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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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One game at a time. Would it be nice to win out, sure. Forgive my lack of faith though. This just seems like the housing bubble in 2007

Beating Buffalo in Buffalo is an almost impossible task. Cold weather doest suit the Dolphins. This will be the "understatement game".

Buffalo 6, Dolphins 3

Let's not forget that Sanchez led his team to the playoffs and won...

Posted by: DragonFly34 | December 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

You're right, because we looked so out of our element in Pittsburgh. Or Kansas City couple years back when it was the coldest game in NFL history. Cold weather means absolutely nothing. NOTHING! Rain, snow, sleet, wind, that affects players and games. Cold weather plays absolutely no part in a team winning or losing.

..You can say what you want about Tannehill. If you are a doubter. Fair enough. If you think because he played well last week that now he has arrived..Great. What you cannot argue is Tannehills toughness. You cannot debate his grit, his willingness to trust is guys up front.Even after being battered this season.

The F.A.G.S.(football annalist guys) have been slobbering over the idea that the Colts may be ruining Andrew Luck. Chest puffed out "He is being hit too much" Chest puffed out even more " How can anyone play quarterback behind this line, it may ruin him forever" Play dramatic music for effect.

Well what about our guy? He has been getting gang banged all year. Yet he stays in there. He says nothing. Goes out, and gets better.

You may not be a Tannehill guy. Even so. You cannot doubt his toughness.

Also - forgot to mention. This game will show how our coaching staff handles adjustments. They did a great job against New England - and now they need to make sure they play call against Buffalo's pass rush. We cannot afford to let them get to Tannehill. I see more snaps for Thomas as Miller is not a better blocker. I'd love to see a fullback in this game - but we don't really have one.

Game is outside in Buffalo and it's snowing again today. Snowed quite a bit the last few days. Supposed to warm up to about 45 by this friday which will help a bit but supposed to snow half a foot on Sunday again ... BOOO

Mario Williams on Clabo or Mckinne scares me im having reoccuring night mares of Tanne getting a sack stripped fumble...

Snow means defense is at a disadvantage. That means our offense needs to execute. Also will come down to which defense tackles better. AND WATCH THOSE PITCH LAST DITCH EFFORT PLAYS!!!

Snow means advantage to those with a good run game ... BAH!

We all know Brady hates taking hits. Thats why the Giants beat him & the Ravens beat him last year in the playoffs. The formula is there to beat NE even when they are at full strenth. Pressure up the middle in Brady's face. He hates it. We need to do more of that if we meet them again. Although we won the game. I didn't see enough pressure up the middle in his face. I'd give Jorden or a saftey a chance to get in there on some stunts and crossover type maneuvers that bring pressure up the middle by confusing their offensive line. Coaches need to watch some film on how the Giants & Ravens did it and employ it. We have the players on D to carry it out.

...I posted the results of the study the NFL did about cold weather teams-warm weather teams. There was absolutely no evidence in the study that would suggest an advantage for either in both climates(the idea warm weather teams have an advantage in the heat, or a disadvantage I the cold..Myth busted)

Where there was OVERWHELMING evidence(love the caps for effect)..Dome teams. The study showed dome teams in cold weather were at huge disadvantage. I don't remember the numbers. I posted these before the Steeler game. So if you are interested in reading them, you can go back and find the post...

Let's hope that stays true because early indications are that mother nature is not going to co-operate.

Also should note that this would be the first cold weather game for FSU boy EJ manuel.

scenarios..Im almost certain I am correct. Also. I do not think the Jets are eliminated. there is a crazy scenario where they make the playoffs but, the fins are important here so here are the scenarios. Plane and simple
I did not include ties--

For wildcard--

we win twice
we win once cincy loses twice
we win once balt loses twice
we win once balt loses once sd wins twice
we lose twice, balt loses twice, sd wins once, jets lose this week to cleveland,


Win division-- we win twice, New England loses twice

The Dolphis must focus only on the game against Buffalo as opposed to a potential playoff picture.
This is a tricky and dangerous game. We can make it, and we will. But focus, focus, focus.

Its kind of a bummer that the Bills managed to beat the Jags who have actually been playing a little better of late.

The Bills had looked pretty horrible before that game. There is no question however that we are more talented than the Bills it's just the rivalry, spoiler factor, and a road game in the cold.

I really wouldn't think we would have to worry about a let down though, it's not like we've been winning for a long time. The Fins have to know they have to give their best effort to make the post season.

It wouldn't really surprise if we win this one by a good margin. Then again it wouldn't surprise if was close, win or lose. I would be big time disapointed if we lost but not too surprised.

The only surprise would be a blowout win for the Bills.

Both Jimmy Wilson and Nolan Caroll were caught on camera avoiding hitting someone. I'll give Nolan a Pass because he was hurt and had just came back in for spot duty. Plus 3 other guys were already in on the tackle but he definitely moved out of the way; it was kind of funny actually. However, the Jimmy Wilson punch at the ball move out the way. That was rather upsetting. He usually is a hitter and I don't get that, but he undoubtedly got called out in team meetings and got his punishment my being called out nationally on "C'Mon Man" last night. C'mon Jimmy you are better than that!!

The Bills have a guy in the Top 5 in the NFL in tackles, ALonzo and Sacks, Williams

The Dolphins have nobody in the top 5 of any stats.

By the way, remember when Ireland and the coaches were getting blasted early in the year for keeping 11 DBs? Man we needed them and then some, lol.

Sunday forcast in Buffalo: High 37 low 20 not bad. 60% chance of pecip. Not bad. 1 pm game. warmest part of the day is between 2 & 4 in the afternoon. Good. Winds n n w @ 12 mph. no problem. Other then it being a litle wet I don't see the wheather conditions as being a factor. What will factor in the game is weather or not T-Hill can hit on a couple of big play long passes. If he can we get those 8-10 extra points that puts distance between yourself and the other team. Takes pressure off the D as well.

Ya gotta admit,this year has not been boring. And it will go down to the wire! Pittsburgh was a tough win and NE even worse,so let's not take the Bills and Jets for granted. They also will be tough games as well.

Miami is tied for the 5th easiest final remaining two games by opponent win % in the NFL. Can't make any excuses if we don't do this. Won't be a cakewalk but if we play our best it will happen.

My take on blistery cold weather, snow, and / or rain:

It levels the playing field for both teams. Both teams have to deal with it. Another words if a team is clearly better in normal conditions, they may have better chance of being upset in bad weather. Slipping, sliding, fumbling, bumbling, errant passes, dropped balls happen more frequently in bad weather.

The advantage comes if a particular team is built to run and stop the run. If a team is built largely around the passing game if recievers can't get their footing or if visibility is limited.

Also it would be benefit the home team one would think because they get to practice in it and figure out the nuances of playing in it.

marc, except for Vernon who is 4th in sacks...

C'MON MAN!!

Hopefully everybody has their "Ramseyitsonlyweirdifitdoesntwork" traditions ready to go for Sunday. Phins UP!

I vote yes, @ 8:54! Ha!

Detroit needs a new coach and QB. Undisciplined team, turnovers, penalties, etc. Too much talent on that team for losses like that. And the drops by Megatron? The Lions beat themselves.

..So..Would we be eliminated if we lose this week, and the Ravens, Bengals win, Chargers lose?

The Bills had me a little nervous last time we played them. But for some reason they dont have me nervous at all. I think we are playing better and the Bills are playing about the same, maybe worse. I think this is a blowout in the making, I see Tannehill picking apart this defense, he knows what to expect this time and will adjust.

So everybody, sit back, relax, smoke a doob and enjoy the playoff ridee

And on a side note...F YOU Stafford and Tucker. The mighty Lobstertubez are no longer in contention for the champonship!

4th in the AFC maybe, not in the NFL

http://www.nfl.com/stats/player

what i'd like to see is what we were promised from day one of the philbin regime.
where is the up-tempo offense? ehere is the catching the defense with the wrong personnel and going hurry up to exploit it?? they seem to only let tanehill loose at the end of the 2nd & 4th quarter. in the last game that resulted in 2 TD's.

marc. you are extremely annoying. it's fine to point out things that weren't good. but you try to put together things that don't even matter or don't involve the dolphins to degrade the dolphins. you wanna act like what happened last night was detroit doing better against the ravens than we did?? you defend stafford but rip tanehill EVERY chance you get. stafford threw 3 int's and 12 points. and home with a loud home crowd. stafford has, better O-line, better backs, better WR's. tannehill no int's and we put up 23 while stugis missed a FG's. but yeah, staford did better against the ravens than tannehill. in your eyes it seems tannehill is the worst QB in the NFL.

what i'd like to see is what we were promised from day one of the philbin regime.
where is the up-tempo offense? ehere is the catching the defense with the wrong personnel and going hurry up to exploit it?? they seem to only let tanehill loose at the end of the 2nd & 4th quarter. in the last game that resulted in 2 TD's.

marc. you are extremely annoying. it's fine to point out things that weren't good. but you try to put together things that don't even matter or don't involve the dolphins to degrade the dolphins. you wanna act like what happened last night was detroit doing better against the ravens than we did?? you defend stafford but rip tanehill EVERY chance you get. stafford threw 3 int's and 12 points. and home with a loud home crowd. stafford has, better O-line, better backs, better WR's. tannehill no int's and we put up 23 while stugis missed a FG's. but yeah, staford did better against the ravens than tannehill. in your eyes it seems tannehill is the worst QB in the NFL.

4th in the NFL, 11.5 sacks

http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/defense/sort/sacks/year/2013/seasontype/2

Correction, it's a 4 way tie for 4th

You banana, Marc!!!

Mando,

You have been trying to create a RB controversy since the beginning of preseason. Anyone with 2 eyes can see L.Miller is the better RB. At everything. Running, Catching, and even blocking.

If D.Thomas was the starting RB then I would start to doubt this coaching staff.

L.Miller has more potential and right now is a better RB than D.Thomas.

You asked the coaches over 100 times this season who the starting RB is going to be. Are you expecting a different answer every time you ask the question.

No more annoying than listening to over-joyed fans thinking that this team is a powerhouse. They've been playing better lately. RT had a great game. It was a nice win against the biggest foe possible, and IF they can continue to win, fantastic! I'm just not sold. Just about every game has come down to the last play, last minute, last quarter. That leaves very little margin for error.

Pretty sure Mandy has been on L Millers nuts all year. He is from the U after all

ONCE AGAIN: ACTING LIKE A MAN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT

For the past 4 weeks I predicted we would be 7-7 after the NE game.
We are 8-6.
I was wrong and I admit it - like a man

Marco or Marc,

Can you please stop posting your egregious statement. I can't believe somebody still has the gull to post such stupidity with so much conviction. I thought you trolls would've ended yourself after the Pats game.

Sanchez won a playoff game. And Joe Flacco won a Superbowl. Your point?

And personally I don't care about your battered wife syndrome. Oh, I've been hurt before BS. Grow a pair and Fin Up!!

22 MORE DAYS ON THE SOFA UNTIL MY NEXT DR'S APPT

My schedule:
First 48 Miami
Real Housewives Miami
Medical MJ
XBOX 360
Girlfriend empties the pockets 4 nights/week

HAHA. I love how anyone who's not completely blinded is a troll...Child please!

IF (Ignorant Fukk)

Mando has never been a L.Miller man. And he has never shown favoritism because the player is from the U. I know you know cause you have been posting here longer than me just under a different name. You are just proving my previous post to be true.

ANYONE ELSE REMEMBER THE LAST TIME THE COACHES GOT CONFIDENT? WE WENT ON A LOSING STREAK

We have a hell of a team - Joe Philbin after 3-0 start

If mia wins out. Pats lose out. Colts lose one and bengls beat ravens miami could actually win #2 seed

Thomas blocks and catches better than Miller, no question. Miller can't break a tackle. Can't break a pretzel.

I CAN'T BASH THE TEAM, TANNE, MANAGEMENT OR FANS

While we are winning.

Difference between being objective and down right stupid. But you wouldn't know that.

And look up the definition of internet trolling and say you are not trolling.

Mark Sanchez won a playoff game is a perfect example of this. And I bet a bunch of other posters can confirm your trollish behavior. You were trolling hard during game day.

Merry Christmas Marc, you scrooge!!!

No powerhouse, but who in the AFC is a powerhouse right now?

No more annoying than lsitening to overjoyed fans? What about overly negative people who are running out of things to be negative about?

Tannehill stinks... uh no he doesn't. Nobody in the top 5 in league stats (like that matters for anything, anyway), ... uh yeah there is... you guys are just too optimistic ... haha, come on Marc, jump in, the water's fine. We want you here.

ETF, you're living the life! How's Real housewicves going? Those broads in Miami still swallowing the full load?

Wasn't it Stephen Ross who made that comment about a helluva team?

Yes, Thomas blocks and catches better than Miller because you say so. GTFOH!!

The Funny thing is these are the same clowns who claim D.Thomas is a bust and cost the fins 3 Picks. They just use another name not to expose themselves.

It just shows that you guys(the trolls) are contrarian. No lives who just love to have the opposite view of things just for the sake of argument.

MIT,
The Real Housewives Miami are all whored-out.

According to Mando's report it was Philbin that said, "We have a helluva team" after the 3rd game. (It is possible that Mando is not actually allowed into the postgame locker room/news conference so he could have been scooping the Cleveland Plain Dealer and got it wrong, maybe it really was Ross.)

Lastly I don't post nearly as much when we are winning because it is not as much fun as when we are losing, I love this blog when we are losing.

First, I have been here longer than you, but, under the same name. Never have posted under any other name. Not that I really give a ish. Just for historical accuracy.

"Thomas had gained 11 yards on three attempts against Houston in the season-opener. He added a reception for 32 yards. That's 33 total yards from scrimmage from the second running back. Not bad.

But Miller had 65 yards on 10 rushes against Oakland (a whopping 6.5 yards per carry). Miller contributed a 19-yard touchdown run that showed his explosion now and promise for the future. He didn't factor in the passing game, but neither did he seem lost on passing downs, which is the major worry about rookie RBs when they are assigned to block blitzers on passing downs.

So what to do with the No. 2 RB spot now?

You can't just reward Miller for a fine outing by shelving him. You can't really hand Thomas his job back without him proving he's 100 percent and better than the next option, which is Miller"

"But this I know:

Lamar Miller is running the football better than Daniel Thomas. When Miller is in the game, the Dolphins' offense has put together a better string of running plays this year. When Daniel Thomas has been in games, good things don't happen nearly as often.

The proof is on the tape and in the statistics. Miller is gaining 4.6 yards per carry. Thomas is gaining 2.8 yards per carry. Miller has a long run of 49 yards this season. The long run of the season for Thomas was 12 yards.

So doesn't Sherman get that Miller is clearly better and deserves a greater majority of the careers while Thomas deserves more time as an observer?

“No, I don’t get that," Sherman said Tuesday. "[Miller] had some opportunities in the game, and he made the most of those opportunities but we’ll continue with the way we’ve been so far until someone really steps forward and makes that known to us."

Honestly? I'm LOLing right now."


BY the way, most underrated coach in the NFL by far is bruce Arians. The job he's done in Arizona after the job he did in Indy (how human has Luck looked without him?), that record in that division, with Carson Palmer as your qb ... just awesome.

he's the offensive version of Bill bellicheck.

MIT,

Buddy, doesn't it feel great being right all along about the potential of T-Hill.

Any real Dolphin Fan has to be gushing right now. Not just cause of this season, but for the future. WE FINALLY HAVE OUR QB!! And our team is young, we have draft picks, and we have cap space!!

Even ETF has to admit Tannehill is better than Henne. That would be the Manly thing to do.

First, I have been here longer than you, but, under the same name. Never have posted under any other name. Not that I really give a ish. Just for historical accuracy.

"Thomas had gained 11 yards on three attempts against Houston in the season-opener. He added a reception for 32 yards. That's 33 total yards from scrimmage from the second running back. Not bad.

But Miller had 65 yards on 10 rushes against Oakland (a whopping 6.5 yards per carry). Miller contributed a 19-yard touchdown run that showed his explosion now and promise for the future. He didn't factor in the passing game, but neither did he seem lost on passing downs, which is the major worry about rookie RBs when they are assigned to block blitzers on passing downs.

So what to do with the No. 2 RB spot now?

You can't just reward Miller for a fine outing by shelving him. You can't really hand Thomas his job back without him proving he's 100 percent and better than the next option, which is Miller"

"But this I know:

Lamar Miller is running the football better than Daniel Thomas. When Miller is in the game, the Dolphins' offense has put together a better string of running plays this year. When Daniel Thomas has been in games, good things don't happen nearly as often.

The proof is on the tape and in the statistics. Miller is gaining 4.6 yards per carry. Thomas is gaining 2.8 yards per carry. Miller has a long run of 49 yards this season. The long run of the season for Thomas was 12 yards.

So doesn't Sherman get that Miller is clearly better and deserves a greater majority of the careers while Thomas deserves more time as an observer?

“No, I don’t get that," Sherman said Tuesday. "[Miller] had some opportunities in the game, and he made the most of those opportunities but we’ll continue with the way we’ve been so far until someone really steps forward and makes that known to us."

Honestly? I'm LOLing right now."

haha, ETF, yeah, Dolphins wins are the worst case scenario for mando's career. They lose and teh blog is 38 pages long, they win, 2.5.

Who are these idiots that are "buying" these huers anyway? Dr. Dre, 2001, told us all that you can't turn a ho into a housewife! Buy the wife, rent the huer!!

Here is amute point, every time the Dolphins are favoured they mostly fail to cover,but when they are the underdogs the cover or most time win. The are 2.5 pts favorite this week,as Mark in toronto mentiomed Buffalo scares him and me to it'd going to a very tough game,but worst I have to watch it with my son-in-law who is a huge Bills fan and even my Grandaughter calls and say squish the fish. Not a good Xmas if we lose as we are going to my son-in-law's for dinner. If there is a Santa all I want for Xmas is a phin win.

Bruce Arians has always been a heck of an OC. Good to see him doing well as a coach. Him and M.Trestman. Both were lifetime OCs that finally got their shot at coaching.

Yes, Trestman had to go to the CFL to become a coach first. But what a head coach he has become. We should've made him coach and got rid of the stache.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2013/09/run-game-needs-more-chances-to-be-explosive.html

I think it's very clear that Mandy has favored Miller.

How you missed that I have no idea...

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