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Are the Dolphins close to Saints, Colts? No!

In the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIV, I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this phrase: The Dolphins aren't that far off from winning a Super Bowl. They played both New Orleans and Indianapolis well and should have beaten them. So they're close.

The logic apparently follows that since the Dolphins lost to Indianapolis 27-23 the second week of the season, then lost to New Orleans 46-34 on Oct. 25th, Miami is close to being pretty good because those two teams are obviously championship caliber.

And it's not just fans seeing the Dolphins through this prism.

"I think we're close," Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said on his Ronnie Brown radio show on 560-WQAM this week. "I think we have a lot of the right pieces to the puzzle. I think we still have a few things we need to tweak and get better at. But as a team, we're pretty close.

"We played both those teams this year and, to our credit, we were in the games and had an opportunity to win both of those games. So that says, as a team, we're close. But there are a few pieces to the puzzle we've got left."

Now, you're not going to like this so if you're not in the mood for an honest dose of reality, simply stop reading now. That way you'll go on about the rest of your day thinking your team is close to being Super Bowl-caliber because it hung tough with the two Super Bowl teams.

The rest of you, read on.

The Dolphins are nowhere near close to the Saints or the Colts.

Some facts:

NFL teams are judged by what they do through an entire season, not by what they do in one game. And during the 2009 regular season, the Colts were 14-2 while the Saints were 13-3. The Dolphins were 7-9. So Indy won twice as many games as Miami while the Saints almost accomplished the feat.

Both the Saints and Colts won their respective divisions and were No. 1 seeds in the playoffs. The Dolphins finished third in the AFC East and didn't make the playoffs

The Dolphins aren't close.

Any logic that suggests one team is comparable to another based on the outcome of one game must be uniform. So anyone saying the Dolphins are close to the Saints because they almost beat the Saints, must then have to keep a straight face as they say the Washington Redskins are close to being as good as the Saints. The Redskins, after all, lost to New Orleans by a 33-30 score on Dec. 6th. And yes, the Saints played everyone in that game and did everything they could to win.

So do you think the Redskins are close to the Saints?

Taking the argument one step further, if you think the Dolphins are close to the Super Bowl champions based on playing them close in one game, you must also believe the Tampa Bay Bucs are better than the champs. Yes, Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 20-17 on Dec. 27th.

And you cannot argue the Saints gave up in that game because Drew Brees completed 32 of 37 passes for 258 yards with 1 TD. He completed 10 more passes against Tampa than he did against Miami. But the Bucs won.

So do you think Tampa Bay fans are foolish enough to believe they're close to being as good or better than New Orleans?

The Dolphins aren't close.

Finally, of course, there's the empirical argument against the Dolphins: The Saints have better players. And more of them. The Colts have better players. And more of them. That cannot be disputed by any right-thinking NFL fan or player.

Tell me ... what player on the Dolphins offense rises to the level of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning? Let me answer -- none.

What receiver on the Dolphins could start for the Saints or Colts? Let me answer -- none.

What defender on the Dolphins makes as many game-changing plays as either Indy's Dwight Freeney or Who Dat's Darren Sharper? Let me answer -- none.

The Saints had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Colts had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Dolphins had three -- Yeremiah Bell, Dan Carpenter and Jake Long.

Long didn't play because of injury. Bell got on the team because Indy's Antoine Bethea was in the Super Bowl. And Carpenter played because Nate Kaeding injured himself the first day of practice.

So both Super Bowl teams have more than twice as many Pro Bowl players as Miami, even when we all know the reason the Dolphins had three was due to extenuating circumstances.

The Dolphins aren't close.

And it pains me to hear Dolfans saying they are close to the Saints and Colts because it suggests they're not being realistic. Or just don't know what they're talking about.

[I'm off the rest of the week but if anything happens, I'll update you on twitter. So follow me.] 

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So, Armando, it's impossible for a team to go from average to great in a year, huh?? The saints were 8-8 last year and 7-9 the year before that.

The truth is that the Dolphins are close--if certain injuries had not happened down the stretch (R.Brown, J. Ferguson), we would have been a playoff team.

I think this article is very small minded because you fail to take into note that Miami has alot of young up-and-coming players (C. Henne, K. Langford, V.Davis, S. Smith, B. Hartline) who will be solid for this team for years and we had two probowl snubs in Polite and Starks.

We are close, and when we get there, please don't try and say how you knew we were"So Close All Along."

Smartfan you are a dope. Armando has said clearly many times he roots for the Dolphins. When he talks of fans he refers to "we" and "us". Also, I own a Cuban restaurant in Hialeah and Mando's come in a couple of times -- once he was wearing a Dolphins T-shirt. And he talked to me about hoping the team gets good enough to hit the playoffs both times.

You are an idiot.

Right now we are a middle of the pack team.

Humility and hard work on our draft options should be our #1 priorities.

Super Bowl talk is pure waste of time.

Armando says we are not "close" to the Colts or Saints..Neither were the Jets, yet they were two quarters away from being in the Superbowl against the Colts...The moral of the story is to make the playoffs WITH momentum...Yes, I want the Dolphins to be like the Colts, but that will not happen overnight but Yes, we are closer then we were the last five or ten years

My brother and I had the same conversation during the superbowl. My response to him was this: "It's way too early for me to tell or predict when Miami has a chance to go the big game." I told him to ask me the same question after the draft, and then again after the preseason, I told him that more likely than not my prediction would have changed. Yea we're not right around the corner, but 2-3 years IMO is not "far-off". Far-off was how I knew we were after Ricky left us the first time, and that was 6 years ago! A lot has happened since then, which means a lot less needs to be done. 2-3 Years everyone! Mark my words!!!

I love Dolfans arguing with Mando, but he's write.

Oh any we had a better record with our subs in games than with ALL our starters. All of great starters were 0-3 to start the year. AFterward the injuries hit.

So what was so great about our starters?

Dueces!

Alex in Hialeah-
You tell'em, Mando is always saying "us the fans"...ummmm I wonder why??? The guy is an idiot.

P.S. I grew up in Hialeah, so shout outs to the old hood!

Ill say we are alot close to winning double digit games for a few years in a row then we are to sliding back down to 5, 6, or 7 win seasons.

Excellent food for thought. You are correct, the Dolphins weren't close last year or right now.

Hopefully with a great draft and free agency, we'll get closer.

Good work.

Omar Kooky and Mike Brerapenisface - Had a better record with our subs? That makes no sense. The only major starter we lost was Pennington. Also, it is not like we played terrible in that 0-3 start. We played 3 pretty darn good teams (#1 #2 AFC teams) and 2 of the games were on the road.

Just curious to know which "starters" you are referring to?

Our team is needing a true #1 WR and a couple of decent linebackers. A little experience with our db.s and safety's and QB and yes we are there. Injuries are everything in this league and we had our share last year. Throw out the Porter garbage ...maybe Crowder too and were at the next echelon and you know it. Phins are on pace to make their own move. Saban crippled us but we are on the rise.

In some past post I read something like this: "a truly #1 WR will help Ted Ginn". May be this is right, but a truly #1 WR will help more Davon Bess or Hartline. In the past the comments were like this "A better team will help Ted Ginn" then the dolphins were a better team. "A strong arm QB will help Ted Ginn" then he has Henne. "A better accuracy arm QB will help Ted Ginn" then Henne have a better touch. "A better coached will help Ted Ginn" then Ginn only run routes near the side line. "Ted Ginn is under too much pressure" then the coaches put Hartline ahead of him.
This game is for the braves (players and fans), and Ted only have speed and "no testicular fortitude" as Cuban Menance said, he is only 10lb skinner than Bess and bulk 10lb (of useful volume not just body building) in the off season is a reachable goal and that help him to be even faster, and with more confidence; Since the beginning just a better Ted Ginn will help Ted Ginn.
With all the holes now in the team, ¿isn't he a luxury for the team? ¿is not now the right time to trade him?

I don't know if you are completely correct Armando. Remember, in the games the Dolphins did play Indy and NO, they had their MVP playing, Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins were executing the wildcat effectively then, because of Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins started to tank when?, when Ronnie Brown got injured. Ask yourself this question. If Drew Brees or Peyton Manning are hurt, do their teams go 13-3 or 14-2? Your assessment of the Dolphins talent is mostly correct. But i ask you to think how the Dolphins season would have turned out, if Ronnie Brown stays healthy.

You're wrong and/or lying. Armando cleared this up for us two years ago. He told everyone in this blog that he was not a Miami Dolphins fan. There is nothing wrong with that. He can still write about the Dolphins if he's not a fan. Some of you in here are the most ridiculously moronic people on the face of the earth. You can't even comprehend a simple post and it's meaning. How did you make it out of high school? I'm sorry if Mando not being a fan crushed your little dreams but it's the truth. Don't believe me,, ASK HIM. Just say, "Hey Armando, are you a Dolphins fan". And when he says no does that mean you'll stop reading his stuff? NO, but it does mean you can read it with the full knowledge that his opinion is coming from a non-fan.

Well I'm glad Mando isn't giving the peptalks in the locker room...no one would want to play.

I am not completely sure why i have to say the same thign everyday but once more for those who it hasnt sunk it yet. TED GINN WILL NOT BE TRADED. HE WAS NOT WORTH THE 9 SPOT WE PICKED HIM IN BUT EITHER WAY YOU DONT GET RID OF SOMEONE YOU PICKED IN THE TOP TEN. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE CANT GET THAT VALUE BACK. GINN IS TOO FAST TO GET RID OF AND GIVE UP ON. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS POST HAVE TO BE REPEATED AGAIN. GINN STAYS AND ITS FOR THE BEST.( he is a small girl trapped in that body but he is fast as hell and we will get no value out of that draft pick. so deal with it.)

Im glad that this isnt smartfans blog or we would only talk about who his favorite team is rather than football. go somewhere else please. everyone in here is beggin for you to do so. Or here is a novel thought... talk about football and be productive. No one gives a s*** if mando is a dolphin fan or not like i said he gives us a good place to start to talk about football. FOOTBALL...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who really cares if he is writing as a fan of Miami or a non fan?

Thank you indiana, soo back to football... Has anythign new came out about the Boldin issue yet?

Adrian, TedGinn is definitly a noose around this teams neck..Man, he got the speed and the goods but the guy is so scared to take a hit I wonder how he got thru college playing ball..I don't know what we do with this guy, I know if it was up to Cuban he would be playing in NFL Europe

Alex, you are a mouth breathing, ignorant, thought challenged waste of internet space. Please post where Armando says he "roots for the Dolphins". If he's said it many times then you will have no problem finding it in the archives. Can't wait for you to prove me wrong. ARMANDO SALGUERO IS NOT A DOLPHINS FAN. "He talks about we and us" Bahahahaha, no, actually he has NEVER said we or us when referring to the Dolphins but nice try. "Mandos always saying us the fans". NOPE, never said that, and besides Mando knows how to speak english so he never would say "us, the fans". "He was wearing a Dolphins t-shirt". He covers the Dolphins you dolt! He probably has closets full of Dolphins crap. And yes he "wants the Dolphins to make the playoffs" because it means more team access for him, more articles, more time covering meaningful games and not speculating over what may or may not happen. USE YOUR F***ING BRAIN!

I see some of the trolls and jet fan from the SS have made their way here and have infested this blog . Miami has beat the jets 3 in a row . BOIP !!! Fart !!

SMART FAN is progress stopper and i believe the trifecta would not like him and probably get rid of him which i wish would happen to him on this blog.

WestVafins, hear what ur saying but Gibril Wilson was given a boatload of money and for what??? Plus Parcells and Co. did not make the Ginn pick so there is no pressure on this regime to keep Ginn, especially since it looks like he is a major mistake even if he was a top ten pick. Hell even the owner was different when Ginn was picked, I don't agree with u that Ginn is DEFINITLY going to be here for training camp

I sure don't give a damn if he is/says he's not or he is a fan. I think he is and tries to lie about it so that his opinion comes off as not being bias. It's called journalism people, like WestVaFins says, he gives us something to start off with and thats all.

But NJ, it widens the candidates for ur daily award list, it's a good thing

Indianadolphinfan said, "Just curious to know which "starters" you are referring to"?
Guy, you just lost all credibility as a dolphins fan. Besides CHAD PENNINGTON,,,,RONNIE BROWN, JASON FERGUSON, JUSTIN SMILEY, WILL ALLEN, JAKE GROVE, CHANNING CROWDER, DAVID MARTIN, PATRICK COBBS. Please start watching the games because that's the entire middle of our field including our best CB. No, how could that possibly hurt a team? Lets see the Colts or Saints lose their starting QB,RB,NT,CB,(C AND RG for numerous games)and still get to the superbowl.

I think Ginn has one more year and then outta town.

You might not like smartman as a person or his criticism of armando but he's right about the dolphins direction and the need to fix this pathetic defense.

Boobbyd12 , you're about that. Right now today , i can have a field day with some of these posts.

And really, who gives a sh"t if Armando is a Dolphins fan or not..He has a good blog and he writes good articles which is his job...

How much more snow did you all get Nj?

we all love our dolphins but lets be real. this past year we didnt "beat" the hated jets. we happened to win both games even though we could have easily lost both. in fact i think we barely had 100 yds. of offense in the 2nd game; only a ted ginn miracle saved us!! i cant ever say anything negative about him since he won both games for us.

WESTVAFINS,,, You're kidding right? EVERYONE wants me to leave huh? Are ya all sitting together in the same room discussing this? And this is a "football blog"? ROFLMAO! Where were you 6 months ago when I was trying to get everyone to talk football but they were more interested in talking about what they ate for breakfast that morning or politics? I even asked Armando to cut some of the dead weight or make some small rules about talking only football in here. But he ignored me because it wouldn't help with the number of hits on his blog and everyone got mad at me because they said "this is a free space and they can talk about what ever they want"! So now I'm just following the rules of the blog,,,,ANYTHING GOES,,,,,,it's a free for all in here,,,yippy!

westva. the snow tapered off last night. I'd say total was about 10 -12 inches. right now it's clear and sunny, the snow is melting. thank god.

Greg Z, cmon bro, u can't say anything negative about Ginn because he was a factor in beating the Jets last year?? The idea in this league is to win the Superbowl, not beat ur rivals twice and not make the Playoffs..Ginn also cost us a game or two..let's look at the big picture here

NJ, got less snow then they called for then???

Smarty, time to get off the computer and grow up and shovel some snow. And while you're at it, stop jacking off to your favorite team ... The Jets.

smartman , reveal yourself.

The Dolphins aren't even close to the Patriots. At least we made the playoffs.

One of the most accurate assesments made by a sports writer concerning the Dolphins. The Dolphin fans have always looked @ their team with ROSE COLORED glasses. I suspect this will neve change.

GoPats, made the playoffs to get seriously thumped..I wouldn't brag to much after the beating u guys took

I suspect fans will be riled by this analysis, but it seems balls on accurate to me.

Well done, Mr. Salguero

I dont know if I agree with you Mando. I think if we had a little bit better defensive play this past season, we could beat any team in the league on any given Sunday. Out team is no longer a walk in the park for anyone. Will we win the Super Bowl next season, probably not but we will be better than this year and by 2011 season watch out. Henne will devolop and we will find a WR. Parcells defense built through the draft will be young and ferocious. Everyone has said it right a few pieces away; WR, FS, ILB, OLB, DT. Two more drafts and they will be filled.

Everyone keeps saying we had a difficult schedule last year.No we didn't.But you won't win games if you allow big plays,and don't make any yourselves,or miss tackles,or start the first half of a game perfect but are taking a nap in the second,or settling for field goals when you get in the redzone instead of scoring touchdowns, etc.We dealt with injuries in 2008 too except they were not as serious &they occured later in the year whereas last season players were hurt by Week 3.Schedules are not based on the previous season,so the Fins would still have faced the Afc South &Nfc South in 09 even if we finished 5-11 in 08.And as for Tommy not being in the division that year,so what?He only plays on one side of the ball,and he started 16 games last year &the Pats were only 10-6.Anyway,I don't care how close we are to the Saints or Colts,or any team.Each year a team surprises the league,so who knows which team will hoist the Lombardi trophy in 2010? It could be the Rams or Bills.I hope the Fins are underdogs next season;that way when we win the division & make it past the first round in the playoffs all the naysayers can hop onto the bandwagon.We play the Afc North &Nfc North next year plus we host the Titans & visit the Raiders.I'm sure the analysts will claim next year's schedule as "tough",too.

It is humerous that amartfan thinks we actually care if Armando is a Miami fan or some other fan of a different team...

We don't come hear cause he is os ir not a Miami fan. We come hear because he writes about our team and us fans can discuss the topics...

To WestVaFins:
I'm agree with you in terms that we can't get what we invest in him, and yes sometimes i can't deal with that, but in this hard times for our team, that was my opinion; think about a mid to late 2nd round DE converting into OLB or a pure OLB in the strong side to fill the void that Matt Roth left, or even an upgrade, in trade of Ted Ginn and a 4th. I prefer a constant help than a sometimes catch or sometimes score. And by no means, I'm saying he is (Ted Ginn) a total error, he could be useful in other team and we can get somebody that could be more useful for us. Is my opinion and I thank you to repeat me your opinion that i cant not read.

Saints weren't close last year by your logic Armando. They won it all this year. The beautiful thing about the NFL is anybody can rise from the bottom to the top in a single season. We went from 1-15 to 11-5 in 1 season. Saying we aren't close because we went 7-9 is ignorant. Ask Bill Parcells if he thinks we're close or you know somebody else who actually knows about football and not just reports on it, there is a HUGE difference. With that said I think we have some holes to fill and need some luck with health next year but absolutely could be super bowl contenders if the pieces fall.

Miami will be a perenial super bowl contender in 2-3 years. It's not that far away. Henne still needs another year or 2 to jump to top 10 qb status. The defense with the addition of nolan will have to adjust to a new system which could take a year or 2 . The rookies on defense from last year and the ones from this year's draft will need a year or 2. after that look out . You'll be hearing miami's name for years every time there's super bowl talk like NE used to be and indy does now .

Jersey you know who I am. I'll start signing in again when everyone else does. Until then I'm not putting my thoughts and opinions out there for other people to tear apart while they hide under the veil of anonymity. And I'm not really trying to critizize Mando, it may come off that way but I'm really only trying to state the facts. But I do still believe Mando has an axe to grind with Parcells and Ireland for not talking to the media. IMO this unfortunately effects his writing style when covering the team.

agreed adrian and as for the whiny smartfan. You need your own blog. You clearly dont like mando. I bet he beat you out many years ago for this writign job and now you terrorize his blog because you are sooo green with envy. You point out hes not a dolphins fan. WHO THE HELL CARES. Awwww he ignored you i wonder why you bad mouth him. He hurt your feelings. Thats soooo sweet.

bobbyd12 , no . it was about right, they said a foot of snow.

Ms Taylor Payne, Uhhh The NFL itself rates the schedule and they said the Dolphins had the toughest schedule in the league...we can argue about lots of things but u can't argue about FACTS and that was a fact...

lunch time......

smartfan - I know what starters were hurt, but we didn't lose all those starters in one game and my point was that we didn't win more games with are subs vs. our "starters".

Were we better with or without Ferguson? With or without Cobbs? With or without Brown?

The Fins have better depth than the Colts by far in every position except WR. That's just the way that the Colts operate.

" I think we had a little bit better defensive play this past season. posted by alfonso " . Really ? What games were you watching ??? You have now taken the top spot for today.

How dare you compare us to the Readskins or the Bucs. The Dolphins played tough against the saints "and" the colts. Miami also beat the jets TWICE and took down Tom Brady and the pats. Yes we didn't wins as many games but in our defense we lost six key starters that included our starting qb at the time. What we don't have is a # 1 wr, if we could find one, bess,hartline and camarillo become key wrs.

"It is humerous that amartfan thinks we actually care if Armando is a Miami fan or some other fan of a different team"... And what's even more hilarious is that you still can't comprehend simple posts. I don't care what you think about Mandos love or lack there of for the Dolphins. I was simply answering a post from 9:13 am from a guy who was very dissapointed in Mandos article as he based some of that dissapointment on his belief that Mando was a fan. I had pointed out that he wasn't, and that it shouldn't factor into his (the posters) dissapointment in the article. Then some nutjob cuban cuisine restaurant owner called me names and told me I was wrong because Mando is a HUGE fan who even wears dolphins t-shirts. Way to follow along, you may have a reading comprehension problem.

it's "empirical" not "emperical"

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