Thursday, November 13, 2008

Miami Dolphins... Playoff Bound?

After hearing nothing but Brett Favre's name on ESPN the last few weeks of summer, it got me thinking. Who benefited the most from this deal? Initially I thought it worked out equally for both teams. The Jets get arguably the best QB of all time, and the Packers get to move on and develop their star waiting to happen. Although it seems to be working out great for both teams, I feel like the Miami Dolphins got the best end of this deal. In 2007, they went 1-15 and were the laughing stock of the league. After bringing in mastermind Bill Parcells and hiring Tony Sporano to take over the head coaching duties, the fish are already 5-4, second in the AFC East and just 1 game out of first place. Even if the Dolphins lose every game from here on out, it would still be a tremendous turnaround. Now, how are the Fish doing it?

Yes Parcells is a football genius and knows how to turn teams around. And yes, Tony Sporano is proving to be a solid coach. But I'm pinning their success on Quarterback Chad Pennington. Yeah that's right, you read correctly, Chad Pennington is a major part in why the Dolphins are a legit contender this year. Miami got Pennington for basically nothing because the Jets dropped him. He is a veteran QB who knows how to manage the game and has been limiting his mistakes dramatically this year. Many critics (including myself) have bashed Pennington in the past for not being able to throw the ball down field, but after seeing him bomb a 40 yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr, it seems that Chadwick has improved that area of his game. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams complementing him nicely in the "Wildcat" offense, and Joey Porter talking the talk and walking the walk on defense, Pennington and the Dolphins seem ready to make a serious run for the playoffs. From here on out, they have an easier schedule than any other team in the league. With games they should win against the Raiders, Rams, Chiefs, and the 49ers. Their other 3 games are division games against the Pats, Bills, and Jets. (Miami already beat New England and Buffalo this season) Don't be surprised if the Dolphins get into the playoffs with 10, maybe 11 regular season wins.

If this should happen, this might be the best 1 season turnarounds the NFL has ever seen. From barely winning 1 game last year, to potentially having a 10 win season and getting into the playoffs is something no fan, expert, or even the Dolphins could have imagined. So keep on eye on Miami from here on out, they really are a great story. Miami's last game of the season is at the Meadowland against division rival New York Jets. Wouldn't it be great to see Pennington and company have a shot at the playoffs in the last game of the season against the team that cut him? I sure think so.

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