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Dolphins in control after winning statement game

Let's begin with the fact Sunday's victory over the Patriots was, as I wrote in my column today, a statement victory.

The Dolphins planted a flag, drew a line, and dared the Patriots to overrun their position. Pat riley

That was how coach Joe Philbin put it to players when he had the pictured pamphlet put in every player's locker stall.

Think of the words: "Plant your feet, stand firm and make a point about who you are ..."

(Yeah, Pat Riley rocks).

The Dolphins are making the point that they are more than just a playoff aspirant now. They are a contender.

They've beaten New England, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati -- all teams that currently are in the playoff picture and, indeed, are leading their divisions.

They've beaten Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. That's some serious QB talent right there.

They've won 4 at home. They've won four on the road.

The Dolphins are 3-0 in December. Ryan Tannehill is ballin' as I predicted he would.

Things are looking good. The Dolphins are making a statement that hasn't been made in these parts since the 2008 run to the AFC East title.

If the Dolphins win out -- meaning, they win at Buffalo and win the season-finale versus the Jets -- they are in the playoffs. The issue no longer devolves into a tiebreaker with Baltimore based on Cincinnati's loss to Pittsburgh Sunday night.

If both the Dolphins and Patriots finish 10-6, the Dolphins win the AFC East. That would require New England losses to Baltimore and Buffalo. -- which I don't see happening -- but obviously the possibility exits. There's also a possibility a sixth-seed Miami travels to New England for a playoff game.

Never mind that.

The Dolphins must win their final two games. Success makes Sunday's victory meaningful. On the other hand ...

"This looses all it's luster if we don't win the last two games of the season," receiver Brian Hartline said. "This will mean more if we win the last two games."

Enjoy it anyway.

Comments

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Ron in Charlotte,

Let me ASSURE YOU that I DO NOT need to consult an ALMANAC for my knowledge and memory of PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL!! ALL OF THE ITEMS mentioned in my posts from yesterday COME FROM MY MEMORY and is COMPLETELY FACTUAL AND ACCURATE!!

I was at many of these games and well remember the DRAMA AND PAGEANTRY as well as the unparalleled ATMOSPHERE at the FAMOUS ORANGE BOWL that was originally called RODDY BURDINE STADIUM after the founder of the DEPARTMENT STORE known as BURDINES that is now owned by MACYS!!

Ron M.....San Antonio PhinFan forever!!!

Ireland got the message when Ross got rid of Sparono and brought in Philbin with the mandate he wanted a dynamic offense. Getting Tannehill receivers and the numbers R.T. is putting up validate not only Ireland but Philbin too.

Currently ranked 7th in attempts and completions
10th in attempts per game
10th in yds.
11th in yds. per game
tied for 9th in tds. w/ Brady, Foles, and Alex Smith
7th first downs
tied for 11th in 20+ passing with Alex Smith
tied for 6th in 40+ passing with Stafford and Big Ben

Come on Detroit. Reggie Bush show some love for your old team and run all over the Ravens tonight.

Can someone please TELL ME WHERE MY LAST POST WENT?? I responded to RON IN CHARLOTTE for his RUDE COMMENTS about me and looked for his RESPONSE and now my post is GONE!! What type of CENSORSHIP is here and WHY?? I HAVE USED NO PROFANITY MR. SALGUERO IS IT BECAUSE OF MY NAME????

I ASK THAT YOU RESTORE MY POST!

NE coaching is vulnerable. All coaches and QB know when the back ups are in, exploit them. Michael Thomas "The practice squad player" with no tape to study, comes in and Belichick and Brady tried to take advantage of it and things blew of in their faces. On the last to next play when Thomas broke up the almost certain TD catch, Brady had that "WTF!" look on his face as if to say "What else do I need to do". Belichick stuck with the "lets abuse the back ups" philosophy on the last set of downs without looking else where for a scoring opportunity.
I said in the preseason that getting into the playoffs under our own strength is the way to go, and winning out the last two games would make a statement. We have beat NE, Bengals and the colts and a FG loss to the ravens. Thinking optimistically "WE COULD GO ALL THE WAY" Being realistic, no extra feathers in the hats and play hard for 60 minutes the next two games and see where it takes us.

Wow, that post by rdubs shows how ignorant we Fans are of the intricacies of the Game.

McKinnie is the man. Bring him back next year!!

Yes Detroit should win on paper. But Detroit has more then a passing resemblance to the Cowboys. They should be safely in as a playoff team but look at them. If they don't self destruct we move into the final playoff position. But Dallas, I mean Detroit, can be anything at anytime. Hoping for the playoff bound Detroit and not the Dallas type of performance.

McKinnie is playing at a very mediocre level, truth be told, and the team will certainly seek to upgrade there. He was beaten on many occasions yesterday, resulting in at least one direct sack and multiple hurries.

The OL overall is doing a slightly better job than earlier (primarily due to Clabo not being a revolving door of late) but it is still a very subpar line that will the focus of the offseason.

McKinnie only returns as a backup with a reduced salary. He is not worth more than that.

Miami win the next two and they are in the playoffs regardless of what the Ravens do.

Tonight's game became much less important to us after the Pittsburgh win last night. Going out instead.

Don't know about you yahoos...but I will be pulling for the Ravens next week!!! Shheeeot...I still want this team to walk away with the EAST title...hey...its still possible!!!

***best KG impersonation*** ANYTHING IS POSSSSIBLLEEE!!!

Great win yesterday. Could have gone either way, just like much of this season... all drama aside. Wish I got to see it so thanks for the heads up about the replay signal.

Tiny little crustaceans. Microscopic bugs. They are swimming in your eyes right now.

Posted by: Krillian | December 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM


if he hits wallace there it's a TD. no doubt about it. the saftey was late getting over.

Just read on espn that Baltimore still owns the tie breaker over miami if both teams win out. If that's true, this is a horrible job of reporting by Armando.

Great story about M. Thomas on NFL.com.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000299496/article/michael-thomas-improbable-heroics-cap-miami-dolphins-win

Ravens losing is still important to give us some cushion in case we stumble vs. Bills. I HOPE we wouldn't allow ourselves to get swept by a 4 win team, but they seem to have our number lately.

marc,
you never bothers to look at what the opposing teams defense is doing or what we are actually running. instead just do this, situation, tannehill bad, did wrong thing. rinse, repeat!!!
on the clay 4th down pass, clay was the only guy he could throw to. it was a screen play. only other receivers out there were in front of clay to block (poorly) not to mention the job tannehill did to even get the ball to him. he had to sidearm it to gt the ball around a patriots rusher. i'll give he pats their due on how well their WRs/TEs block. it helps that they run those screens like 10-12 times a game!!!

Posted by: Jack! 10.6 | December 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM


Fully agree! I'll root Ravens against Pats, Ravens winning out no longer hurts, we take care of business and win out too.

Of course to win AFC East requires Pats lose final 2(Ravens/Bills). Would love to go to Playoffs as AFC East kings. Then lmao while Brady does more expletive interviews.

Just read on espn that Baltimore still owns the tie breaker over miami if both teams win out. If that's true, this is a horrible job of reporting by Armando.
Posted by: Treezus | December 16, 2013 at 01:04 PM

If Baltimore wins out then they win the NORTH and we own the tie breaker against Cincy...try to keep up bro...

Posted by: Jack! 10.6 | December 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM


Fully agree! I'll root Ravens against Pats, Ravens winning out no longer hurts, we take care of business and win out too.

Of course to win AFC East requires Pats lose final 2(Ravens/Bills). Would love to go to Playoffs as AFC East kings. Then lmao while Brady does more expletive interviews.

jack! the ravens do hold the tiebreak over miami. but armando is NOT wrong!!!!!

if baltimore wins out we get in because the bengals would owe the AFC north then lose the tiebreaker to us.

Jaison...I know bro...I was pointing that out to Treezus... whom posted the inaccuracey @ 1:04...

please put back the edit button!!! spellcheck get me sow times.
JACK!!!
if ravens win out they beat the bengals and win the AFC north. so yes the do own the tiebreak on us. BUT. that means the bengals end the season 10-6. same as the dolphins and by virtue of our head to head win over the bengals we get he 6th wild card.

so armando is right, and so is the other article you read. difference is armando is looking at week 17, the other article is looking at tonight.

gotcha jack

Next two games are both trap games. EJ Manuel is better than the other hack that beat the fins earlier in the season. Hope the team doesn't get ahead of itself. Big win can easily be offset by a let down the following week. Lets see how the coaches and players respond.

I love the win. I'm so pumped today. one key fact about yesterday. anyone who knows football and watches with some level of football intelligence could and would tell you that NE was holding us all game long. holding us in the holes on runs, holding our pass rushers ( especially wake almost every play), holding all over the field. I understand holding occurs on every play in the NFL, but these were blatant holds that completely changed the game. I thought we put good pressure on brady all day long, but if they called holding at all, just once, we would have creamed this team. This game would have been complete domination by us. There was ONE flag thrown on NE yesterday. ONE FREAKIN FLAG! A pass interference penalty that was so blatant they had to call it. It was a 2 YARD PENALTY. one penalty for 2yrds. That is one big reason why it is so hard for us and everybody else to beat NE. Hats off to all the boys! Great win! Im proud of the whole team and proud to be a Dolphins fan.

hartline is so right we must focus and finish winning our last two games of the season!

Man, was this HUGE?!!! Can anyone remember the last time we were 3-0 in December? I think it must be deep into the Marino days...

There is no question the league and the zebra are looking out for the Pats, The Ravens just beat Detroit, so we need to win out. Bill


Might this really be The Dolphins' Curse:

"Miami Dolphins will not win another Super Bowl
until a team again goes perfect (that's undefeated)."

S D Rodrian

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