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Some thoughts as we get back on track

I'm baaaack. As the Dolphins have been off the past few days, I was similarly in rest mode. The club returns to work Monday and so does the publication of this blog.

Check back this afternoon for updates on nose tackle Jason Ferguson's serious injury. Check back for the status of center Jake Grove, whose status is also in question based on the ankle injury he sustained last Thursday versus Carolina.

In the meantime there are some thoughts I have circulating in my head.

First, as I write in my column that appears in Monday's Miami Herald, the Dolphins have rebounded from their potentially catastrophic first three weeks of the season. Remember black September? It brought the Dolphins three losses and a starting quarterback that went out for the year.

It would be a potentially season-killing blow to most teams. It wasn't for Miami.

The column details why not and some other setbacks the Dolphins have overcome to reach 5-5.

Watching the NFL action this weekend was interesting as it relates to the Dolphins.

Watching Cincinnati lose to Oakland, watching Pittsburgh lose to Kansas City, I couldn't help but think about the Dolphins and how they simply don't allow upsets.

Since the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland-Tony Sparano era began, the Dolphins have lost 10 games. I would have expected each one of those losses because they came against understandably superior teams -- teams more talented or simply more complete.

But games against inferior teams -- teams such as St. Louis, Seattle, Oakland, Kansas City, San Francisco, Buffalo, or Tampa Bay?

The Dolphins simply do not lose those type of games. They don't play down to the level of the competition. They don't lose focus against such inferior teams. They avoid the mojo-killing upsets.

That's important because the Dolphins have a couple of those games coming in this season's final six weeks. One of those is Sunday at Buffalo against the 3-7 and nose-diving Bills. The Dolphins cannot afford a letdown against such a down-and-out team.

Their recent history suggests they won't suffer that problem.

By the way, if the season ended today, the Dolphins would not be in the playoffs. They are currently on the outside looking in. Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Denver are tied for the two wild-card spots with 6-4 records. Houston can join this group with a victory tonight.

The Dolphins find themselves in the same group with Baltimore and Houston (should it lose tonight) as teams one game back of the wild-card pack. But here's the rub:

The Dolphins play Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and Houston before the season is out so they have the ability to close the gap.

Looking at it, the season's final two weeks at home -- against Houston and Pittsburgh -- are beginning to loom as season-making or season-breaking weeks.

The season promises to hit a climax at just the right time!

Check back later.  

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Chad Henne is proving himself as a "clutch performer", he had that "it". The moxy that Mark Sancheez wants good job by Parcells and crew finding a diamond on the rough. This guy is mentally tough! Mark my words Henne is destined for greatness!

This has jinx written all over it! You say Miami doesn't lose to these teams.. well Buffalo is a sleeper team on Sunday that has great WR's to burn us with. We still have to beat Patsy's next week too. Which means we could be looking ahead.. This week scares me....

Armando

About time you come back to work. lol

Your back and the rest did you well I've read the two best [paragraphs] you have written in a long time. Lately it was pretty bad but your eloquent observation has bestowed my reason to read your blogs.
Armando:
"Watching Cincinnati lose to Oakland, watching Pittsburgh lose to Kansas City, I couldn't help but think about the Dolphins and how they simply don't allow upsets.

Since the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland-Tony Sparano era began, the Dolphins have lost 10 games. I would have expected each one of those losses because they came against understandably superior teams -- teams more talented or simply more complete."

You see that is what I've been saying: Signs of good team is winning the games your suppose to win as you just mentioned Armando. But Also:
You dont win anything in the months of September and October. Building your team to win early is good but its better to build them as better finishers. You win in the months of November and December and usally very good things happen to your team.
now injuries are taking its toll and now the next person has to step up and fill the void. No one person but one team!

GoDolphins!

I think that with the rash of injuries we've had, there will be no looking ahead. The team knows it will need to fight to win each and every game.
Much like they've had to since the 0-3 stumble out of the gates.
Everyone knows that they need to find ways to improve their play as each week passes. Well, except for Weedy, he is on a different astroplane...lol

Disagree with your statement Armando that the Dolphins dont play down to the level of competition...Look at their record ats as a favorite since the trifecta took over and that should tell you all you need to know.

More than the playoffs this year I would like to see a strong finish by key players. I would like to see further evaluation of some of the youth going into next year. This team is playing very hard and have not been blown out yet. The biggest improvement I see is the depth and a new mindset of a total team commitment from the entire organization. In the past it was all about Marino or Ricky kinda thing. The people calling the shots have a proven track record too. Call me stupid but I think the weather will play into the teams hands down the stretch. Runs well and stops the run. Bid down hill backs and LouDog.

Go Phins!

Miami hasn't been upset, but they have been damn close. Down to the wire wins at home against Tampa Bay this year and Oakland last year are examples. Played down to competition in both.

Andrew H:

Go back and read the tie-breaker scenarios when a three way tie exists.

We are not in control of our destiny yet. We would need a loss by Baltimore and Denver to get us to that point.

You're mostly right Ricky. It depends on how many teams are tied with the same record at the end. We are helped by the fact that Baltimore plays PIT twice and already has the worst conference record.

Actually Miami does play down to the talent of other teams. We saw them do it all last year, and they nearly squeaked out most of their victories. Miami's margin of victory for most games is really slim most of the time--the two exceptions that come to mind are the win in NE last season and the win against BUF this season.

Armando Salguero, you probably are the most knowledgeable and best Miami Dolphin's writer! I've never credited you before, but after reading this latest article by you; I absolutely can say that you have such keen insight into the big picture for the Miami Dolphins! Go Armando! Go Miami!

Armondo, I would agree in part about the Fins beating the teams they should in the past few weeks but that's only of late. The m.o. has been to lose to the bad teams and beat the good teams. They have had a habit of playing down to the level of the sorry teams. I'm just not ready to jump on the band wagon just yet for the rest of the season. We have watched this team play superb football this year in the first 3 quarters - only to try and give the game away in the 4th. I don't recall the defensive player who made the statement "we tend to relax in the 4th quarter or words to that effect" but his words were true and someone in the locker room should take that statement to heart and let these guys know they are professional players in great physical condition - they should be playing up in the 4th quarter to protect any lead they may have. Last week was a good example and the week before. Both teams nearly came back to win the game. The Fins still lack that killer instinct. GO FINS - pressure Brady all game and they will beat the pattsies.

Armando...how can 2 teams be "knotted" at 7-0?

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