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Live blog of Dolphins vs. Bengals here

CINCINNATI -- Something's different today.

The season has changed in that the weather is officially turning to Fall. It's jacket weather here -- in the 40s, gray overcast. It just feels like football weather.

The season has changed in that pretty soon the Dolphins either have to start winning some games or we're going to be discussing free agency and the draft as primary topics. In other words, as I asked in my column today, can the Dolphins salvage the season?

Players say yes. We'll see.

The inactives today are something of a surprise in that Jabar Gaffney is inactive. That is a disappointment because he's supposed to be a veteran upgrade at WR. He's healthy. Saw him working in warmups. Obviously, something didn't click in that he is not playing today.

Marlon Moore may have something to do with this. He's been inactive the past couple of weeks so he's back today. That frees him and Anthony Armstrong for WR work today.

The other inactives are Pat Devlin, Richard Marshall, Will Yeatman, Michael Egnew and Rishard Matthews. Carroll starts for the injured Marshall.

The live blog is coming also. It starts in the comments section at kickoff.

Comments

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They have little chance unless pressure consistently gets to Dalton before he carves up this secondary for big gains.

If Michael Egnew cant get activated for live action by game 8, Im going to have some serious bust issues with the kid. I mean, how long does it take to learn how to block?

Is it a strength issue? Is it learning how to get in front of guys and shield them? What exactly is it with this kid thus far.

Greetings from cold Chicago. Unfortunately, I'll miss the game today (on business travel), but hoping we can squeak one out vs. a better team (like the Rams did Thurs). Actually, oscar laid it out on the last blog, saying ONLY way we win is if we minimize turnovers. We do that, we have a chance. We don't, we're just not good enough to overcome those mistakes.

"Salvaging" the Season isn't how I look at it. I want growth. Right now Tannehill (based on QBR) is at the bottom of the league. I'd like to see him by end of Season more in the middle of the pack (or higher). If we do that, then we'll really have something to look forward to. I'd like to see the offensive weapons we do have to start feeling comfortable in their execution and being consistent. I'd like some improvement in our secondary (though that's the part of the team I have the least confidence in). Lastly, Carpenter needs to get it together, and even if he does not sure he's here past this year.

If that happens, I don't care if we're 4-12 or 12-4, I'll be heartened and hopeful. Enjoy the game peeps, GO DOLPHINS!

Too bad Gaffney isn't playing maybe he is grasp on the playbook is not there yet he was signed just the other day

No more excuses, win or go home. Over the 1st 4 games the Fins have been like the cute new little puppy that crapped the carpet.

Now past the quarter mark of the season, they'll now be the stinky7 little puppy that continues to crap the carpet. It wont be so cute anymore with another loss, no matter who the opponent is today.

Go Fish! Potty train yourselves today!

When Gaffney went to NY and NE they didn't have him inactive, he played. Maybe Philbin heard him swear while he was going number two in the bathroom and said "we can't have people talking like that around here, your inactive this week".

So does that mean Marlon Moore is active?

As far as Gaffney, we have to remember, Tannehill has the freedom to change into any play based on what he sees from the defense. How can he effectively do this if one of wr's only know's 25% or less of the playbook?

That's been part of the issue with Armstrong too. Armstrong is the guy who should be ready to make a meaningful contribution today. He's been here 4 weeks now. No more excuses why he shouldnt know at least 85% of the offensive playbook by now.

Did any local media remember to ask Philbin of Anthony Armstrong's playbook progress?

this is gonna be a very tough game to win based on our secondary and no marshall. thhe offense will have to car the team and while tanny is looking like the franchise QB we hoped for, he has not got the team into the end zone enough. lets hope that's the jump he makes this week.

smith is gonna have to shut down, the very hard to shut down, aj green!!

the result is important of course it is.
However, with the team banged up a bit esp in the secondary I am looking for improvements on the last few weeks and CONSISTANT play. Tannehill has shown enough improvement to be confident enough to 'hope' for a win providing the WHOLE team performs to a reasonably high level. If one area of the team doesn't play well I don't feel the other 2 phases of our team is good enough to carry us to a win.
come on the phins!!!!

gaffney came in injured a bit, so maybe between that and a new playbook he needs a week. he'll not be inactive on game days for long.

i was kinda hoping matthews would be active. he's good in the slot. hopefully moore will play his way into more play time.

Gaffney's only had 2-3 day's of practice and learning the playbook. So this really isnt a big surprise. It would be if we were talking "sandlot" football.

In nfl football, most times not only do you need to know exactly what you're doing, you need to know what the other guys in your unit are doing too. You attack as a unit, not as mavericks.

Safeties need to step up in coverage. And stay deep, don't give up big plays. Make Dalton put together long drives.

Among other things, Gaffney also needs to play his way in shape. He's begin without camp and has yet to play a single down all season. The probability may bhe greater to see him action next week.

Time for Anthony Armstrong to make a contribution. Thats exactly what we brought him in here for too.

Not too surprised or disappointed with Gaffney, but Egnew again? If his receiving were superior his blocking wouldn't matter he'd still be a threat, who are we saving that spot for on our roster today that Egnew can't even sniff the field

Plaxico for one year.

Ryan Tannehill needs throw at least 2 dts today. I know we're only 5 games into his rookie season, but, we dont have the luxury of having a rookie qb anymore.

The term "rookie" only suggest giving one a free pass for making mistakes. 1st year or not, if a player makes a "very limited" amount of mistakes, he isnt a "true rookie".

Beginning today, we need true "vet like" play from Ryan Tannehill. After all, we brought him here to be a "franchise qb". Not a "rookie qb".

2tds

Ryan Tannehill

Gm 1: 0 tds
Gm 2: 1 td
Gm 3: 1 td
Gm 4: 1 td

He's currently on pace to throw for 12-15 tds. We need much more than that from from a franchise calibre qb. 1st season or not. We're not looking for the next Mark Sanchez.

As long as Tannehill doesn't make the same mistakes we're fine, it shows that he's smart and doesn't make the same mistake twice. YG, I disagree, we don't need a "vet-like" performance out of Tannehill, we need to see progress. Not in the form of more yards (a multi-TD performance would be nice) but in the form of minimizing mistakes

Horses for courses.

We need a dominant ground game today - chew up the clock and score. Keep their offense from our wide open secondary.

They should play Mastrud if they are going to take away playing time from the rookie. Atleast give us something else from the #2 TE spot. Clay is more of a +HB.
I'd love to see a package with J Lane at RB and Clay in at FB... Unstoppable for short yardage

Over the 1st 4 games the Fins have been like being the in club and having the best lookling girl all ready to go home with you. You did everything right, but all of a sudden you feel the urge to go the restroom and puke.

So you excuse yourself, then 10 minutes later you comeback feeling relieved. Problem is, when you return, you find that the prettiest girl in the club you had al ready to gome with you. Has already left.

this is gonna be a very tough game to win

Posted by: jaison | October 07, 2012 at 12:02 PM

What game isnt tough to win for us? LOL

Mark,

Saying we need a dominant ground game is easier said than done. Until Tannehill proves he can put more than 1 passing td a game on the scoreboard. DC's will continue to gang up (7-8 in the box) on our run game.

They can live with Tannehill passing for 400yds in a game when it rsults in only 1 passing td. Think about that for a minute.

Now, if Tannehill can pass for 400yds and 3-4 tds, DC's will have to rethink thier gang up on the run game approach.

I'm here guys. Just got a text from source on why Gaffney is inactive:

"healthy but rusty. Not ready."

There has been a good amout of money going on Miami lowering the spread to just 3 pts.

The problem with throwing for 400 yards, they get to throw back at you just as much.

We ain't going to win a shootout.

Kudo to Philbin for not just 'handing' a spot to Gaffney. all players need to earn their spot on this team. That's how it should be. Not sure whether it's injury but it's obvious that he's just not ready to contribute right now. No point in having him in there if he can't help.

Excitd by the fact the game is on in Canada today...happy Thanksgiving fellas!

Every DC in the league now knows we can effectively run the ball. Every DC also knows we have a rookie qb.

So which of the two do you guys believe they'll focus on shutting down first? Tannehill will have to pass for more than 1 td pass a game to change this attitude.

Nfl DC's can care less if Tannehill throws for 600yds in a game, if he only puts 1 passing td on the scoreboard. Td's win games, not how many yards a qb passes for. There isnt a win column for that.

Jus read this from Armando on Twitter:


Just got a text from Dolphins source on reason Gaffney isn't active: "Healthy but rusty. Not ready."


So there ya go...

Jus read this from Craig M

So there ya go...


Seems good to me :)

Mr Sal are you making a pick for this game? I havent seen the post where you and the other writers make their picks.

Look it that!. Cinci was -5 and now is -3. Don't get it.

Mark,

The problem with throwing for 400yds isnt that the other team gets to throw back. The problem is when throwing for 400yds, you need to have at least 2-3 passing tds to show for it.

As a DC, I would love the opposing team throwing 45-50 times a game against my team. Throwing this often only increases the chances for bad things to happen offensively. Most times when a qb throws 45-50 times, there will at least 1-2 picks introduced into the stats.

YG,

The fact the team isn't getting more TDs isn't just on Tannehill. It's the playcalling and the receivers. I believe they can get more than one today. They will get better as this thing goes along.

I picked the Bengals,Mr. Meister.

34-24 Dolphins

YG,

It wouldn't matter if Tannehill never threw a TD so long as he moved the ball down the field and someone runs the ball into the endzone. The GB throwing a TD is not the point, its the points on the scoreboard that matter.

YG,

If Bush is healthy today I think you'll see more from him than what we saw last week. I'm not sure that this team can win consistently with the QB throwing 40-50 times a game. We don't have the personnel for that yet. A more balances attack is what I'm expecting to see today. Dolphins need to play close to error free football today to have any chance.

CraigM,

My theme, starting today is, "no more excuses". We win as a team, lose as a team. In losing, its been a "collective effort", not just a few bad plays called.

It hasnt been as simple as play calling. Sure there are a handful of plays called that could have been different. But "execution" in certain areas of the team have served just as great a calling in losing.

Armando,

Saw the picture you posted on Twitter of the setting today. Looks like a typical Fall day in Buffalo. I've sat in that stadium several times in weather like that watching my Dolphins play. Far change from your setting last week.

CraigM,

Exactly! Error free football. Exactly what we've been missing in our 3 losses.

YG,

Agreed. I'm not blaming the playcalling for the main reason we're losing. It's mostly execution. It'll get better as this thing goes along.

The big question is ...Will D Thomas average 1 yd/rush?

Mark,

I guess my primary point is we need tds on the board to win. Also, DC's primary focus will be to shut down the run game, making it more difficult to beat them there and to force Tannhill into as many 3rd and longs as possible.

Then blitz him on passing downs and hope for sacks or ints.

I expect the Dolphins to open in double tight end on defense today.

YG

I can appreciate that. I'm just worried about this secondary giving up yafrdage/scores.

Best way to combat that - keep the ball in our hands.

And I sense that could work against these Bengals. Hence horses for courses

OK Thanx for the reply.You have been consistent with your pix more so than even the designated picker Mr.C(ote)

CraigM,

Its just that as team, when we improve the execution and eliminate the turnovers, playcvalling becomes more of a none issue.

Im pretty sure every OC in this league has about 10 plays a game he wishes he could have had back. Even some of those that dont end in turnover.

Double tight DEFENSE?! Come On Mandy!

(Armando thinking about his bet now).

We need cici's O off the field. Steady diet of Bush, Thomas, Lane, and Miller. We can't let them get into a rythm. Could be a long day. Miami 23-10!

The other two that were making picks I think have abandoned ship from their earlier mindset and thus no pix by them on this site(at least I havent found them.That would be Mr B and Mr J,I saw their pre-game video but no pix.

Good column Mando. True we don't know for sure about Tannehill just yet. But we're all hoping and hope is about all we got left anymore.

Speaking about hope...the only hope we have today is putting points on the board, lots of 'em.

link?

Armando,

Good call. I agree, trying to force thier will in the running game is the way to go. Hopefully, a healthy Reggie Bush, breaks a couple long ones.

The ideal situation today would be have Tannehill throw no more than 28 to 33 times. That should be the formula to victory, offensively.

I hear you, cocoajoe.

Turnovers big deal today. Huge.

Kansas city chiefs fans. Have signs demanding their GM to be fired, anybody catch that. Well its true I know how they feel.
I got the PHINS in a tight game 28-20 over the bengals!

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