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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.

 

Comments

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Yes Commonsense i see but Ireland has no nose for talent.
2nd pick Martin has statistically speaking allowed more hurries than anyone other linemen in the NFL.
Ireland's 3rd round pick has not even dressed yet and i heard that Mike Sherman said he has no shot at all at starting this year and should never have been picked.

the hopeful and the more talented are very different things armando....the key to this game is keep it as short as possible so miami will only lose at a respectable margin...that alone could be considered progress made towards next year... at least the afc east will be done after this weekend as far as any extreme optimimists out there believing we still have a shot!!!(Thankfully somebody from the sentinel told tannehill the same)

Back when we had Taylor, Thomas, Surtain, Madison and those guys we were able to split the season 1-1 with NE. And that is when the Pats were winning SB's. That is because we had versatile players. How often did we see Jason pass rushing one play and the next dropping back in coverage. Same with Thomas. He could play the run just as good as the pass. we do not have that luxury with this team, but I see it coming. We are already an up grade from those years offense and next year the D will be better. Depending on our defense we can beat the Pats this Sunday.

I do not see the same upside others see in Tannehill.
Although downside seems to be on the table staring us in the face.

I agree Martin hasn't been as good as hoped. Still better than Colombo was, but I was expecting a lot more. Hopefully he improves.

Egnew (3rd round), disapointing that he isn't getting on the field, but he is a 3rd rounder. Usually 1st/2nd you get starters, and 3rd on in the draft is normally depth (sometimes you get lucky). Could have to do with the system he played in college and his size (the knock on him is blocking). So time will tell, but too early to judge especially since he hasn't seen the field. Next year is sink or swim for him, then judge imo.

Anyway im outtie, have a good one.

Even Craig M knew what I was saying even though he mysteriously disagrees to logic & common sense.

That shows you just how big a fool, Oscar is a fool, really is! Dumber than the Canada twins!

the pats have an identity and a system. in addition better coaching and schemes and talent evaluators. in contrast we have jeff ireland.

for tannehill to win the key ov the game will be to pay the ref off like last week. Whenever tannehill throws an interception and the game is slipping away take the ball away from the Patriots and give it back to tannehill to try again.

Pats 42
Fins 17

Posted by: Score | November 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM

That's a real probability.

I wonder who'll be the goat after this game. Smith? Wilson? Carroll? Dansby?

The name of this Sunday's game will be intimidation. Will the Phins allow Brady, the refs and cheap shots to intimidate them?

Hopefully Philbin keeps the team's head on it's shoulders. No showboating, slow, ugly game with lots of field possession kicking and field goals. If we get the ball last with a close score we can win. Like a hockey score. 6-3 for us.

EVERYONE MUST LIKE EVERYTHING I LIKE! I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL!

What an idiot!

When Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post informed Tannehill that the New England Patriots would seal up the AFC East with a win against the Dolphins on Sunday, the data confounded Miami's young signal-caller:

"I had no clue until you just said that," Tannehill said.

An excusable offense, but it takes us back to August, when HBO's "Hard Knocks" revealed Tannehill's belief that the Kansas City Chiefs played in the NFC East and the New York Giants were housed in the NFC North.

"I wasn't a huge pro fan growing up; I wasn't loyal to any one team," Tannehill said at the time. "Don't really know the divisions even really the conferences," he said. "I know most of the conferences, but some of those I really have no clue. And they don't make sense! You have the AFC East and we're freaking in the bottom of the map. The directions don't make any sense where the teams actually are."

We can keep the game close if we bench Sean Smith and send Nolan Carroll out for coffee.

On J-Mart:

When drafting an olinemen 2nd rd, you're really only hoping to get a dependable not to shabby 1st year starter. His first 4-5 games were sort of shakey, but he's done about what you would expect considering where he was drafted. Plus, the guy's playing a position he hasnt played since his first year in college and is being asked to do it on the highest possible level of football that exists(NFL).

Did you really expect to see a pro bowl level of performance right away when considering this? If so, I have a bag of beanstalk beans I'll sell you for your fatted cow.

J-Mart is doing just fine, with all those things considered. I expect him to get better each year. In about 2 more season I expect his play at rt to reach pro bowl level. Thats if you guys dont force Jake Long away and J'Mart has to assume his lt position. LOL...

Art @ 4:22 PM,

Didnt you get the memo? Nolan Carroll took his coffee break during the preseason and hasnt been seen since. Come'on man, keep up. LOL...

LOL @ Art

UM IS THE BEST! EVERYONE ELSE PLAYS CUPCAKE TEAMS.
I HATE NJ PHIN FAN, MY EX JET FAN HUSBAND AND LOVER, MY BOSSES, THE COWBOYS,LAUREN TANNEHILL, NOTREDAME, REGULAR COFFEE AND BLOGGERS I CANNOT SEE!

MIAMI 3 POINTS AL F!@#!@# GAME! NOT AFTER I SET UP THIS BAR B Q AND ALL THIS FUN. TENNESSEE 37 POINTS BLOWING UP MIAMI.F!@# ! HOME IS GOING TO GET BANNED FOR NOT COMING AND PICKING THE BETTER QB AND GETTING IRELAND BEING INCOMPETENT AND A POOR DRAFT EVALUATOR CORRECT.ALSO HOME WAS RAISED IN THE NE BEFORE BUYING A HOUSE IN FLORIDA.HOW DARE HE BAN HIM CUZ MY BAR B Q SUCKS AND THE DOLPHINS EMBARRASSED ME. I HATE EVERYONE TODAY!
P.S. BUT WE ALL HAD A GOOD TIME. SCREW U !

lol A gigi yelling loudly ;)

HOME WAS WRONG ON SEAN SMITH ,,,,,,,,, ALL THESE YEARS..................................................

Our best chance is if they dont allow Tannehill to pass. Run, run, run the ball, work the clock, and keep Brady on the sideline.

Home is a stain on the human race.

HOME THINKS,B/C HE LIVES IN FL ,HE CAN SAY ANY THING AND PEOPLE IN THAT STATE WILL NEVER REMEMBER DUE TO THEIR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ........

Mark (if you're still around), we were asking last week why Miller was inactive in the game. I got some info on the SS. Philbin was saying that Miller doesn't play into the game plan sometimes, for example, if they are facing a team with good pass-rushers, they want to have Mastrud active because (apparently) he's a good blocker. And if they are playing a good run defense, they want to have more WRs available. And if they are playing a great passing offense (like the Pats) then obviously they want more DBs available. And I guess since Miller isn't a great blocker, they can't have him take DT's place, and they don't think he's better than Bush, and there's also Thigpen, who's primarily special teams, and as we know is a scoring threat any time he touches the ball, so they're not sitting him. So Miller is like odd man out right now. From what Philbin was saying, he'll probably be inactive this week too, since they'll want all the DBs available they can get.

So, agree with it or not, that's how it is. And until something opens up, don't expect to see Miller too much this year.

Common Sense you dont have too much of that do you? Egnew sucks dude cant suit up for one game his rookie season Im expected to believe he will flourish after this season??? Ok name one player who didnt suit up his entire first season and after that became a decent player??? I'll wait....

Miller cant block? Thanks again Ireland.

There just grooming Miller to be the number 2 next year, DT will be #1. Bush will NOT be resigned. Unlike Egnew at least we seen the potential in Miller in a few games. Egnew even sucked in preseason

Egnew stinks? Thanks again Ireland.

Approximately 59 points will be scored in this game. Question is which team will get which%.

Most likely the Pats will get about 42 to 49 of the points.

Previously, they had done the good things and had lost so there is always a lot of questions if they made the right moves," Shula said. "When you start winning, it looks like they will be better off in the long run for making those moves earlier.”

From the mouth of Don Shula.

Clue,
Look at what Philbin did with Finley in GB his rookie year..

Matty, he played in 14 games and had 6 erec. Thats 14 more games than Egnew will play and 6 more catches Egnew will have so whats your point??

Finley even had a TD his rookie season. SMH

I know your point is that Egnew hasnt played.
My point is he brought Finely along slow.. 6 rec isnt doing much and i know its more than Egnew. I dont think be blows up next year but I think he will be better than alot expect.

mattys from out of town = clueless on Miami football

mattyb, please name a plaer who sat out his whole rookie season and became decent the year later or anytime after that?

lol DA.. I guess i didnt make my point clear about Finely..
Im just saying the brough him along slow..

Posted by: .. | November 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM

WTF does me being in NC have to do with making a point on TE's ? I probably go to more Fin games than you do gagger.

Clue,
I think next year he cracks the starting line up gets his playing time on ST and comes in as a 2nd to 3rd option for TE's... he will be ok i think...
Thats not a good pick for a 3rd rounder though

Yea TY Hilton was up there for grabs. Thanks Ireland

go finsssssssss. meaningless game for us, a loss helps us anways. ill def be laying money on pats -7.5 they are avg 44 pts duting win streak. dont see why that would change. ill go pats 45-17

I wish I can sitt on my a s s for a whole year get paid, then next year have another chance at my job.

clue aaron rodgers? just answering your question, not sure what the topic is

Rodgers sat behind a legend bill he doesnt count

lol

Home of the Herald is a moron.

Can we all agree that the Dolphins turnover problems are not the fault of Jeff Ireland?

Great points Armando on the turnover battle.
As if the Patriots were not already insanely great on offense, developing a good defense with int,ff and takeaways.
Excellent job by BB.

I slept with Home and it was wonderful.

who the heck is Gigi?

NJ,
You are describing a crime that you committed.

Okay so we have 20 departing FAs and 10 draft picks to replace them with.
Sounds like the same old story from the past 5 years.

I dont think Ross has any markers left to call in to the officials at the game against the Pats,eventhough they will need MORE than ONE MULLIGAN this week folks.Any CABESA DE JUESO PLAYS will have to be analyzed by Philbin
after the fact los pescados no tienen mucho chance.

Just to be clear oscar canosa and I are not the same person.
We do though have a relationship with each other and with 3 other friends: Aloca/Dashi/Kris.
Together we are a fivesome.

Chad Henne coming back to SunLife to lay the smack down on Jeff Ireland in 17 days.

henne is horrible

Henne > Tannehill

Oh, I know Gigi from the SS. She's always fighting with another Guy from NJ.

"The Key to the Game on Sunday", is who plays better. Good Players are distributed all around now, you know?

oscar must be bored with life

This game is SOLD OUT, problem is,20,000 of those tickets belong to the PATS fans. WOW!

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