MMQB Mailbag: One play call hurt Dolphins' near-perfect strategy
Except for one play, I absolutely loved Miami's approach to the Monday night game against the Colts. Reminded me of the way the man who put all the Dolphins' pieces in place, VP of football operations
The Giants had just shocked the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco and were boarding buses for the flight back east. Parcells, playing with a backup quarterback and no scary offensive weapons, knew they'd have to face the best offense in football, Buffalo's, in the Super Bowl. He looked across the aisle of the bus at offensive coordinator
But even a plan this intelligently neo-conservative needs some guts, and Henning's ultra-safe call with 4:33 left in a 20-20 game was just plain wrong. Miami had the ball at Indy's 30. Third-and-six. Be Henning for a second. Think.
• If the Dolphins convert here, they get to cut more time off the clock, and maybe the Colts have to start using their three timeouts, and maybe
• Think of the previous third-and-five-yards-or-longer snaps for the Dolphins. In inverse order, here are the five in the second half that preceded this playcall: Third-and-seven, 21-yard pass to
• If Pennington throws an incompletion, kicker
Henning called for a run by Brown behind the left side of the line, behind guard
An eternity for Manning.
It took Manning 32 seconds to go 80 yards, thanks to the 48-yard catch-and-run by
Just as I have to believe Erhardt would have let
A year ago, Miami started 0-2 but rebounded to win 11 of its last 14 and win the AFC East. The difference between then and now: The Dolphins had the Wildcat to unveil, and used it to help whip the Patriots and Chargers in the next two games. What element of surprise does this team have now? A year ago, Miami had the soft midsection of a schedule (Buffalo, Denver, Seattle, Oakland) to run off a winning streak. Now, in the next six games, it has: at San Diego, Buffalo, Jets, Saints, at Jets, at New England. Can the Dolphins go 4-2 against that slate to right the ship and get in playoff contention? I'm thinking no.
No onto your e-mail:
Del Rio is under contract through the 2012 season, so that would be a hard pill to swallow for owner
Thanks, Steve. Tagging Peppers eliminated a player who wouldn't be as dynamic but would have cost 60 percent less --
Good observation and question. I think he will get criticism if this season blows up in their face. But let me play devil's advocate for a minute. In 2007, the Patriots were a fluky catch from going 19-0 and being heralded as one of the best teams of all time. In 2008, they lost their MVP, Tom Brady, and still went 11-5. In 2009, with Brady and nine other starters returning from an offense that scored the most points in history two years ago, I'm not sure it was time to dismantle anything. On defense, he tried to make over the team with youth and depth, centered around linebacker/playcaller
That sounds like the mark of a coach who doesn't trust his quarterback to make big plays down near the goal line. That trust has to be earned. Maybe that says everything you need to know about why the Redskins pursued Mark Sanchez and
That's why you people are such good readers. I have never thought of that, but you're absolutely right. Fans should get to keep balls kicked into the stands. Are you listening,
Nice. You're not the only one to suggest that sort of clue -- or to suggest that perhaps I write a little too much about teams in Eastern Time.