Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals Thursday Night Game Chat

Miami has lost four games in a row now. Let's see if the Dolphins are able to finally bounce back in a Prime Time game against the Bengals.

Six Reasons to Not Give Up on the Dolphins

Anyone who reads my posts knows that speaking directly to you guys at Dolphin Shout usually isn't my style. I'm more of a third-person sort of writer with a more informative, hopefully substantive, mildly opinionated style. But after this last month where we've watched our beloved Miami Dolphins go from 3-0 to 3-4, I need to plead with you fine folks at the Shout not to give up on the season. Miami is not yet halfway through the regular season, but to further my plea, here are six reasons why it's too early to give up on this team:
At 3-4, we're down, not out. ( Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

1. We've Been in this Position Before
Like most of you, I came into this season hopeful that this would be the first time since 2008 that the Miami Dolphins made the playoffs. That 2008 team that won the AFC East and completed a 10-win turnaround from the dismal 1-15 season in 2007 didn't start the season with a bang either. In 2008, the Dolphins started 0-2 and through six games were 2-4, even worse than Miami's start to this season. Through seven games, the Dolphins were 3-4, the exact same record that they have now. Miami went on to win nine of their final 10 games that year. It seems like a stretch to think that this team will finish 11-5, but nine wins may be good enough to earn a playoff bid.

2. We're a Game Back of the Final Playoff Spot
Despite losing four straight and sitting at 3-4, the Miami Dolphins are only a game back of the San Diego Chargers for the final wild card spot. The Chargers visit the Dolphins in less than three weeks and will have to fly across the country to face them for what will be a 10:00 AM start their time. The Chargers have one of the toughest remaining schedules while the Dolphins only have three games left against teams currently with winning records. The only team between Miami and San Diego in the standings is the Jets, whom the Dolphins will play twice this season. Both the Chargers and Jets are teams that the Dolphins can take care of themselves without needing help from the rest of the league. Our guys may be 3-4 now, but the final playoff spot in the AFC this season is probably going to go to a team with fewer than 10 wins.

3. We're a Resilient Bunch
The last three weeks have been without a doubt heartbreaking, but this team has shown to be a resilient bunch. The Dolphins bounced back from a 10-point deficit to tie the game against Baltimore and a 14-point deficit to take the lead against Buffalo. After losing both of those heartbreakers, Miami has the mental toughness to come back the next week and start fast against New England. This group has a lot of flaws, but they have not shown to be one willing to roll over and die yet.

4. Our Best Players Have not Played Their Best
There is still a lot of talent on this team and to this point, it has not played its best. Despite that, the Dolphins were able to start 3-0 and become just the second team to beat the Colts in Indianapolis, something not even Peyton Manning and the Broncos could do. As the season goes on, it's hard for me to believe that some of our guys won't start playing the way that they should. While it's been inefficient for the most part, Mike Wallace has led the Dolphins in receiving three weeks in a row. Cameron Wake hasn't recorded a sack since Week 1 against Cleveland, but I refuse to believe that he's done. You can't tell me that a guy who had to go through the CFL just to get a shot at playing in the NFL is going to let one arm injury ruin his career. Also, Reshad Jones, who was an absolute beast a season ago has made really only one play to this point. These guys can get going and if and when they do, the team that we've watched over the last month can hopefully go away.

5. Most of Our Problems are Fixable
The Dolphins are having all sorts of issues right now, but none that aren't fixable. They are not a result of having bad players, they're a result of players playing badly. In each of our last two losses, we have done more to beat ourselves than our opponents have done to beat us. Yes, the offensive line is bad, but our quarterback Ryan Tannehill can cut down on the turnovers by recognizing blitzes better and not forcing throws. The second part of that is mental. We saw what he could do during the early parts of the season and I find it hard to believe that he just became a bad passer overnight. Some of Miami's sore spots have been fixed in recent weeks. Look how far the running game has come since the Dolphins ran for 22 yards against the Ravens. We're starting to use Lamar Miller the right way out of the backfield and over the last two weeks, even Daniel Thomas has averaged better than five yards-per-carry. Those were actually physical issues that our Dolphins were able to fix. The mental ones should be less difficult.

6. A Losing Streak is Not a Death Sentence
Yes, our Miami Dolphins are down after losing four straight, but one thing they are not is out. The last two Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens a season ago and the New York Giants in 2011, each overcame long losing streaks to win the Super Bowl. The Ravens lost three straight games late last season and four of their last five heading into the playoffs before winning four games, three away from home including the Super Bowl. The year before, the Giants dropped four straight from early November to early December and five of six from November 13th to December 18th. I'm not suggesting that Miami will go on to win the Super Bowl, but turnarounds after difficult skids are not only possible, they've become common.

Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

Could Have Gone Fishing...

The forever experienced Jeff Fisher (supposedly) passed on the Miami Dolphins because Jeff Ireland wouldn't give him total control! Fisher's recent tenure with the St. Louis Rams started simultaneously to the Dolphins first time head Coach Joe Philbin.

Fisher has had three first round picks (one in 2012, two in 2013), three second round picks (all in 2012), and he's had three third round picks.

That's a grand total of nine picks in the first three rounds over the last two years! He went to a Rams team that already had their supposed franchise quarterback in place, and he brought along Jake Long in the 2013 free agency.

His lackluster team fell to 3-5 on Monday Night at home by a score of 14-9, and he went 7-8-1 in 2012. Fisher has had a similar number of picks in the first three rounds in two years (9) that Ireland has had in three years (10), and again, Fisher already had his somewhat NFL experienced quarterback in place (a four year collegiate starter) in Sam Bradford.

Meanwhile, not one of his picks has shown much production or upside. His offensive coordinator has "Schottenheimered" the most consistently explosive receiver of 2013's draft class in Tavon Austin. With his second 2013 first round pick he chose the popular linebacker Alec Ogletree, who has accrued similar stats to that of Dolphin free agent pickup Phillip Wheeler for the season.

Wheeler has nearly as many tackles (51) in this first half of 2013 as Channing Crowder had in all but one of his six seasons (with Crowder's best season of 92 and second best of 61). Phillip has matched or surpassed all of Crowder's other entire seasons' stats in a half a season. Wheeler is on pace to near that of 2012's Karlos Dansby.

Darn, we could have gone fishing and had Brain Schottenheimer as our offensive coordinator. Just saying...

Some of Jeff Ireland's picks are starting to see the light and even make some plays:
Ryan Tannehill, Jonathan Martin, Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller, Rishard Mathews, and even Michael Egnew from 2012.
Dion Jordan, Jelani Jenkins, Dion Sims, Caleb Sturgis, and seventh rounder Don Jones have had impact from this year's class!

Injured 2013 pick Jamar Taylor is eventually going to be a star. Will Davis is a ball hawk that has yet to see the field, while Mike Gillislee and Dallas Thomas haven't seen much of the field yet either.

Back to St. Louis. In 2012 they also traded down from second overall to sixth and then again to fourteenth. In the meantime, Fisher passed on possibilities and the likes of Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Mark Baron, Luke Kuechly, and Ryan Tannehill (all who will be, if not already, studs) in favor of a defensive tackle Michael Brockers (51 tackles, 7.5 sacks in 1.5 years).

Our 2012 third round pick, defensive lineman Olivier Vernon, has 52 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles (one resulting in TD), and a blocked punt resulting in a touchdown in one in a half years. He also has four and a half sacks this year!

We rank ahead of Fisher's team in both offense and defense!

For trading down 12 spots in the first round of the 2012 draft they got cornerback Janoris Jenkins (102 tackles, five interceptions, and one sack in one and a half years) with the seventh pick of the second round and a second round running back Isaiah Pead (who had a one game suspension for a dirty drug test to start 2013, and has been inactive for all but one game).

Dolphin free agent cornerback pickup Dimitri Patterson is second in the league with three interceptions for this first half of 2013, one behind the league leader at four interceptions, and 2012s fourth round Miami running back selection Lamar Miller isn't doing what the Ram's Pead is doing.

In the 2013 Draft, they (Fisher) traded up eight spots from 16th overall to eighth overall in pursuit of Tavon Austin for a steeper price than Ireland paid to move up nine spots to the upper echelon player ranks from 12th overall to third overall for soon-to-be superstar Dion Jordan. Did anyone happen to see him covering Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski like a blanket on an incomplete streak 30 yards downfield?

Just saying. We could have had the forever experienced, laid-back Jeff Fisher making our picks and coaching our team and the many times fired Brian Schottenheimer as our offensive coordinator.

No one team is lucky enough to employ the absolute best owner, general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, staff, quarterback, and surrounding cast! Those guys are distributed throughout the league.

If you can't be with the one you love, LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH!

Thanks for an Open-Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view !!


Miami Dolphin Recap

Total collapse in the second half.  I don't know how these players can look each other in the eye and say they have played well in the past 4 weeks.

The floor is open to the comment section.

Report: Dolphins Mike Pouncey Subpoenaed in Relation to Aaron Hernandez Case

The bad news continue for the Miami Dolphins.

Miami's Mike Pouncey, who is among the best centers in the NFL, has been served a grand jury subpoena, according to Pete Thamel and Greg Bedard of SI.
credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack

Pouncey was served the subpoena shortly after Miami's loss to the Patriots in New England.

The subpoena is related to the high profile Aaron Hernandez criminal case, and, more specifically, Hernandez's involvement in interstate gun trafficking. The SI report goes on to say that the subpoena doesn't mean Pouncey is being charged with a crime, but police are focusing on "multiple transactions that involve him and Hernandez."

It would be very premature to assume Pouncey is guilty of any wrongdoing. He and his brother Maurkice were good friends with Hernandez at the University of Florida and were "credited with keeping Hernandez out of trouble" while there, but this is definitely not good news for a Dolphin team on a four game skid that may have also lost receiver Brandon Gibson for the season.

There is no way of knowing what, if anything, will actually happen to Pouncey. Let's hope that he wasn't at all involved in any of Hernandez's criminal activity.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Game Chat

This is another crucial game for Miami. Let's see how they fare.

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Disgusted Miami Dolphin Fans

Can the past three games be any more disgusting than what we have seen? These last three games after and a 3-0 start the Dolphins have come apart at the seems and the fan base has followed them. In those games we have seen a blow out at the hands of the Saints, a third quarter collapse that doomed the team against the Ravens, and an inexcusable loss against the Bills that used a practice squad quarterback to eek out a win in a division game. I'm not sure if it can any worse than that.

Those three games have brought many long time fans to their knees with disgust. Here are a quotes from people that I have known not only here but other sites for a few years. These are die-hard Dolphin fans.

"Enjoy... I'll follow my own advise and stop watching"
I have known Patrick for a few years now.  I have seen him upset before, but I have never seen him write something like that.

"If that happens it will push me all the way to the dark side where I will no matter what ever pull for the fins to win a game. I will be hater forever."
'FFR' has never written anything like that from what I can remember.

You can see the frustration, and it is that way everywhere. The disgust is most certainly evident. You couldn't find a person saying the Dolphins have a chance to win against the Patriots anywhere. When you get thinking about why would anyone say we can beat the Patriots? In the past 3 weeks have seen any reason that could convince us that we have a chance?

Does it matter that Brady is having an off year? The Dolphins will figure out a way to piss the game away. That seems to be what this team does. It never changes. It has been that way for years. Is it the water? I can't say, but if the Dolphins lose another game to a division rival where do they go from there? Where does the fan base go from there?
the bucs are sucking it up and just watch, they will get their first win of the season against the fins on monday night football.

if that happens that will push me all the way to the dark side where i will no matter what ever pull for the fins to win a game. i will be a hater forever. - See more at:
Enjoy... I'll follow my own advise and stop watching...
- See more at:
Enjoy... I'll follow my own advise and stop watching... - See more at:
Enjoy... I'll follow my own advise and stop watching... - See more at:

25-Year Phiniversary: Marino Passes for Career-High in Loss

1988 was not a good year for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins entered the season coming off of an 8-7 finish in the strike-shortened year of 1987 and the '88 season began with consecutive losses. Miami rebounded to win four of the next five games and arrived for their October 23rd meeting against the New York Jets with a 4-3 record.

(Allen Steele/Getty Images)
 The Jets came in with a 3-3-1 record and a high-scoring offensive game was anticipated. The Dolphins would not win that day, but in a losing effort, Miami quarterback and future Hall of Famer, Dan Marino passed for a career-high.

Miami grabbed an early 7-3 lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Marino to Mark Clayton. The Dolphins led 10-6 after the teams traded field goals, but the Jets closed the first half with 24 straight points with six coming on a Marino interception that was returned for a touchdown by Erik McMillan.

Trailing 30-10 at the break, the Dolphins pulled to within seven early in the fourth quarter as Troy Stradford scored from a yard out to make the score 37-30. Turnovers however, were too much for Miami to overcome as the Dolphins fell 44-30.

In the loss, Marino passed for a career-high 521 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw a career-high five interceptions that day. McMillan finished with three interceptions for New York as the Jets' defense finished the day with six total takeaways.

Jets' quarterback Ken O'Brien, who was actually drafted ahead of Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft, threw for only 174 yards, but also tossed three scores and limited his interception total to one.

Miami would rebound with a victory the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but would lose the next five to fall out of contention. The Jets went on to finish 8-7-1, but missed the playoffs as well.

The Dolphins went on to finish just 6-10 and in last place in the AFC East in 1988. The season was one of only two under head coach Don Shula in which Miami finished with a losing record and the only losing season with Marino at quarterback.

For the remainder of the 1988 season and over the next 11 years, Marino was never able to eclipse his passing total from that late October afternoon at a place then known as Joe Robbie Stadium. But a five-interception performance and the 44-30 loss to the rival New York Jets made it an afternoon to forget. Not again until 1999, Marino's final season in the league would Marino throw five interceptions in a single game. Marino went on to lead the NFL that season with 4,434 yards passing, but also tied a career-high with 23 interceptions.

Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

The Miami Dolphins Do Have a Plan for the Future

The loss to the Bills really fired everyone up, and I noticed that with all the comments everyone is a little upset this week. Do not despair! There is a plan moving forward with in the Dolphins organization.

Many of you will ask me how I know this, and to be honest I don't. I do, however, have quite a bit of experience in knowing these things. It's a feeling really. Maybe Ireland has said something that I picked up on. Maybe it's something that I have seen in the past, that says "hey, I know what they have in mind here." Old age does that to you. Many of you will learn this as you go along in life.

Many can not figure out what Ireland is doing. He moved up in the draft last year and took a linebacker with an injury at third overall. Admittedly, that didn't make a lot sense when we needed an offensive lineman so badly. I think the Dolphins did that because there was a plan in place, and not because they seemed to be brainless when they made that selection.

The brain trust seems to be hell bent on improving the athleticism and play making ability on this team. Even at the expense of passing on a player that was badly needed. How long have we at the Shout been saying that the team needs to get some playmakers? It's been awhile, hasn't it? Surely in the past two years it is clear that the brain trust has put an effort into improving the skill positions.

They drafted a quarterback in the first round last year. A quarterback that was very green and probably not ready to start in his first year. I feel they did that because they knew last year this team was a few years away from being able to compete at the highest level. They did the same thing this year drafting Dion Jordan. These moves are something an established winning team would do. A team like the Packers or the Broncos would make selections like the Dolphins made. Those teams can wait for a player to develop. The Dolphins, because of the lack of talent, must throw our draft choices into the fray and live with the pain of them growing up in the line of fire.

Even though Ireland has been here for five years now, there was no long-term plan in place until Joe Philbin arrived. Hell, the trifecta didn't even know what kind of a team they were. Were they a passing team? A running team? A wildcat team? They didn't know. What they did was put the team into salary cap hell and had no talent to show for it. This team was a mess until Philbin and Ireland put a plan in place.

Yes, there is no doubt that I am sick of all the losing, and I want to see this team get turned around before I die. I also know that Mr. Ross has committed to a longer term solution to put the Dolphins back on the NFL map. It will not happen as quick as I want it to. I think Mr Ross has given this team a four or five year window to put a team to reckon with on a week to week basis on the field.

Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin are not as concerned as the fan base is for winning today's game or next week's game. They are looking further down the road.

The problem is that doesn't suit my needs, nor, judging by the comments made over the weekend, does it suit your needs either.

Dreadful Dolphins

I was lucky. I got to go the game yesterday. I should have stayed home. Don't get me wrong. It was fun. I had a great time, great seats, and man was it HOT! Nothing new for Florida. Floridians kinda get used to the heat, but the game itself was dreadful.

On the wall of the Davie Complex, which is the practice facility, is a mission statement, more or less. It says: "SOUND SMART TOUGH". The Dolphins played TOUGH yesterday, but the SOUND & SMART part passed them by.

They were not sound in any phase of the game. The coaching staff wasn't sound because the team after having a week off looked like they were still on vacation. The opening first quarter was as bad as you could imagine.

Starting the game out with a motion penalty by Jonathan Martin after a nice gain by Miller of five yards, negating those five yards. Then Tannehill threw what could have been one of the worst passes I have ever seen at a live game for a pick six. Tannehill was looking right at the defender that was covering our receiver. I don't remember who our receiver was on that play, but I can tell you this he was NOT open. Not only that, but Tannehill threw a beautifully soft pass right to the defender that stepped in front of the receiver and pranced into the end zone for a 7-0 lead not one minute into the game. Did I say that was one of the worst passes I have seen thrown at a live game?

That's okay, the SMART part is coming next. Not! Miami quickly gets the ball back and makes some headway down field, but then must punt. Fields comes through as he usually does and uncorks a punt that the returner allows to hit the ground. The ball just takes off and the Dolphins down it around the 10 yard line. But wait, one of the Dolphins special teams mavens runs out of bounds on that play and is the first to touch the ball. So the Dolphins must re-kick after a five yard penalty, and the Bills end up with the ball on the Dolphins 46 yard line, which equaled a nearly 50 yard penalty. Yeah I know, SMART. The Bills promptly turn that into a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

I think Tannehill most likely played the worst game at quarterback that I have ever seen in person, and I have seen some bad performances over my many years. His pick six throw was bad, but he also had another interception that killed a scoring drive at the Bills four yard line. When he threw up a lollipop pass for another receiver that nearly made me throw up. Well those things happen, right? But wait, he isn't done yet. With about three minutes left in the game he fumbles the ball that rolls all the way to the Dolphins 46 yard, where the Bills recover the ball, roll up two first downs, take the time down to 35 seconds, and then kick a short field goal for the lead.

So I'm thinking well this game is over. But Thigpen has a great return and the Dolphins have the ball with a short field. All we need are two first downs and Sturgis will have a chance to put the game away. First down: we get nothing. Second down: nothing. Third down: nothing. But then Hartline comes free in the corner at about the six yard line. Tannehill throws a pass that is about four yards beyond Hartline and the game is over. Basically through the entire game Tannehill misfired, was off target, threw interceptions, or fumbled the ball and the game away. Sorry everyone, there is simply no other way to view this game.

The Dolphins running game looked pretty good, and if they stayed with the run a bit more maybe the score would have been different. Who knows? Daniel Thomas had a very nice game and Lamar Miller nearly broke a play off for a touchdown.

Which brings me back to the coaching staff. We had a number of third and short situations and didn't convert any of them. In all of those third and short situations the coaches didn't call one running play. Every third and short that I remember was a pass play. We were 3 of 13 on third downs. We lost the turnover battle by 3-1. We out gained them in the running game, but had five less carries then they did.

Not on this day, baby!

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills Week 7 Game Chat

Miami welcomes Buffalo this week following their bye last week. Let's see if they can improve to 4-2.

Will the Dolphins Bounce Back against the Bills?

The Miami Dolphins have started off 3-2 after what was expected to be a brutal opening stretch of games. That's good, right? Kind of.

None of us expected them to do this well, but even the most pleasant surprises will sour if less pleasant surprises come around. After two straight losses and some of the worst blocking in the NFL, the Dolphins have come back down to earth. Now they welcome Buffalo in a game that they should be able to win against a team with a quarterback who was just promoted from the practice squad last week.

So can Miami beat the 2-4 Bills this weekend? I sure think so. Buffalo is not a very good team other than their running backs, CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, who are definitely among the best in the NFL. If the Dolphins can stop the run, they can force Bills quarterback Thad Lewis to throw the ball. Lewis had a good game against the Bengals last week, but I don't expect him to be able to keep that up.

It is my hope that Miami can get a run game going. There are only four teams in the NFL who have allowed more rushing yards than the Bills this season. Miami has the talent. It's just a matter of getting the ball to that talent a little more consistently.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Be sure to stop by during the game for our live game chat. The more the merrier.

Five Games, Five Disappointments for Dolphins

After a week without Miami Dolphins' football, Miami will return to the field on Sunday as the Dolphins play host to the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins have dropped two straight after their first 3-0 start since 2002, but with losses by the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Miami is sitting in sole possession of the final wild card spot in the AFC.

While second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis and tight end Charles Clay have certainly impressed this season, that has not been the case for every Miami Dolphin. While Miami's season is less than a third of the way over, here are five guys who have been disappointments thus far:

Tyson Clabo, Tackle
Tyson Clabo (
A former Pro Bowler with the Atlanta Falcons, Clabo signed a one-year deal with Miami in the offseason with the Dolphins expecting Clabo to bring stability to a young offensive front. To this point however, Clabo has really struggled particularly in pass protection. Through five games, the Dolphins have given up 24 sacks which is tied for second most in the NFL. Miami is yielding a league-high 4.8 sacks per-contest.

Chris Clemons, Safety
After a career-year in 2012, Miami safety Chris Clemons has taken a bit of a step back this season. While Clemons has been far from horrendous, Clemons hasn't made many plays yet either. Clemons is on pace for about 77 tackles, but has yet to force or recover a fumble, record a sack or an interception. While the Dolphins are on pace to record 29 turnovers and 42 sacks, Clemons has yet to play a significant role in helping out in either category.

Michael Egnew, Tight End
Once offseason acquisition Dustin Keller went down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, the Dolphins were expecting former third round pick Michael Egnew to fill some of the void at the tight end position. To this point, Egnew has done almost nothing. While starter Charles Clay has been better than anyone could have expected, Egnew has just a single catch for eight yards this season.

Daniel Thomas, Running Back
While little has come to be expected out of third-year running back Daniel Thomas, Thomas has struggled mightily this season. Despite two rushing touchdowns on the season, Thomas is averaging just 2.6 yards-per-carry and has really struggled in pass protection, an area he was thought to have a decided edge over starter Lamar Miller. On the bright side, Thomas has yet to fumble and has made the reception each of the six times he's been targeted.

Mike Wallace, Wide Receiver
Wide receiver Mike Wallace. ( Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The most prized signing of the offseason, Mike Wallace has just 22 receptions despite being targeted 44 times. While Wallace does have a pair of 100-yard receiving efforts, Wallace has just six combined catches for 61 yards in his other three games. Wallace also has an inordinate number of drops for a player thought to be an elite NFL receiver. Wallace ranks just fourth on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards with 281. Expected to be Miami's deep threat, only two of Wallace's 22 catches have gone for more than 20 yards.

Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

20-Year Phiniversary: Marino Tears Achilles Tendon

After consecutive wins over the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, the Miami Dolphins arrived at Cleveland Stadium on October 10th, 1993 riding high. Miami was 3-1 and in first place in the AFC East.

The Cleveland Browns also entered the day with a record of 3-1 as much of the football world watched one of the more intriguing match-ups of Week 6. The Browns were looking to avenge their first loss of the season, a defeat to the Indianapolis Colts. Cleveland was led by former University of Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar and one of the more versatile running backs in football in Eric Metcalf.
Miami at Cleveland (10/10/93)

The Browns struck first on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kosar to Michael Jackson, but Miami rallied to grab a 10-7 lead after a long field goal by Pete Stoyanovich and a 13-yard touchdown toss from Dan Marino to Mark Ingram in the second quarter.

With Miami driving late in the first half to extend its lead, Marino stepped back to pass and after planting to throw, went to the ground. Marino left the game with a foot injury and would not return and was replaced by left-handed backup Scott Mitchell.

Mitchell's day started poorly as Mitchell had an interception near the Cleveland goal line returned 97 yards for a touchdown by Najee Mustafaa to give the Browns a 14-10 lead at the break. Mitchell however, would rally the Dolphins for a 24-14 victory with third quarter touchdown passes to Tony Martin and Keith Jackson.

Mitchell would finish the day with 118 yards passing while the Miami defense recorded six sacks with three coming from defensive end Jeff Cross and two more from linebacker Bryan Cox. The Dolphins also knocked Kosar from the contest in the second half.

The diagnosis on Marino however, was not a good one. Marino had torn his Achilles tendon and was done for the remainder of the 1993 season thus ending his streak of 145 straight starts for Miami. Mitchell would be one of four quarterbacks to see action that season for the Dolphins along with Doug Pederson and Steve DeBerg.

Mitchell finished 1993 with a 3-4 record as a starter with 1,773 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Despite the loss of Marino, the Dolphins went on to win five of their next six games to get off to a NFL-best 9-2 start. Unfortunately, Miami dropped their final five games to finish 9-7 and narrowly miss the playoffs.

But while Miami was able to finish with a 9-7 record in 1993, many still sit and wonder whether the 1993 squad was one of Super Bowl caliber had it not been for a season-ending injury to their future Hall of Fame quarterback that mid-October Sunday.

Marino would return the following season to lead the Dolphins to a 10-6 record and an AFC East title while being named to the Pro Bowl. Mitchell would go on to sign with the Detroit Lions the ensuing offseason where he helped lead Detroit to three playoff appearances in five years.

Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

30-Year Phiniversary: Marino's First Start

While it wasn't his first venture onto the field for the Miami Dolphins, October 9th, 1983 would be the first time that a rookie quarterback from Pittsburgh named Dan Marino would start for the Dolphins.

Marino had played admirably in relief against both the Los Angeles Raiders and New Orleans Saints, but head coach Don Shula had decided that it was time to make Marino a permanent fixture at the quarterback position. The Dolphins were coming off of a 17-7 loss to the Saints and quarterback David Woodley's performance was once again shaky.

Along with teammate Don Strock, Woodley had helped Miami reach Super Bowl XVII the previous season which may have been the biggest reason as to why Shula was slow to go to Marino. But after a 3-2 start to the season, a change seemed necessary.
30 years ago today, Marino made his first start.

At home in the Orange Bowl against a Buffalo Bills team that entered the contest also at 3-2, it was Marino who would take the first snaps under center for the Dolphins. Miami would not win that day, but the performance by the rifle-armed rookie proved to most that Dan Marino was there to stay for the Dolphins.

Miami trailed 14-0 early, but touchdown passes of 63 and 48 yards to Mark Duper, one from Marino and one from wide receiver Mark Clayton on a trick play, had the Dolphins even with the Bills, 21-21, at the end of three quarters. After Joe Ferguson's fourth touchdown pass of the day gave the lead back to Buffalo, Marino led the Dolphins on a game-tying march throwing a short touchdown pass to Nat Moore.

Later in the fourth quarter, Marino gave the Dolphins their first lead of the game hitting Clayton for a 14-yard score. Buffalo tied the game at 35 on the fifth touchdown pass of the day from Ferguson and ended up winning 38-35 in overtime on a 36-yard field goal by Joe Danelo.

While Ferguson stole the show that day throwing for 419 yards and five scores, it was apparent to Miami fans that a new era of Dolphin football had arrived. Marino finished the day 19-for-29 passing for 322 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Miami fell to 3-3 that day, but would win nine of their final 10 games to run away with the AFC East crown. The starting quarterback position was now Marino's and it would be one that he would hold on to for the remainder of the season and the next 16 to follow.

Although the contest ended in a loss that day, Marino was building a rapport with his wide receivers. Duper finished the afternoon with 207 yards receiving while Clayton added 53 yards and a score. Duper and Marino would hook up for more than 8,000 yards and 58 touchdowns while he and Clayton connected for 8,468 yards and 79 touchdowns throughout the courses of their careers.

Marino would go on to start 240 games for the Miami Dolphins winning 147 of them. At the time of his retirement following the 1999 season, Marino held virtually every major passing record. Over Marino's 17 seasons, the Dolphins finished with a losing record just once. With Marino now in the Hall of Fame, his jersey retired and a statue of him now sitting outside of Sun Life Stadium on Dan Marino Boulevard, it was 30 years ago today that number 13 made his first NFL start for the Miami Dolphins.

Mike Ferguson is a staff writer at Dolphin Shout and the founder and editor of Outside the Redzone. Like Outside the Redzone on Facebook! Also, follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

Is the Dolphins' Hunt for a Quarterback Finally Over?

BigRey actually came up with this question. Imagine that. BigRey is a star on Dolphin Shout! It is nice to get ideas from you guys, and all I need to do is expand on them.

To answer that headline myself, I think our hunt for a quarterback is over. I think we found the right player. Tannehill sure shows a lot of what it takes to make it in this league. A quarterback needs a lot of attributes to make a go of it in the NFL, and I think Tannehill has them all.

Sure, a quarterback needs to make all the throws, or at least have the tools to make all of the throws. Tannehill easily has that, but he also has more. Tannehill is one tough dude. He has taken a beating because of this offensive line, but he keeps getting up. He is not only physically tough, but he is mentally tough as well, which could be even more important. Getting dumped as many times as he has this year must take its toll on a passer, but you would never know that. Tannehill hasn't said a word about it. Mental toughness. Don't leave home without it. Tannehill hasn't.

There have been many quarterbacks in this league who can make all the throws but never amount to much. They didn't have the mental makeup to make it in this league. We have seen the meltdowns of Vince Young and, the most famous of all, Ryan Leaf.

Ryan Tannehill may never be as good as Dan Marino. I don't even care. Dan Marino is gone. He is never going to play for us again, so there is little reason to even mention his name except as a past player. I guess Ryan Tannehill will always play in his shadow. This is one fan that doesn't want to think about an old worn out shoe. I like the shiny new penny.

I want to think about the future and what Tannehill has to lead this team into that future. That is all that matters to me.

Dolphins Doomed by 3rd Quarter Play

With the Dolphins up by a touchdown to begin the 3rd quarter, they came out and promptly gave up 17 points to go down by a score of 23-13.

The Ravens ran 28 plays to the Dolphins 11. Two of which were punts. The time of possession in that quarter was 13:57 to 3:36. The Ravens led in total time of possession by nearly 13 minutes.

Of course, that wasn't the only reason they lost this game. The 6 sacks and a grand total of 22 yards rushing, of which six were by Tannehill, contributed mightily. Miami ran the ball 11 times and averaged two yards per carry.

This offensive line could be the worst I have seen since the Dolphins expansion years. As bad as the offensive line was in Cam Cameron's single year here, even that line could at least run block some. This is the second game the Dolphins running game has been held to under 25 yards for the game.

As bad as the offensive line and the running backs played, the Dolphins still had a chance to pull this game out. A huge play by Tannehill late in the game was nearly enough to even up the score. Unfortunately, the 6th and final sack of the game finished the Dolphins off. Tannehill cannot take a sack and give up yards late in a game like that.

I must say that if it wasn't for Tannehill and his passing this week's score would have much, much worse. It was Tannehill's play that kept the Dolphins in this game. Along with a defense that hung in there all day long and helped get us back into the game.

We had a chance to keep pace with the Patriots because of their loss today. It would have been nice to get this win, but I didn't think we would be at 3-2 after playing the Colts, Falcons, Saints, and Ravens to start the season.

Miami Dolphins vs Baltimore Ravens Game Chat

Let's see if the Dolphins are able to bounce back from last week's lost. I'm thinking they can do it.

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Dolphins Not Ready For Prime Time

The Miami Dolphins hopes of continuing the 2013 season undefeated were thwarted by an elite quarterback and a raucous crowd in the Superdome Monday night. Drew Brees using his patented pump fakes left the Miami defense guessing wrong all night. Miami’s Ryan Tannehill could not match Brees, faltering with 4 turnovers leading to two New Orleans scores.

Poor play calling early led to a Miami field goal when a stretch run was upended for a 2-yard loss on 3rd and inches inside the 20. Miami also punted on a 4th and 1 in the second quarter but was still only 4 points down when a Tannehill fumble broke the game open and the Dolphins could not recover.

The Dolphins are now 3-1 after the 1st quarter of the season, a record that most thought would be much worse. After beating the Browns, Colts and Falcons to start the season, the early stretch of difficult games caught up to Miami Monday night in New Orleans. Playing without injured star Cameron Wake, the Dolphins were unable to mount the pressure needed to slow down Brees and the New Orleans Offense.

Twice Rashad Jones tried to jump routes to Darren Sproles only to find himself a victim of a Brees pump fake leading to scores. Pro Bowl TE Jimmy Graham lived up to the billing making a brilliant TD catch in traffic for one score and running past the Miami defense for another. The Dolphins did shut down the Saints rushing attack but Brees and his receivers were too much for the Miami secondary.

Miami’s free agent Mike Wallace played poorly in his home coming, dropping a would-be touchdown and looking tentative on slant routes across the middle. Lamar Miller averaged nearly 6-yards a carry, but with the Dolphins trailing the entire game, his touches were limited.

In the end, Ryan Tannehill mistakes stopped 4 Miami drives and gave the Saints field position and momentum. Once the score became lopsided, the New Orleans defense was able to unleash a constant barrage of blitzes, sacking Tannehill 4 times. The 38-17 final score was not indicative of the beating Miami took in the Superdome.

The 3-1 Dolphins must regroup for another difficult contest against the Baltimore Ravens before heading into the bye week. There was not much for Miami fans to be happy about on Monday night except perhaps the emergence of Lamar Miller. Baltimore does not look as formidable as they have in the past and Miami has a good opportunity to enter the bye with a 4-1 record.

On any given Sunday (Monday) one team can fire with every cylinder perfectly tuned. The Saints were that team. Miami got a taste of what an elite team plays like and now know where they need to go to join the upper echelon of the NFL.