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AFC East playoffs live blog today from Foxborough

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It is cold. There is fallen snow on the ground. And playoff football is in the air. As in years past, The Miami Herald will be at the NFL playoffs watching other teams play while the Dolphins ...

... Well, they're watching just like you and me. Actually, I'm closer to being in the playoffs than the Dolphins. At least I'm in the stadium.

I'm covering the Jets at New England today.

You remember the Jets and New England, right? They're the two teams that finished ahead of the Dolphins in the division. They're the teams the Dolphins must pass in 2011 to get to the playoffs.

So we should watch and see what the task might be like. There will be a live blog here starting at 4:30 this afternoon.

In the meantime, I would ask you to check out my Sunday column. It makes the point that Miami faces a tougher job in getting past the 2010 season than it did in the 2007 season. Yes, I know the Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007 and were 7-9 in 2010. And I repeat, the assignment is tougher now.

I explain why in the column, but suffice to say one of the reasons is the folks trying to turn things around don't have the luxury of working with the benefit of a honeymoon now.

Some extra things I did not have room to mention in the column that makes overcoming 2010 might be harder than overcoming 2007:

After four years of tooling and retooling and retooling again along the offensive line, the Dolphins have to, you guessed it, address the offensive line once more. They need a center and maybe a right tackle.

And they need to dump that idea of picking players who mostly offer position flexibility but no position consistency. Here’s a crazy idea: Rather than find a mediocre player that can play guard and center, how about finding a really good starting center and leaving him there until he retires?

The Dolphins need to upgrade the tight end position. Last year they loved Tony Moeaki and Dennis Pitta in the draft but couldn’t land either. They really must upgrade the spot this year or once again the red zone troubles that plagued in 2010 will haunt another year.

As I touch upon in the column, coach Tony Sparano, already fixing his rift with general manager Jeff Ireland, must broker a fix between receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Chad Henne.

Yes, Henne is very likely going to return in 2011. The Dolphins would be unwise to anoint him their starter and probably will not, but I doubt they will simply dump him. And unless an experienced, talented veteran can be added, it is unlikely any rookie Miami finds will be immediately ready to supplant Henne.

So you might find yourself with Henne under center in 2011. Again. Marshall might find himself with Henne under center. Again.

That’s not a comfortable spot. The receiver openly criticized his quarterback the last few weeks and in some cases he was right to do so. But Marshall never admitted that sometimes he blows his assignments and runs the wrong routes and causes problems that sometimes get blamed on Henne.

Both players need help. Both need improvement. And in 2011, both may be surprised to learn they need each other again.

Crazy right?

See you at the live playoffs blog.

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4th quarter, don't count out Brady just yet.

Reports of Tom Brady's playoff demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Neither was Moss, nor Crumpler, who just scored...

Neither was Sammy Morris

Sammy!

Where do I know that dude from?

Lets see which Jets qb comes out in the 4th qtr, Sanchez or Henne. If the Jets play the 4th qtr not to lose they will! LOL........

Sammy Morris figures... Mando who else are we gonna interview for OC position?

And if the jets allow Mark Sanchez to air it out for any length of time here, he will throw an interception.

How many more seasons of good QB play would everyone here say Brady has left?

Why are there so many ex fins in the playoffs this year?

DyingBreed
Shula screwup a lot drafting, so no mention Shula please

LOL Po

I would rather see Pats lose simply because we know chinks exist in the Jets armor. In 2011 we need all of the chinks in the Pats armor that we can get! LOL...........

Guess we've become programmed to losing so much that we cant even pick the right team to root for even to lose! LOL...............

Um, that guy with the ball running down the sideline ... um, tackle him.

Where are the Pats and who are these scrubs on the field?

Dying, it's in our DNA to hate the jets.

WOW

Hope you are well Joe.

I'm choking on vomit......

Holmes scores....So, Mandy, you can say that every player that has scored today was not drafted by their teams...

CLEARLY WE NEED THE PATS TO LOSE TO BRING THEM DOWN A NOTCH FROM WHRE THEY WILL BE SHOULD THEY NOT LOSE! LOL...........

EUREKA! JETS SCORE.........LOL...............

F*ck the Jets.......

I guess that you can now forget the comparisons between Sanchez and henne.

Never seen henne do that.

Doin Ok Po and you?

I've been very impressed by Sanchez's placement of the ball.

What did they give up for Holmes, Edwards, LT, and JT combined? And why did we not even bother?

Yuk, me too Po

Armando,

I believe we're much better served in 2011 if the Jets win and Pats lose. That high horse will shrink a little shorter. We already know that the Jets are riding a shetland pony. They wont be able to resign everyone.

The Pats are the real enemy of 2011 and it would be great to have them knocked down a peg or two entering into the new season! LOL...............

Do not despair, Armando, there is almost 1/4 game left.

Oh, and Cromartie

Correct, Marc. And I will. You know I will.

I agree with the do everything, don't dismiss anything approach.

Doing real good here lately. Just tired of watching the playoffs without us in them.

Why have we done with out good TE's for the last 3 years? I thought they believe in TE's-but they also emphasize special teams and look where that got us.

Would be Jets ball had Revis fallen on it! LOL..........

LOL, Finfanfred.

I feel ya man.

Boy, Crumpler is fat

David,

We believe in TE's, just believe that they should be blockers! LOL.......

Maybe the TE's have to block because after 3 years they STILL haven't drafted a decent O-line

Can we get a guy like Woodhead-and get Welker back?

Know what you mean Po. Wouldn't be so bad if we were showing signs of improvement.

Who is that Welker guy?

Sanchez is miles better than Henne...never was a comparison...the Jets liked him...traded up for him...put the house on him...they had a conviction about him and moved on it...now look

back to us...the phins...we would have said something like..."no...you can get a good one in the 3rd or 4th round...dont mortgage our future...he is overrated...don take a chance...we need more line guys.."....

Errrr.....that would be something CraigM would advise....

Well...hows that working for us boys..???

We positively MUST look at Newton ( even with his perceived naughty attitude ), or VY in fa, or Mallet...or Orton.....we need to make a move..

Me, id make a call on ORTON and then look to LUCK next year and give up the family jewels to get him...it may set us up for 10 years...but doing what we are doing will get us watching the JETS playing off against the Patriots every year....

Armando.....you know this....write articles and push...

PATS DONT GET A TD HERE GAMEOVER! LOL..........

Joe, you where right all along.......


No Kool Aid for you.....

Is it me or does the NE OL seem very leaky today. Usually they don't allow so may sacks....

Glad I didn't bet money on this game.

We all wanted to draft Brady Quinn too....Just saying

Pats have to go on 4th here.

Armando"......
the game is over..... talk to u versus pitts.

MARC,

BY WE ALL WANTED TO DRAFT BRADY QUINN DO YOU MEAN THAT MOUSE IN YOUR POCKET?

ARMANDO ,


YOU BROUGHT YOUR FINS BAD LUCK WITH YOU TO BOSTON .

BLACK YELLOW EYES.

The BM and KD moves in FA were enormous...we need to move for a QB...we need to draft really good TE's and a speedy receiver....

we need about 10 new guys...

Hate the JETS....DB....i prefer the Pats any day

Come on Sanchez-throw a nice interception-you know you want to!

Good post bigalfy @ 7:17

whats up with the Patsies

The stinking jets look like they are going to pull this off. Yuk, now I'm really choking on puke.

DB, I've never made a draft prediction, want, etc. because I don't watch college ball...

I only remember about the picks that people ask for that we do or don't get.

Like both McFadden's, Bowe, Harvin, Ryan, Flacco, Earl Thomas, Suh, and on, and on, and on...

TONS of people wanted Quinn

Aloco...whats for lunch?...I like beef burgundy...

Neither Jets nor Pats were going to beat the Steelers anyway. Neither will boast of a 2011 SB victory. Given that I rather see Pats lose.

Pats losing is more ego deflating. Brady's 3rd consecutive playoff loss to a WILDCARD team(2007 SB loss to wildcard Giants included). Not worried about Jets in 2011 season because they'll be in financial pergurtory. Pats need reason to lose a little edge going into the new season.

Jets will run run and run some more

Guys,

The Pats losing today helps the 2011 Dolphins most. Put aside your personal hatred for the sake of the team you claim to love. LOL.........

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