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Welcome to a November that matters

Today is November 1, 2012. The Dolphins are preparing for a game that is meaningful to them.

How you like them now?

It hasn't been that long since the Dolphins went into November with something riding on the outcome of the coming games. In 2010, the club was 4-3 to start November before finishing 7-9.

But because we often remember what went wrong more than what has gone right, I had to actually remember why there's been such a feeling of dread around the Dolphins to start November -- even with what seemed like a chance to do damage in 2010.

Perhaps it's because last season,  In 2011, the Dolphins were 0-7 going into the first week of November and there were "Suck for Luck" calls echoing throughout Miami fandom. In 2009, the Dolphins were 2-4 through October and with Chad Pennington already down for the year and Gibril Wilson still on the roster helping the other teams win, there simply wasn't a ton of optimism surrounding the team.

This year seems different. It feels different.

I'm not saying the Dolphins are going to be a playoff team. Frankly, I'm not sure they'll even be at .500 when all is said and done. But there isn't a feeling of dread over this squad. One is not expecting the next shoe to drop like last season when I was basically reporting weekly updates on whether Tony Sparano was being fired. 

This year the club is relevant. Blessed by a favorable schedule, the Dolphins should be in Sunday's game at Indianapolis, the games at home against Seattle and Tennessee, and the Bills don't scare anyone.

So November doesn't loom as a catastrophe month. December does. But November does not. (Keeping it real, folks.)

And that's good for you. That's good for me.

And that's good for the team.

Players report to work happy to be working instead of feeling like its drudgery. Coaches aren't on the hot seat and they can do their jobs better because the players are engaged.

"It’s always fun," coach Joe Philbin said. "I told the players, ‘There’s nothing better in the National Football League than coming to work in November and December and, like you just mentioned, having meaningful games.’ It’s a lot of fun. It gets your juices going as it should. That part of it’s fun, no question.”

Happy November!

Enjoy.

Comments

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This season may end at .500... However it is hard to deny the feeling that the Dolphins under Joe Philbin and his staff have a very bright future ahead of them. I've seen teams like this before, both here in Miami and around the NFL. They have a year when the lights come on and suddenly they are off and running as contenders. If there is any one thing I would like to see for the younger fans who have never had a serious NFL team to cheer for, it is that the next several years afford them that experience. So they can FINALLY understand why the "OLD GUYS" are so damned loyal. And I wouldn't mind seeing us Veteran Fans get a chance to fly the flags in December and fill the stadium for a playoff game again. I don't know if this year will be that year... but I feel its closer then ever. Enjoy it Dolphins fans... Because you better then most know the other side of winning and how it feels to hear your team disrespected. Here is to the "Good Times"... >>>>clink<<<<<

Dolphins should be in sundays game. They are gonna lay a beat down on indy. They are going to force luck into beating them with his arm and it's not gonna happen!

So long as the team plays as hard as they can the Phins can beat any team. Winning starts there. This team is a lot more entertaining than last years addition.
One practise at a time, one play at a time and one game at a time. Aim for perfection.

During Shula, Autumn was always enjoyable, just rolling ahead, playing in perfect Football weather.

From the previous entry. Pat Devlin certainly will take over Moore's job as backup QB, sooner rather than later. He's more of a fit than Matt in this O that Philbin wants to run.

MRSA=Methicillin Resistant Syaphylococcus Aureus. A nasty customer. Usually a nosocomial bacterium, it can also appear in People with low hygiene and that their house is in disarray.

Veteran - as a Dolphin fan for 38 of my 45 years, I couldn't have said it any better.

I am a little leary of a letdown for the team this Sunday. I like it better when we are the hunter and not the hunted. The Dolphins just aren't good enough, yet, to take anyone lightly. In a couple of years they will be able to just show up and squeak out wins...but not this year.

The best coaching staff all around since Shula days...

This coaching staff knows how to teach, which has not been the case since JJ days. Correcting inaccuracy, learning from batted passes and applying that knowledge to the fins offensive line, improving special teams, you name it. It creates a lot of hope.

does salguero ever wright anything that means a damn, what a clown, go back to high school or the comics.

Just enjoying the vibe and the idea that better days/seasons are ahead.....its been awhile since we could say that with some confidence--clearly an improving and well-coached team, playoffs dont matter to me this year.......they are relevant, competitive and getting some respect again (huge for player morale I'm sure)--totally agree, its nice to look forward to Sundays again in November.

It's not just the schedule that's cause for hope. It's that Philbin and staff are clearly better than the previous staff. The players are nearly the same but the team isn't. Their success isn't due to a doomed gimmick like the wildcat but from playing good, discplined and well executed football. We see problems being addressed and corrected from week to week.

Yes, the schedule is weak and filled with bad teams, but there's a reason for that: coming into the season *everyone* said they were worse than those teams.

Turns out they weren't.

Good post Mando, I am still tainted from the past, and waiting for the bottom to fall out. That being said I am still more optomistic than ever. I really like Philbin, from day 1 when I heard he was an option I wanted him here! He is looking like a great head coach. I finally feel we can be on the right direction for years to come!

Really glad Fisher chose the Rams!!! This is getting really good... I really like Sparano but that man cant coach his way out of a paper bag. And after seeing him in NY on Sunday. WOW the Jets are in biggg trouble like weve been for the last 4 years. Its really nice to see some competence in this organization.

Our schedule is not any weaker than any of the other teams in our division. The AFC in general does not have any dominant team. If this team stays consistent and focused, and I believe this coaching staff will ensure this happens, the next 4 games are very winnable. Anything is possible from there and post season in not a stretch.
This team is getting better each week. What will they look like in 4 weeks? I don't see an AFC team that we can't play with except possibly the Pats and we will see them twice at the end of the year and have a better idea of how we match up with them. If the Wets took them to OT the week before we destroyed the wets....
Just saying.... Nothing in the NFL would surprise me this year.
Even if it's an early out in the post season that would be excellent experience for this young team next year as they continue to get better.

oh and tnhillbilly if you dont like Armandos blogs you dont have to come here everyday and read um. There are many other sports writers even at the herald you can go complain about. I look forward to Armandos blogs and enjoy everyone of them. Thanks Salguero for all you do man!!!

I think what tnhillbilly is referring to is that it is never just a positive blog post, there is always a negative in everything that he writes.

I think the key to Sunday's game will be playing hard...just like they have been. But special emphasis of not letting up in the 4th quarter. Luck has been the comeback king lately and we have to stop him.

Matty, Good comment!! But I disagree. Armando keeps it real and tells the truth... Unfortunately for a very long time most of the happenings in this organization was negative. I think Armando give credit where credit is due but credit must be earned!!

I predict we'll snuff the Indy run game, but Luck will get 'lucky' and torch our secondary with some big downfield plays to Reggie Wayne.

If Tannehill does start, but is not 100%...then we'll see a ton of running plays to minimize the risk of injury to our QB.

I don't like the feel of this game, on the road, against a team rising as fast as we are...going to come down to possession & special teams.

Colts 20
Fins 17

Sorry guys...just a gut feeling that T-Hill is not going to be 100% this week.

BPA the play-offs should be the only thing that matters. Miami has let down the fan base more often than not since Marino retired. I too think the franchise is netter off now than the last few years BUT am also waiting for the bottom to drop out. A good team would be able to say they WILL beat the Colts, Titans and Bills. Plus, there are still 2 games with the Pats and one with the 9ers. Until Miami can consistently compete with the Pats nothing will change. Also, Miami still needs a WR that can stretch the field and catch the ball. Seeing Gaffney drop a perfectly thrown ball by Moore that would have been a TD while Gates (who Miami cut) caught 7 balls for 82 yards for the Jets was frustrating to say the least. Yes, I know it was his first game being active but COME ON MAN! :-) Go Fins!

You can tell Miami is playing well & a playoff contender just by reading this blog. There haven't been many if any "fire Irelan" or "Ross & Ireland suck" rants this week.

Fins are ranked #12 in the power poll this week...very impressive!
The national press is finally giving Miami some respect and its evident they too see the dynamics changing under Philbin's leadership.

You are what your records says you are....according to the great oracle Bill Parcels...therefore the Fins are now a playoff team if the season ended today, not to bad as we enter the second half of the season.

I agree that last week I just knew the dolphins were going to take the Jets to the woodshed. I don't know about Indy, though, they're a little prouder than a stupidly-ran Jets team. On top of that, someone mentioned it before, but seriously, the Jets this year are the dolphins of last year. Sparano, being a good guy and all, just can't cut it in football. People probably think his schemes are too simple. Doesn't seem like the brightest guy

Veteran - great comment... been a fan since 3rd grade in 1971. I remember listening to Greise's huge game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the heartbreak of Riggins busting the Superbowl game open, Marino's entire career, thinking there'd be more than one SB, Offerdahl, the Marks brothers, Nathan’s helicopter, Duhe, Armstrong, Zach and Jason, the parade of coaches, and quarterbacks, and a bunch of other memories. The last decade has been one of heartache - like watching an old girlfriend with a new boyfriend. But you know, this does feel different. There is hope, this is getting fun again.

Even last week leading up to the Jets game, I wasn’t so sure of a win let alone a blowout. When Tannehill went down, I thought here we go again. But Moore and specials teams step up and get the job done.

A November that means something indeed. Enjoy it – it’s been a while.

indy suxx.

With the Colts Oline struggling and dealing with injuries I see alot of quick passes and underneaths. Our Dline is going to get to the QB and stuff the run but with that its going to put the brunt of the work on the shoulders of the DB's and LB's having to cover out of the back field and TE's. Their Defense isnt the best especially with Vonte out(sarcasm) and with either Moore or Tannehill in they have a decent day along with the running game getting back on track.
All that being said the Colts are playing for the same thing that the Fins are, a playoff birth and pride. Both teams last year were awful and have had some success this year. The coaching staffs on both are doing a good job coaching up their players. With that being said I predict a Fins victory at Home 24-17

I predict Sunday's winner will make the playoffs as a wild card team. Think about the contenders. Either ravens or steelers prolly going to get one. The other would be between colts bengals and us. I believe we are the best of the 3 and we would have the tie breaker over both of them with a win. We also all have about the same strength of schedule left. We have to play pats twice. Colts have to play texans twice. N bengals have to play both steelers n ravens once again. I like our odds. Our d makes the difference

I for one am not going to apologize for the schedule. We have a more difficult schedule than some teams getting major praise like the Falcons and Broncos for example. We don't get to choose who we play, we just get to knock them down.

the krappy colts gotz the 1st over all 4 a reason.
if the phinz blow this 1 they have taken a gargantuan step f'n backwards...

Never thought I'd say this but I agree with 2 watt. We should beat the Colts. They have an interim coach and a less talented team. They had their moment for the year already against the Packers and as expected have been ordinary since. They had to scrape against a poor Titans team last week. The Colts will move the ball on our defense throught the air but they will make mistakes and that will be the difference.

Dolphins are a playoffs contenders, and we are going to win next Sunday, we have talent in coachs and players, last year Soprano don't know how to used the talent, and don't forget that we have a stupid alpha wr in every single play.
Dolphins 28 Indy 13

I think the fins are more like sharks and they can smell blood in the water. They now know they do have talent and that they managed to win 6 games last year despite the coaching.

Now they've won 3 games in a row and know that if they each do their part, play their role on every down, they can beat anybody.

I would be very surprised if they came out flat against Indy this week. Play offs aside, none of these players want to regress to .500 again and all of them want to separate themselves from the teams that are.

Other games I'll be watching this week...
Pittsburgh @ Giants
Baltimore @ Browns
Denver @ Cincinnati

Good morning fellas,

My first day back to work today (Sandy) so just wanted to say I had a great time at Metlife stadium. It's a very nice stadium. The fans were mild sauce until after the game a couple guys had beer muscles but nothing came of it.

The game was awesome. When Tannehill went down all I could think of was how bad Matt Moore was in the preseason and we are going to find a way to F this up. Hats off to Matt Moore. He played like I always knew he could as a good backup/spot starter.

I tell you the one thing that was evident and a pleasant surprise that may not always show up on TV is the speed on defense. I thought Miami was in the lesser half of defensive athleticism but I tell you what it's the Jets who lack speed and athleticism on D. They are just slow. Miami on the other hand swarms to the ball and are quick off the line of scrimmage and watching Clemons intercept that ball in the redzone you could see he has some real speed on that return. Reshad Jones plays fast. Sean Smith who did look to get beat a few times played well and really blanketed guys.

Clyde Gates had his best game and it was simply because Miami was in cover 4 for much of the 2nd half, end of story. He still stinks.

Agreed 2 watt and Mark except the Fins had the first over all pick in 08 and made the playoffs that year too..

Chase,

I agree with your points. To me we're in the running for a Wild Card. I'm going to through one other team into the mix and they are playing lousy right now but play in a weak division. The Chargers. Yes, I know they are crap! But if they win tonight I believe that makes them 4-4. They play in a horrible division, with the exception of the Broncos. Not saying they are going to be the team and there's every reason to believe they won't and Smith and Turner will get fired. But they are in the mix, along with the Colts.

J taylor, I can't tell with ur grammar, but that's an ignorant statement if it's a knock on Marshall, because besides the bears defense, he, and not cutler, are the reason we are 6-1. In fact, i would say that he is all this team is really missing to be dominant. Tannehill still has no one to throw to in the red zone/end zone, and the numbers support that. Marshall pulls a corner and safety EVERY play, and still scores tds, and it's a shame now that we finally have a qb that he has no one to throw to to get touchdowns, because our defense is great, our secondary has surprised, our o line is solid as is our running game.
We could be 4-7 after this month, sure. But I see is closer to 8-3, and that's pretty exciting, considering we are two makeable kicks away from being 6-1 right now.

Craig m, I think ur forgetting the afc north. Pittsburgh is on a come up, like always, and the bengals after the broncos will probably win five straight.

lol

Armando.....

This will be a November to remember....

but wait until you see what Philbin an CO....have up their sleeve for DEC....

Todays observation: why is it the NFL screams parity like no other professional sports league, and yet everyone says the fins schedule is so soft... If there is such parity in the league doesn't that imply fairly even schedules, just ask the Pats fans or how about Carolina are they a gimme and their 1 and whatever but they can still play with anyone

This is the NFL N-o F-ing L-aydowns in this league

Coach Joe is going to make Bruce Arians pay for the pot shot he took @ Pouncey...and @ the FINS front office as a whole....with that C. Davis comment....

ask Rex and the jets if its a good Idea to talk smack before a game....

Fodder, I will be at that Giants v Pitt game this weekend for my annual family mens weekend. Pitt fan organized it this year. I'm trying to think of a way of watching both games since the Giants game is at 4:30. I will probably just stay back at the hotel and watch on my computer then meet up with everyone else later. I feel guilty missing the Dolphins game. it's like cheating on my girl.

At least you have that optition Mark, I have my baby's shower this weekend at 2 so I miss most of the game..

mark, u may hate me like a giant boil on the tip of u'r dink,
but i'm always right.
u kno it, armando kno's it.
and everybody else kno's it.
lol

matty, co-ed?

Andy my man, glad to hear you're safe and sound. The last time I saw the Dolphins defense live the thing that took my breath away was how Paul Soliai just throws around interior linemen. he's a beast. hopefully you took time to watch some of the grunts because he and Starks put on a great exhibition last week.

Who are these MEN that go to baby showers....

I have lived my entire life an NEVER met any man who attends baby showers...myself included....and my wife jut had her 2nd one on saturday....

in the past 3 weeks on this blog....there are 3 of you are whipped enough to break this scared code....

Crag M...

Mark in Toronto...

and now...Matty...

as Iron Mike Ditka would say..."STOP IT"!!!!!

matty, congrats on your swimmers closing the mission ... however I thought showers were a chick's thing??

But some things do take precedence over football .. not many but family is one.

personally I miss the tennessee game because I'm baptizing a kid on that day. Haven't even met the kid yet either, haha

My wife had had friends in TX throw her a show in AUG....and last Saturday...her friends in VA threw her one....

Kris attended 0...ZERO baby showers on my record....

Those are oppertunities for the MEN to get together and throw some back....NOT in the presence of the women....

Kris, I haven't missed a Dolphins game this year. I will miss part of the game this Sunday for ... football. Congrats on teh baby by the way.

However, I miss one for a baptism is a little difference. Same family that baptized their first kid on Superbowl Sunday (Saints v Colts). there was a tv there but still ... thankfully I think they're done having kids.

2 watt, no i don't hate you. I think you try too hard sometimes to be different and I just shrug as I read your comments because i don't think you believe 95% of what you write but say it for feedback. But hate, no, no hate.

MIT...that's a dilemma.

This week could really set the tone for the rest of the phins season. But, NYG v Pitt should be some great football to watch, and it's family.

I hope Pitt fan understands that a good Miami fan has to root against his team.

i went 2 1 b/s but they had a belly dancer there 4 our eye candy soooooo?
lol

lol ok.

belly dancer? hope it wasn't a dude...

Thanks, yeah it is more of a mixed shower, not the traditional womans shower.. there will be beer there etc just I will be missing it.

LOL @ 10:24....

Mark Toronto,

Thanks man. I'm right outside Philly so I didn't lose power or anything so fortunately I made out with no problems at all. Obviously many along the coast and North of me weren't as lucky.

Absolutely! Soliai is a monster inside. He's 6'5 330 or whatever his weight is yet he manages to get lower then everyone and get underneath to get leverage and push guys around. Great observation on your side.

I watch the whole field and for 1 game there weren't many areas that were troublesome. Outside of Calvin Pace hitting Tannehill awkwardly the Dolphins were sound across the board. So many guys could have gotten game balls. Soliai, Starks, Special Teams coach, Matt Moore etc. Great game.

And again jets fans are mild sauce compared to Eagles fans. We weren't overly obnoxious just good fans and cheering on our team but there was 1 particular Dolphin fan/bully who had the whole section afraid to even respond to him. He was honestly a clown and jerk but he was on our side at least. Jet fans didn't say a word to him. That would never happen in an Eagles/Phillies/Flyers game.

Mark...thanks....

won't be long now....Bu the baby had better NOT come on a Sunday....lol...

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