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Playoffs, PFF and more

Let me start this morning by clearing up the playoff picture because many of my twitter followers seemed confused Monday night after the Ravens defeated the Lions.

First and most importantly, if the Dolphins beat the Bills on Sunday and the Jets in the season-finale, they will be in the playoffs. 

As you just read, what the Ravens do doesn't really matter to the Dolphins if Joe Philbin's team can win out. The Ravens can win out and if the Dolphins win out, then Baltimore wins the AFC North while the Dolphins take at least the No. 6 seed. Even if the Bengals and Ravens tie in the season-finale, after winning games this week, the Dolphins still qualify based on winning percentage if they win out.

The winning percentage for 10-6 is .625.

The winning percentage for 9-6-1 is .593

If the Dolphins do not win out, there are scenarios under which they can make the playoffs at 9-7 but then they would require help from other teams.

It is possible the Dolphins can win the AFC East, believe it or not. New England would have to lose out. Miami would have to win out.

Monday night's victory by the Ravens really doesn't affect the Dolphins, but it did affect the New York Jets. That victory officially put the final playoff nail in New York's 2013 season. The Jets are eliminated from postseason consideration.

Now ... as with every Tuesday, my partners at ProFootballFocus.com deliver their nuggets based on film review of the previous game. Today, I present to you the review of the Dolphins victory over the New England Patriots:

Offense

Right tackle Tyson Clabo had his best pass blocking game of the season, not allowing any pressure while working against Rob Ninkovich.

Lamar Miller returned from his concussion to lead the backfield in snaps. Miller had 38, Daniel Thomas had 18, and Marcus Thigpen had three.

Salguero: Interesting decision by coaches to gladly accept Thomas's fine work last week against Pittsburgh and then put Miller right back in there ahead of him this week.

Sam Brenner has overtaken Nate Garner as the fulltime LG. Brenner played all 64 snaps at left guard. 

Salguero: Brenner was solid. The sacks by the Dolphins were given up by Bryant McKinnie and John Jerry.

Ryan Tannehill handled the blitz well, going six-of-nine for 97 yards, while taking two sacks.

Tannehill struggled on passes outside the numbers left from 0-9 yards. He was just one-of-four, but the one came on his touchdown pass to Marcus Thigpen.

Tannehill mostly avoided targeting Aqib Talib (four targets, two catches, 22 yards).

Salguero: Tannehill is usually a better deep thrower going to his left. He's not as good throwing right.

Mike Wallace did most of his damage (four catches on seven targets, 57 yards) against Kyle Arrington. But when Marquice Cole came in briefly for the injured Arrington, that's when Tannehill and Wallace hooked up for their touchdown.

Alfonzo Dennard was the Pats’ most friendly cornerback, giving up catches on seven of eight targets to Hartline, Wallace and Matthews for 87 yards.

Salguero: Keep all this in mind because on the possibility that Miami and New England meet again in the playoffs, I expect the Pats to change strategy. I would expect Talib to be shadowing Mike Wallace. Call it a hunch.

Defense

Jared Odrick played a season high 75 snaps after Paul Soliai (seven snaps) exited the game early.

Salguero: I don't have an update for Soliai's injured ankle.

Jelani Jenkins played 29 snaps to Philip Wheeler’s 51 after Wheeler struggled in coverage for most of the day. Philip Wheeler gave up five catches on six targets for 70 yards, including Michael Hoomanawanui’s circus TD catch.

Will Davis totaled 51 snaps, grading out at -2.4, after Nolan Carroll went down.

Michael Thomas filled in for 16 snaps after Brent Grimes was forced out late in the game. Thomas held his own against Danny Amendola, yielding two catches on five targets, but also breaking up a TD pass that Amendola had in his hands and then delivering the game-clinching pick.

Salguero: All four of the Dolphins starting defensive backs will be on the injury report this week. I expect the safeties -- Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons -- to be available for Buffalo. I expect Brent Grimes to miss practice time but the team is optimistic he'll be available for Buffalo, barring a setback. Nolan Carroll, who sustained a knee injury, is the biggest problem. He will miss practice time this week. 

Comments

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uno

Jenkins should come on more to replace Wheeler.

Also Thomas may get more time to spell Jones at safety, R Jones may be our weakest link in a tie with Wheeler.

The Whiff tackle by Wilson was disgusting to watch, it even prompted Michael Irvin to say the same.

Hopefully the Ravens luck, runs out soon, 61 yard FG to win !!!

Mando, that is not correct on your playoff scenario. The Ravens and Dolphins both have 6 losses currently. If the Bengals and Ravens and FINZ all win Sunday and they tie the last game of the year (and assuming we win both of our remaining games), Dolphins finish 10-6, Ravens finish 9-6-1 and we get the last wild card.

In the Breeze told us Belichek could not take Clay out of the game, even after Belichek took Graham out of the game. Well guess what? He took Clay out of the game. 1 catch for 6 yards. Ok, it was an important catch, but one. Belichek identifies the hottest offensive player and shuts them down.

The good news is it didn't matter. Take out Clay and then Hartline and Wallace are too much to handle. Simms is progressing too.

From the last blog, DR versus Cuba in terms of achievement?

C'mon folks, all the Caribbean nations are nothing but zits on the globe when it comes to achievement. They have beautiful beaches, nothing more.

You are Wrong Armando Ravens are 8-6 now they can't be 10-5-1 if Dolphins win out they are in no matter what because Bengals and Ravens play each other

Hey Armando I like you for the most part but you tighten up the reporting

The Ravens and Bengals will both be 10-6 or Bengals will be 11-5 and Ravens will be 9-7 either way Dolphins should get in as long as they beat Buffalo and the Jets , Buffalo game ain't no gimme.

Ok, I'm going to concede that Miami has a chance at the playoffs. Two weeks ago, I said no way. Whether they make it or not, I was wrong because the beat NE and I didn't think that they would. I did not think that, at this point, the would control their own destiny. I wont eat crow however, because I'm a fan and I'm happy. Plus, they haven't made it yet. I also wrote that it would be a disappointing season if Miami beat NE and then lost to the Jets and/or Bills. I stick to that because it's true. Miami isn't better than a healthy NE team but that doesn't matter, Miami beat NE. They got past the biggest threat to keep them out of the postseason. Now they need to win 2 games, both against teams that they are better than. They should win these games. So at this point, I will say that we SHOULD be playing in a wildcard game and if we aren't, it's another disappointing season. I think that's a more than reasonable outlook given where they are right now ... due to who the just beat to put themselves in complete control of their own destiny with two games ahead of them against teams that the Dolphins are better than. One thing I will add ... if Grimes and Carroll can't play, the Any Given Sunday "rule" reads in bold print. Davis was Bradys punk.


Miami isn't better than a healthy NE team...

Posted by: Grier | December 17, 2013 at 07:04 AM

Grier, don't let ESPN control your brain.

Miami was without 2 starting lineman, starting TE and Slot receiver (Keller, Gibson) and both starting CB's plus one backup CB.

Even before the Pittsburgh game, this buffalo game scared me the most!

Buffalo has the best pass rush of of any opponent we faced all year. I wold like to see max protect and screen passes.

Here are the dolphins playoff scenarios
1. If Miami wins out they are in as a 6 seed or 4 seed if patriots lose last 2 and colts win 1 of last 2, 3 seed if colts lose both
2. If the Miami splits last 2 games they would get in as a 6 seed if Baltimore loses last 2 games or if Baltimore loses 1 of 2 and San Diego wins last 2(Miami wins this tie breaker)
3. If Miami splits last 2 games they would get in as a 6 seed if Cincinnati loses last 2 and San Diego loses 1 of 2
4. There are scenarios at 8 and 8 but we won't go there

It would be awesome if the 3 seed unfolded for Miami

Your welcome Mando

Your right Bane me too instead they use the 5 wide all the time and then they have to get the ball out in a hurry because of the protection , they would be better served to scrap the 5 wide altogether, if you can't get guys open because you have no time to throw then your better sending out less guys like three or four at the most. it does us no good to line up in the 5 wide formation and throw a one yard pass and get tackled. I do like the idea of more screen passes especially to Thigpen.

I know it's the ol coulda,shoulda,woulda,but if we coulda pulled out one or two of those loss'like Buffalo,Ravens,or Panthers we would not be holding our breath for these last two weeks to play out.

Dumb trolltards shouldn't be allowed to post following dumb predictions they make until the following week (one week suspension)

Likewise, dumb homers shouldn't be allowed to post following dumb predictions they make until the following week (one week suspension)

This way you won't see attention deprived trolls predicting scores they know are wrong but want to show the world they hate this team so they predict 0-16 and that they'll lose every game 35-3.

This way you won't see attention deprived homers predicting scores they know are wrong but hope are right when they predict 12-4 seasons and 35-21 victories.

Now show me the attention I crave for! Hehe just kidding, f*** all of you


Grier, don't let ESPN control your brain.

Posted by: Teal | December 17, 2013 at 07:10 AM

Teal, I rarely watch ESPN and I don't need them to spoon feed me my opinions. I see what I see. A healthy Miami isn't better than a healthy NE. But it's academic, as I stated. Miami was better on Sunday and the W was all that mattered. It's also irrelevant, for now at least.

Teams are still sitting on the 5-10 yard routes. Miami still needs to get the TE's down the field more to stretch the defense. They don't seem to do this until they are behind. I understand they are trying to get Tannehill some easy throws early on short slants & curls but other teams have figured that out also. That's how the first Buffalo game started and there were opportunities for Pittsburgh & NE as well, they just dropped their chances. Miami's offense could be very lethal for 4 qtrs. if they press the defense early then come back with some shorter throws to mix it up.

D.Thomas maybe a better option than Lamar out on wet or slippery turf conditions, which eliminates Lamars strength but is a good oppurtunity to use DT power and speed. If we go to NE in Jan it could be one advantage for us.

These injuries with the DBs are troubling. If we played the Jets this week, I wouldn't be worried. But the Bill have duel threats (good WRs and good RBs). Manuel is nothing special, so that may be our saving grace, but the Bills have had our number lately. We need at least Grimes back.

this weekend the best scenario for Miami is for
Miami to beat Buffalo
colts to lose to chiefs
Bengals to lose to vikings
and Baltimore to beat new England

that would actually leave the door open for Miami to win the afc east and to have a chance to claim the number two spot Miami wins a lot of tie breakers with better conference record

but less just get a win this weekend

Kudos to Jeff Ireland on the Thomas signing also. The man who spent so much of his early career poaching below average garbage off of Dallas' roster finally looked farther west to a real contender and apparently found a real "acorn".

R Jones is struggling because the LB's can't cover so they are playing at SS which he is not, he is a FS. And because he cant roam he has less production.

Let's take a vote- i
Does anyone (besides me) think Craig M is a giant douchebag?

"the whiff tackle by Wilson was disgusting to watch"

Amen brother!

I don't care what anyone says....Ravens winning last night hurt our playoff chances. There is a 50/50 chance we go 1-1 to finish out the season, and the Ravens win last night gave them the inside track.

The scenarios are complex and fun to unwind, but if we go 1-1 we are likely out of the playoffs IMO...

"Tannehill mostly avoided targeting Aqib Talib (four targets, two catches, 22 yards)."

T-Hill is learning to look for mismatches.

"Tannehill is usually a better deep thrower going to his left. He's not as good throwing right."

That is the difference between Hartline and Wallace.

Will Davis is one of the worst cornerbacks I've seen play in the NFL in a long time.

Serh, are you forgetting Jamar Flecher or Jason Allen??

I see what I see. A healthy Miami isn't better than a healthy NE.

Posted by: Grier | December 17, 2013 at 08:11 AM

That was true earlier in the season. We saw what we saw. Right now we have no way of knowing since we can't see them both healthy head to head.

...WTF??? Will Davis why is everyone banging on Will Davis? Did he cost us the game? No. Is he inexperienced? Yes. Is it possible he plays better this week? Yes..

Now some went a bit overboard yesterday claiming he did well. That was about as true as saying he is the worst corner someone has ever seen play in the NFL...
He got feasted on by Tom Brady..This is not the first time Brady has eaten up a rookie.

I think it is weak sauce to go after Davis as some sort of scapegoat in a game we won..If he had cost us the game, if he was the big contributor in a loss. I could understand the venom spit in his direction. The kid is a rookie....A rookie for crying out loud. Give him a freekin chance.

NH, 1-1 means 9-7 season record, and that's the first winning record since '08 (and my prediction preseason by the way). That would be a huge accomplishment, especially with the fiasco we had this year. That alone would be a successful season (Playoffs or not).

Also, we all are right to be nervous, but we may be propping Buffalo up too much as well. It will most definitely be a tough game. But so much went wrong for us last game, and we STILL had a chance to win in the end. We have the superior QB right now and the greater will to win (at least we should). It'll come down to the 4th quarter...again. Tannehill has been playing well during crunch time, so if that continues, we should be able to pull out a win.

I hope Philbin coaches this game just like NE. Take chances, give your team extra shots to make plays and extend drives. We should be able to run (at least better than last game). Our front 7 needs to step up and tackle RBs. And they need to take vengeance on the loss in Miami. It's one game (we better get used to it if we make it to the Playoffs). Play like there is no tomorrow if you lose.

Seth @ 9:14, that has to be one of the stupidest comments I've ever read. Are you new to football? CB, behind Qb and ahead of WR is the hardest position to adjust to in the NFL, it takes time. You think even the great madison and Surtain came out ready to play? get a clue, it was his first extensive action of the year, it will take time to adjust. IN time he will be fine.

I guess someone has to be ripped on now that Tannehill is beyond the random mutterings of morons.

Surtain took longer to develop than Madison. Madison was pretty good out of the gate.

If our front 7 comes to win this game, we will win this game...

Marc,yes he was ok starting out but i remember his rookie year against Dallas and an in form Michael Irvin. Not a good day...

Ravens... That was very good kick. In fact outstanding.
Phins. The scariest team is this weekend. The scariest field to play on. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/27/roethlisbergers-rant-at-ralph-wilson-stadium-turf-missed-the-mark/ Add cold and a bit of moisture and this is now as hard as concrete.
The Phins are a better team than the Pats this season. Take out all of the injuries on both teams. We stand up very well. Sure Gronk is great but Keller is just as good. What NE has been good at is keeping their foots on our throats. They do this by totally demoralizing a team when they run up the score and cheating. They have done this to us. They just don't take the foot off the gas pedal.
Welker is a game changer and having Welker would have made the Pats better than us. They should have given Welker his moolah like Commoron shouldn't have traded him to NE.



Theres a reason Davis was 5th/6th string. Look, he will get better and time. He was against Brady of all people and we still held on to win.

I think Davis will be fine and this experience will help him in the future. That being said we really need at least Grimes back for the Bills.

Well, Irvin is one of the best ever!

...Root for Cincinatti to lose this week, and we can go 1-1 and still be the Wild Card.. I would like to earn the right way, win out, and go into the playoffs blazing hot.

So many assumed that the Ravens would drop games over the last 3 games. Perhaps they will. But they are the champs. They have won(like us) 4 of the last 5, 3 in a row. They are experienced. They have been counted out. It is a good thing our players get to settle the outcomes on the field. Not like mot here who "are not scared of the Ravens" or "Know the Ravens will lose 2-3 games down the stretch"

We hold our destiny in the palms of our hands, or flippers..You get the point. Win out..simple.

PLus, he (Irvin) was one of the bigger receivers back then with speed. I think Madison was 5-10, 185?

I still say I'm more worried about the Jet's then the Bills. Neither is a gimme, being division games, but, it makes the most sense that the games would all be splits and not sweeps.

a loss 2 buffalo will be intolerable
.

Question, did the Ravens win or the Lions lose? man, that offense is pathetic. yeah they put up big points and lots of yardage but they also turnover the ball way, way too much. Stafford et al should be a lot more responsible than they are.

That looks like a team that will be changing coaching staffs. To miss the playoffs back to back with that talent is inexusable.

Miami SHOULD win both these games. Both these teams are going through growing pains with rookie Qbs that are both playing their worst ball down teh stretch. If recent form holds for both these qbs, they SHOULD be both wins.

And yes, Irvin was a tough match up - but just saying - CBs never hit their peak in year one.

the spoiler faxtor 4 both teams is sky f'n high
the hate the phinz

Did someone say they were more worried about Geno "Gucci Mane' Smiith Jets more than the Bills GTFOH. Fins will kill the Jets the Bills is the much more difficult matchup especially being away.

Has anyone seen a QB get so RATTLED by a pass rush as Matt Stafford was last night? That last pass was off his back foot, which was unecssesary. He actually was so RATTLED he was afraid to set himself to step into the pass. Rest of the league take note of how to beat the Lions. No one's been hit more then T-Hill but I have yet to see him get rattled like Stafford was last night.

Never thought I would say this but we need Nolan Carroll in there. He's been ballin'!

Beating Pats was nice but a loss to Buffalo makes it meaningless.

My head is spinning....Just Win Baby!

I've never seen Megatron drop the passes he did. There was a blatant PI in the endzone by Webb.

Anyway, I'm not "Worried" about Geno, but, that team did beat the Saints, who destroyed the fins if you don't recall.

Neither game will be an easy win. The Dolphins don't have easy wins

I was debating dusty last night who said he rather face the Ravens than the Bengals in the playoffs I told him he was nuts. We have a much better chance of beating the Bengals away than the Champs Ravens.

Ravens been there done that while the Bengals are less experienced. Sorry but we have a better shot vs the Bengals

I actually think Elam got in Megatron head a lil

To be fair to Stafford the Ravens are tough SOBs. I wouldn't want them hitting me either haha

@ 9:52, Stafford is turning into what he was in Georgia. Lots of glitz, lots of moments, but no end results.

This year is a big, giant flop for the Lions ... just about fully healthy too.

Marc, the Dolphins did beat the jets pretty easily...

He didn't look quite as bad as Brady throwing the ball away on the corner blitz on the last series...that was a straight sissy move

And re: the ravens, Tannehill got hit a bunch against the Ravens but still acquitted himself quite well and even completed that long pass to Gibson that was a thing of beauty. Would eb nice if you were as fair to your own qb as you are to Stafford .. just saying

Any update on our injuries yet? Buffalo game scares me more than Pittsburgh. Also, is the game in Buffalo? I know that is a dumb question but a few weeks ago they had a "home" game in Toronto. Hoping we get lucky and play there. We need Solai to contain Spiller and F Jax. Grimes can take away Woods and I don't think Stevie Johnson is much a threat.

To win in Buffalo is simple: Win the turnovers.

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