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Keys to the game: Dolphins vs. Patriots

It's all hands on deck for the Dolphins because they are completely healthy and ready to use every player in the plan against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Everyone on the team practiced full on Friday. The coaching staff expects to use Bryant McKinnie at left tackle against New England, although a final decision won't come until Saturday evening.

Cameron Wake will get a full load of snaps as will cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is expected back at his starting job.

So who has the advantage?

Here are the keys to the game:

When the Dolphins pass the football: The Dolphins personnel department has pushed for Bryant McKinnie to start at left tackle while the coaching staff has taken a more methodical approach. Fans should hope the personnel department wins out because the Dolphins have basically lost two consecutive games when right tackle Tyson Clabo gave up key sacks against Buffalo and Baltimore. Adding McKinnie to the lineup means Jonathan Martin moves from left tackle to right tackle. This game will measure Ryan Tannehill’s ability to recover from a poor game, which his three-turnover game against Buffalo certainly was. The Patriots hope to have starting cornerback Aqib Talib back in the lineup but if he’s out again that will be a considerable help for Miami. ADVANTAGE: Patriots.

When the Dolphins run the football: Did the Dolphins coaching staff learn its lesson this week? Last week, against a weak run defense, the Dolphins didn’t maximize the running game, rushing only 25 times in a game that was never out of hand and in fact Miami led in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are no better than the Bills against the run, allowing four yards per rush, and they’ve been worse since the injury to Vince Wilfork ended his season and weakened the run defense. New England is now 31st in the NFL against the run. The Dolphins must, must, must give Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas a full plate of run attempts to shorten this game, avoid turnovers and move the football. It’s up to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins (if Sherman doesn’t mess it up).

When the Patriots run the football: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been criticized this week because he didn’t run the football enough against the Jets despite being in a game the Patriots led and were having success with their running game.  Is this an epidemic, or what? The Patriots, curiously, are statistically a more successful running team than passing team. They have multiple backs that range in speed and size and can work either outside or between the tackles. But if the Pats are going to have any success running this game, they have to do it outside the tackles because the Dolphins clearly have a talent edge on the interior against New England’s center Ryan Wendell. ADVANTAGE: Even

When the Patriots pass the football: Tom Brady has not been playing up to his career standards as his quarterback rating is 20 points lower and his completion percentage is way down as well. That speaks to the loss of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and the injury to Rob Gronkowski but it also suggests Brady is struggling to get on the same page with their replacements. Gronkowski returned last week and Brady targeted him 17 times. Look for more of the same, particularly in the red zone. The Dolphins could not figure out how to defend New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham a month ago. They better figure out how to account for Gronk. The Dolphins have the ability to push the Pats pass pocket up the middle with their outstanding defensive tackles and Cameron Wake is ready to take all his usual snaps on the outside. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Special teams: The Dolphins are way better than New England on kickoff returns. The Patriots are way better than the Dolphins on punt returns. Miami punter Brandon Fields is the NFL’s leading punter that includes net and gross average while New England’s Ryan Allen is closer to the middle of the NFL pack. The Patriots have tried more long-range field goals than the Dolphins and have more success doing it, as Stephen Gostowski has connected on 8 of 9 attempts of 40 yards or more, including 2 of 2 from more than 50 yards. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: Unless Joe Philbin has some sort of Wildcat-type innovation up his sleeve this category pretty obviously tilts in one direction. ADVANTAGE: New England.

Intangibles: Both teams are desperate for a win because the Dolphins have lost three in a row and the Patriots two of three. But the home field has been very good to New England as they haven’t lost an October game at Gillette Stadium since 2005 and are 21-1 there in October dating back to 2003. OVERALL ADVANTAGE: New England.


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Unfortunately we have to hope Sherman has seen the errors of his ways. His 70 and he never has before. Pats 31-24.

Ya hurting my feelings there Darkoak!!! We agree Sherman is caling games like an idiot...but you just picked the Pats over our beloved Phins...Have you no SHAME???


Sherman cant make chicke salad out of chicken shyt.

super original CDV...aahh buts thats your MO...Jack!...out...

Assignment Football: OK, I would assign Rookie Jelani Jenkins to Gronk. I would also give him safety help of course.

You already know you can't use Misi, Wheeler or Ellerbe, so why not give the faster Jenkin's his big shot. Jam him every play, "hang on" for dear life and **KNOW** you have safety help. Double Jam him like they did Gonzales. What do you have to lose?

So it gives Brady some one on one match-ups on the outside, better than watching Gronk running free down the seam all day.

I've seen Jenkin's play decent at times as a rookie. I'd go ahead and give him his "Big Chance". See if the Puppy Bites. With a safety helping all day, Jenkin's is probably the best combo we could muster anyways. If you have any better, I'm all ears.

Also, I think McKinnie could make a bigger impact than a lot of people think. It doesn't matter how he's played anywhere else. What matters is that he's definitely an upgrade to what we had **HERE**. Thus, Martin becomes an upgrade to Clabo.

We went 3-0 until teams figured out Clabo and Tee'd Off on Tannehill. We won't have a great O-Line obviously, but we'll have a better O-Line than we did. To me, that means our Run Game improves, which improves our pass game, which improves our ability to EXECUTE the play calls. This in turn also gives the Defense a break and allows them to play Stronger.

It doesn't matter what McKinnie has done. The point is, we'll be an IMPROVED Team with him here. All he has to be is better than Martin, get it? All Martin has to be is better than Clabo. I think BOTH have PROVEN that they CAN BE!

10-6= playoffs

Yes we can

McKinnie did play well for the Ravens in the playoffs last year.

We'll see what he's got left in the tank and if he can find the motivation.


I saw your response to me yesterday.

Talking about our O-Line and then mentioning the "Hail Mary" play did seem like a curve ball when I read it back. It was meant to reinforce my point on how bad the O-Line has been playing.

3 - D-Lineman, no surprises, no disguises and we couldn't block them with 5 O-Lineman and another who stayed in to help. Tannehill was running for his life as soon as the ball was snapped, inexcusable IMO. I believe it's also about 85% of our OVERALL problem this year.

People are talking about Sherman's play calling and the type of offense Philbin wants to run. All moot points IMO, when you can't even block 3 guys on a Hail Mary. Our O-Line and all the sacks HAS to be negatively affecting the Play calling, the Game Plan and the Playbook as a whole. We can't even think about going deep and the intermediate range is IFFY at beast. My guess is that, that takes away about 50% OF OUR Playbook.

Also Darryl, I wasn't saying that one more draft will solidify our O-Line. I think you might have misunderstood what I was saying. A good Free Agency period and the Draft could certainly do it IMO. Especially if we put all the emphasis as we SHOULD be putting on the O-Line.

I think Pouncey is a keeper and Cogs(and **MAYBE** McKinnie now)as possible as holdovers. From there we target the best O-Lineman we can find in Free Agency. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch in signing ONE GOOD SOLID legitimate starter and another average starter.

Then with the draft hoping for another Rookie Starter. This is probably the tougher bill to fill, but not impossible. This years crop hasn't been so impressive, but next years class promises to be better(I hope-LOL).

Ultimately, Pouncey and Cogs could again be starters and Martin could develop into a legit RIGHT TACKLE. So in a best case scenario, we only have to find TWO starters in Free Agency and the draft. In a worst case scenario, we have to find THREE starters. The latter obviously being tougher, but neither I think are that impossible or improbable.


canes fsu next week, both will be undefeated now, go canessssssssss

Maybe Dion Jordan should be covering Gronk the whole game. Time to round-up his value and prove his claimed athletic versatility.

Less ppl in here than a week ago. Looks like some ppl are finally waking up to the fact that the loser Dolphins are a dysfunctional organization that aren't going to get any better for years to come. I thought the new logo was supposed to bring good luck and better times. Look at how sleek and modern it looks. Bob Griese told me "Um duh I think the fans should like it too um duh too duh."

canes fsu next week, both will be undefeated now, go canessssssssss

Posted by: dusty bottoms | October 26, 2013 at 03:40 PM


Dolfan Rick likes this comment.

With Ireland drafting, the Phins will get squat from next years draft. Same as they've gotten squat from this years draft. This can't keep happening without consequences. I see shades of 1-15 happening all over again. When Wannstedt failed to acquire talent with his drafts circa 2000-2004, the Phins talent degenerated to the point where 1-15 happened years later. Saban tried to fill holes in free agency too. That's usually a temporary fix. Does anyone think that Wallace is going to see the end of his contract ? How about Ellerbe ? Wheeler ? How much does Grimes have left ? He may not even be here next year ? You have to draft talent and develop that talent. The Dolphins have not done this at all during Ireland's six years. There's a price to pay for this type of futility.

If Ireland comes back, Philbin will be fired during the season next year. Keep it real ppl.

Saban's free agent binge.

W. Allen
K. Carter
V. Holiday
K. Traylor

These players all played well for Miami too.

This was a better spending spree than Ireland's this past off season.

Yet the Dolphins still ended up 1-15.

Phins go 7-9 in 2013.
5-11 2014.
1-15 in 2015.

Paging Dr. Tannebust, Dr. Tannebust.

Yeah, odin, with Gronk they are probably going to do what they did with Gonzo. They are similar kind of TEs, masters at using their big body to position themselves better to catch the ball.

Looks like Oscar is a fan of Gronk's "Big Body."

Oscar is a grouch who lives in a garbage can. I'd be grouchy too if I had to support a team with such a queer logo.

For those of us who noticed, the main reason Ireland drafted mainly D players is called Tom Brady, and from there to win the Division. DJ, the good blitzing LBs, the improved CBs are all here this Year for that reason. Brady. This is a make or break Game, so much so, that they have all their previously hurt players ready to go or not and they are even going to start McKinnie. Tomorrow will decide if Ireland's strategy was right or not. Now, Daytona, don't get anxious, you only have to wait until 4PM tomorrow to find out.

Hmmmm...last week I posted a note that said Ross should start doing some economically smart estate planning. The Robbie family lost the Dolphins due to poor estate planning and Huzienga dumped the team as part of his estate plan. Ross is a mega developer in NYC. He is busy on 2 of the largest projects in NYC history. One is called Hudson Yards on Manhattans west side and Hunters Point in Queens a boro of NYC.
Ross is worth $4.8 Billion right now. He is 73. Its time for him to do his estate planning a rid himself of the Dolphins.
So what pops up in the news today....P. Diddy wants to buy an NFL team....hmmmm P. Diddy yes he too is New Yorker and that really doesn't matter. Because the one thing I can say about Diddy is he strives to be the best at everything he does. So my feeling is that he would put the BEST players on the field to win. And what player wouldn't LOVE to play for a Diddy owned team? Look at what has happened to the Nets since JayZ bought a small share. Just a thought!!

4-12 to draft Johnny Manziel! Yes we can!

There's been 2 rookies on Defense to make plays When Given Their Chances To Play = Dion Jordan & Jenkins. I say put and keep BOTH on Gronk all day. Early (rush downs) have Jordan on him, (long yrd downs) have Jenkins on him along with S help and BUMRUSH Brady at all costs cuz his line has struggled a bit against 3rd long blitzing.
Offensively I believe McKinney will play pretty well being he's playing for his hometown team and knows it's his last chance to stick for another yr or two in the league. He's Manned Up when He's been Needed before and will do so the remainder of the season I'm betting & hoping lol. Offensively we just need a little (ok A Lot ) more protection and this offense can start to execute pretty well, they do run the same plays G.B. runs with the exception of Execution. Tanny's still learning as much as any 2 nd yr QB would be and he's played well given his shitty protection if you think honestly about it. They really need to FEED MILLER & THOMAS the ball as muchas humanly possible to start giving this line some confidence and belief that they are gd enough to win consistently and make this offense be one of the better in the league, All linemen feel better when they know they can run the ball so FEED'M FEED'M

Despite all of Miami's short comings,(offensive line, ability to stop anyone on third and long, ability to stop any seam receiver, poor play calling. ect., ect.) I predict a 23-13 victory. You heard it here first. Phins up!

oscar is obviously a nerd.

For those of us who noticed, the main reason Ireland drafted mainly D players is called Tom Brady, and from there to win the Division.

Posted by: oscar canosa | October 26, 2013 at 04:15 PM

Well, thats idiotic of you and Irescum considering the problem against the Pats was Tannehill couldnt score ONE FRIGGIN POINT!

McKinney to start. I thought for sure he'd sit for weeks, but I was wrong. Hopefully my prediction of Tannehill being on IR after a blowout loss is wrong, too. Sometimes it's good to be wrong.

despite the few trolls that spew constant negative garbage that have already quit on this team. There is still more than a half of a season to go. Anything can happen.

Unless Joe Philbin gets a brain transplant with Al Golden this season is going to be a wash, I had extremely high hopes that we had finally found a head coach that the team could hang it's hat on and ride back into contention but sad to say, this guy is either just too damned stubborn or too narcissistic to admit that his plan isn't working and making adjustments.

He will never admit a mistake, he is not humble, two major character flaws that won't cut it in a locker room.

Posted by: John in Springs | October 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM


I hope this is just an emotional breakdown you're having.

How do you make adjustments for giving up 5 sacks a game? Play Calling.......?

The one thing you DON'T do IMO is change your philosophy because of inept players and a lack of execution.

It's like trying to judge/assess your QB, even though he's limited because of a lack of execution along the O-Line. It's ridiculous.

If anything, people can try and blame Ireland for not bringing in the right Offensive Lineman. And even that is questionable in my opinion, considering how many holes Philbin and Ireland were looking at. I wouldn't give Ireland a complete pass because he should've/could've addressed the O-Line better than he did. Having said that and because of the rebuild, he was limited in how much he could actually do. In other words, he couldn't address all of our needs in last years off season alone.

Philbin should change his playbook/philosophy because he has Clabo and John Jerry under performing-LOL?

NOPE! He should keep teaching the system and make sure Ireland brings in the final pieces of the O-Line next off season.

Until then, run a bunch of swing and screen passes and pray McKinnie has a little something left in the tank!

A washed up McKinnie is still a huge upgrade
to J. Martin at LT.

Oscar@4:15, you're absolutely correct. That was their 'mission statement' in the offseason.

I conclude everyone and everything about this team sucks signed....the know it all trolls.

PS..yes imagine if the Phins win...what will the trolls have to say?

Tom Brady is Tom Brady! New England doesn't lose at Home in October! Bellicheat is (supposedly)brilliant, when he doesn't get caught cheating anyways. So, it's no wonder the Pats are favored.

Having said that, Miami is a Team that can pose a lot of problems. We've had peaks of things clicking and when they did, we looked liked a pretty good Football Team.

We have our big problem and it's no secret, The O-Line. And that's what it's going to come down too. If we can open some holes for the backs and give Tannehill some protection, we can play with just about anybody. It really is that simple. It was Carpenter a year ago and now it's Clabo. It's a team game, but there are certain situations where one guy can pretty much lose games for you. It's a personnel problem, not a Coaching Problem.

This all brings up McKinnie and how big of a difference he can really make. If he comes in and plays at a high level, it'll be huge, if not, batten down the hatches, things are going to get ugly.

Having said that, McKinnie can make a GIGANTIC impact. If he plays well, he upgrades TWO of our most important positions along the O-Line. But what makes it even BIGGER is that he'll fix our two most problematic positions on the whole team. McKinnie upgrades Martin, but maybe even more importantly, this allows Martin to upgrade Clabo and THAT will be/Could Be HUGE!

Unfortunately, the possibility for disaster is huge as well. We're talking "Big Mac" The Party Animal and a Jonathon Martin that's yet to "Wow" anyone. So, it's anybody's guess. Being the Homer I am, I'm predicting Big Mac and Martin make all the difference in the world. Everything clicks perfectly and we FINALLY give The Pats a run for the Money!

The season was over when they let Jake Long and Reggie Bush walk away.

Posted by: Shula 73 | October 26, 2013 at 01:47 PM


That was a great interview with Philbin, Armando. Just the right amount of pressure and also, with a bit of empathy included, also.

Hey, Daytona, sukki my dikki.

Lets the rats scurry at the first(LOL?)signs of trouble!

I'd rather go down swinginhg in a Blood Bath than just strapping on the Knee Pads and going down!

Some of these Fair-Weather Troll-ops here talk about Brady like he's Jesus Christ! Well I got news for you, He Ain't! He can get his shyt "Pushed In" just like you!

Daytona, wash the Xanax down with your favorite Steel Reserve and chill the Fvck Out! I know Tommy Boy scares the hell out of you(yet strangely intrigues....Just saying....)but it's just a game......just one game......they all only count as One!

PS: You know, having the Tommy Boy Fat Head strategically placed on the ceiling of your bed room probably doesn't help either. Maybe you should take it down on the weeks we play HIM/THEM-LOL.

Just saying....

From Belichick's viewpoint he's gonna try and do 2 things. On D, of course, he's gonna send Chandler Jones and Co. hard after Tannehill in the pocket. On D, he's going to try to get favorable matchups for instance Amendola on a LB, etc. And of course, he's going to throw to Gronk, often. That's it.

From Philbin's interview:

"You have to believe in your players, you have to believe in your staff. If you don’t have faith in one another you have no chance. We have to stick together and we have to work through this.”

I'm right there with ya Joe. Now lets get started on that tomorrow. The believers on jumping off this train in droves.

Tannehill is an average NFL quarterback. Ireland needs to go first. A legitimate gm will fire Philibin and his folks and get a REAL head coach with reputable assistants. From there, get a franchise qb. IRELAND HAS TO GO FIRST.

Who says Ross will hire a legitimate GM????

If you removed all the joker posts here, all those looking to instigate a rise or a laugh one way or the other, this blog would never exceed one page.

They just announced Ireland's extension and believe he and Philbin are about to finally turn the corner.

But lets discuss the firing of Ireland.

Wait......No! I know......I know, lets discuss Fairies and what kind of Boots they wear.........?

Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Lets discuss the time it rained back in the Summer of 89!


Talking about firing Ireland when they JUST extended him - ROTFLMAO!

Thud! Boom!

Bah - BYE!!!!

Nobody is going to throw you out of this Blog, Daytona. You are very annoying with your immaturity many times but, hell, I have hundreds of patients like that.

Now, now, Daytona, be nice.

Lets see if I can get this intellectual dynamic FLOWING!


Ireland Sucks!

Philbin is Lurch!

Sherman is senile!

FIRE COYLE(did I already say this?)!

Tannehill is WORSE than average - (Oooooooooo........NO he didn't! YES I DID - Bam-Pow!)

(Hey, I think I'm getting into the swing of things here!)

Whoever buys the team next SUCKS!

Whoever they hire as a GM should be FIRED!

The new Coach will be GARBAGE(HEY! This **IS** fun)!

Whoever we draft in the FUTURE will be busts! ALL OF THEM!

(Yeah, I'm getting it now!)

Whoever we hire as offensive and defensive coordinators will be UNCOORDINATED!

(YEAH! Take THAT!)


PS: Oops, almost forgot. Sell the team, MOVE IT to Los Angeles!

"All hands on deck" does that mean that the coaches will show up for a change and be mentally healthy for a change?

New England has a history of showing up big after a loss the prior week, I think Miami will play it close but once again it will be the same old fins in the 4th qtr that play the role of close but not close enough to win and NE pulls away late........a mistake or a sack fumble, something like that..........

NE 27

Mia 17

Which then would be the 4th straight loss since irefiend got the contract extension...just sayin!!!!

Ireland is the second best GM in Dolphins history. History has shown it would be far easier to find someone worse than to find someone better.

One thing I will say: Philbin should make a concerted effort to get the Troops Fired up, I mean "Pumped The Fvck Up" Ray Lewis style! Ready to get off to a fast start and knocking the snot out of Patriots!

Philbin's stoic, even Keeled calmness is fine for Film Study and Game Planning.

It obviously sucks for on field, game day preparations!

Philbin needs to nominate a crew to light a Freaking Fire under their asses come Kick Off Time!

That's a Fact!!!!

Nice to see odin has given up on his fantasy hottie stories.

I'm not passing judgement on Ireland at the moment. I think he's done a hell of a lot better since getting out from under Fatcells. But he still hasn't solidified enough things and/or added enough "Play makers".

I'm just pointing out how redundant the Trolls are for wanting to discuss his firing. I don't think that's really in the mix at the moment. You know, seeing how we're just about at Mid season.

Personally, barring a MAJOR Melt-Down, I believe that Ireland will get at least one more off season to try and solidify the roster and adding the blue chip play makers.

I'm not giving my opinion, I'm just saying that, that's what I think they'll do. Other than that, it's ridiculous to discuss at the present time.

(Save the jokes, this was in response to YOUR Post-LOL)

Nice to see odin has given up on his fantasy hottie stories.

Posted by: Pike | October 26, 2013 at 08:14 PM

Yeah, cause NOBODY really scores with the Hotties in your Reality/World.


(Don't look now, but I think "Pikey" just told on himself a little-lol)

odin, as Daytona, is no great mature Man either.

Oh, sorry, it's just Daytona impersonating odin. Armando!

Did you notice that when Daytona was barred from here for sometime we won 3 straight? Now, when he has come back we lost 3 straight. Shame on you!

45-10 Patsies...sorry, folks, just being real

News flash, odin is a freaking toad ribbit ribbit go eat a mosquito you amphibious slimy troll toad

I just read the blog. I'm a fan that enjoys the game but I don't analyze the game much like you guys.

I miss reading some of the old gang that used to post here awhile back. There were maybe 8 or so that used to go at it pretty well. Then they disappeared.

There wasn't so much childish nonsense back then. I keep thinking they will just end the blog one day now since I don't see how it helps the Herald to promote this kind of thing.

Clay navy heres one for ya, Brady goes down with concussion ends his season mia 30-10 douche. Just being real.

I think they tightened down on the down and dirty of those times, Gus. Shame, because you can only talk so much Football.

Maybe it is just a different audience today. Times change.

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