLPHINS 31 Saints 17

Third-and-short belongs to the Miami Dolphins but the night belongs to Michelob.

Time to kick out the old and ring in the new!(see name below).

Dolphins are the more physical team. Dolphins need to punch saints in the mouth with tuff football on both sides of the ball. Saints are not as good outside the dome.

Go Dolphins

I smell something fishy (no pun intend) with Matt Roth

Dolphins LB Roth sidelined again.............according to Yahoo sports.

Just with a ball control - time consuming - scoring - no turnover offense we can held the saints in half of the points they usually score (two times in this season the saints score 48 points) but we need a step up from the ILB. And that is very possible.

Ronnie Brown is a time consuming running back who operates withing the context of a ball control offense.

Tom Brady is a ball consuming quarterback.

PAT WHITE = Big Play this week.

And Mando won't mention it as he hates pat White.

Raiders to replace Tom Cable with DSL or FIOS.

"Sit tight and listen keenly while I`ll play for you a brand new musical biscuit"

There`s been a brainwave at the radio station
Old idea from the woodstock generation
Calling all the kids from across the nation
In some it brings out love in others termination
Love and unity
Don`t worry bout the power we got a generator
And publicity
Batteries for rent you can pay us later

Get your digital watches in synchronization
Producer of the shows got a selfish motivation
It`s the place to be and we got a location
Another gold disc for an album compilation
Bring the family
Everybodys` welcome there will be no discrimination
Take a tip from me
In case there`s a problem bring identification

C`mon every beatbox in the place to be
C`mon every beatbox we got a ramellzee
C`mon every beatbox let`s party and how
C`mon every beatbox let`s party right now
Party right now!

Watch me
I got it
Watch me

So the holy smokes are coming we got a confirmation
Centre of the city been a major transformation
Gandhi got a shock and he took a vacation
Check the wild life it`s a real fascination
Hope they stay in line
Raiders Poss British born but still they`re Jamaican
Dailing 999
Salt `n pepper people stirred not shaken

C`mon every beatbox in the place to be
C`mon every beatbox we got a ramellzee
C`mon every beatbox let`s party and how
C`mon every beatbox let`s party right now
Party right now!

"Hold it right there"
"The white man left me nothing out here but the underworld
and that`s were I dance, where do you dance?"

The knights of Saint George dressed for aggrovation
Heard about the party and they sent a delegation
The bulldog crew don`t need no provocation
Got a strange idea about the country`s liberation
B.A.D. and little Sipho
Help keep the peace don`t need no lawbreaker
No one can stop the show
The promotor didn`t book no undertaker

C`mon every beatbox in the place to be
C`mon every beatbox we got a ramellzee

"We are so gonna get our butts kicked."

Posted by: George

Nice positive thoughts there Georgie Porgie. Jets fan perhaps? I hope your profession keep you away from young impressionable children.

I'm getting tired of hereing about how good the dolphins are in short yardage & third down & running game thats best in the league BLA, BLA, BLA.There reckord 2&3. Who cares how well they do this or that. They are definatly doing something tremendously wrong To have acomplished all this & still have a losing reckord, & lets not forget there 2 wins did not come against teams like the Giants.The saints will be the true test of how good this team is this year. How good is running game When not in wild cat? Answer Average

Actually Ronnie is good not in the wildcat. The season when he got injured he led the NFL in yards per carry with over 6 yards per, before he went down. No wildcat then

Realist.... no.. I disagree with the "accept we lose" angle. Miami is a very good running team with a strong D and O line playing at home on natural grass against a dome team that enjoys the loud stadium and sterile playing conditions. Can we lose... you bet... should we accept we will.. HELL NO! Take everything and give NOTHING back. The Jets and NE will still be there one way or the other.

Just because it's third down, doesn't make it an automatic passing down. It's too bad that idiot Sporano took 4 games to realize that. He hurt us bad in that 0-3 beginning by NOT running.

Once again, the Aints have won their 5 games for the season, they will finish 5-11 like always. I don't see why so many of you fellow Phins phans have your knickers in a bunch.

Not only do we win, we kick the ever lovin snot out of em, I predict Phins 56 Aints 3 in a mudfest.

hey armando, anything you can do about asking the nfl about moving the game time to sunday night and televising natiowide, its a hell of a matchup and the ratings would be high.

the only thing that concerns me about this or any other game but here we have a great QB in Breese throwing the ball and the D has had some big holes allowing some serious long plays by their opponents. Take away the big plays and their record may be - unbeaten. GO FINS - In Tuna we trust.

Thresher - when I was in India 2-3 wks ago on business I found that there are many online streams of all sports. I got to see the fins on MNF. See Justin TV for example.

Its pretty simple here we must STOP or LIMIT their BIG PASSING PLAYS! If we just do that for the whole game I think we win in every other way! U notice I said PASSING because Im not sold on their running game at all their similar to the patriots pass happy offense! Our DB's have to COVER, COVER, COVER that is and will be the MAIN KEY to this game period......

How ugly can it get? Up 24 to 3 in the second quarter and NO wins going away. Defense couldn't do s**t, on two consecutive NO drives, did not stop one fricking play. Henne has worst game as starter, at one point in third quarter throwing six consecutive IP's.

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