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Old 09-03-2011, 09:20 PM    (permalink
gpngc
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Default My Surprise Team

Not sure if they'll make the playoffs considering the Jets/Patriots and the fact that the AFC North gets the AFC South and NFC West this year but...

MIAMI DOLPHINS

- A criminally underrated and unknown top defensive unit can help make a playoff team when offense and special teams make some timely plays, overall team morale and confidence increases, and success ensues. (2009 Bengals)

- Henne will play better. He's got nothing to lose and played well in the third preseason game. We know he's got the talent. He also has one of the best WRs in the league in Marshall, who WILL score more than 3 TDs this year - fact - and two very, very good security blankets in Davone Bess and...

- Reggie Bush will come back from the dead and be an early-season MVP candidate. If Daniel Thomas can't complement him on the inside, a late-career surge by Grandmama will be a welcomed surprise. The team won't be held back by Ronnie Brown again - he couldn't break a tackle OR get to the outside AT ALL. They ranked 29th in the league in rushing last season. With even a slight bump in the running game, the passing game AND defense will benefit. Simply put, there's no where to go but up.

- Even with a defense that features a top-5 CB duo and a top-5 pass rusher, the Dolphins somehow only forced 11 interceptions last season. That will change for the better this season.

- When picking turnaround teams, it's good to look at turnover margin. Miami was -12, 30th in the NFL. With their talented defense, a year-more experienced QB, and new weapon on offense/specials, it's reasonable to assume they'll improve on that mark.

- Miami attempted the most field goals in the league last season (tied with Oakland) with 41. They made 30. Expect them to punch some of those opportunities in with two new bigger RBs and Reggie Bush (a red-zone matchup nightmare). And again, BMarsh has to score more than 3 TDs this season.

- They beat the Packers in Green Bay, the Jets in New York, and lost to the Steelers by 1 point. They were non-competitive in three games against good teams - Once because Brandon Tate went apeshit on them, another in W17 against those same Pats, and another when the Ravens smacked them around. A little confidence could go a LONG way for this squad - they clearly have the talent to play with ANYBODY.

- And simply put, they got better this offseason. Their top defense returns the entire unit which will be even more cohesive and dominant than last year. Their offensive line finally got a center and is above average on paper. Their QB is a year wiser. As with all teams, it falls on his shoulders, but the media is focusing on his inconsistency rather than the rest of the team. If he plays even decent, they'll be competitive again. If he plays WELL... playoffs are a real possibility.

And it may all start with a big upset at HOME (momentum, timely big plays, confidence - how would a win vs NE with the crowd going nuts on a few long BMarsh/Bush TDs work for Henne's confidence?) on opening night...

My BOLD prediction:

W vs NE
L vs HOU
W @ CLE
L @ SD
L @ NYJ
W vs DEN
L @ NYG
W @ KC
W vs WAS
W vs BUF
L @ DAL
W vs PHI
W @ BUF
L @ NE
W vs NYJ

That W16 matchup could be for the playoffs...

10-6, first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Ravens. Bold, indeed.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:37 PM    (permalink
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You think Miami loses at home to Houston but wins IN KC? That is ALWAYS a tough place to play, but even moreso with the young up and coming team the Chiefs have.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:41 PM    (permalink
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:52 PM    (permalink
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If Miami is able to muster a winning season with Henne at the helm i will **** my pants.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:57 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Sims 90 View Post
If Miami is able to muster a winning season with Henne at the helm i will **** my pants.
See I don't get this post. It just adds absolutely nothing to the conversation. The two above posts are funny because of the pictures.

This is just stating the absolute obvious. This sentiment is the reason this thread was created. And I used logical reasoning and projections to make my predictions.

All you did was re-state popular opinion with no reasoning behind it. Like the NFL is so non zig-zag that a 7-9 team never goes to 9-7 the next year.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:59 PM    (permalink
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This thread is approved by the fist pumping, cheerleader himself Tony Sparano:



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Old 09-03-2011, 10:13 PM    (permalink
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Still think they'd do better with my boy Tyler Thigpen at the helm.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:14 PM    (permalink
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Still think they'd do better with my boy Tyler Thigpen at the helm.
Thigpen's with the Bills.

Matt Moore and Kevin O Connell though are up and ready.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:21 PM    (permalink
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I wonder if people realize how horrendous the offense was last year. Henne was probably the fourth best player on offense. No running game. Injured OL and WR group. Pat freaking McQuistan started 8 games last year. Lydon Murtha started a hand full. He had an offensive coordinator that constantly called PA bombs where the only receivers were triple covered Marshall and double covered Hartline/Bess and there was no reason to respect the run at all.

Henne is .500 as a starter, including going 7-8 last year with a joke of an offense surrounding him. Other than the INTs, his stats were pretty solid for a 2nd year starter. He's coming off back to back good performances in the preseason. Him and Marshall had some chemistry going. He has a very good group with Hartline/Bess/Gates/Bush/Fasano to go along with Marshall. The OL could be an issue, but a healthy Long should improve the unit greatly.

And Thigpen is terrible. Did anyone watch the Bears game last year?
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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Thigpen's with the Bills.

Matt Moore and Kevin O Connell though are up and ready.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:37 PM    (permalink
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The problem with the Dolphins is it is hard to believe in a team when the front office wanted to replace the coach and the coach wanted to replace the QB. They have the talent, sure, but they're in a situation where if things start to go wrong then the players can easily turn on Sparano, because they know he has an incredibly short leash. That said .. if they get off to a good start I can easily see them beating out the Jets for 2nd in that division and maybe earning wild card spot.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:44 PM    (permalink
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The problem the Dolphins have is consistency in all three phases. Last year against the Pats they played well on defense, well for most of the game on offense yet still gave up a bucket load of points thanks to a meltdown in special teams and that forced Henne into bad decisions throwing the ball.

The Dolphins have a defense which would be good for a team that will consistently score 20+ points on offense. It's not the type of defense that can carry them but is still above average. But Im not seeing any major turning plays from them. They can stop the run and can play pass defense. But how often do you see the Dolphins with a short field or return TDs. The defense doesn't scare people and their offense isn't good enough. Let's just not talk about special teams.

8-8 would be hopeful IMO

**EDIT**On a minor note, it was Pat Chung who went apeshit on them in the Pats game last year. A blocked punt, a blocked field goal resulting in a TD and an INT return for TD.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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There's too much "there's nowhere to go but up", "we know he has the talent" and "___ is bound to happen" in this argument for my liking. I know it's just your opinion about what you think will happen, but there wasn't some perfect storm preventing everything from happening last season.

The things that have a changed for sure are a rookie center and new running backs. And I'm not sure the red zone presence of this unsure group of running backs is going to be punching in that league-high number of field goal attempts considering 26 of them came from 40+ yards out. No other team had even 20 tries from beyond 40.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:00 AM    (permalink
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I sound like a Homer but I really do think the Raiders will win the division this year despite losing 2 key guys(who they have replaced with sufficient talent). I see the Chiefs taking a step backward from last year, I think Cassel will struggle in some key games and they have some oline questions. The Chargers do have Rivers who is a top 5 QB but I think their defense is going to be weaker especially with losing Rivera who is one of the better minded defensive coaches in the league. And the Broncos will have a similar year to last year with there defense being nonexistent at times and I could see Orton being benched around week 10 once hope for the season is lost
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:06 AM    (permalink
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There's too much "there's nowhere to go but up", "we know he has the talent" and "___ is bound to happen" in this argument for my liking. I know it's just your opinion about what you think will happen, but there wasn't some perfect storm preventing everything from happening last season.

The things that have a changed for sure are a rookie center and new running backs. And I'm not sure the red zone presence of this unsure group of running backs is going to be punching in that league-high number of field goal attempts considering 26 of them came from 40+ yards out. No other team had even 20 tries from beyond 40.
I agree with this.

How can anyone be sure Henne will play better?
How do we know Brandon Marshall will score more than 3 TDs?
What if Reggie Bush hurts his knee again?
What if Cameron Wake takes a step backwards?
What if the defense regresses?

And am I the only one who really thinks their CB duo is highly overrated? Davis is good dont get me wrong, but Smith was benched at the start of last year. Sure he's a big, rangy guy but he needs to play with consistency.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:13 AM    (permalink
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That AFCE is too tough for a team like the Phins just to be 'improved' over last year and expect to move up in the division.

Having Bush is going to open up the passing game, I believe that, and will give Henne easier reads.

Are the Phins good enough to split with the Jets/Pats and sweep the Bills??

Believe it when I see it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:17 AM    (permalink
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I wonder if people realize how horrendous the offense was last year. Henne was probably the fourth best player on offense. No running game. Injured OL and WR group. Pat freaking McQuistan started 8 games last year. Lydon Murtha started a hand full. He had an offensive coordinator that constantly called PA bombs where the only receivers were triple covered Marshall and double covered Hartline/Bess and there was no reason to respect the run at all.

Henne is .500 as a starter, including going 7-8 last year with a joke of an offense surrounding him. Other than the INTs, his stats were pretty solid for a 2nd year starter. He's coming off back to back good performances in the preseason. Him and Marshall had some chemistry going. He has a very good group with Hartline/Bess/Gates/Bush/Fasano to go along with Marshall. The OL could be an issue, but a healthy Long should improve the unit greatly.

And Thigpen is terrible. Did anyone watch the Bears game last year?
Well turnovers are going to kill you. Henne needs to cut down on those interceptions.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:27 AM    (permalink
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Two words: Brian Daboll

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:29 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by fear the elf View Post
Two words: Brian Daboll

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He's infinitely better than Dan Henning.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:56 AM    (permalink
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I also have a lot of doubts about Reggie Bush. If anything I think he is going to be worse in Miami than he was in New Orleans where he already wasn't the back hyped-up halfback everyone thought he would be, and that was in a potent offense. Now he's going to a worse situation in Miami with probably a worse offensive line and an average starter at quarterback. Maybe he'll get more opportunities, but I think that just invites more chances for him to get seriously hurt again. If they expect Bush to grind it out and go between the tackles and dominate I think they'll be extremely disappointed.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:52 AM    (permalink
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I sound like a Homer but I really do think the Raiders will win the division this year despite losing 2 key guys(who they have replaced with sufficient talent). I see the Chiefs taking a step backward from last year, I think Cassel will struggle in some key games and they have some oline questions. The Chargers do have Rivers who is a top 5 QB but I think their defense is going to be weaker especially with losing Rivera who is one of the better minded defensive coaches in the league. And the Broncos will have a similar year to last year with there defense being nonexistent at times and I could see Orton being benched around week 10 once hope for the season is lost
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:05 AM    (permalink
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I'll always be a fan of his, but my gut tells me Reggie Bush will be hurt by Week 5.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:09 AM    (permalink
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Dolphins as a surprise team?...Wouldnt count on it. I cant see this team winning more then 8 games this year. 6-8 wins is more realistic on where we will stand. The defense has improved and I wouldnt doubt seeing them finish in the top 5. But the offense is still a concern and will likely hold this team back from being good. The OL(mostly the right side) is a mess and its gonna end up getting Henne and Bush hurt. Carey and Colombo are easily the worst guard-tackle combo in the NFL. Next year I'm guessing we will see a new regime in Miami and hopefully a new QB.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:49 AM    (permalink
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I'll always be a fan of his, but my gut tells me Reggie Bush will be hurt by Week 5.

This, unfortunately =/
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fwiw, i amz deunks ofs myt ass. ilo vez drinmoinz befotre i post. wha t a hreat ideas.z.
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