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7 posts from October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012

Miami Dolphins tied for AFC East lead

Are you ready for this? The Dolphins are tied for first place in the AFC East.

And it's mid-October!

With the Patriots losing to Seattle on Sunday, the Jets beating Indianapolis, and the Bills beating Arizona in overtime, those teams join Miami with a 3-3 record. All are tied atop the AFC East. So the first six weeks of the season has resolved nothing in the division.

It's irrelevant. What matters is that Miami finds itself mattering at this time of year. Still.

My opinion?

As I wrote in my column in The Miami Herald for Monday, the Dolphins have greatly improved since the season began. There are tangible signs that players and units are getting better. I also write the new coaching staff is also improving and there were signs of that Sunday.

Bottom line is the team is headed in the right direction so far.

I believe only one team is going to come out of the AFC East and make the playoffs this year. But at this stage, the Dolphins have as good a chance as any of the others.

Dolphins beat Rams go to bye week happy

The Dolphins are 3-3 and going into their bye week with a two-game win streak.

Well done by Miami winning a 17-14 decision.

This team got a great effort from quarterback Ryan Tannehill today. The rookie quarterback completed 21 of 29 passes for 185 yards and two touchdown passes. His quarterback rating was a season high 112.

It wasn't easy.

The Rams tried a 66 yard field goal to tie the game as time ran out. Rookie Greg Zuerlein, who had not missed in 15 tries this season, missed the long attempt. He also missed two other FG tries for a total of three on the day.

"It was kind of a grind it out game," coach Joe Philbin said. "You have to hand it to our guys that they made a play when they had to. They took care of the football. We had some big plays. It was a good, hard football game."


Dolphins lead 17-6 to start fourth quarter

The Dolphins came out of the locker room and drove right down for a TD to start the half and take a 17-6 lead.

It seemed like the Rams were fading and the Dolphins had their schwerve on.

But, alas, the game slowed thereafter.

And these two teams are still locked in a dogfight of sorts. This game will be decided in the fourth quarter.

And the live blog will continue in the comments section.

Dolphins lead Rams 10-6 going to third quarter

The Dolphins have yielded over 300 gross yards to the Rams. They've struggled along the offensive line and have been gernally outplayed all around.

But they lead the St. Louis Rams, 10-6.

The reason?

Ryan Tannehill is having a good day, completing 11 of 15 passes for 108 yards including a touchdown to Marlon Moore. And following the TD, the Dolphins picked up a key turnover when Marcus Thigpen recovered a fumble that led to a Dan Carpenter FG.

The Miami defense has kept the Rams out of the end zone and rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, who had not missed a kick in 15 tries before today, has missed twice today.

The live blog continues in the comments section.

Rams lead Dolphins 6-0 to start second quarter

The Dolphins have given up a pair of field goals to the Rams and their kicker Greg Zuerlein.

The Dolphins, the NFL's top run defense, has given up 63 yards on four carries to Daryl Richardson. The Team was allowing an average of 61 yards per game before today.

The offense, meanwhile, has been inconsistent.

So Miami has its work cut out for them.

This one may not be easy.

The live blog continues in the comments section. Join me there.

Live blog coming while Gaffney, Egnew inactive again

The St. Louis Rams just announced the Dolphins inactives. Sad, but true. Theinactives are:

Michael Egnew, Jabar Gaffney, Pat Devlin, Richard Marshall, Daniel Thomas, and Rishard Matthews.

That means linebacker Kevin Burnett, who appeared on the injury report Friday with an ankle injury, is active and apparently starting.

I know what you're about to say: Gaffney is a disappointment. Well, not yet. Obviously he still is not quite familiar enough with the offense to be viable on game day. But it has only been two weeks since he arrived.

He gets a bye week this week to learn the offense better. I suppose/expect he'll be in the playbook catching up rather than vacationing in the Bahamas with teammates. If he doesn't know the offense when the team comes back Oct. 28, then I have to question his learning prowess.

As you know, the Dolphins will induct Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor into their Honor Roll today. The new name tags are in the west end of the stadium.

There will be a live blog. It happens in the comments section below. I will join you at kickoff.

A day to remember good 'ol days and chase new good days

The Dolphins are aiming at a .500 record today (I picked them to win). They are trying to do right by televising a game that really did not sell out. They are trying to find the right course and navigate to better days.

That's today.

But today is also about some better days -- the days Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor were on the team.

Taylor and Thomas are going into the Dolphins Honor Roll today, and as I write in my column at The Miami Herald, it is a nostalgic time for the pair who were the signature players of this franchise for many years.

Check the column as the duo share the irony of their greatest NFL moments, share what being on the Honor Roll means to them, share with you what they would do if possible to fill the void that was left in their careers.

A couple of things I didn't have room to fit in the column that I will here because, you know, there's no space crunch or deadline here as promised:

What do he pair not miss about the NFL grind?

“There really is nothing," Taylor said, "especially now with the new [workout] schedule, it’s really easy now. This is an easy job. It’s an easy, fun job. I won’t miss the losing. But the problem with not risking the losing is you don’t get a chance to win. And that sucks.”

“You sound like the old guys when we were playing that would say, ‘You guys have two-a-days, well we used to have three-a-days,’" Thomas chimes in. "Now you’re one of those guys.” 

"Dude," Taylor responds, "these guys today wear pads once a week.”

A pause from Thomas and then, "That’s true,” he said. "There’s nothing I don’t miss -- because even the losing, that made you more focused the next week. And the stress? Man, that’s what I miss the most because that brings out the best in you. You know?”

 Thomas played for the Dolphins from 1996 through 2007. What made him so very, very good?

“No. 1 he was more prepared than anybody on the football field," Taylor said. "He was ultra competitive, very intense, very focused. He refused to lose. And he always played with that chip on his shoulder and carried himself with that chip on his shoulder. He refused to be denied. It was amazing to run around and do the things he did. As a teammate, you know he’s playing well. You watch him all week. You see him do it throughout the course of the year. And I never felt he got the respect or notoriety for it off the field that he deserved. That used to [peeve] me off. Not to take away what any other linebacker would do who was playing well. But I saw what this guy was doing. And he just kept on going."

Taylor played for the Dolphins from 1997-2007, then in 2009 and 2011. Why is he going to get Hall of Fame consideration?

"No.1, he’s just the most competitive person I’ve ever been around," Thomas said. "He’d do whatever. He’d throw his head in there, he sacrificed a lot on the field because he’s a wild man on the field. You only get respect in the locker room when you make plays on the field and he had an impact on the field. He was a high-character guy that everybody respected. He got more respect from his teammates than anybody else I ever played with."

Come back for today's live blog ...