« Some Dolphins think Pats just another team | Main | Dolphins can't let Pats cramp their style »

THE key to the game on Sunday 'no question'

In this matchup between the Patriots and Dolphins there are two numbers that stand out that speak to the relative position -- the strengths and weaknesses, if you will -- each team is enjoying and suffering.

Turnover margin.

The Patriots are an astonishing plus-24 so far this season. That's the best in the NFL.

The Dolphins are at minus-10, which means they have turned the ball over 10 more times than they've collected turnovers. That ranks Miami tied for 27th in the NFL.

"I wish we were better, no question about it," coach Joe Philbin said.

Philbin definitely wishes the statistic is better on Sunday when the teams meets. If the Patriots play as they have and don't make mistakes while the Dolphins play to their turnover stat and give up one or two, that's a bad day for Miami. It makes the likelihood of winning much less probable.

"We’re playing a team that’s plus 24 and we’re minus 10," Philbin said. "That pattern is not good; that can’t continue on Sunday and be a good thing for us. So we have to do a great job of ball security and find a way to take the ball away from them. That’s going to be a key to the ball game, no question about it."

The Dolphins number is not good but it is much more attention-grabbing when compared to New England's plus-24. The next closest teams to the Pats are Chicago and the Giants and they are at plus-13.

Tom Brady, for example, has thrown 421 passes and has only three interceptions.

"It’s something we talk about a lot," Brady said. "There’s nothing more important than possession of the football. Our defense has done an incredible job taking it away. The offense has done a great job of keeping the ball away from the defense. It’s a point of emphasis every day in practice. It’s a point of emphasis going into every game, like most teams.

"It’s probably the one stat that correlates to winning and losing more than any other. It’s good that we’re in the plus-20s, but what we’re trying to do is get the edge in this game. Nothing that we’ve done this year means anything going into this game. We have to go out and try to put together a good performance this game. Hopefully we’re ahead in the turnover margin in this game as well."

Brady's care for the ball on Sunday must be matched by Tannehill who so far has have four times as many interceptions (12) in nearly 100 fewer throws.

“That’s impressive," Tannehill said of Brady's interception number. "When you’re able to take care of the ball like that, throw accurately and throw for that kind of yards and the amount of touchdowns he has, to go along with that, it’s impressive. I think he’s continued to get better and progress throughout his career and hopefully I can learn from that."

Why do the Patriots have such a good turnover margin? More importantly, why don't the Dolphins?

I blame part of it on the Miami defense. They don't catch interceptions. I can think of five interceptions they've dropped this year. That would cut their number in half. And Miami's running backs have lost five fumbles compared to only one by the Patriots.

"I believe they are the best in the football at protecting the ball offensively, so that’s a real credit to the players and staff," Philbin said. "Number two is they’re second in football, one behind Chicago I believe, at taking the football away. They catch the interceptions; they knock the ball loose on fumbles and come up with the ball. They do a great job. It’s impressive."

Better not be on Sunday if the Dolphins hope to win.



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

The Patriots are a far superior organuization


or organization

;) lol

Seriously The Dolphins have not won a Playoff game in 12 years


Patriots are have the Best OL in the game. Thats why Brady seems like he has all day to throw.

The Biggest Key is pass rush.

Thats why Giants have beat them twice in Superbowl.

Thats why the Dolphins w/ Jason Taylor at prime would split victories with the Patriots every year.

Jeff Ireland's draft was failure in 2012

complete failure and did not fix last seasons problems or change are record at all

Home said that Tannehill would only win 6 games this year

well so far Tannehill is credited w a 4-6 record and that is even with last weeks ref gift wrapped win

RT Martin is an orange cone

Egnew is a bust

Vernon did not solve our pass rush problem opposite Wake

2 WRs drafted - one was fired , the other has done nothing

LB Kaddu was cut then resigned = bust

Miller was not a position of need and cannot block
started out ok but fizzled fast

The Patriots are an amazing football teamand organization, amazing defensive draft and development of players as now u can see the results

Tannehill has 5 games already w 0 passing TDs

was going to be 6 games w 0 passing TDs but
the ref threw the games and gave the haples inacurrate QB another chance as he threw his 7th INT to 1 TD

Tannehill is the worst 2012 NFL QB on third down

eh, hem


Beat Brady up real good, Dolphins might have a shot. Give him all day to stand there and throw, it's gonna be a long day.

Pats 42
Fins 17

armando,the players don't care,they can sniff the offseason and they kno that 1/2 of them won't be in camp davie next season,
ne is going to slaughter the phins as bad as those f'n nips do 2 those dolphins they pummell/club in those blood filled bays in niponville.

on an other note.


Home is going to this game and will look for u as well as the other cast of local sportswriters and give a joyful wave and grin to all in the press booth

Watching Brady throw against Jeff Ireland's team will be quite interesting as well as watching in person all of Jeff Ireland's players compete with a real football team and amazing NFL organization

Home is expecting another sweep by "The Machine"

Go Patriots!


You're an idiot....but thanks for coming out.

The NE defence doesn't get the credit they deserve. People say they're not good but what they do a good job of is taking the ball away from the offence, and sometimes taking it to the house. What they are is young. They also play very fast, like the offence. They have some good athletes on the defence. Part of the reason they give up as many yards as they do is because they are on the field a lot (Brady and company score at will). Our defence will be better when they get more turnovers. We're not there yet.

Good news for the Dolphins is that Chandler Jones and Gronk will both very likely be out. Helps a bit. Now we've got all the other guys on offence to worry about, including a guy like Edelman, who's become a pretty useful player. Something tells me our defence will be chasing all day.

ThanX for the kind words Mark

Fact is Home knows the local team better than anyone on any blog

and was right about EVERY SINGLE DRAFT PICK this year made by Jeff Ireland as well as Tannehill only bringing this team a losing record of 6-10

6- Do It Again

The truth hurts

If u enjoy great NFL football

follow the New England Patriots w pride


enjoy the follies and laughs of Jeff Ireland's Miami Dolphins

I still think this game will be closer than most people think. Miami is surging off of that Seattle win. O-line's playing better. Reggie looks better. Thomas gaining ground. Clay's starting to understand the playbook. Pats pass-rush is depleted. They're beatable! New England will either win big or it'll be a close game. This one will measure where we really are in the NFL. And, show us how much work needs to be done.


Patriots 38 Dolphins 24

Go Pats!

I know it is a little late for the LT comments but all you Clady lovers should realize that the LT position is to protect the QB blind side and for a left hander (T Bow) that is not the case. Left handed QB's when scrambling, run to the left side and then again Clady was not doing his job when there were negative yards or sacks All in all Clady is not the LT you portray him to be. Those still talking about the TN game. Rules are rules and Tannehill was clearly hit by a player who was airborne. Let that issue end.
Posted by: Opti/Pessi Mist | November 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Great points, Opti. How about it LOL. Care to take another shot at this and answer the man or just make up more CRAP? AGAIN....Denver led the league is LEAST pass attempts last year and Tebow is a scrambling QB, not a statue like some. Clady, you're APPARENT top LT in the game, gave up NINE sacks! Do the math son....it doesn't add up.

Craig M...you are a MORON. But thanks for stopping by. Dont let the door hit you on the way out. And dont go away mad just go away.

Fins 27 Pats 17

Sure thing Home (and your aliases).

Great comeback by the way.....

Go away

even with the NFL's best TE out and
an Awesome draft pick at DE Pass rusher Chandler Jones out

The Patriots are an amazing team

and the Dolphin's are still selling rebuild to the ignorant sheeple

Home is out


Go Brady & Welker !

Home, we cant start a rebuild until Irescum stops his destruction.

moore = win.

How can Bellicheck get the most use outta these little white guys but no other coach in the NFL can? (Welker, Edleman, Woodhead)

Home continues to go ballistic, sorry for bringing thsi on everyone but he's a complete moron and goes off with a simple push.

I apologize to teh blog today for providing that push. Good news is Home is 75 years old and will take his nap soon.

For sure TO margin is the biggest discrepancy between these two teams. And Mr. Bunchen is right, TO margin is one of the stats that correlates most to winning. The top ten teams in this stat have a .651 winning %. However the team stat that trumps this one is red zone defense. Top 10 teams have a .706 win % and we are #10 in the league. Can we hold NE to field goals instead of TDs and minimize the TO difference??? Let's see....

See, told you his nap was coming up....

Rolando Mcclain will be cut by the Raiders he's a former first round pick. Maybe we should look into signing him.

Mando, great insight. Isn't the turnover battle the key to every game in the NFL?
I actually the key to the game is to score more points than NE genius.

Mark, are you 15 years old? Seriously.

I remember when Bellicheat took Sammy Morris off of us and then the very next game was against us and Morris had 88 yards and a TD. Bellicheat's press conference after the game was: "Sammy's a good player." Followed by a darth vader death stare.


He did the same thing with that white FB we had. Bellicheat used him in the very next game against us and gave him like 15 carries for 88 yards, which was ten times as many yards as he had rushed for his entire time with us.

Rob in OC,

Looks like you're going to get your wish and Brandon Graham's going to get a chance to play now thta Babin's gone. Let's see what the kids got (still only 24, by the way). It's SHOWTIME baby!

Get real. This is a rebuilding year and as a rebuilding year it is pretty much par for the course. I think we have found our QB of the future. Martin needs to get stronger but will succeed as RT. Our OL is at best mediocre and we will need to upgrade the offensive Guard position. We have two good WR and nothing behind them and need to really upgrade that position (Ireland made a mistake trading away Marshall, Marshall who is in the midst of his 6th thousand yard + season). We have a decent general TE but no pass receiving TE. Hence Tannehill has little time to find a target and few targets to throw to - Tannehill is learning rapidly, getting better, but he needs better protection and more targets. Put Tannehill behind New England's OL and with NE receivers and Brady behind Miami's OL and with Miami's receivers and the gap between them would narrow greatly. Bush is good, Miller not showing much but occasional promise and Thomas is stopped by the first tackler - not much running strength to offset passing weakness. Miami's defense is good at the line, pretty good at linebacker and porous at the secondary (trading Davis was a mistake). THe point of 2012 is not to win the SB since we have no chance to do so. The point of 2012 is to play the young players and find out who are keepers and who are not and to teach the team the new system. We should play the young players for the rest of the year and see who the keepers are (including playing Long's backup to see how much Long adds when we calculate whether to keep him or not). Bottom line is that we have five picks in the first hundred picks that we need to spend on WR -2, TE - pass catcher, CB - 1 OG -1 while we focus on FA to fix the secondary.

Lets call a spade a spade. The turnover differential between these two teams tells it all. The Patriots are finely tuned well run organization. Even with ther defensive flaws, they take the ball away and make plays. And lets not even talk about how much better their offense is. The Fins have a few nice players, a potential franchise qb that still has a short history of turning the ball over way too much, and a terrible GM that cant keep hiding behind the Parcellls era. Ditch Ireland and keep building this team in the offseason. Good things can happen with one good offseason these days in the wacky NFL

Turnovers are sometimes luck but way more often caused by better skills, more talent, strength, speed, smarts, etc. So the more talented teams cause more turnovers then they give up. That being said, we know the Dolphins are clearly a below average team and wont be able to win most turnover battles until they acquire some talent.

No doubt turnovers and the inability to get turnovers have absolutely been this team's achilles heel. Dansby alone has dropped two easily game winning pic 6's.

Had we capitalized on both sides of the with turnover efficiency. We could easily at least be 9-2, and perhaps playing the Pats to go up 2gm on them for the afc east lead. At worst, a loss Sunday would tie both teams for the afc east lead.

Actually, you will notice that the teams with the best TO margin are also with the teams with the QBs having the best seasons. It's not so much creating turnovers but limiting your own. You are not really going to find yourself in the top ten in this category with a weak or rookie signal caller ... unless you're Washingotn. Man, that RG3 is something else and easily better than Luck at this stage.

Top ten teams in TO ratio:

New England - vet
Chicago - vet
NY Giants - vet
Washington - superman
Baltimore - vet
Tampa Bay - vet
Houston - vet
Cleveland - helped by facing 89 year old Charlie Batch and six Pitt fumbles
San Francisco - vet (for the most part)
Green Bay - vet

Home and to all others that bath in the Patriot's "glory juice" have every right to. Extremely talented team! I do however hope you enjoy this year and a portion of next year because all who doubt the direction in which this young Dolphins team is heading is just plain foolish. See the Pats have hit their perspective performance ceiling (only downhill from that). If you think Ireland will have complete control of these picks this draft season you have been drinking too much cough syrup in the mornings. The guy knows if he gets fired from Miami that he wouldn't get hired to scout talent in the CFL (If you were in a similiar position would you find a way to pull your head out of your ass?). As for Philbin I would say he has been a part of some amazing draft picks in his years at Green Bay (pushed for Cobb). Not to mention he firmly believes in player development. Doesn't happen over night. I have faith in this team and I would hope the rest of the their fans do too.

So I've watched Tannehill througout college and pro and am wondering how the heck he was the 8th pick in the 1st rd? Its really mind boggling.

Take at last years stats for Brady. He had over 5000 yards passing and almost half of them were yards after the catch to Welker, Gronkowski and Edelman. With our secondary playing scared and giving them a 5 to 10 yard cushion at the line and our LB core not being able to cover the passing game we are in for a disappointing afternoon. Our secondary should play man to man at the line and take the receivers off their routes. Here is some wishful thinking. Hartline playing like his first few games. Bess and Clay have an afternoon like last sunday and our running game shows up, we might have a decent chance.

...We HAVE TO RUN THE BALL this week to have a chance..We are not winning a shootout v. NE. Not happening. But more important. We have to keep the ball out of the hands of the NE offense who is now firing all guns blazing.(36 points per the last month)

If we fall behind, and are forced into abandoning the run to play catch up. I don't see how we win. If we can keep them scoring in the low 20's even somehow the teens..This gives us our best shot at pulling off the upset.

Also..We have to score TD's not field goals. Too many of the New England games the last few years we march Carpenter out there, and they keep scoring 6. It has to be the other way around. I only want to see Carp converting extra points, kickoffs, and in a game winning attempt..

Home on the Herald, 2 watt, oscar, aloco, clue, phinmanski, score. These are the names most used by this one sad person. He throws in a bunch of other random names once in a while but these are his regular names. He found this blog and is never leaving. He is hell bent on ruining it for Dolphins fans and hes doing a great job. There are more non fans who participate in the comments section here than in any team blog on the net because of one idiot.

CPhinsWin @ 2012 at 11:33 AM, I have had the same thoughts about Philbin. My dream scenario would be Philbin pulling all the strings behind the curtain.

But in reality, I sincerely hope that that Ireland listens to Philbin's suggestions. It's our only hope.

Shula73 seeing how you know nothing about talent evaluation why dont you let the pros worry about it and go back to being a bitter disappointment to your family?

Shula, it is mind boggling but you have to realize that after Luck and RG3 there was a big dropoff in talent and the Dolphins were desperate to take a stab at a 1st rd QB after failing to acquire Matt Flynn.
Tannehills knowledge of the new offense was possibly a factor also, although that hasnt seemed to help much. Tannehill has been dissapointing for where he was drafted but we have to live with it for now.

Mark from Toronto
Mark you don't make much sense at all and attack too many customers here, Armando included.
While there is some promise for Ryan Tannehill,clearly Henne played better here his first 10 games and so has Moore in has last 10 games.
Also Mark,you keep carrying on that Moore did not beat any good teams in his 7 wins out of the last 10 games.
Moore did beat some good winning teams, including the Jets last season to knock them out of the Playoffs.
Moore again beat the Jets this season while obviously Tannehill was playing poorly.

Now next up Mark,you say Moore who just turned 28 years old this season is too old to play quarterback?
Where do you come up with his ludicrous stuff?
Moore is in perfect health and excellent shape.
Tom Brady is 35 years old and planning to play until 40 years old.

That is 12 years older than Matt Moore is now.
Mark please be more polite and try to engage in football conversation with some semblance of intelligence.

...@ 11:41.

I disagree that our secondary plays scared. I just think the best chance they have to make plays is that cushion you and I both see. Before you fly off the handle and tell me that we don't make any plays, that the secondary can't cover...etc think about this.

If we did have the ability to play press more don't you think we would. Do you know why we play with such a cushion? what the whole point is when we are in cover 2? If we had the personel to play press we would, we don't. Our strategy all year has been to bend not break..Do not give up the pass over the top. The defense gives up a lot of yards, in losses a lot of 3rd down conversions. But we do not give up a ton of TD's or in fact many points. So the strategy has worked.

It may not matter this week. We could be over matched and it wouldn't matter if we pressed them or not. We will see. We may find a a way to pressure Brady, confuse him a bit. This would help the secondary more then soft, or press coverages.

Frank Tannera at 11:55 AM


Craig is the guy that begged & insisted that Ireland & Sporano earned extensions & the team would improve under them if they stood the course.

Had the team listened to you, they'd suck! Well guess what big mouth, they did listen to you & they do suck.

So much for you having any idea about football.

Clady is improving while Long is regressing. Clady gave up fewer pressures the year he gave up his most amount of sacks YET, had half the amount of pressures.



TO everyone except Canadians! Stick to hockey blow hards!

The canadian bloggers are outwitted & outmatched on a daily basis.

There is room for humor on this blog however so I say, let them stay for comic relief purposes.

I'm so tired of hearing how great the patriots organization is. Bill belicheat is under .500 without tom brady. If they didn't have brady mr. Belicheat probably would've been fired years ago just like in cleveland. If the patriots were such a great organization then why did they wait til the 6th rd to draft brady? Because they got lucky! When I was growing up the patriots were the joke of the nfl. Now all u hear is how great they are despite not winning a super bowl in almost a decade. We will see how great they are when mr. Brady retires

Yes its all on Tannehill. Ireland surrounded him with a pro bowl left tackle who cant block, an inconsistent running game, no stretch the field receiver, no possesion receiver, a rookie RT, playmakers at the skilled positions and a defense who cant create turnovers or stop the passing game. Its all on Tannehill, if only we had Andrew Luck, all of these problems would have disappeared.

Lol you are a know nothing ignorant american. You are an embarrasment to our country and prove in every one of your posts that you truly know nothing about football. To blame the qb for jake long allowing his man to beat him off the snap shows how pathetically stupid you are. Try again dummy.

Troll post of 12:03,
10:22 post of Home the blogger states his thoughts on Ireland and all his preseason assessments of current Miami draft picks of 2012.
Apparently you have an agenda against a blogger here with good insight on this team and their players.
Your post is foolish and cowardly.

"HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT"! LOL very easily, you're an idiot who knows nothing about american football. See how easy that was to explain?!

Dang Homey!!

2 Days in a Row!!

Who is Dashi Kidding!! When is Home/Oscar Not on 24/7!!

It is Surreal!!

And Home U are Never Correct!! If We Were to Power Rank The Bloggers here On Football Knowledge!! U Would Rank in 100-1001!!

And Quantity Doesn't Equal Quality!! Look at Ur Kids!! For the Same Answer!!

U Spew Ignorance On Everything!!

NEVER MAKE NO REAL SENSE!! Specially on Football!!


28 teams in the NFL would love to have our OL.

Ian you are home talking about himself. You dont understand that I know this? Youre a loser with nothing better to do then to disparage a team you dont root for which makes you a laughable loser. Screaming that first year players are a bust isn't a rationale assesment but rather the rantings of an ignorant know nothing fan.

What are Canadians doing on a Miami blog?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.