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The locker room reaction following a win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Six days ago, before they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Tony Sparano told his team to strive for one mark by the time they took the coming weekend off: 5-5.

Sure Sparano was talking about multiple games and he usually preaches one at a time, but, "I looked a game ahead, I guess is what I'm saying. We knew we had two games in a short period of time and we knew it was going to be critical for us to take care of two football games to get ourselves back in position to make a charge."

Well, get the credit cards out because the Dolphins believe they are charging.

But first the bad news: Defensive tackle Jason Ferguson suffered a knee injury Thursday and did not return to the game. The Dolphins believe the injury is" serious," according to a source, and have scheduled an MRI for Friday.

The source declined to be specific about his definition for "serious." It is likely Ferguson will miss playing time but unclear if he is done for the remainder of the season.

The Dolphins find themselves in the playoff hunt today.

"We're back at eye-level now," said Nate Jones, who had an interception Friday. "We're back at ground zero. We're 5-5. We're have two huge division games coming up. We've put ourselves in a position to make a huge dent in this division and the league.

"We don't control our own destiny but we put ourselves in a position to make a run."

This game had many heroes.

Ricky Williams rushed for 119 yards on 22 carries. It was his second consecutive 100-yard game.

"I don't want to talk about myself," Williams said. "I want to talk about the team. We struggled a bit during the game, but the defense kept it close to give us an opportunity and give us time to get it together."

Yeremiah Bell made a tackle on DeAngelo Williams after a 50-yard gain. That came just before Jones got his interception.

"Without the tackle they score a touchdown," Bell said accurately. "It saved some points for the defense. I can run a little bit. I'm not going to downplay myself. I can run. And that's my job. It's to save touchdowns. I'm the last guy on the back end and I expect to make those plays."

Nate Garner was a hero. He played left guard, right tackle and center during the game as Jake Grove, Joe Berger and Vernon Carey went out with injuries. Carey and Berger returned. Grove did not return after his ankle injury.

"I'll play wherever they want me to play," Garner said.

Sparano said he never coached a game where so many players, particularly offensive linemen, went down.

"One time when I was an offensive line coach in Cleveland I was down to my last offensive lineman and he got poked in the eye and came out of the game, and I was coaching a defensive tackle right there in the middle and he finished the game," Sparano said. "But this thing today, they were going down left and right. I'm kind of happy we played on a Thursday and we got a couple of extra days.

"If another guy went down, I don't know where we would have gone. I don't know if they would have liked it but we would have been poking on one of those defensive line guys, maybe Merling."

As I wrote in my column, Chad Henne outplayed Jake Delhomme. After three quarters, Delhomme had completed only 9 of 21 passes. He was terrible. Henne was not spectacular -- completing 17 of 21 passes for 172 yards. But he avoided the big mistake and completed three big third-down passes.

"Ricky Williams stepped up today, and Lex Hilliard got in there," Henne said. "The wide receivers stepped up and the offensive line is playing great. Pass protection is great, I had a lot of time back there. All together we're forming a team and we're not putting it on anyone's shoulders."

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Hello Dolphins nation.

I am happy and a little tipsy after a great win, here are the players of the game in my eye.

RICKY WILLIAMS
Joey Porter
Chad Henne
Davone Bess
Randy Starks
Nate Garner
Lousaka Polite
Nate Jones
Ted Ginn?

This was an all around good effort for our fins

Henne the Hero!


This guy is 5-2 as a starter. He was clutch on 3rd down tonight. What more can you ask for? Henne is the qb of the future!

Way to go Ricky Williams and Joey Porter!

With the Jets-Pats game it is a win-win for the Dolphins.

If the Jets win, the Dolphins come within a game of 1st place and have a chance to take 1st place with a win over the pats next week.

If the Pats win, the Jets fall to 4-6 and Dolphins are alone in 2cnd place and another contender for wild card is behind in the race...

Five and five has never sounded so sweet

Just got back from that game..Friggin Awesome. Whole stadium was deflated...Good representation of dolphans at the game. That Bess catch looked even better in person. Celebrate if just for the next day or so guys we are at .500!!!!

It is great that they are back to 500 with an opportunity to continue competing to get into the playoffs. But I like the grit and character this team is displaying by battling through injuries and also battling to get back to 5-5. All year, key injuries and tough losses, and they continue to fight. No matter how the rest of the season goes, I really like the character of this team, and the way they are being built. Now please, can I get some playmakers at linebacker and free safety.

Anyone one ask about the logic behind passing up the field goal in the last minute Armando?

I feel bad for Fergie!!! Great guy and his won't be easily replaced in the middle. It all starts with him stopping the run.

I need to apologize to Garner, last week he looked week, tonight he manned up and play a really good game filling in wherever they needed him! Kudos!!

Never thought I would say it but I'm hoping the stupids win against the pats. If they can some how pull of a win (I know it's unlikely) I think we'll take care of the bills and move just a little closer to that pats-dolphins match up we all want to see.

Ricky Williams is the tuffest Vegan in history even more to Ghandi...


Nate Garner showed heart and that he is valuable o-lineman to stay on team for many years.

I am very satisfy

on a more somber note, I actually did think we can ok chances to go far into the playoffs, if we made it, with ronnie brown. Now unfortunately my optimistic goals do shrink to just making the playoffs. Let's hope we can make it, it'll be great if we at least have a 1st round game to play!

We are already alone in second place. Dolphins hold the the tie breaker, half game lead over the Jets.

GOOD WIN
CONGRATS ALL DOLPHINS!!!
GO FOR THE PLAYOFFS U HAVE THE HEART TO DO IT.

Wayne Fontes,

What did I TELL YOU!!!!

A lot of people do not realize what a goof ball chicken sheet Dan Henning is!
He didn't have enough confidence in Henne or this offense in general. Up until he was forced to make a change(Ronnie being injured), he was afraid to go to the bread and butter(smash mouth football).
I hate to say it, but injuries more so than Henning, have steered the offensive ship for the Miami Dolphins!
Henning keeps dumb stumbling along.

Bottom line if the jets can do us a favor and beat those patsies and next week we can take care of the bills then the road to the afc east will come through miami on sunday night go fins and let's set ourselves up to reclaim the afc east!!!!

You know it's a real team win when Ted Ginn catches a couple passes.

richard3000 i love that name the stupids ha ha ha classic!!!

I just for back from the game as well and it was awesome. At one point in the game you could here the dolphin fans chanting over Carolina!! That was hilarious what a game!

OMG the jets saved us last year vs the pats so let's see if they can do us a favor and win I don't like the jets or pats but if I dod have to pick one it be the jets only cause they save us somtines lol but this team looked good for all the injures henne did great and gets better and better ever game he I'd the future I can't belive people on here hate him look what he did today great passes and look at everyone catching balls we are working harder and harder let's go phins!

"Get the credit cards out, because the Dolphins believe they are charging!!".

Mando, please make a list of your top ten corny things you have written during the past year. Then share your list with us around Christmas, as a gift for us.

I believe this line will be number 3 in your top ten list!


Ps... Sarcastically mocking ya bro.

Gutty road win. Ricky was a beast 2nite behind an O-Line that was makeshift with guys going down left & right. Lets get the injured healthy on this long break & get ready for the hated Pats the Sunday after next.

My mistake. Must take care of the Bills 1st in Buffalo the Sunday after next. Pats are the Sunday after hopefully a win over the Bills.

Bummer about Ferg. I can't believe all the injuries lately. This is when the early buy week that the Dolphins seem to get every season sucks.

Nate Jones is playing great. Culver looks like he's getting Gibril Wilson's disease.

I drank to celebrate every good play the fins made. I am now drunk. Go fins!

We knocked the snot out of the Panthers but it cost us some starters we need to heal and hope Ferguson is not out for the season we need him... Now we must taking down New England we take them down then were in the mix it's up to the Defense to slow them down and not let them score at will we must get to Brady!!!

I see a huge gorilla. Too many injuries. We're done. No matter how hard they strife.

nyfinfan,

Sparano mentioned it (not going for the field goal)during his postgame conference. He said the reason was because his fieldgoal unit was all banged up and it would be players who don't practice fieldgoal formations. He thought that going for the 1st would be a better idea and not get someone else hurt. The chance of missing the fieldgoal or having it blocked was greater that the chance of getting the first.

Game Balls:

Ricky Williams(Duh)
Nate Garner(Unsung hero who kept the o-line together)
Defensive secondary(aside from the steve smith TD they played a hell of a game)
Davone Bess-representin Da 808(Clutchest player on our team)

Lousaka Polite for President or just the Pro Bowl - Go VOTE - YES WE CAN!!!

Lousaka Polite. That's a football player, gents

Just remember(urp)This is one of 10.Ok were 5-5 and this is just a stepping stone to be better.Do we really have to root for the jets?cough, choke,cough,choke.....witch one?lol

nice game fins

5-5 we can do better...henne the hero..thanks carlito

Were are all the J-peezy haters now.I told you guy he still has it. Hey Marc didn't you tell me his legs were gone.
Look for him to have a Big game in 2 week VS. the pats.

go fins hilliard is going to be that player that can get clutch yards giving rickey enough help so that he does not wear down. bess has redeemed and we may have found a route ginn can excel at sideline falling down he feels safe

NO Jet bashing until Monday!! We need them to down the Pat's!!

that was a great game. Hope everyone heals up for the Bills. Ricky is a gamer. The O line played great. The d also did a real good job. Anytime you keep and NFL team to under 20 point the d has done more than it's job. Henne looks great. Remember, throw the ball low to Ginn. Anything where he is standing and running had better drop into his hands. Bess was awesome.

Ricky's a punishing runner, the more you give him the ball the more that defence tires,wouldn't be surprised to see Ricky break a long one in the end of the 3rd or in the 4th quarter..

Posted by: cuban menace | November 19, 2009 at 06:03 PM

I love it when i am right...


Proud of our Dolphins...they played so hard tonight and had a lot of guys step up.I think Miami is doing amazing considering the huge injuries this year...Miami lost the heart of the team(Ronnie) and a real leader(Chad P.)...but they continue to work hard and play with heart.Not very many teams could lose this many stars at key positions and recover from it...Our Dolphins refuse to quit.The coaching staff is doing a great job of having guys ready to step up.

Ricky looked great...he can't continue to do it all though...other players need to step up even more.

Henne needs to help Ricky out.I really don't think Henne is playing very well...He's been off target an it's nit allowing any yards after the catch.The pass to Bess over the middle could of been a TD if Henne was on target.

Porter looked a lot better...maybe he just needed something to really piss him off...The benching was a good idea ha

Polite is a beast...what a real team player.

Ted Ginn made some tough catches...way to do your part Teddy.

Much love Phin Fans...oh Nate Jones might turn out pretty damn good.V Davis has a passion and a great aggressive style to his game...he's been doing good.

WOW 5-5 You guys sound like you won the SUPER BOWL.

I said at the start I was looking for 11-5.

To beat TAMPA and CAROLINA by as little as we did doesn't make me feel better.

Last year we started the games slow and went strong towards the end and now we srart strong and can't finish.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy about the win but we have to be solid through out the game.

We allow 2 teams that are bad to give us run for our money.

I know this only year 2 and every game no matter who we play we play strong but these type of games you need to run away with.

Nathaniel-Your quest to be first is a struggle that only your inner self can judge.However I myself think that Veronica Lodge is the sexiest comic book woman in history.Tank tops are tops.But only a woman who can turn a small play area into a waterpark is worthy in my small book of must see not on TV and cannot miss action.Your thoughts?

Posted by: Tony T Bone | November 19, 2009 at 11:57 PM

Tony, I salute your perspicacious question, and I apologize for not responding to it last night, but after my post I went to bed where my wife welcomed me with a blank tank top, turned our bed into a waterpark, and was her customarily forgiving and understanding self when I finished first while insisting that she wear a Veronica Lodge wig.

P.S. When I told her that the Dolphins won, she feigned joy, and we laughed because she doesn't give a darn about the Dolphins, and that's okay with me.

"blank tank top" = "black tank top"

the statment by ricky williams about the team and not himself speaks loud and clear how this guy is a great human being and giving the credit to the defense b/c it's true .

ps...any body noticed how henne is becoming slowely sure of himself and building confidence to become a real starter not a flash in the pan like dirty sanchez .

cuban menace:

"I love it when i am right...". Duh. Yep, you were right. That was really a tough prediction too. What do you predict as an encore, that Peyton Manning is a pretty good quarterback and that you wouldn't be surprised if he completes a pretty long pass one of these days?

Awesome all around effort. They looked a little shaky at times on some plays, but the receiving corps stepped up (except Haynos). Hats off to Tedd Ginn who looked like a completely different receiver out there holding on to everything thrown his way. With Ricky in top shape, Hilliard and Polite supporting and the passing game coming into play now, we may be ready to make a legitimate run. Only question now is... are the line injuries going to kill us?

I think payton will complete a lot of long passes...DUH./.

People often forget that Bob Greise was out for a significant portion of the perfect season. Or how about the year the Giants won the superbowl with Jeff Hostetler filling in for the injured Phil Simms... The point here is that injuries are part of football. To succeed in this game, people (starters and backups alike) have to step up. We saw that against Tampa Bay and again last night. We need to continue to see it. That's football.

By the way, Matt Millen is a goofball. What was all this nonsense about, "Ricky's gotta play like the New Orleans Ricky." Ricky didn't have his first truly breakout season until he came to Miami in 2002 and he led the league in rushing. He was never as potent a force as he was with Miami in 2002. THAT'S the Ricky that needs to be channeled.

First sentence "strive" (v) not "strife" (n).

Joey "Heinous"

if ricky played like ricky 2002 he would of had 230 plus yards last nite. he is patient now and uses his size to win battles . and he has really improved holding onto the ball. fumbles used to be an issue.

There are no style points for 'running away' with a game, winning 'going away' 'blowing out' a team. Weather you win by 50 or a point its a single win. They other guys get paid to play, too. You are what your record says you are. It is what it is. 2+2 = 4. Grass is green. Water is wet. Ice cream tastes good. Get the picture?

Downer 12 you are a freakin idiot! Henne needs to help out Ricky and Ginn made some great catches. Ginn made catches he should have beem all year, the ones that hit you in the hands I mean. Henne is throwing the ball were it needs to be. Did you ever play football?

Gopats,

Henne the Hero...

Do you seeing the light now?

Nasty Nate Garner is a real football player

wets beat the patsies in a game that matters?? What a laugh... more likely the sun will explode on Sunday... jets fn suck!

Does anyone know which BUC stepped on Brown's foot?

I wonder if it was accidental or one of those things that happen in pileups (poking eyes, etc. that don't get called).

I think it was Talib

Great Win But At What Cost?

The injuries keep increasing. We'll soon find out how last night's injuries will affect the FINS play.

It will test the quality of the FINS depth chart. From what I've seen this year, it looks a lot better than what I've seen in many years. Injuries to key players during the Marino years kept the FINS from getting to the Superbowl. The drop off in talent was too big. Instead of peaking at the end of season, the injuries would cause them to lose more games (limp into the playoffs and then knocked out).

This team has potential. Can't say it'll be this year but FINS are on right track.

"Strife" or strive? "Haunt" or hunt? This is what I'm talking about. Is that Mandos typo on strife or was it what Sparano said? Was it Sparanos accent to cause both miscommunications? It SEEMS like Mando is making fun of coach Sparano when he does things like this. If it was his accent then write what he meant. If it was a mistake because he just came off the field after an emotional win and is spent then write what you know he meant. It seems like you're making fun of the coach and then you turn around and say you don't deserve to be treated like a jerk. THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! If you act like a jerk why shouldn't you be treated like a jerk?! Am I wrong?! Am I coming at this from the wrong perspective? WTF?

Terrible field conditions and dirty play by Carolina defensive line caused injuries. Few plays you could see them stepping on our lines feet and legs. 5-5 is great and Ricky and Lex looked great out there. Still think were a wr away from making alot of noise. We'd easily be 7-3 with a wr and possibly even beat NE with a stud wr and are sitting at 8-2. Regardless of what happens from here out, the Dolphins should back up the money truck at Vincent Jacksons front door after the season. Patriots days as beasts of the east are seriously numbered.

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