« NFL Network insider Jason LaCanfora talks Dolphins on Armando and the Amigo (audio) | Main | Maybe the Dolphins way isn't the best way »

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.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20147e1a260c3970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference AFC East playoffs live blog today from Foxborough:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mr Sanchez, meet your long lost conjoining twins:

THE ENTIRE 2011 PITTSBURGH STEELER DEFENSE! LOL.........

I feel bad for Rex's wifes toes...

Dying..I could make the point that the Pats losing this game will only motivate the whole franchise to go out and make the right moves to improve their team. If anything teams that win a Super Bowl usually lose some of that edge. That is why you don't see repeat winners in this era. They have so many picks, that they will be able to fill holes. It is a good thing for us that they can't make any trades with those picks(as far as for players on current rosters)I'm sure though that they are smart enough, they can make some under the table deals with teams, and make those trades after the draft. They did this in a year where everyone thought they were "REBUILDING" remember? You could make the argument that this was one of Belichecks greatest years. With the greatness, comes expectations that if not met. Look like a choke job. I wish we could put ourselves into that category.

As much as I can't stand Ryan and the green slime, it was good to see the patsies arrogant bubble burst. Now let's hope the Steelers shut ryan up. Go Pittsburgh! BTW, anyone thought that we beat two of the final four teams on their turf and really beat the Steelers if not for an officiating blunder. Even with the * on the Green Bay game, we beat em. Makes one wonder.

lol at Ron in Boca!!!

I HOPE SO DYING, I WANT ROGERS TO WIN SO BAD .HE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO LOOKS GREAT PLAYING THE QB SPOT . A NATURAL .

YOU GUYS DIDNT BELIEVE ME WHEN I TOLD YOU THAT THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR BEATING PUNK-A*SSED BRADY WAS HITTING HIM IN THE MOUTH EARLY. BRADY IS A BULLY THAT HATES A FIGHT! lol.......

ROLISBERGER LOVES A FIGHT, SO DOES THIER ENTIRE OFFENSE AND DEFENSE! THAT'S WHY STEELER WILL BE CROWNED CHAMPS OF THE 2010-11 NFL SEASON.

Gotta hand it to the Jets....I hate them but they got it done today. Congrats to them for a fine effort today. Off the top of my head I think the Steelers will beat the Jets next week but you've got to hand it to he Jets....they just won't go away. Great accomplishment to go into New England today and beat a rested Pats team at home and make Brady look pretty ordinary!

So is Sanchez better than Brady????? According to some that's the only reason that the Jets could win, right????? It's a TEAM game!!!!

THE COWBOYS HAVE TOLD ROB RAYAN TO MAKE FOOT SEXY VIDEO LIKE HIS BROTHER SO THEY GO TO THE PLAYOFFS NEXT YEAR .

DB,

IT'S TRUE ,EVERY TIME BRADY GETS SAKED SO MANY TIMES EARLY IN THE GAME PATS LOSES ............GOOD POINT .

Jets Signings/Trades

Sanchez
Tomlinson
Edwards
Holmes
Taylor
Cromartie
Pool
Ryan
Schottenheimer (sp?) jr

Fins Signings/Trades:

revolving FS led by Gebril Wilson
revolving cornerback spot
Can't find a KR/PR and get rid of Ginn
Dobbins
revolving OL
Sparano

that is sickening tell me again how we keep the GM?

DD,

The problem with the Pats is thier talent. They only rely on being better than the opponent to win the game. When games turn into a bar room brawl Brady turns into tuck-tail "biotch Brady"!

Im plainly now seeing a 3-4yr pattern of turn the game into a bar room brawl and the Pats will run. The pattern's now clearly there and Im sure it wont be much longer until other NFL teams begin to figure this out.

Talent is great when they opponent feels overmacthed before the first downs are ever played. But you still need some mean, nastiness, and grit to go along with that superior talent or you'll never figure out why you have so superior a talent advantage yet fail to win it all. Pats arent bar room brawlers! LOL............

Steelers/Jets game could be a defensive game like the Steelers/Ravens game (Sanchez could make a difference because he's more mobile than Flacco).

I believe Big Ben will be sacked often by JT and crew that's why I believe the Jets will make it to the SB. JT should be thanking Parcells.

Of the four teams left standing the Jets have been waiting the longest for a SB win.

If the Jets win this year and the Fins win in 2012, the AFC EAST could definitely stake the claim of being the toughest conference in the NFL.

As much as most Fins fans hate the Jets you have to admit they've done a better job of coaching and picking FA and draft picks than the Fins FO.

Agreed Sea, Ireland should have been canned.

THIS YEAR SEEMS IT'S BETTER TO PLAY ON THE ROAD THAN AT HOME ,
MAY BE DB WILL TELL US WHY THIS IS ? GB,JETS.

In a game where I clearly have the superior talent and the opponent knows I clearly have the superior then bow down. I want Tom Brady to be my starting qb.

But, if its game the opponent has no respect I clearly have the superior talent and its going to be a bar room brawl gimme Ben Rosliberger! LOL...............

REX RYAN CLEARLY HAS TALENT PROTECTING HIS QB AND NOT LET HIM LOSE THE GAME .

Dying...I get your point. and I agree totaly that if you cut off the head of their snake(Brady) then they have no bite. They do not like it when they get pysically challenged. THe NYG Super Bowl was the original blueprint. They hammered Brady. If you can beat them up a little it seems like that is the equalizer to their scheme, and brilliance. As for talent. Skill position wise. The Patriots are very average. Take away Brady, and do they even have a Pro Bowler? Brady elevates the play of all of those average offensive players. The rookie tight ends look top tier in their system. Put them in another uniform, and who knows. The Oompa Loompa..He wouldn't have even seen the field in our offense.

BELICHECK KNOWS HIS TEAM IS NOT THE BEST TEAM IN FOOTBALL .

Packers are dangerous but Bears defense will sack Rodgers often and win.

Cutler is starting to show the potential many expected from him. Hell he rushed for two TDs.

So much for him being a drop back passer.

I believe it will be a Jets/Bears SB. I originally thought it would be a Jets/Eagles SB (I don't know how the Eagles lost).

SWAMY,

NO WAY IN HELL JETS LEAVES THE STEELERS GAME WINNERS ,NO WAY .

OVERRATED TEAMS;;;;;;;

ATLANTA
PATS
IND
CHI

UNDERRATED TEAMS;;;;;

DOLPHINS
RAVENS
GB

ALoco,

It has nothing to do with who plays at home or on the road.

Saints hadnt been the 2009 Saints all season long and it finally caught up to them. Theyb saw Seattle and all that they saw was 7-9.

There have always been kinks in Indy's armor defensively. Peyton lost key members for the season offensively and the one's that did come back there wasnt that chemistry it takes longterm playing together to connected. Results: Primed for playoff upset!

Chiefs were just a playoff upstart. Reminds me more of our 2008 season. But maybe primed for more longterm success than we had. Chargers most likely reclaims division throne next season.

Packers beat Falcons because ATL seemed to play with very little passion and Rogers put on one of the greatest shows of passing accuracy in nfl playoff history. He was 31-36 for 355yds passing.

I bet Jason Taylor is thanking Parcells for being such a jackass.And who passed on LT when he became available?Seems they're both in the AFC championship game with a good chance of going to the Super Bowl.Good decision making Miami.We were a third rate team this yr.We need a lot of things to change before we have a chance of becoming a second rate team.

makes me sick seeing taylor go deeper and deeper into the playoffs

Dennis,

Jets most valuable offseason pickup right now is Santonio Holmes. However, I dont know how much help he'll be in helping Rex Ryan access the the Steelers. Because no matter wht you know there still isnt much of a game plan against downright nasty! LOL............

Bill_cnnrs,

After what Taylor did for our team Im not hating to see him make it this far. Just hating to see its with the Jets. Still he isnt wearing a ring just yet! LOL...........

jets already beat pitt at pitt once this year. sure hope they dont again

Still I wouldnt mind seeing JT wear a championship ring. If he still has any SB championship former Dolphin players as friends left! LOL......................

unreal seeing both road teams next week favored by 3

bill_cnnrs,

Jets also lost 45-3 at Foxoboro not long ago. Means totally nothing right now! LOL..........

i think it means alot as far as mental goes. but seeing the jets are favored by 3, ill take pitt to win. pitt vs green bay sb

Being a 3pt underdog, Im sure the Steelers will take very personally. They're already mean and dont need the extra motivation! LOL..........

Mark Sanchez will be getting an early and often close up view of what polynesian bad breath smells like.

"Mr Sanchez meet Mr Polumalu." LOL........

is there anyone who want's to say henne is better than sanchez? i doubt it.

Been great chatting with you guys again. Guess I'll be sticking around a little longer for these live game blog chats. Otherwise I'll chat again after free agency and draft.

ALoco, hold the fort down for me buddy! LOL......

bill_cnnrs,

Also remember the 2nd most dominant team of the last decade are the Steelers. Pats 3 SB's vs Steelers 2 SB's. Jets 0 SB's! LOL.......

The worst part about the Jets winning is being a Fins fan in the NY area and having to listen to Jets fans crow all week - yuck.

So lets rewind......


2007 Dolphins 1-15
2007 NY Wets 4-12

2008 Dolphins 11-5(one and completely done in playoffs)
2008 NY Wets 9-7(Brett Favre and Manginia get axed)

2009 Dolphins 7-9 (Penny goes down, Henne takes over)
2009 NY Wets 9-7( With Sancheese and Fat Rex at helm) Lose in AFC CHAMPIONSHIP Game to colts

2010 Dolphins 7-9(Dysfunctional stagnate team with Problems from top to bottom of staff and team ends up with 1-7 home record)


2010 NY Wets( make big splash in offseason with moves to strengthen their team overall and beat two of the nfl's arguably toughest QBS in the league back to back in THE playoffs in manning and brady to once again play in another AFC CHAMPIONSHIP.......


What does it mean???

It means that Mike Tannenbaum is light years ahead of the tri-flucka at putting a REAL competing team on the field within a 4 YR span....

NOW THAT IS SAD AND DISGUSTING MORE THAN WATCHING REX RYAN IN ANY TYPE OF FOOT FETISH FILM ALTOGETHER!!!!!

Jets trade up, take Mark Sanchez with 5th overall pick...

JETS are ALWAYS agressive in free agancy.

The results speak for themself. 2 back to back AFC championship visits.

And all we dolphins fans have to show for the last 2 years is ZERO.

Ireland needs to be fired.. Sparanio needs to be fired..

This off season is going to be torture as with this BS management we are once again destioned for another losing season in 2011.

Until the fins grow a set of nuts like Ditka did.. traided his entire draft for Ricky Williams.. We will all be here next year bloging about the Jets going to another Championship while the Fins are home giving the useless coach another contract extension.

I'm SICK of these Dolphins.

Sadly, looking at the quality and depth of the Patriots and their dual high round picks as well as the fact that, even more sadly, the Jets are surprisingly good - I think we are likely looking at the need for more than a quick upgrade and rather that this will be a couple to three or more years of rebuilding. Not what I expected but that is the data. We need to pull in a first rate QB to develop if Henne does not turn around and a strong FA to give competition to Henne now. We have to fix the OL with depth. We have to get a first rate TE and a fast young RB for change up. Hopefully we get all this draft/FA. Even if we do though, we have no depth and porous ST. Goal next year is not SB, goal is to move from the middle to the upper quarter. We are a little weaker than I expected and our division is much stronger than I expected. Sad but reality. With this timeframe in mind, this is a reasonable time to switch to the West Coast offense since we will have a few years to work on it before we hit the big time. I doubt Sparano will survive the transition.

For all of these praise the Jets and bash the Dolphins fans there's a simple solution. Become a Jet fan because you soound 99.9% already there. No sense in allowing that .9% of denial that remains to stand in your traiterous way! LOL.....................

Aloco: You are delusional if you think the Dolphins are underrated. I'm as big a fan as anyone in the 305, and you are not seeing the tea, clearly at all. They are light years away from competing, even for the sixth seed in the AFC.

As much as I hate them, the Jets played a good game today. That initial interception was the turning point of the game. Gave the Jets' D confidence and showed how inept NE was the rest of the game. It was beautiful to see Tom Beiber on his as$ a few times today.

All those close games against sh!tty teams helped the Jets this year. Maybe history will repeat itself, Jets won in '69 we won in '72. We might need to swallow a bitter pill before we get the sweets?

Rand,

Seems your tea leaves are a little rancid too. Dolphins are only a consistent #2wr deep threat and rb better than Ronnie Brown from being a 6th seed.

nyfinfan,

Roslisberger doesnt fold like Brady does when he gets hit in the mouth. He keeps throwing haymakers back atcha'! Sanchez will fold, Pats weak pass rush got to him zero times. Pats pass rush only good when theyre up a few td's and you have no recourse but to throw.

Steelers have a pass rush. Only 69 Jets will be seeing is when theyre kissing thier own a*sses goodbye on yet another afc championship game.

Again monkey sticks hand in hole, grabs fruit, and finds he cant get hand out of hole until he lets go of fruit. Always close but never gets to enjoy eating the banana! LOL........

Just like the monkey, hole's just big enough to slide hand into it to grab the banana but not big to slide both hand and banana out! LOL.......

DyingBreed: You can't see clear either. The team is hardly two players away from the playoffs. From coaching to an awful offensive line, and no QB, we have years of work ahead of us. We need to get real people, this team will be building for the next couple of years.

STEELERS 37 JET-MONKIES 3 LOL...........

Rand,

Youre not getting it. You dont have to be a very good team to become a 6th seeded wildcard. All you gotta do is be worst of the worst of playoff participants based on regular season record.

Even with 2010's team we were a couple blown ref calls, shotty play calling, and a playing not to lose coaching mentality from winning up to 10 games. If a few things could have been a little different, and had a sweep instead of split with the Jets and we would have been a 6th seed this season.

We arent very far from being a 6th seed. Now legit 2nd rd playoff team is different. However the Jets have proven 2 seasons in a row anything's possible under the absolute right circumstances. Like advancing to the 2nd rd because Indy had key offensive players on injured reserve.

dyingbreed -----dude get a grip
im a dolphin fan living in jersey tomorrow at work is gonna b hell dude workin wit all jet fans sucsssssssss

Rand,

The only teams far from being a 6th seed playoff team are those with 5 wins or less. In 2008 after an 1-15 season, we were far from being a 6th seed playoff team. However we bucked even much more astronomical odds by becoming afc east champs.

6th seed is right around the corner Rand. Look into your rearview mirror where it say, "Objects Are Much Closer Than They Appear." LOL.................

mr kann,

Just smile at them all and say, "Remember what happen last time." Then enjoy when the smiles quickly disappear.

i will try good nite fellas DOLPHINS RULE

Mr kahn,

Also let them know that everytime you think of the Jets you get all "Choked" up! Let them know that when lawn mowing season comes arounds again that you hope the "CHOKE" works! LOL............

"hope the choke works on your lawn mower as well as it works on the Jets" LOL.........

We had NE on the ropes down here doing the same thing making Brady move around and be conscious of the rush. Then the ST debacle followed.

Ben Roethlisberger is infinitely tougher than Brady.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 »

The comments to this entry are closed.