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Live blog of plow horses vs. thoroughbreds here

This time of the NFL season is interesting for teams such as the Dolphins and Lions only in that we can look toward the future.

And in looking at the future of the Dolphins and Lions, today's opponent, we know that both teams have much work to do to become playoff relevant. But their work must come in vastly different areas because the rosters are constructed so, so differently.

The Dolphins, you see, are a team of plow horses. They have a bunch of guys that can play pretty well, play pretty hard, and usually try to give a good performance when they step on the field. The Dolphins don't have a lot of terrible players, which is good.

But the Dolphins also do not have a lot of incredible, superstar players. And that is bad.

That is why after last week's loss to Buffalo at home, Tony Sparano lamented his team making no dynamic plays. What do you expect when you don't have many dynamic players? That is why offensive coordinator Dan Henning during the week echoed those remarks and expanded on them, saying the Dolphins lack dynamic players on offense, defense and special teams.

Hence, no 80-yard bombs or runs on offense, no fumble or interception returns 60 yards for a score on defense, no punt or kickoff TDs.

The Dolphins are a solid, but not a big-play, big-results team. And that is why they are 7-7.

The Lions?

They have a different makeup.

The Lions have a lot of holes in their roster. Their offensive line is leaky. Their running back corps -- traditionally a team strength -- is a weakness. And, quick, name me that young up-and-coming star linebacker on their roster? Ain't got one.

The Lions have myriad holes.

But the Lions have something the Dolphins lack: Dynamic players.

Ndamukong Suh? Dynamic.

Calvin Johnson? Dynamic.

Matthew Stafford? You might not agree, but trust me, he's dynamic.

Louis Delmas? Dynamic.

Brandon Pettigrew? Dynamic.

Stefan Logan? Dynamic on special teams.

The Lions have budding superstars at very important play-making positions and they have a freak in Suh who has turned the defensive tackle spot into a play-making position.

I'm not here to sing the praises of Detroit's dynamic players. You can look up their accomplishments for yourselves. But I know some of you will argue Stafford is not dynamic because, after all, he cannot even finish an NFL season without getting injured.

That's true. But perhaps if he had a solid offensive line in front of him he wouldn't be getting used like a rag doll by opposing defensive players and that might keep him in games.

When he is in games -- not today because he's still injured -- Stafford has shows signs that, frankly, Miami's young QB Chad Henne has not. Stafford has 6 TD passes this year to only 1 INT.

With Stafford in the lineup, the Lions scored TDs in nine of 10 trips into the red zone. Compare that to the FG kicking Dolphins and you see the difference.

He's got much work to do. But if he can stay healthy, he's got the goods. Compare that to Miami where the Dolphins have a QB that is hard to keep out of the lineup due to health concerns, but everyone is asking whether or not he has the goods.

I figured you might have questions about Logan as well. He is the only NFL player ranked in the top four in both kickoff returns and punt return average. His 105-yard KO return TD against St. Louis earlier this year is the longest in the league so far in 2010. He had a kick return of 50 yards or more in three of four games in October. He is, um, dynamic.

So here is the question: Is it easier to fill a roster of good-but-not-great players around your handful of dynamic players? Or is it harder to find a handful of dyanmaic players to lift your roster of good-but-not-great?

Is it harder to find a dozen or so plow horses or a handful of thoroughbreds?

I don't know.

I do know the Lions (4-10) are going to be drafting much higher than the Dolphins (7-7). I don't know it is easier to find plenty of plow horses and even more thoroughbreds higher in each round than it is to find superstars in the middle of the draft.

I know it is not impossible for Miami to find stars -- I mean, serious, honest-to-goodness dynamic stars -- in the middle of rounds, but I cannot remember the last time that happened. And sorry guys, Vontae Davis is a good player. He's solid. But dynamic?

Not so far.

We can discuss this further during the live blog. It will be going on during Miami's sold out meeting with the Lions. It begins in the comments section below just before game time.

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I totally agree with you Armando.
But then why did you put the Dolphins at #10 in your preseason rankings?

@ Daryl Dunphy....your post @ 11:50 GREAT on so many levels...if more people on this site could get their opposing veiwpoint across as constuctively as that we could really have an outstanding blog atmosphere here....I will take your post in to account next time I have a disagreeement.

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy Holidays all. Let's see if we can finish on a high note in 2010.

True Miami fans should be rooting for Detroit today.

Can anyone hook me up with a live stream? Thanks

NO, Real Miami Fans, real football fans don't root for the opposing team, ever. Dumb statement

any good links to watch the game?

Chowder with his usual running by a play...no contact

missing dansby already

Darn...Bess got rocked!!!!

5 lions there

that really sucks

Solia....has eraned his keep.....we have our NT!!!

links to the game anyone? please

Miami sucks monkey balls with gang green setting in!

I'm actually surprised there are as many people in the stands as their are.

They're peeved, but at least they're there.

Crowder with 2 plays in 1 game!!!!

Good coverage by Nolan Carroll on third down.

dont be surprised if carson palmer or mcnabb is our qb for 2 years while henne is the backup. this means wed have to draft a qb. why dont we trade UP! get luck or newton or whoever, solidifying the qb for the next 15 years cant be a bad thing. i think our rcievers are actually solid, we need a rb in free agency, someone speedy. and haw about billick as an oc and coach in waiting?

This D can be special...Nolan has been the best FA signing....NO Doubt

I think Miami is going to have a hard time containing this Barry Sanders. He looks like he is going to be a solid player.

Key to the game: John Offerdahl

Please does anyon have a link???

anyone got a live feed to the game? thanks

bobbyd12 what is DUMB is being happy with the dumbest coach in the nfl, totally in over his head, not able to take charge of the coordinators (DH), and being content with perpetual underachieving. That is dumb. bobbyd12 < dumb.

I have had such a great career. Just look at the solid organization I have assembled in Miami.

Let's go Louis Oliver make a play.

To all those wishing the lions to win it won't matter if we win or loose the last two only Bill Cower gets Sparano fired and then we rebuild for 3 more years better off giving these Hutson offseason without bill parcels

Tough defense comes through again....

With the wind this should be a good quarter to throw the ball.

Sure would like to see Marshall catch a slant in space

Dolphins with the no huddle.

Does anynbody throw the ball futher out of bounds than Henne???? Never gives a reciever a chance to make a play

Any news on if Duper is still nursing his hamgstring? I think he might be good for an explosive play today.

Haha, there aren't even many people on this blog to complain.

Patriots style play there to Bess.

My greatest accomplishment is when I sabotaged the Fins so My Family's Team's maintain AFC dominance.

what kind of throw was that????? marshall was open underneath, geez

Scott Mitchell is struggling already guys. I am sort of nervous. If Miami can find a way to get Mark Higgs some running room we might be ok.

Do we have any patterns that arn't curls and comebacks?

Sparano going for it on fourth-and-one. People cheering decision

This team is garbage... Henne is garbage!

Marlon Moore into game. Take a shot into the endozone!

jared from subway bite your tongue! Miami is a great team! As soon as Marino comes back next year we will be elite again.

Slow developing play...holes were thier but cobbs was to slow

And new starting center Richie Incognito blows a shotgun snap -- low, terrible. Minus 15.

That's too bad. Carpenter could have probably hit from 60 with the wind.

Henne's law: anything that I can eff up, I will!!


No routes in middle of field, all receivers doing out routes

Henne would be a pro bowler playing for the Tokyo Rice Rockets.

henne could have that snap, but Mr. Robot couldn't adjust to it...terrible

I would love to see henne pick it up and try to do something I mean we ain't goin to the playoffs

great we even get the B team camera crew

For those whining on Bill Parcells - he boss bailed out on him, and Bill excercised his contract to leave. Who wants to educate a rookie like Ross?

PLEASE HELP. I still cant find a good link to this game. Anyone please, I'm dying here

anyone have a live feed to the game? Thanks

penetration by Solia again...nice

I use to support Henne, now I see that he plays so scared. Everything he does is the safe conservative thing to do.... we will never with him as a QB.

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