Saturday, November 26, 2011


Of course Past Interference would post an item entitled "0-16?" just prior to a Dolphin three-game winning streak. PI must note the existence of the question mark after the "0-16), and PI also clearly wrote "the next two games versus the Chiefs and the Redskins are probably Miami's best shot at a win. If they lose to both, 0-16 going to be a strong possibility." Well, it isnt now. Reality intruded. Only one team's ever gone 0-16. It's incredibly difficult and Miami just wasn't up to the task this year. The two-week stretch against the Chiefs and the Skins were Miami's best shots at wins and unfortunately they were able to put it all together. Then getting the Bills at home while that team was in the midst of a high-speed collapse was the final nail in the coffin for a top two draft pick. Goodbye Luck and Barkley.

But beyond that the shocking three-game win streak suddenly opened the door to a new hellish possibility: the retention of the Sparano/Ireland regime along with a commitment to Matt Moore as the team's quarterback of the present and future. Aaaahhhhh! How many times have we been down that road? "Our QB's good enough if we just surround him with talent." "You win with running and defense and not turning the ball over. We just need a game manager who doesn't make mistakes". No. No no no. We're done with that crap. We need a QB who excels, who makes plays. That's how you win. Matt Moore might be better than Henne. He might be playing better than anybody ever expected. He might be playing as well as what we probably would have gotten had the the team squandered dollars on Kyle Orton (waived this week I see!) in the preseason. But he's not a Pro Bowl QB. In all the praise for how well Miami was playing during their little win streak few pointed just how bad the quality of their opponents were. The Skins might be the 2d worst team in football. KC's not much better. And Buffalo's a shell of what they were two months ago. Miami had to go on the road to play a quality football team on Turkey Day and we saw what happened to the fairy tale. We got exactly what we should have expected. What we'd been accustomed to a month ago. A whole bunch of red zone possessions. Field goals instead of touchdowns. And a blown fourth quarter lead. That's what this team does unless they're playing a true bottom feeder. Not turning it over wasn't enough for Moore. The team needed TD's and he couldn't get them. He passed up a perfectly good chance to maybe run it in inside the five, throwing the ball away instead though he was nowhere close to getting sacked. He missed some open guys. He didn't do enough to win. I'm not saying he's horrible or that he can't get better or that I don't appreciate the effort or that he shouldn't be on the roster next year. What I am saying is that right now there is NO reason to believe Moore is the answer at QB and whoever the GM is in 2012 if they don't take a QB in the first round they need to be fired before the second round starts. Hopefully the loss to Dallas makes it clear to all that the Dolphins have not righted the ship and major changes must be made in the offseason.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The 20-17 loss to the Giants might have been an entertaining game for a disinterested football fan, but for Dolphins fan it was just another one of the team's weekly car crashes. We know we're going to lose, we just need to see exactly how it happens this time. This was a fairly standard affair. A surprisingly strong early start featuring two (two!) first half touchdowns. And then the predictable second-half offensive futility followed by the late Giants comeback everybody saw coming. I suppose the best thing to be said is that whatever Sparano's flaws as a head coach (and they are legion), the tems continues to play hard. Nobody's quitting (yet). But the losses keep mounting up.

The Suck for Luck bandwagon keeps gathering steam as the latest loss leaves the Dolphins and the Colts as the league's last two winless teams. SI's Peter King made the logical point that Miami was unlikely to "earn" that number one draft pick to get Andrew Luck as the Dolphins have proven to be the far more competitive team. The Colts are getting spanked every week while Miami's at least coming close. True enough. However, it must be noted Miami was competitive in a number of games in 2007. They lost 6 games by only 3 points but won only a single game that year. Repeatedly getting close doesn't mean luck will even out during the season. 4 of those 6 close losses all came during the 2007 season's first half. Sometimes losing takes on a life of its own If the losses keep mounting for this year's team, who's to say the bottom won't drop out? The 2007 team got crushed in 4 of it's last 5 games (and in the other also won their one and only game gift wrapped by the Ravens). The Colts negative point differential is way higher than the Dolphins, but so's the Rams. But the Rams are the team with a win so far, not the Dolphins.

So what's my point? Oh yeah, Miami could still lose them all. This can happen. 0-16 or 1-15 is still a strong possibility. And despite decades as a loyal fan, Past Interference is no longer upset by this possibility. The 12-year failure to find a competent replacement for Dan Marino has become intolerable. The Dolphins aren't the Browns or the Lions or the Cardinals. We've never experienced long periods of losing football. This needs to end and it will end if we can get Andrew Luck. If Miami gets him next year, is anybody going lose any sleep about the losses piled up in 2011? Of course the next two games versus the Chiefs and the Redskins are probably Miami's best shot at a win. If they lose to both, 0-16 going to be a strong possibility.

And the Winner is

With the Steelers and Ben Roesthlisberger triumphing over the Patriots and Tom Brady, our eighth all-time contest between QB's with two or more Super Bowl rings is in the books.  Big Ben's win means that Jim Plunkett is now the only QB of the seven involved in these games who does not and will never have a win against one of the others.  He's also the only one who won't ever be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Coincidence? 

1) November 14, 1976: Miami 3 @ Pittsburgh 14
(Griese 2, Bradshaw 2)

2) November 5, 1978: Dallas 16 @ 23 Miami
(Staubach 2, Griese 2)

3) January 21, 1979/Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh 35/Dallas 31
(Bradshaw 2, Staubach 2)

4) October 28, 1979: Dallas 3 @ Pittsburgh 14
(Staubach 2, Bradshaw 3)

5) December 30, 1979/Divisional Playoffs: Miami 14 @ Pittsburgh 34
(Griese 2, Bradshaw 3)

6) September 22, 1985: San Francisco 34 @ LA Raiders 10
(Montana 2, Plunkett 2)

7) November 14, 2010: New England 39 @ Pittsburgh 26
(Brady 3, Roethlisberger)

8) October 30, 2011: New England 17 @ Pittsburgh 25
(Brady 3, Roethlisberger 2)