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Dolphins need late-game playmaking

My prediction for Sunday's game between the Dolphins and Carolina Panthers? It should be close. It will come down to the fourth quarter. It might come down to the last possession for each team.

Sound familiar?

That's how the Dolphins have played a majority of this season.

That's how the Panthers have played a majority of this season.

The difference between Miami's 5-5 record and Carolina's much more appealing 7-3?

“I think the biggest thing is for some of our games we won the close ones," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "Especially the last two weeks, was winning the close ones. My first two years we didn’t win the close ones. Our second game of the year this year against Buffalo we had an opportunity to win and we didn’t win the close ones. We’re in position now that we’ve won the close ones. We’ve done some things in the fourth quarter. We’ve done some things in earlier parts of the game that have given ourselves a chance to win and walk away winners."

That's it.

Consider how much different the Dolphins season would feel if they had made plays rather than given up plays late against Baltimore.

And Buffalo.

And Tampa Bay.

Those were three winnable games. Indeed, I'd offer the Dolphins should beat Buffalo and Tampa Bay most of the time. But they lost those games because they simply didn't make plays late.

Miami did make plays late against Indianapolis and Cincinnati and San Diego. And the resulting victories suggest that if the Dolphins are going to enjoy any success the remainder of the season, they need to get used to the idea of finishing strong.

"We have been stressing, if you look at our schedule and our games, it’s really come down to execution in the fourth quarter and stepping up and making plays when the game is on the line," coach Joe Philbin said. "I was pleased that Sunday against San Diego that’s what we did, we made enough plays in the fourth quarter to win the game."

It should be noted the Dolphins have won two of three games and those victories brought late playmaking by Cameron Wake, Brent Grimes and others.

That needs to continue. And against Carolina, the Miami offense could certainly use some late heroics as well. Ryan Tannehill is due. A back-breaking and unexpected long run would be welcome. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline need to step up.

That's what it's going to take because the Panthers have been getting that kind of performance from Cam Newton, mostly everyone on defense, and even Ted Ginn Jr. last week. The Panthers believe they can make plays late to win games now.

I don't know if the Dolphins believe. I know they have to get to that point to save this season.

You, meanwhile, should believe this:

The team that makes plays late this game will be a winner by Sunday evening. 


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Yes late game plays on offense and defense can make a difference. However in the Dolphins situation there are games that included T-hill fumbling, throwing an interception that resulted in points for the opposing team......Those are also factors in winning or losing. The Dolphins need to focus on not turning the ball over and coming up with a different look on defense and different plays on offense to surprise the other team in the 4th quarter. That's how the Dolphins can beat the better teams and make the playoffs.

Will this be Ginn Jr's revenge ?

So many ex Dolphins return to kill us.

Yes late game plays on offense and defense can make a difference......

The Dolphins need to focus on not turning the ball over....

That's how the Dolphins can beat the better teams and make the playoffs.

Posted by: promichael | November 22, 2013 at 06:41 AM

Gee everything this guy writes is nothing but stating the utter obvious.

Make plays and don't turn the ball over. Duh.


The group of idiot fools you've cultivated to respond to your stream of nonsense won't be ready to blog for another couple of hours.

Come back then.

Willy Wonka go back to school and learn how to read. You will be late for class today. Tell your Mom you have to leave now.

Forgot the Atlanta game as well, they won that in the closing seconds. I have a feeling Miami is going to blow out the Panthers. Not sure why and I have nothing to base this prediction on, just a feeling.

I have to agree Mando,the games against the Bills,Ravens and Bucs surely should have been wins. Instead of 5-5 we would be 8-2,but we have to consider we have a very lame coaching staff especially the head coach,oc, and dc. They have no emotion,no game planning,no game day adjustments,and no imagination. The talent is there,if we only had someone that knew how to use it. Still trying to figure things out this late in the year? Are you kidding me? When Shula took over the Dolphins were a losing team with talent. Difference was then and is now,having a coach that knows how to use that talent.

Most of these blog Bullies...would not be that way in Real Life....with most of us. I KNOW because at 6'4" 235....I have Never been bullied.

As a military man...around many Fit men...that tell's you something.

Coaches need to give certain new guys a shot instead of wheeler and Carroll, they cannot do worse can they? Case in point: o-line looks better, and Matthews looks good but only after coaches were FORCED to try these other guys. Coaching staff is bad and stubborn.


Maybe if YOU saw what the coaches see in practice, you would be playing the same guys.

It is amazing how many bloggers think they know better than those with decades of experience actually witnessing the practices.

I guys some of you are dumb enough to replace a poor player with a worse player.


Whats your prediction for this weeks Phins game

Wake up

Have a cup of coffee.

Sit on the can.

Read the blog.

Dump a dump.

Works every time.

Good Piece of writing Armando and so true, the question for the Dolphins has been consistency all year it would be a question for philbin do the Players tune him out sometimes? The other thing i noticed about philbin is that sometimes during critical drives when we have to have a stop he will have back up players in the game he did this last year on the home loss to the Pats and this year a few games ago, are these guys not in shape ? And are we getting any closer to bringing Richie back, it looks like the whole thing with Martin was a bunch of BS anyways he just quit on his team because he wasn't playing well.

Late game playmaking? As if we are going to be tied or something with the Panthers in the 4th Q?

This game will be a beat down like the Saints game, unless you think Miami is in the same league as NE or SF, which the Panthers handled in consecutive weeks. Not looking forward to this one with our pathetic offense.

Back to fundamentals:
1. Establish the run
2. Finish your tackles
3. QB must protect the rock
4. NO special teams mistakes
5. Score more points than your opponent

The only game we were outmatched from the first play was the Saints, who have crushed every team that enters the dome so no biggie there.

We're at home...in Nov and on top of the wildcard list.

....we can lose 1 more game, maybe 2 depending on what others in the WC race do.

It's crunch time folks...contain Cam Newton and don't let him run wild and we should be in it all game long.

If you go back and look at the games we won, it wasn't because we played good solid football for 4 quarters or even most of any game. It wasn't a dominating D or a offense forcing our will on the D. It was because of limiting mistakes and a couple of players stepping up making big plays. All that's good but you can't depend on outstanding plays every game. In order to win consistently, we're going to have to be able to play better football. Question is, when's that gonna happen?

Illiad,we may be a bunch of "dumb" fans,and you are right,we do not see what is happening in practice,but we can sure see the results on game day. And they are NOT good. Name me one game his year or last year that we kicked an opponents butt,start to finish. Even on those rare occasions that we do win,it is a nail biter until the very end.


Carolina and Saints are 2 different teams. Carolinas offense is mediocre, the Panthers win with defense and the Carolina offense does just enough to win. The Saints are a high powered offense and killed us, because we have crappy LB's and attack or weakness'. Shula's kid is no offensive genius like Sean Peyton, Shula Jr. just knows how to use his players to the best of their abilities. If we lose this game to the Panthers, it will be because of turnovers by our team. Mike Wallace absolutely has to have some 20+ yard receptions this week or the Panthers will blitz the crap out of us and sack Tanny a million times


Your response totally ignores the point I made. Regardless of what is happening on the field, that doesn't mean you substitute poor players for worse players. You don't see the practices, the film, or have any clue about how much, if at all, these other players have developed or even understand the playbook.

To assume you know better than the professional coaching staff down on the field with them all week long is fantasy.

If Carolina sends the blitz package, Tannehill/Wallace combo needs to be on the same page....Sunday can be their breakout day!

To me, the biggest disappointment other than Tannehill/Wallace lack of production is the running game.

IMO...Miller is a one trick pony like Wallace, conditions have to be near perfect in order for him to excel.
Thomas just lacks the talent to do anything other than 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

Remember how no-name Giovani Bernard shredded our defense three weeks ago? Kid has talent!

Thomas has shown me NOTHING in his time here in Miami and trust the new incoming GM will fix our non-existent running game.

This game against Carolina will be very telling. If we get beat at home by the Panthers, then the season is toast. If we can beat them, there is hope for the playoffs even with trips to NY and Buffalo still looming. I think the Phins actually match up pretty well against Carolina except that their power running game against the Phins smallish LB's and DE's are a big concern.

Rdubs @ 8:34...

that wasn't me...it was one of my admirers....

as far as my prediction....

"My prediction is PAIN"

Clubber Lang
Rocky III

Never gets old in my book....

Just remember guys. Carloina's front 7 is good. The secondary is subpar, they are completely masked by the front 7. Charles Johnson being out could be a huge benefit and with Kevin Hardy having a sore knee, we should be able to protect Tannehill relatively well

Kris, that's one of my all time favourite movie lines too. Use it all the time. I love the first four rocky movies. Wife does too. So much so that our entrance music at our wedding reception was "No Easy Way Out" - Robert Tepper (not Survivor as so many people think) Fitting tune for the occassion.

Rdubs, I agree, it's a tough match up but the Panther offense isn't running away from anybody. If our offense minimizes the turnovers to at least even on Sunday, like every other game we've played this year, we will have a chance to win at the end.

"The team that makes the plays late thus game willbe a winner by Sunday evening".


That is pure poetry....


Your prediciton

Id like to see Miami win a game in the first half. Handcuff the other team during the 2nd half and force them to do things they don't want to. I'm dyin to see a 35-10 throttling

Poetry? The team that scores the most points in the afternoon will be the winner in the evening.

Such dunces you all are.


Reading the blog confirms that an IQ of zero is not only possible, but prevalent.


I love the Rocky Saga as well....I even liked # 5...with the street fight...and Tommy "machine gun" Morris....Thats how in depth I get into it...

Rocky 6....I think he pushed it a BIT to far....

Stallone has a new boxing movie coming out...him and Denerio...

Previews looked good....I will probably check it out....

Congrats on getting some Rocky Soundtrack played @ your wedding...

the ONLY time I can hear it is in my headphones @ the gym...


I didn't know you worked out. Are you buffed?

When was the last time we saw Miller rollout for a designed screen pass?
Or even a check down pass from Tannehill after the blitz gets through?
I feel as though he's under-utilized and not getting opportunity to excel in open space.

Biggest Ireland free agency mistake this offseason? Passing on Vontae Leach!

We had some beastly FB's cut in training camp and now its painfully obvious that no one can effectively pick up the blitz.

With Leach in the backfield I say Tannehills' sack numbers are cut in half and our running game is better.

Com'on Man.

1) all home games this year have been decided by 4 points or less. Will be the same this week.

2) Carolina's offense is no juggernaut, that's true, but their strenghts (running game, mobile QB) match up very up with well with our long-standing problems on defense

3) Johnson and Hardu are out. That's good but you don't need Pro Bowlers to put pressure on Tannehill with our awful offensive line.

4) We'll need one "free" TD (TD return or a bomb to Wallace) to win this one

9:33 and 9:34 wants to insult our intellect...

but he is to dumb to understand SARCASM...unless it is blatanly pointed out to him...like I have to do now...lol...

talk about...pot...meet kettle....

are there any mirrors in your house...if so...do you wonder why your face always looks like an @ss....

Dolphins need late-game playmaking?

Ireland has never in his career drafted a good playmaker.


Capitalising your words doesn't make them any closer to being true. Just as typing lol doesn't make them any more funny. To the contrary...it makes you look desperate for affirmation that you are right.


After a big Monday night win over the Pats the Panthers wont be up for the hapless Fins. Big letdown for the Panthers. Fins 24-17.


Don't Waste Your Time With The Fool Kris!!! He Is Paranoid!!!

You Can Trust You Know Who! Yes! Of Course It Is ME!


the ONLY person who is desperate for attention is YOU....ALWAYS has been,,,ALWAYS ill be....

you have had a hard on for me since I have shown up here....

You constantly type about me when I am NOT on...

IMPOSTER me when you think i am (8:14)...

amd go out of your to have a conversation with me as SOON as you can confirm I am on...

Your internet STALKING is very flattering....and you do it so much...it isn't even annoying any more...it's just...expected....

Mirimar Dave, not sure if you are a troll or not. Ireland did draft Clay, who after last weeks play I would feel safe calling a playmaker.

You guys always give me a good laugh. Analyzing the team 'n' evaluating players as if the Fins were a real franchise. Once, they were. Now, they're bogus, a joke, a gravely wounded animal straggling to L. A.

Clay? LOL After one good play in 3 years?

rdubs, I can never pick against the Dolphins. Most people think Carolina matches up horribly against the Dolphins but this is the type of team Miami usually plays well against. Where Miami struggles is when they have to get into track meets and this game shouldn't be a track meet.

Miami wins at home and because Carolina may be over looking the Dolphins a bit off a much hyped week and with two divisional games coming up right after. The panthers may be playing with house money and here and when you get that attitude you usually make stupid bets.

Kris, Rocky IV soundtrack is awesome in the gym.

I saw the previews ... two old guys boxing it out with a comedic spin, should eb good. I liked his recent movie with Arnold too --- Breakout or something like that.

Nice to see Stallone coming back for a few here.

RIP Tommy Morrison

When was the last time we saw Miller rollout for a designed screen pass?
Or even a check down pass from Tannehill after the blitz gets through?
I feel as though he's under-utilized and not getting opportunity to excel in open space.
Agree, similar to mis-use of Bush


How many pro bowls has Clay made? IDIOT!

Biggest Ireland free agency mistake this offseason? Passing on Vontae Leach!

We had some beastly FB's cut in training camp and now its painfully obvious that no one can effectively pick up the blitz.

With Leach in the backfield I say Tannehills' sack numbers are cut in half and our running game is better.

Com'on Man.

Posted by: NHFINSFAN | November 22, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Right again. This is right up there with bad judgement to go with Martin.

FREE INCOGNITO NOW!!! Martin lied! I Iknow it and you know it!

Ok, call me crazy, BUT...

How many games have the Fins STARTED horribly? Losses against Buffalo and TB are perfect examples of the Fins sleepwalking in the first half. When they put themselves in a hole early in games, it's hard for these Fins to come back to win them.

START the games strong!

END them with an exclamation point!

Looks like Clay will make one this year. Any doubt the NFL will use Clay as a FB option?

Kris Kry thinks there is only one person mocking him???

Grimes is one heckuva player! Yet no contract offer? The Guys' Jersey cannot even be purchased in the Pro Shop! Ireland should be let go for overlooking such a gifted CB. Grimes certainly makes the loss of Sean Smith worth the price of admission. I hope they bring back Richie Icognito too!! Bottom line---Big Weirdo walked out on the team before seeking help via chain of command. Ireland made a mistake letting Long walk away in FA. We need a fresh start GM with full authority to replace Philbin if his evaluation deems it necessary.

How many of you fools are going to spend the day, weekend, season responding to master baiters like Marco?


Who else?

Incognito belongs in jail with Pouncey and A Hernandez.

Enz, I'm done dealing with masterbaters ... where's rdubs?

Clay is a pretty good player. Excellent pass receiver and pretty decent runner too. I'd like to see him get more short yardage handoffs. But he can't block to save his life. I had also hoped Vontae Leach would have been signed but then Ireland and Co. started playing games with him.

T-Fumble will join the Jags as a FA backup after 1 more year just like Henne did.

It's the QB stupid eh?

I would counter that a strong start would be better than either hanging on late or coming back to win late.

STOP THE RUN EARLY! Make the other offense more predictable.


Stop with the 6 yard digs to Clay. Stop the 4 yard out to the slot WR. Like the one that got picked off by Buffalo. Stop the 4 yard out to Clay on 3rd n short. TEAMS KNOW IT'S COMING!

Try a reverse EARLY in the game. Do TE or WR screens. Line up Thigpen as a WR & create a mismatch.

Less predictability on Offense & make the opposing O predictable will result in less strenuous end of game situations where you are pressuring players to make plays.

This is like Sporano with his "lets get it to the 4th quarter & try to pull it out.

What's wrong with playing better early in games & not praying for a miracle late!

Posted by: Enz | November 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Craig M

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