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Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Wildcard With Dolphins and Ravens Bloggers
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 1st 2009 1:45PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL Playoffs I like the fact that no one is giving us any real credit for getting there. Jim Mora says on air that the best AFC East team is New England and there has been little “props” for winning the division as most of the kudos surrounds simply the turnaround. The Ravens are 3 point favorites in this game and the Phins are getting tired of feeling second rate.

The Ravens are really beginning to gel in Cam Cameron’s offense and now they are getting contributions from Mark Clayton and Willis McGahee. Joe Flacco has come on strong since the last meeting with the Dolphins and has the third highest road QB rating among NFL quarterbacks. And of course the team’s defense is always dependable. The Ravens could be a dangerous post season participant.

Continue Reading

The Zebra Report Finale: 2008 Version
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 31st 2008 3:45PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: Bears, Browns, Dolphins, Jets, Lions, Packers, Steelers, Texans, AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, NFC North, NFL Referees

Before I go getting all sentimental, we have a few plays to check out for this week.

1. The Bears got jobbed on a spot in their game on a third down. It appeared it should have been about a yard and a half or even two yards to gain for a first down. The spot ended up being about a half yard short of the line to gain. I have no problem with the officials, because in fast motion it appeared the receiver wasn’t touched before rolling forward for just over a yard. Plus, due to positioning circumstances, they’d be in a huge hurry to get the exact line. Those are tough. My problem, however, lies in the replay rules. The Bears were not allowed to challenge the spot because the Texans didn’t gain a first down.Continue Reading

Claim: Chad Pennington Is the NFL MVP, Only Lemmings Pick Peyton Manning
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 1st 2009 8:46AM by Michael David Smith (author feed)
Filed under: Colts, Dolphins
When the sportswriters’ votes are counted and the NFL MVP is announced, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will almost certainly get the award.

But one sportswriter in Miami thinks it’s his hometown team’s quarterback who deserves the MVP award — and he doesn’t think highly of his colleagues for failing to see that the correct vote would go to Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington. Greg Cote writes in the Miami Herald:
Chad Pennington, the Dolphins’ quarterback, should be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for 2008. …
This isn’t to say Pennington win MVP honors. He won’t. The Colts’ Peyton Manning probably will win. He has the name and pedigree. He is the predictable, safe pick, and the football writers who vote are a march of lemmings.
Cote goes on to make his case for Pennington, and it’s not a bad case. Pennington’s stats are, after all, fairly comparable to Manning’s this year — although Pennington got the advantage of playing against a lot of weak defenses.

But my vote would go to Manning. I just think that, over the course of 16 games, no player has been as valuable to his team as Manning has been to the Colts. If that makes me a lemming, so be it.

Wild Card Week Preview
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 6:00PM by Shane Bacon (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL Playoffs

With the playoffs less than a week away, here is everything you need to know about Wild Card Weekend.

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals

— Saturday, Jan. 3, 4:30 PM EST
— University of Phoenix Stadium
— NBC
— Atlanta, in a must-win against the Rams in Week 17 for a potential two seed, took care of business behind running back Michael Turner. The first-year Falcon had 208 yards and a touchdown in the 31-27 win over the Rams to secure a playoff bid. Arizona struggled down the stretch but won a lagging NFC West division that only had one team with a winning record.
— None
— Atlanta - 4-1. Arizona - 2-3.
— Atlanta taking down a hot Minnesota team in Week 16, 24-17. Arizona beat Dallas in Week 6, 30-24.
– For Atlanta, it is the rookie Matt Ryan. When the play-caller has a quarterback rating of 94 or higher, the Falcons are 8-1. For Arizona, it is the running game. With Edgerrin James being pushed out as the top back, Tim Hightower and J.J. Arrington have been asked to carry the load. Kurt Warner and his great receiving core will get theirs, so it is up to the running game to balance their offensive attack.
– In terms of least intimidating stadiums to play in, the one in Phoenix has to rack up. Living in the area, I know what Cardinals fans come to expect, and if the team falls behind 10-0 early, you can bet the Card hopefuls will be basically saying to one another, “No surprise here.” For Ryan, a playoff game is a different beast, but he has a pretty favorable match-up to get his feet wet. I think the Falcons go to Glendale and beat the Cardinals.
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Separating Playoff Contenders From Pretenders
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 30th 2008 8:30AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsWe all know that NFL records are not always created equal, and life isn’t fair.

That explains why the 11-5 Patriots are sitting at home while the 8-8 Chargers are preparing for the playoffs. But now that the playoff pairings have been set, it is pretty easy to get a quick and dirty look at which teams were tested during the regular season and which teams skated into the playoffs thanks to very forgiving schedules.

To get a better look at how the playoff teams matched up, I compiled each playoff team’s record against the other playoff teams. It’s a look that has some flaws–a win against the 8-8 Chargers counts while a win against the Patriots doesn’t, but it is a very good, and quick, way to see how many tough games each team played during the regular season.

So which teams earned their way and which ones snuck in? Well, the Dolphins shouldn’t be too proud, while the Eagles didn’t exactly back their way in, even if they had to win on Sunday to snag the NFC’s last wild card spot.Continue Reading

Mort Alleges Parcells Can Walk From Dolphins Because of Huizenga Sale of Team
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 28th 2008 11:50AM by Bruce Ciskie (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, AFC East, NFL Media Watch, NFL RumorsObviously, Bill Parcells is getting a lot of credit for the turnaround of the Miami Dolphins.

There’s no doubt that Tony Sparano has done a fantastic job, but Parcells is the architect who made Sparano’s work possible.

The Dolphins are one win away from a division title, and on the morning of their showdown with the Jets, there probably aren’t many players contemplating Parcells’ future. After all, he signed a four-year deal last year, so why would he be going anywhere?

Because he’s Bill Parcells, that’s why.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday NFL Countdown that Parcells’ contract has one “out” in it. This “out” would allow Parcells to walk within the next month or so, and it would give the Dolphins no method of obtaining compensation should Parcells sign with another organization.

The “out”? If Wayne Huizenga closes on a sale of the franchise.

And guess what could happen as soon as Tuesday?Continue Reading

Can You Believe It? Miami Dolphins Are AFC East Champions
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 28th 2008 7:41PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, AFC EastOne year ago, it would have been impossible to predict that the Miami Dolphins would win the AFC East. They had just finished an embarrassing 1-15 season and were set to overhaul the entire organization. Miami was a laughingstock of a franchise and had as much bad luck as any team could have.

They were also members of a division that housed the team that went an entire regular season undefeated, another that traded for Brett Favre, and another that was on the verge of becoming one of the better teams in the league. The face of their franchise was a guy who was sitting in the coaches’ booth. All most Phins fans were hoping for were glimpses of getting back on track and going in the right direction.

Being a 7-9 team didn’t look too bad.

Yes, some things fell in the Dolphins favor. Tom Brady shredding his knee brought the New England Patriots back to the pack a bit, while the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets had late-season swoons that negated their hot starts. If any of those teams had some things fall their way instead, Miami wouldn’t be in the playoffs right now.
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NFL Playoff Schedule: Times Set for Wild-Card Round of Playoffs
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 28th 2008 9:55PM by Tom Herrera (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsAbout an hour ago, we were still talking about the collapse of the Cowboys, Jets, et al. But life moves fast in the NFL and we’ve already got the schedule and times for next weekend’s wild-card round of the playoffs.

Check out the full slate of matchups below, and after the jump, make your predictions for which teams will bang out some big wins. I’m going with Falcons, Colts, Ravens and Vikings (though I was tempted pick all four road teams).

No. 5(11-5) at No. 4 (9-7, NFC West champs)
4:30 PM ET (NBC)

No. 5 (12-4) at No. 4 (8-8, AFC West champs)
8:00 PM ET (NBC)

No. 6 (11-5) at No. 3 (11-5, AFC East champs)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)

No. 6 (9-6-1) at No. 3 (10-6, NFC North champs)
4:30 PM ET (FOX)
Continue Reading

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 17: Schadenfreude, Thy Name Is Pennington
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 8:30AM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Jets, NFL Fans, NFL CoachingChad Pennington’s eight-year Jets career came to an inglorious end four-and-a-half months ago, when he was by Brett Favre. New York restocked the roster with big-name players last offseason, and Favre was supposed to be the guy to get them back to the playoffs following the four-win effort in 2007.

Instead, after an 8-3 start, the Jets stumbled into Week 17 at 9-6, needing to win the season finale against the Dolphins and hoping that either the Bills beat the Patriots or the Ravens lost to the Jaguars. As it turned out, New England outlasted Buffalo, Baltimore blew the doors off Jacksonville, and New York went through the motions against Miami.

Favre, who has been inconsistent all season, threw three interceptions yesterday, all typically Favre-ian. Although the Jets were only down three points heading into the fourth, it just seemed like Favre was too old, too slow, and too reckless to keep New York in the game. And that’s exactly what happened when he threw an inexplicable pick midway through the fourth quarter that basically signaled the end the 2008 season. And if we’re lucky, Favre’s career.Continue Reading

All Four Home Teams Are Underdogs For Wildcard Weekend
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 9:15AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsWinning an NFL division championship means a playoff spot, a home game and nothing else. All four teams that will be hosting the wildcard round of the playoffs are underdogs.

The lines for the four wildcard games has been set:

Eagles (-3) at Vikings
Falcons (-2.5) at Cardinals
Colts (-2.5) at Chargers
Ravens (-3) at Dolphins

The Falcons have two more wins than the Cardinals. The Colts have four more wins than the Chargers. The Ravens and Dolphins have the same record. The Eagles finished with just one less win than the Vikings but the same amount of losses.

Since the NFL has established the current playoff format in 2002, this has not been rare. In both the 2004 and 2005 playoffs, three of the four road teams won their wildcard matchups. This year, we have our first 8-8 division champion since 1985.

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