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7 posts from December 23, 2012

December 23, 2012

Dimitri Patterson goes from waiver to starter in seven days

Dimitri Patterson got waived from the Cleveland Browns Monday night. The Dolphins claimed him Tuesday afternoon. He arrived Wednesday, took a physical and joined his first practice after it had already started.

And on Sunday he started for the Dolphins against the Buffalo Bills.

"It was definitely a busy week for me," Patterson said after the Dolphins beat the Bills 24-10. "I found out I was playing Tuesday night; I had to travel 4 o’clock in the morning Wednesday, coming in and trying to get the terminology down. It’s a whirlwind mentally, but I settled in after the first couple of series, and it was football again. It was a transition for me, but a good one, not a bad one, so I’m grateful for it.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I got the news Monday that I was being waived. I didn’t know what to expect beyond that. I was taking everything in stride at that point. When I came here, it was a matter of me learning as fast as I can. I had a good week of practice, and the coaches felt comfortable that I would make minimal mental mistakes, and they had enough confidence in me."

It was funny that during the game Sunday, Dolphins coaches were yelling instructions to Patterson from the sideline, telling him what the call was on defense.

Guess what? He's probably starting next week as well.

Although Nolan Carroll is nursing a knee injury, forcing Patterson to play Sunday, the replacement was seemingly as good as Carroll has been most of the season.

Sean Smith, by the way, left the game in the first half with a left knee injury. He will have an MRI Monday morning to determine the severity of the injury.

Dolphins beat Bills, 24-10, but playoff hopes over

The Dolphins have a multi-pronged assignment in trying to stay alive in the playoffs.

They accomplished the first, and likely easiest portion of that issue today with a 24-10 victory over the reeling Buffalo Bills.

But because the Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 on a last-second field goal, the Dolphins are out of the playoff hunt in 2012.

The season for Miami will end next week at New England.

In Miami, Reshad Jones had a career day. He recovered two fumbles. He intercepted a pass at the goal line.

Dolphins pounding Bills 24-3 going to fourth quarter

Dave Wannstedt's defense is playing like, well, a Dave Wannstedt defense late in the season.

The Dolphins have three TDs from Reggie Bush.

Young WRs Armon Binns and Rishard Matthews are showing flashes.

And the defense has swamped the Bills with multiple fumble recoveries in the third quarter alone.

It's a route.

And it continues for one more quarter as does this live blog. Go to the comments section now.

Dolphins lead Bills 14-3 going to third quarter

The Dolphins are playing a solid game so far and against the reeling Bills, that's been good enough so far.

The Dolphins have two touchdowns from Reggie Bush -- one via a reception, the other on a second-quarter 1 yard run. And the defense that has been solid much of the year has been solid today.

The Dolphins have held Buffalo to 1 of 6 on third down.

Stevie Johnson is having a nightmare day -- having dropped two passes including a TD and having fumbled his only catch of the game.

Michael Egnew has played two plays in the first half but the ball has not come his direction. Ryan Tannehill is not completing 50 percent of his throws but he's leading the team with 43 rushing yards.

The live blog continues in the comments section. Go there.

Dolphins lead Bills 7-0 to start second quarter

Reggie Bush is have a fine day catching the football. Lamar Miller is having a good day running the ball.

The Dolphins are leading the Bills, 7-0 after one quarter.

Miller has 29 yards on five carries. Bush has two catches for 31 yards and scored on a 17-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill.

The live blog continues in the comments section.

Inactives (Egnew active!) and live blog

Michael Egnew is in uniform and active for the first time this season. It's a party at Sun Life!

Dimitri Patterson, signed last week off waivers from Cleveland, is starting. I'm telling you, it's a party and you don't believe me.

The reason Patterson is starting is Nolan Carroll (knee) is inactive and the team is not going with Bryan McCann, who has played longer and been with the Dolphins longer. Interesting.

Jason Trusnik makes his second start in place of Koa Misi. Marlon Moore start at WR for the injured Davone Bess.

Here are the inactives:

Pat Devlin, Bess, Carroll, Misi, Patrick Brown, Kyle Miller, Keeston Randall.

We've got a live blog going in the comments section today. I'll join you around kickoff.                       

Starks back but who has the overall advantage?

The Dolphins got good news Saturday when Randy Starks, who missed the entire week of practice due to a personal reason not related to injury, returned to the team. He was promptly taken off the injury report. The Dolphins had previously listed him as questionable because they didn't know his status and now he will be available to play today against the Buffalo Bills.

I presume the Dolphins will play him.

How does the rest of today's game stack up?

Like so:

When the Dolphins run the ball: This was supposed to be a major advantage for the Dolphins in the first meeting between the teams but it didn’t work out that way. The Dolphins are a decent running team (16th in the NFL) while the Bills are terrible against the run (30th overall). The Bills were actually the worst rush defense in the NFL on the day in November the teams played. But Buffalo limited Miami to only 60 rushing yards and a paltry 2.5 yards per carry. That was the worst rushing average for the Dolphins in the past eight games. The troubling thing is Buffalo didn’t always sneak safeties into the tackle box to guarantee a numbers advantage at the line of scrimmage. When this happens, the Dolphins must win hat-on-hat assignments. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Dolphins pass the ball: The Bills are merely mediocre against the pass, but after a slow start, Mario Williams has shown his offseason signing to be a good acquisition. Williams has 10.5 sacks. The Bills typically line him up over the right tackle so Nate Garner, who is a better run-blocker than pass-blocker, will face perhaps his stiffest test since becoming a starter two games ago. The Miami receiver and tight end corps is a walking M.A.S.H. unit this week. Tight end Charles Clay is out for the season. Davone Bess missed last week, didn’t practice this week and is also out today. Brian Hartline also missed practice this week although he will play. Both Bess and Hartline are nursing back issues. None of this suggests a big day for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. ADVANTAGE: Buffalo.

When the Bills run the ball: C.J. Spiller was a bit surprising to the Dolphins not only because the degree of speed and agility he showed in the last game was unexpected but because he actually broke some tackles and Miami defenders weren’t really ready for that. If you like Reggie Bush, you should like Spiller because he’s younger, faster and more productive. The Miami defense had trouble with Spiller and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson earlier this year so it must prove it can handle the small, quick type of back. This will be a battle of wills. It will test how much the Bills insist on running the ball – they ran 31 times last game – and will test whether Miami linebackers and safeties are willing to play downhill to support the defensive front. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Bills pass the ball: Ryan Fitzpatrick has enjoyed team success against the Dolphins, as he’s 3-2 in games he’s started against Miami. But his individual statistics against the Dolphins are unimpressive. He’s thrown five TDs and seven INTs against Miami and his quarterback rating is a sub par 74.9. Fitzpatrick has completed 61 percent of his passes against the Dolphins and that mark would be higher if not for a game in 2011 in which he managed to complete only 51 percent of his throws. The Miami secondary has handled trades (Vontae Davis), injuries (Richard Marshall) and better quarterbacks (Tom Brady) so Buffalo’s pass attack won’t scare them. The Dolphins haven’t yielded more than 238 passing yards in six games. ADVANTAGE: Miami.

Special teams: Leodis McKelvin set the tone for the last meeting when he returned the first Dolphins punt of the game 79 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins are certain that won’t happen this time because McKelvin this week went on injured reserve. What the Dolphins are hoping can repeat was the kickoff return TD Marcus Thigpen authored against the Bills. Dan Carpenter (groin) is done for the season but the Dolphins have added a solid and accurate kicker in Nate Kaeding to take his place. ADVANTAGE: Miami. 

Coaching: Remember Dave Wannstedt? The former Dolphins coach whose teams historically struggled in rematches against AFC East opponents? He’s the defensive coordinator in Buffalo now. The Bills defense got the better of the Miami offense last time. But they’re going to play the same style, without blitzes or disguises, which is Wannstedt’s approach. This is an opportunity for Miami coaches to step up. ADVANTAGE: Miami.

Remember: Live blog today. I'll also update when inactives come out and as news warrants.