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6 posts from December 2, 2012

December 02, 2012

Dolphins fear worst as Long MRI Monday

Publicly, coach Joe Philbin barely acknowledged the Jake Long injury, saying after the game he had no update on the matter. And players who have been told not to comment on injuries towed the line. "Can't comment on injuries," Jonathan Martin said.

But privately?

Two players told me they heard Long tore his left triceps and one staffer said that's the early diagnosis. Long had an X-ray after the game whose results were inconclusive. Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network is reporting Long will have an MRI on Monday to get a clearer picture but that, "It doesn't look good."

If what everyone fears is reality, Martin is expected to take over at left tackle for the Dolphins. He played the position throughout the game Sunday. He was a left tackle at Stanford.

Long, meanwhile, will go into the offseason unsigned and uncertain of his future. The Dolphins can obviously try to sign him, franchise him, or let him test the market in free agency.

I doubt they allow him to test the market. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has said in the past that Jake Long will finish his career with the Dolphins but, as you know, things can change in the NFL.

One never knows.

 

Patriots defeat the Dolphins 23-16

The defense played well but ultimately that salt-the-gane away drive that took 7:18 off the clock was a dagger.

The offense?

Brian Harline played well. Jonathan Martin was good enough in replacing the injured Jake Long at left tackle. Nate Garner was not terrible at right tackle.

Everyone else?

They were either bad, like Ryan Tannehill was. Or they were ghosts such as Anthony Fasano and Davone Bess.

Tannehill had 113 passing yards before the desperation drive in the final two minutes when New England was playing prevent defense and merely trying not to give up anything deep.The rookie finished with 187 passing yards on 13 of 29 passing.

As I said, the defense fought hard.

Brady only threw one TD. The same New England team that was averaging 450 yards per game the last month gained 323 yards

The Dolphins are 5-7.

Pats continue to lead Dolphins 17-10 going to fourth quarter

The Dolphins defense is playing its heart out.

The Patriots have had four possessions in the third quarter. And until Miami forced punts on three consecutive possessions and were fighting to do the same on the fourth as the quarter ended.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the offense has failed to move the ball. They failed to take advantage of remarkable field position at their own 49 yard line on the last possession.

The score remains 17-10.

The live blog continues in the comments section.

 

Patriots lead Dolphins 17-10 going to third quarter

For a couple of minutes there, this one looked like it was going to be a blowout by halftime.

Jake Long suffered a left triceps injury and is out -- leaving Jonathan Martin at LT and Nate Garner at RT. Ryan Tannehill was sacked and fumbled. The Patriots turned it into a TD.

And the visitors led 17-3 with Miami getting the ball on its own 3 yard line.

But the Miami Dolphins drove the length of the field, getting key runs from Ryan Tannehill and Reggie Bush, and a couple of good completions to Brian Hartline.

So it's 17-10. The game is still interesting.

The Dolphins are averaging 4.3 yards per carry and have 73 yards for the half. That's good. The Patriots are averaging only 1.3 yards per run. That's a problem for them.

There's still hope for Miami.

The live blog rolls on in the comments section. Join me there.

Patriots lead Dolphins 7-3 going to second quarter

It was a strange first quarter.

Brandon Fields got a bad snap from center, bobbled it, tried to run with it and got tackled inside his own 20 yard line. That eventually cost the Dolphins a TD.

They got that score back when Reshad Jones returned an interception for a TD. But an illegal block wiped that out. The Dolphins settled for a FG.

Patriots lead 7-3.

The fact Tom Brady threw an interception was news. He only has four for the season.

Brady is off so far today. Gives the Dolphins hope. But Ryan Tannehill is also off. He missed an easy long TD throw to Brian Hartline.

The live blog continues in the comments section.

The price of mediocrity? It's going up for the Dolphins

The Dolphins call this a measuring stick game.

And I would tell you that most observers who measure the Dolphins see them as a mediocre team -- at best. So what does a mediocre team do with starters that aren't quite stars but are good enough to threaten significant attention in free agency?

Whatever the Dolphins do it means the price of doing business with these players is going waaaay up after this season.

Whatever you think of Brian Hartline or Sean Smith or Randy Starks, all of them are going to get significant pay raises after their contract expire this year and heading into free agency. All of them. I tell you here the contract neighborhood those players expect to be after 2012.

I tell you where the contract talks are with those players. I also tell you here which player has had no contract negotiations with the Dolphins and is likely to be done playing for Miami after this season. (Hint: He plays running back).

Back to the measuring stick issue, today will offer comparison between the Dolphins and a team with championship aspirations. The Patriots, as you may know, are 18-0 in the second half of seasons since 2010, including 2-0 this year.

They're good.

So if the players we discuss above have a great game against New England or help the Dolphins beat the Patriots today, they will argue they're worth their high asking price. Fair.

But what if Miami loses? Does that mean those guys aren't worth it? I don't think so. The truth is the Dolphins can't really lose ground this offseason. They lost ground before this season in dealing away Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis and now wide receiver and cornerback are team needs.

So they're going to lose Sean Smith or Brian Hartline -- a cornerback and wide receiver -- and make a hole a bigger hole? It's an interesting situation.

By the way, there's a live blog today. Starts in the comment section. I'll be there around kickoff.