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3 posts from December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012

Bess, Misi officially out vs. Bills, others questionable

Davone Bess and Koa Misi will miss their second consecutive game Sunday when the Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills.

The news is better for wide receiver Brian Hartline, who is listed as questionable. Hartline worked some on Friday and is expected to play barring a significant setback.

Interestingly, the Dolphins are not certain about defensive tackle Randy Starks. Although he is not injured, he missed the entire week of practice for personal reasons. The club has declined to specify what those reasons are.

Starks is questionable for the game.

WR Davone Bess – back
K Dan Carpenter – groin
LB Koa Misi – ankle

CB Nolan Carroll – knee
WR Brian Hartline – back
TE Jeron Mastrud – hamstring
DT Randy Starks – not injury related

WR Armon Binns – ankle
S Chris Clemons – neck, ribs
LB Karlos Dansby – biceps
DE Derrick Shelby – groin
S Jimmy Wilson – hip

The Bills will also have three players missing but none have been significant contributors. Starting center Eric Wood is questionable.

DE Mark Anderson – knee
LB Chris White – hamstring
WR Marcus Easley – hamstring

C Eric Wood – knee

G Andy Levitre – knee
TE Scott Chandler – foot
DT Kyle Williams – ankle
LB Nick Barnett – knee
CB Justin Rogers – foot
DT Marcell Dareus – knee/wrist
TE Lee Smith – back
RB C.J. Spiller – shoulder
CB Aaron Williams – knee
DE Mario Williams – wrist

Carpenter hurting, Dolphins sign kicker

Dan Carpenter has been slowed by a groin injury and it is serious. How serious?

Carpenter is done kicking for the season. The club put him on injured reserve today, which means he will not kick Sunday against the Buffalo Bills or in the season-finale against New England and so today Miami signed free agent kicker Nate Kaeding.

Kaeding is experienced and also has playoff experience gained from his nine years with the San Diego Chargers. This year he was with San Diego three games and was seven-of-seven on FG attempts and six-of-six on point after attempts.

Kaeding, 30, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2006 and 2009 and is statistically the most accurate kicker in NFL history. He has connected on 87 percent of his kicks.

The irony here is Kaeding was placed on injured reserve by the Chargers earlier this season for, of course, having a groin injury. Once he got healthy, the club was forced to release him off the injured reserve list.

Kaeding also spent all of the 2011 season on injured reserve when he tore knee ligaments while trying to make a tackle on the opening kickoff of the regular season.

This ending is typical of the season Carpenter had. He was excellent kicking from 39 yards and in, connecting on all 12 of his attempts. But beyond that range he connected on only 10 of 15 kicks and missed kicks against the Jets and Cardinals that might have delivered victories in games the Dolphins eventually lost.

Let me say this now: The Dolphins did not bring in any competition for Carpenter the last couple of training camps. I would be surprised if that is the case next year.

Carpenter has only one more year on his contract (2013) and he is no bargain at $2.67 million so look for the Dolphins to search for a cheaper option.



Bills at Dolphins: I got it you take it

It's not sexy or exciting to read about, but since the Mayans were absolutely wrong and the world goes on and the NFL season continues this weekend, I want to discuss perhaps the most unsung issue facing the Dolphins and Bills this weekend.

It's the issue that will likely decide this game.

It's the issue that a majority of NFL coaches believe decides most NFL games.


The Dolphins are terrible at causing them or benefitting from them. They have. for example, recovered only three fumbles this year. Only Kansas City and Philadelphia are worse with two recovered fumbles.

The Dolphins total take-away number this year is 12. That's nine interceptions and three recovered fumbles.

The Patriots, by contrast, have 20 recovered fumbles this year and 16 more interceptions. In fact, 10 teams have recovered more fumbles than the Dolphins have total take-aways so far. It's baffling to defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.

“We’ve done everything and then some, and we’re going to continue to do it," Coyle said. "Really, I say this to you guys, I don’t think there is a team in the league that works harder, not just as a result of what’s been happening this season, but from April when Coach Philbin came here, it’s been a
point of emphasis in every practice."

The good news for the Dolphins is the Bills pose a threat to their vast inability to come up with take-aways because Buffalo is among the most philanthropic teams with the football in the NFL. The Bills have given the football up 29 this season.

Only five teams have given it up more.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has 15 interceptions. He's fumbled seven times and lost five. The man is a machine!

C.J. Spiller has lost both his fumbles this year and the Dolphins are probably bemoaning the fact Fred Jackson, he of the four lost fumbles, is not playing Sunday.

The point is while the Dolphins are terrible at taking the ball away, the Bills are almost equally terrible at keeping the ball safe.

It is the moveable force against the resistable object.