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Note to Dolphins: You must defend this house

Whatever happens tonight, it is only one game. OK? Repeat after me: It is only one game.

If the Dolphins win, the victory is not a guarantee they are going to the Super Bowl or even the playoffs. If they lose, it is not an omen that the season is lost. It is only one game.

And having said that, there is at least one conclusion we will be able to draw based on the outcome of tonight's Monday night matchup between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins:

Who's home field is this, anyway?

Last season the Dolphins lost seven of their eight games at home. That was as bad as their home record in 2007 when the team was 1-15.

When you consider the Dolphins also lost their final two home games of 2009, Sun Life Stadium has been the venue where Miami is 1-9 in the last 10 games. And you wonder why the home fans are angry?

The Dolphins have to show they can defend their house. If they lose at home again Monday night, what has changed in that regard? Nothing. It is another home game where the fans go home unhappy.

How would that make them want to come back next week for the Houston game?

Now, a victory over the Patriots and suddenly a bolt of energy will strike the organization, it's players, and fans. Ticket sales will pick up. Player confidence will pick up. Everyone's mood picks up.

We'll know which way things are going by the end of the night. No doubt about that.

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Here's how FICKLE the NFL is:

Article this morning in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, talking about how 'Matt Ryan is slipping'. Are you kdding me? It talk about how in his last two games he has three INTS, two lost fumbles and only one TD. Says they lost to Breen Bay last year because 'Ryan was turnover machine'. What crap!! How about giving credit where credit is due and just realizing he went up against two pretty good defences. It's the same thing with the 'Cam Newton for the Hall of Fame' talk all of a sudden. There isn't a more fickle or knee-jerk professional sporting event out there than the NFL. Crazy stuff!

The thing that concerns me most in coverage is still Yeremiah Bell. He's lights out against the run, but his coverage skills are something far less than desirable.

Yeremiah Bell will probably register very high on Tom Brady's radar of attack. Whomever Bell is covering most likely will be the guy Brady's trying to get the ball. If I were an nfl qb, that's exactly who I would try and attack in the fin coverage scheme.

I still dont think very highly on Albert Haynesworth. I believe Belichick's decision to commit commit to a 4-3 defense because of his addition couild backfire. Especially late in games when the overweight Haynesworth tires.


Posted by: DyingBreed | September 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM


NE was in a 4-3 almost half the time last year already. This is not a big change. Haynesworth will be situational and used to his advantage. Beliboy knows full well what he has and how to use them.


I figure this to be a close game, whether it be high scoring or low scoring. I see our dline dominating, but I see Brady prepared to deliver quick strikes to avoid the rush.

DB,

You're on a roll this morning. Good stuff!! Haynesworth is already questionable for the first game of the year. You think this guy is going to go all out if it's hot and humid in Miami tonight. Doubt it! Is this really one of the guys the Pats are relying on this year to lead the team? They're going to be pretty disappointed if that's the case. I don't see BB putting up with a guy who takes plays off and decides when he wants to practice. I just can't see this thing lasting long or ending well.

DB,

Again another good point. I think Brady will target both safeties in tonights game. Clemons is frequently a step and a half late to the party. I'd have more confidence if Jones is in the game more because he seems to be around the ball a lot more.

The Dolphins better come out charged tonight!! The fans better get loud too!!

Vontae will have 1 sack, 2 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and 1 return int for a td.

Reggie will run a screen in for a td and Marshall will get a back of the endzone TD.

Carpenter will of course hit 2 if 2 field goals hence requiring Sparano to have tommy johns surgery after he fist pumps said field goals hysterically.

So it is written.

DC,

OK, glad to hear it's that you are only quietly confident. We've also got a tough game next week and I don't want you doing something stupid if happen to lose next week and somehow start the season 0-2. While I want to see the team win tonight, I think it's a must that we see some good play from Henne and the defence. Missing either of these going into next weeks game against a tough opponent is going to cause doubt to start creeping back into this team again and we've seen what happens to this team when doubt creeps in.

IMHO, there's only 1 key to this game: will Coach Sparano be willing to take every available chance to defend his home turf? On the Pats side, we already KNOW what they're going to do. Brady is going to air it out, Belicheck is going to give him every chance and then some to win the game. Pats aren't going to make many mistakes or penalties to shoot themselves in the foot.

It's up to Miami (and Sparano) to decide if the risk is worth the rewards in: 4th-down conversions, sticking/changing the game plan based on "what the defense is giving you", etc.

My opinion is treat this game as if it was THE game to make or break the Season. Put it all on the line in this game. Because starting the Season with a home loss would be very detrimental to this team.

The downside to Belichick playing the 4-3 defense without great pass rushing DE's is he may have to substitute 3rd and long passing packages. Haynesworth's not going to be an every down d-lineman.

Right now I really dont see where Belichick's pass rush is coming from without blitzing. I see the Pats trying to blitz much more this year. Only more out of neccessity to not over expose thier secondary.

That's probably the reason for the Edds pickup. I expect to see him in 3rd down passing packages right away. I believe we will see AJ Edds tonight.

DC,

Another good post at 11:16 am. I agree with your points.

One of the things that got my about last nights Jets game was the effect the fans had on the game. They REALLY got into and I think everybody sensed the game was turning if given time. I think they contributed to Dallas playing tight and nervous and the Jets playing with confidence. I really wish our home fans could give the Dolphins that kind of lift tonight but I don't think it's realistic.

Ok Here you go Right from BODOG.COM
3-1 Pats score first
2-1 The crowd boos Henne at some time during game
Even Odin Kicks the Shyt outta his dog sometime during the game
1-3 The Dog Bytes the Shyt outta Odin sometime during the Night
Even Dying Breed will say "LOL" at least 20 times tonight
Even Someone will say "We should have gotten Dez Bryant" During the night
2-1 Aloco will tell us what kind of dinner he's having
even Aloco will butcher the english langauge sometime tonight
Even Soiled bottom will have us laughing tonight
2-1 Someone will say Jim Manach sloggan "AWWW Right MIAAAAAMI"
Even Mr.Dying Breed will say something totally opposite of something he said Earlery
1-3 Wake will record a Sack
even, Odin will say he's about to Nail a "Hottie"
10-1 Someone will comment about Ted Ginn
even, ESPN will show there love for Robert Kraft,The Pats.
2-1 Chris Berman Will say what a great game Buff. Had and will be a Forse to be.
5-1 FinFor Life will try to arrange a fight at the Shell Gas station At 163 st accross from Westland Mall.,
These are just a few BODOG Perdictions.

Mando wrote earlier that this game is just one game, and if we lose it, it doesn't mean we won't make the playoffs.

Let me say this, this game means everything!!!
This game means last season was a mirage, this means everything to the fans and ownership, this means to league watch out, and to the players themselves that they can play with and beat anyone.

Craig, that's why I'd put it all on the line for this game. It will set the tone for the rest of the Season. Unfortunately, with this team, at this time, they do not have a long enough leash with their fan base to start slow. 0-2 would be the worst of all outcomes. And it will get in the way of playing the rest of the games.

I just don't want to see the organization have to fight their own people for the next few weeks. It will get in the way of their focus (remaining games). It would be easier on everyone to just win this first game and let the rest of the Season take care of itself.

I feel like this is going to be a good game. This is the 77th Monday Night Game for the Fins in their history...77 is a perfect # in the Bible..Superstitious call me...I have once main concern...Can Larry Johnson run and crunch players running the ball like in '06, assuming rookie isn't playing tonite or is limited. You have to be a little concerned, right? One big differnce is the "BUSH FACTOR", if our options are covered, R.B. will beat any d-lineman or line back and keep moving the chains. We have to use him wisely. Don't want to predict any scores, but feeling here is Fins win in a fairly close game.


Tony T

Like the great Yogi Berrea Said "The team that scores the most usually wins", I back up that statement.

CraigM,

I believe our d-line has the aboility to wearb down the Pats oline. Most likely our first few defensive series goal will be to be to put as much pressure as possible on Brady, not letting him get into rythym.

When Brady gets in rythym early the outcome of the game's usually a no-brainer. You have to make Brady uncomfortable early.\

I've never seen a better of kill the head and the tail will die than the New England Patriots. When Brady plays great, the entire team seems to play great. When he plays poorly it also seems to carry over to the rest of the entire team.

Kill the head and the entire snake dies! LOL...

DC,

Think of last season. Team started the year 2-0 after two pretty impressive wins on the road against Buffalo and Minnesota. Then they had some letdowns and colossal mistakes against the Jets and Pats. They were embarassed on National television. They just didn't seem to be the same team after that. Yes, they played decent games against the Steelers, Raiders, Titans and Ravens but something was missing. This team has shown that they letdown or get frustrated when things don't go there way. So I agree with you, it's VERY important that they start this season off on a good note. To beat the Pats and even beat them soundly would do wonders for this team.

Do you believe that uniform colors, astrology, voodoo, price of gold, or phase of the moon have an effect too?

Posted by: Magia | September 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM


Actually, yes! I'm convinced the white top/aqua pants unis are not very conducive to positive results. We probably have a higher winning percentage in all aqua and all orange!

When at home, we should always play in our old-school all-white.

CraigM,

Jets or not, you'll get great fan support after 2 consecutive afc championship game appearances. This team would have that same homefield support had we accomplished the same.

The city of Miami really has short patience for losing teams, even if they are thier beloved Dolphins.

DB,

Two quick points and then I have to get back to work....

They need to exploit a young and green Nate Solder at RT. We have the personnel to do this and he was late signing with the Pats and has had very little starting time with them.

Secondly, the team has to stay away from mental mistakes and giving up big plays. They usually fold when that happens. It happened against the Jets and Pats last year and probably did them in when we played the Steelers.

Cheers guys...

DC-
LOVE your enthusiasm this morning. I guess to Hank JR, you say "YES, I am ready for some football!!"

Fist Pump-
Love your BODOG bets, although some of the odds are a little off. 20 LOL's from DB is NOT an even bet. That's a 1000 to 1. LOL!!!

Greg, Dont know about Beating the pats would be a great thing, Like your posts said they were on Top of the world after the 1st 2 wins last year, We all know how the rest of the season turned out., I dont think this is a MUST win, just for that reason.

It really isnt the fact that the Fins have loss so often at home the past few season that disturbs Miamians most. Its the fact they've lost to teams they had no business losing to. While totally stinking up the place against teams they werent expected to beat anyway.

You just cant do committ these 2 very grave taboo's and think Miamians will still come out and give thier "FULL" support.

FP4FGS,

I beg to differ, Jets and Bills victories means the loser tonight are instant cellar dwellars of the afc east. To make it sting even greater it's a divison lost.

I know the season's still in its infancy, but, a divion loss combined with a last placed seeding isnt a very good thing for a team looking to exorcise past demons.


If a frog had wings then he wouldn't bumo his ass when he jumped.

I have a feeling that Larry Johnson is going to have a big impact tonight and throughout the season.

I still think the kid Daniel Thomas will be OK, but we may end up very thankful we picked up LJ as an afterthought.

Jets and Bills victories yesterday automatically raised the stakes in this afc east game of division poker.

I personally really liked the dark teal on dark teal from a few seasons back.

Oh and I hope Lilly Robbins will be featured in High Def before and after each commercial break.

some thoughts about the games yesterday:

1. must give rex ryan credit. being a dolphins fan i hate the jets but i am gaining more and more respect for this guy as he kept his team motivated the entire game. being down 14 that late his team could have given up but they came thru with big plays when they needed to like stopping the cowboys inside the jets five by recovering a tony romo fumble.

2. cam newton-massive passing yards yesterday for a first game. that's great. one game doesn't make a season or a career. when he plays well on a consistent basis everyone can crown him as a great qb.

3. the bills looked scary yesterday. are they that good or is kansas city that bad or was it just a fluke? time will tell, i guess.

4. ronnie brown had no yards.

5. dez bryant was off to a good start yesterday but then was cramping up and became inneffective. it will be interesting to see if he becomes the star receiver the cowboys want him to be or if he is going to be a bust. i'm already in the camp that says odrick was the better pick but after this season there may be no doubt about that observation. it will be a fact.

personally, i would like to see the fins come out in the all white uniforms they wore when they were winning championships. granted it is an older look but new uniforms don't win games. focus on execution not fashion.

dm1,

You're almost correct about Ronnie Brown. He did have 7yds rushing yesterday. In the nfl technically 7yds rushing is like zero yards rushing! LOL...

You're almost correct about Ronnie Brown. He did have 7yds rushing yesterday. In the nfl technically 7yds rushing is like zero yards rushing! LOL...

Posted by: DyingBreed | September 12, 2011


Even worse..... the 7yd ave. included a longest run of 8! (Sorry, Ronnie!)

Full Moon brings Dolphin's Victory

Miami 31 N.E. 27

have a HAARPy day :(

FYI, I watched the Carolina game, and the Arizona DEF is brutal.

If the Pats wipe the floor with the phins, the mockery will continue & likely get worse.

But, if we win, people will take notice.

Miami's D has an edge. The Pats O will be very similar to last year & our D is intact.

Miami's O has an edge in that it's completely different. The NE D really doesn't know what to expect. Early points before Belichek makes adjustments are a must.

The 1 thing I am really looking forward to is an early Sept. home without the infield dirt!

I just don't know if our secondary can contain Hernandez, Gronkowski, Welker, Branch & Chad. They are crafty vets. It's a tall order so pass rush is the key!

Make no mistake, this isn't a be all, end all game. But, it will likely be a good indicator as to how good or bad this team will be.

odinseye,


tell us a story about these vikings and their purple boats .

Armando,
Dude - you're a professional journalist, how the heck do you not know the difference between "Who's" and "Whose"? Shoudn't it be "WHOSE home field is it?

This game is a litmus test for the fins!!!!!!

12 1/2 point dogs at home, only one game? If they lose by what they have lost in the past, it will confirm what a pathetic franchise the Dolphins have become. If they lose close and lose again next week, I believe the Sparano era will be done, so I don't think this is "just" one game.

Jets and Bills victories yesterday automatically raised the stakes in this afc east game of division poker.

Posted by: DyingBreed | September 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM
==============================================

Good point! The stakes are high anyways. We can ill afford to start 0-1 in this division.

The Jets AND Bills are not pushover games anymore.

I just realize something that DyingBreed alluded to.

If we lose we would be at the bottom of the AFC East. If the Pats lose they will be at the bottom of the AFC East.

You guys don't think Brady and Belecheat know this?

Let's hope Henne waits another hour or so to drink his 5 Hour Energy Drink.

He is basically Penny on a 5 Hour Energy Drink.

I don't even believe he has a deep ball anymore. Is that what they've been hiding from?

If we get down 14-zip going into the 3rd QTR then the run game should be abandoned.

If we abandon the run then Henne's true colors come out.

We need to keep this game close as close can be. They do not want to put the game on Henne's shoulders.

THEY DON'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you believe that uniform colors, astrology, voodoo, price of gold, or phase of the moon have an effect too?

Posted by: Magia | September 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM

==============================================

I'm a strong supporter of changing those weak arse colors. When Tampa changed their primary colors they started becoming a team people feared playing.

Aaaw yeah!!! I can hear the ring music Eye of the Tiger getting cued up now!!! Hey Belecheat!!! Watcha gonna dooooooo, when Chad Henne, and the Miami Dolphins, run wild on yooooou!!?!!!! Brother!!!

Fins 38
Patsies 10


Brother!!!!!

We have too many options. Weapons, if you will. Chad Henne cannot be stopped this year.

If you think I'm wrong, you will eat crow when Henne goes to the pro bowl this year. He's already 2nd on the Fins alltime list in 300 yard games, and that was playing in a dinosaur 1980s style offense.

Brothers, we ain't talkin' 'bout practice no mo'.

The league has seldom seen a QB as terrible as Sanchez or Romo. These gals need to go to a women's league. Jeez.

An NFL season consists of 16 games. Each game is equally important in determining whether a team makes the playoffs.

My Crown Royal is poured, I'm sipping and watching the pregame, anticipating a WIN!

"Whatever happens tonight, it is only one game. OK? Repeat after me: It is only one game.:

Whatever makes you feel good at night, Mandy. Whatever makes you feel good.

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