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Dolphins still in thick of a wild card race

A common thought among some Dolphins faithful is that the team will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs unless it catches the New England Patriots and wins the AFC East -- which, granted, is looking like a difficult task.

Well, not so fast my fine, football friends.

Below you will find the current race for the AFC's wild-card spots. Remember there are two wild-card qualifiers. The chart suggests the Dolphins are very much in this deal if they can beat the Carolina Panthers tonight and put some sort of streak together.

The Dolphins currently find themselves two games out of the wild card race with seven games to play. It is not an impossible deficit to erase. Three games out with six games to play is obviously a much more daunting assignment.

The fact is Miami has already lost to San Diego so they are effectively two games plus a tiebreaker behind the Chargers. Miami also swept two games from New York so they count themselves ahead of the Jets. The Dolphins have games remaining with Pittsburgh, Houston, Tennessee and Buffalo.

Those remaining games mean the Dolphins can find themselves one game behind those teams -- Pittsburgh, Houston, Tennessee and Buffalo -- but still qualify ahead of them if they beat those teams.

So the Dolphins find themselves in the middle of the AFC pack. But to be considered in the AFC race, Miami's overall record is key. So games against NFC opponents are also vital. It does the Dolphins no good to have a solid AFC record but not be in the hunt because they cannot beat NFC teams.

So far this season the Dolphins have a 1-2 non-conference record -- they lost to Atlanta and New Orleans but defeated Tampa Bay.

The bottom line here is the Dolphins are still solidly in the race for a wild-card spot despite losing their starting quarterback, a starting tight end, a starting running back and a starting cornerback.

What they do tonight, however, will obviously factor into whether they stay in the thick of that race.

Team       Record   AFC

Pittsburgh   6-3   4-2

San Diego   6-3   4-3

Baltimore    5-4   5-3

Houston     5-4    4-3

Jacksonville 5-4    4-2

Miami        4-5    3-3

NY Jets     4-5    4-4

Tennessee  3-6   2-6

Buffalo       3-6   1-5

[BLOG NOTE: There will be, as always, a live blog of tonight's game versus Carolina. Come here prior to kickoff for the latest news and notes from the stadium and the live blog itself.]


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You really including Buffalo in this group?

Dolphins 2 games back in the wildcard and 2 games back in the division. Anything can happen, but it doesn't look good without Ronnie Brown.

The only thing keeping us out of the WildCard race is the negativity of NJ & his ilk. Player-haterz all.

Stay Positive, FinFans! Say No to the Neg-Heads.

Vox Verdad,

Who you think is the standout player tonight?

Pat White?
Kory Sperry?
Cameron Wake?

Until they write an article about how we are officially eliminated from the playoffs, I will believe.

Being a fan is not about rational expectations - it is about irrational faith in YOUR team. It is not rational to believe you are going to win a championship at all - the odds are always stacked against everyone - as there is only 1 winner in the entire league each year, and a whole bunch of losers.


I'm expecting a huge game tonight from:
and Davis and Smith on the corners.

All of us have been waiting for this game for more than 2 years.
No weakarm QB crap, No Backdoor wildcard offense.
Straight up manly type football.
I put some money on the points and some on the moneyline.

You have listed San Diego as a top wild card team based on current standings but realistically Denver is struggling and not likely to hang on to that division. Hopefully they will keep falling so Miami doesn't have to worry about them or their earlier loss to San Diego. On the flip side, Miami will likely have to win all their remaining games to qualify for playoffs. There seems to be more terrible teams this year than usual which means the top teams' records will be inflated compared to previous years. 10-6 might not be good enough to get in.

If S.D. beats Denver, then S.D. may eventually win the AFC West. The Fins dont play Denver, (who are in freefall mode), so the Wildcard may come down to divisional record. I'll be pulling for S.D. this week because we can't make up 3 games due to them having the head-to-head advantage.

I like the way Lips thinks. His thoughts contain both faith and rationality. What part of Toronto are you from? I grew up in North York.

I think it would be grossly unfair for anyone to blame any failure this season on injuries. The Dolphins were 0-3 with their starting QB healthy, and 4-5 with their starting RB healthy.

But speaking of Florida not having any income taxes, how does that work? My state is one of the most highly taxed in the Union. How high is sales tax in Florida?

Not that Marc would know anything at all about paying taxes. He earns zero K. You get it? Zero K.

Why do you guys really want to make the playoffs at this point? Let's just go 8-8, get a few strong draft picks (like a real wideout), and load up for next year. Henne will have a year under his belt, and we can make a real push in 2010. Year 3 is where Parcell's teams typically become the most dangerous. Believe me, I want to win too, but we may have to be a bit more patient.

Man, Nathan, you're on a roll....Sales tax is about 6.5-7% in Orlando, last I checked...It is quite nice to not have state tax...Would be even nicer if 30% of my check didn't go to Uncle Sam to pay for illegitimate children and the like

I can't believe 'Mando put on rose-colored glasses. We have to beat Pittsburgh, Houston and New England.. not to mention the other "winnable" games against teams capable of beating us (Tennessee, Carolina, etc.)


part of your tax go to nathaniel since he's retired .

It looks like Denver is free falling and I think that will continue. So if Miami steps up and wins most (at least 5 and probably 6 will be required) of their remaining games things could fall into place for them. It is a tall order to win the games required but beating Houston and Pittsburgh gives the Phins some element of control; if they can do that then with Denver falling and me not thinking much of Jacksonville they will be fighting it out with Pitt and Baltimore.

I'm hoping the team plays Sheets tonight and he shows something. Try throwing the ball to Turner this week and hopefully Sperry contributes as much or more than he did last week.

Go Phins!

Sorry Armando I don't see playoffs for this team. Too many injuries, too much inconsistency plus I can't see Miami winning most of those games though stranger things can occur. I think we'll be a better team in the long run.

I'll be the first to mea culpa if that happens. Despite being the pessimist, I wish the Fins nothing but the best starting tonight.

Have we even beaten Houston? I think not...

Mandy, that reminds me...Can you throw some extra tweets up tonight? My favorite comedian has a show at 8PM...So, I'll miss most, if not all the game. BTW, it's Doug Stanhope...He's hilarious for those who don't know him.

Damn, old bastards and cripples too...

"All of us have been waiting for this game for more than 2 years... No Backdoor wildcard offense. Straight up manly type football..."

I have to disagree with you here. I see the coaches if anything playing even more wildpat and still using the wildcat too much. And that is NOT a good thing. Nothing I have read would suggest this coaching staff doing anything else. They forced the wildcat and wildpat too much with Ronnie Brown, and I think they will continue to force it with him out. Their thinking will be, Ricky can run the Wildcat and has before, and there is a lot more to the wildpat that we haven't seen. I hope I am wrong, I have been saying all year the wildcat/wildpat is killing Henne's progression. But regardless if the WRs don't stop playing like amateurs and nothing suggest that will change, this team isn't going anywhere anyways.

We will have a chance to get in the playoff as the Wild Card this year if Henne can throws for 300 plus yards in every of the remaining games. Does anyone out there see this?

We need to unleash Henne tonight because Carolina will be stacking the box as will everyone else from now on. Lets see who has a breakout game.

Honestly, I really and truly believe that Miami is better off not making the playoffs this year and like Steve says, finishing with a 8-8 record. We are NOT ready yet. A good position in the draft pick order can be advantageous for us. The trifecta can stay in a good position or go down or up depending on the situation at hand. Maybe get more picks or so...Until we get a good safety and wide out, and I mean a SUPERB safety or wide out. We are not winning the games we need...Be in the look out for the Trifecta drafting a good running back as well...Lets face it, Ronnie (too many injuries), Ricky (getting up there in age), Cobbs (not elite)...

Maybe so PHINMAN, but these are competitors and pros from the top...Including their "winning records" as coaches and GM's, and TUNAS! You can bet your tail they will TRY as hard as they can...Even in vain

Fin fans, I'm ALL ABOUT making the Playoffs if we can. However, I think I'm with Steve on this one. I don't say try NOT to make the Playoffs, I'm just saying if we don't, no biggie in my book (I'm not trying to get the hardest schedule in the league next year too). I think next year is our breakout year. I say, with Ronnie out, unchain Henne, let him air it out (I know, to no one who can really make plays) and get some experience throwing the ball this year. That way, he'll be good to go next year, we'll have Ronnie back, and hopefully more weapons to crush any and all competition (ESPECIALLY in our division). With that said, I think we'll destroy Carolina. Yes, they're improving, but we can handle a ground attack, and they don't have the QB to rough us up like Brady and Manning, so my prediction is Miami 27 Carolina 14.


Playoffs??!! Who cares! It doesn't matter. Even if this team gets extremely lucky and somehow makes the playoffs, they are 1 and done. Why can't you the media get that?? What does making the playoffs have to do with the future? Let it go. Look to the future and please stop referencing the PO likes it's the be all to end all. This is a practice season.

I think its important to win games eventhough rebuilding for next two years. Predict we finish 8 - 8, possible 9-7. Anything better and you are dreaming and probable smaking what Ricky used to.

Can't wait to see less of the wildcat and see what Henne can do.

Nice reasoning on the Dolphins' playoff hopes but it all kind of reminds me of that scene in Dumb and Dumber where he asks out the girl and she says 1 in a Million and he excitedly says; "So there's a chance!"

Running the table is pretty much what the Dolphins need to do with their remaining AFC games and get some help. I don't see the Phins taking all 4 games against the Steelers, Pats, Jags and Texans which is a must at this point.

There is that stupid "manly football" comment again... some trolls just don't appreciate what they have. NOTHING is more "manly" than the Power Running from the Wildcat. ok, got it this time??

I've given up trying to talk to people about how good Ronnie is. Ok, let's just kick him off our team, and get another 235 running back that can run 4.3, sure-whatever. Injuries happen, and can happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME. Plus, we had depth! Re-sign Ronnie for a year and build some depth at NT, LB, and WR! Why doesn't anybody give Ronnie credit for the wins he has brought us? Ok, well I am not convinced Henne is our QB yet- tonight might be the measuring stick!

Why even list the bedwetters? They're doing nothing but crying about what a failure they are! Life IS GOOD

To add a opinion, those of you on Henne's back need to relax and be patience. Henne is playing exactly if not better then he should be. Remember this will be his 7th Career start. He already has 2 come from behind wins and a 4-2 record and one of those losses can be pinned on the defense. His numbers reflect exactly what anyone could hope for with only 6 starts. He needs a couple of big time receivers and he will be set. I can only imagine what he would be right now if he had a couple of WRs and wasn't getting held back by all the wildcat/wildpat stuff. I see top 10+ QB written all over him if he gets the help he needs.

We have NEVER beaten the Texans!!! And each game had a little something weird or unusual---home opener loss here several years ago spelled the beginning of the end of Wanny (we never lose in September heat, etc. myths shattered); a few years back---Ronnie & Trent Green both badly hurt; last year, Andre's 4th down catch & Schaubs sneak TD capping a wild comeback.

playoffs playoffs

I think tonight's game is HUGE. 2 evenly matched teams. The winner can still consider playoffs, the loser starts looking at the draft board. Miami wins this game and they can still win 9 games, maybe 10 if they pull an upset along the way.

But if tonight is a loss, then 7 or 8 wins is more than likely.

I too am rooting for San Diego and hoping Denver continues it's current direction.

Accepting the hope that I hold as a longtime fan, at this point it looks like, given their schedule, Pittsburg will be definitely hold a one wild card even if we beat them. We are a long shot for the other spot, but as always, hope burns eternal.



Whatever happens happens, sort of like last season. It all gravy.

I have HIGH expectations next season, particularly of Henne. Happy to see he's taking his licks this year and not next.

Any of you guys know a good site for game day alerts? I used to use ESPN once upon a time before I could watch every game...

Shouldn't you include Denver in this group? I do think San Diego will win that division over Denver, so how would we compare to Denver vs. San Diego? It would help us, beause we would not lose the first tie-breaker - head to head.

NM, found one


I'd rather sneak into the playoffs and have a lower draft pick. Playoff experience is a pretty good thing for a team. They'd probably be one and out again, but having that experience is more important than a middle first round draft pick imo...and, more selfishly, I'd get to see them on TV one more time this year.


As I wrote to you the day after Miami lost to New England, if Miami can find a way to win tonight, they should beat Buffalo next week. Assuming the Pats win against the Jets and then lose at New Orleans, New England would be a game up on Miami. If Miami beats the Pats at home, they'll have the same record but Miami will have the tie breaker due to a better division record and thus be leading the division. Forget the Wildcard, our road is through the division.

The loss of Ronnie will hurt. Hopefully Lex Hilliard will rise to the opportunity he has been given.

Playoffs!!!! Wildcard!!!!! You could not make the playoffs, if you had me in my prime.

8-8 this year, maybe even 7-9. Good draft picks next year(WR, OLB, ILB, CB or S, and late round NT) and we'll be ready to challenge. 2011 we'll need RB, WR, OLB, ILB, and OL depth. The 2011 team should be SOLID......just in time for all of us to die in 2012.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I just read this in this article.

"Being a fan is not about rational expectations - it is about irrational faith in YOUR team."

I was thinking of adding maybe some Santeria rituals to my pre game festivities.

Is Santeria the religion where you sacrafice chickens ? If yes do the blood stains clean up easier then say...vomit,spilt beer and overturned ashtrays ?

Do I have to use a live chicken ? Can I use a rubber chicken and fake blood ?

Since I reside in Charlotte NC can I sacrifice my Nascar Dale Jr. tee shirt and some corn dogs ?

Anywhoo just keeping the faith and going that extra mile as a fan.

Soiled :)

If this team is serious about competing for a playoff spot, they should be auditioning veteran RB's that understand the game at its highest levels.

Randy S. - Do you really think we need a CB in the draft? C'MON MAN! We just drafted 2 of them this year and will get Will Allen back from his injury. I agree though we need to get a S, WR, OLB, ILB. Don't forget a nose tackle in that mix also, because i am not sure how much faith they will have in our current backup.

Mandy, that reminds me...Can you throw some extra tweets up tonight? My favorite comedian has a show at 8PM...So, I'll miss most, if not all the game. BTW, it's Doug Stanhope...He's hilarious for those who don't know him.

Posted by: Marc | November 19, 2009 at 12:47 PM


You've just impeached your own creditbility.
Having rough raunchy sex with strange women ranks right up there on the old proverbial priority list. Even that takes a backseat to watching a make it or break it Dolphins game.

A comedian?

MarK, get a life and a K, I think Martin has an extra one(get it?-MartinK)

RUN RICKY RUN will be back tonight !!!

I can't wait!!!!

Before talking playoffs, we must be able to show we can beat a playoff team.

Our 5 losses came vs above .500 teams (ATL, SD, NE, IND, NO)

Our 4 wins came vs below .500 teams ( NY twice, TB, BUF)

That's no coincidence, believe me. We'll talk playoffs next year (I hope so).

Dear Mr Soiled,

Chicken sacrifices? Hmmm.

I'm sure this would be less expensive than all those trips to the pawnshop.
Do you really think it will be any more effective?

I have to miss the game too because of it's early hour (I'm on Pacific Time) but I've got the Tivo set to record and I've instituted a self imposed "media blackout" of the game so I can watch it later tonight just as if it were live, except I get to fastforward past the commercials. Run Ricky Run!!!!! and Ted I forgive every dropped, game winning touchdown pass as long as you keep returning Kickoffs for TD's.

Also, if we win tonight, beat the Bills next week and beat the Pats the following week, we would be in 1st place in the AFC East if the Pats lose to either the Jets or the Saints before playing us. This might be the first time I actually pull for the Jets, wow!

Let’s go Ricky and let’s go Defense!! Ricky will be damn good with screen passes too, I hope the coaches mix that into the game plan!

Flew into Charlotte yesterday from Phoenix for the game, praying the Fins can pull one out!!

Long shot with only two slots available. A win would be nice though to keep hope alive. :-)

If the Dolphins keep using the Wildcat and take the ball away from Henne's hand so often, they'll always be fighting for time of possession, keeping winnable games too close; hence, losing some of them, consequently missing the playoffs and any chance to play good playoff football.


Go Dolphins Go!

Run Ricky Run!

Henne the Hero!

Phin Fan? Phin fan? Phin fan?

In golf they say drive for show putt for dough. In football, they say run for show pass to win. Look around the league. Need to open it up. It is very hard to put together those 8 or 9 minute drives (or, longer) and score enough touchdowns to win consistantly in this league. Remember the Colt's game and the 1st drive of the San Diego game. Running is important for 4 things: (1) to set up the pass, (2) to control the clock and pick up first downs in critical situations (almost impossible to strictly use the run to control the clock for the entire game, (3) a change of pace (keep defense honest) and (4) to keep you out 3rd and long situtations. Using the run to help control the clock before the half and when ahead is the most important aspect of the running game.

Put the wildcat to rest. I am thinking long term here. We need to be able to pass the ball consistantly in this league to seriously have chance to win the Super Bowl. Nothing better than play action pass out of the pro set. Just ask Brady, Manning or Big Ben and if you can remember, Bob Griese. Eeven the great running Dolphin teams of the past had a legitament passing game when needed. And, this was before all the rule changes that favor the passing game.

Pass the Ball. Please pass the ball and let Henne develope. We are not winning the Super Bowl this year. And, I am 90% sure we are not going to the playoffs.

No matter what, I will watch every game. I live In orlando and have been to 4 of our home games this year. The only game I missed (watched on TV) was The Tampa game because my wife was in the Hospital. I even went to last game of the 2007 seasson (remember 1-15) against the Chiefs.

Go Dolphins!

I just want to win the Super Bowl one for time. Hopefully, in the next three years.

Belive me there's ALMOST nothing that can make me miss a game...but the Dolphin's play 16 games a yr. Doug comes once a yr or less and who knew we'd play on Thurs? Besides, I can record it and come back and watch the garbage when I'm done laughing. Ideally the game would be first

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