The Sherms Phins Recap: Week 3

Yeah Jimmy Wilson, we couldn't watch either


 
by Ryan “The Sherms” Sherman

 

Chad Henne went 19-for-29 for 265 yards (1 TD, 1 INT) and Daniel Thomas racked up 112 total yards (1 receiving TD) but in the end, the Dolphins found another way to blow it.

This time they were ahead or tied for the first 57 minutes of the game, and extended a 3 point lead to 6 with 2:57 left.  Dan Carpenter walked off the field after hitting his 3rd Field Goal in 4 tries (made from 23, 38 and 41; missed from 51), and Superfan Tony Sporano did his patented Field Goal Foxtrot, signaling to the world that he was the only person that didn’t know what was about to happen.

The only person that didn’t realize that a 6 point lead with 3 minutes left means you’re extremely vulnerable to a painful 1 point loss.

Add it to the the "'Oh Shit!'-Face" album

The only person that didn’t know that Colt McCoy leading the Browns on an 80 yard game winning drive was 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, about to happen a distinct possibility.

I don’t know…if I was the head coach of an NFL team, and my team once again struggled inside our opponents’ 25 yard line (this time scoring only 16 points in 5 trips), and we just squandered a chance to put the game out of reach by again settling for 3, and now we’re up only up 6 points, and 6 points is 1 point less than the other team can score if they get a touchdown and extra point, I WOULDN’T BE ALL THAT FRIGGIN’ EXCITED!

How about appearing humble, businesslike, and focused on what the defense now needs to do to prevent the dagger-in-the-season’s coffin that would be the Browns traversing the length of the field and finding paydirt in the last 3 minutes?

We all know what happened next. Colt McCoy led the Browns on an 80 yard, 2:40 drive, capped by a 14-yard Touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 ticks left.

The all-hope-is-lost sting it left was only overshadowed by its predictability.

Is it wrong to covet thy neighbors QB?

 

One Last Chance

After the gifts that were the Browns’ excessive celebration (post-Touchdown) and horse-collar tackle (during kickoff return) penalties put the Dolphins on the Browns’ 47 — a mere 9-10 yards away from Dan Carpenter’s FG range –  they had one last chance to not be world-renowned choke artists pull out a victory.

I’m sure those two timeouts that were wasted in non-strategic situations earlier in the half wouldn’t come back to hurt us.  You remember, right? Those times that Sporano/Henne used precious and NOT-UNLIMITED 2nd half timeouts because they didn’t have the right formation, or personnel, or whatever. (#LackOfPreparation, #BushLeague).

"I threw a late game pick, huh? I just didn't see that coming."

Not for nothing, but coaches like Bill Belichek, and Rex Ryan, and Mike McCarthy, and Mike Shanahan, and Tom Coughlin, and [insert other solid NFL’s coach’s name here] don’t make these mistakes. They understand that the timeouts will probably be more beneficial at the end of the game when the ability to stop the clock is crucial.

If the Dolphins could have stopped the clock more than once, running the ball would have been an option. They could have called 1 (or 2) timeouts after running plays and save the final timeout to stop the clock with only a few seconds left and kick a Field Goal. Passing the ball over the middle would have been another option.

Instead, poor timeout usage cut their late-game playbook in half, and they were basically locked into throwing the ball near the sidelines. Hence the Browns’ lack of surprise, and worthy pass coverage, on 1st and 2nd downs (short incompletion to Bess and long incompletion to Gates, respectively).

With 3rd down came an errant underthrow on what would have been a 9-yard completion to Bess, and which would have set up a game-winning 55-yard FG attempt.  Instead that 3rd down incompletion set up a 4th down, game-losing interception.

Game, set, match.

0-and-3 record.

Season over.

Thanks for the memories.

Smiles are usually a good indicator of Victory. The opposite is also true.Â

 

Post-Game

As Browns fans celebrated their shocking win, Dolphins fans didn’t look all that surprised about their loss.

Instead they looked like they were ready for it.

Like they knew it was coming.

Like it was just a matter of when, not if.  

[In fact, after the game a lot of Dol-FanS started echoing the “Suck for Luck” catchphrase, referring to Stanford QB and 2012 prospective #1 draft pick, Andrew Luck.  For those that still don’t get it, you are not a sports fan the implication is that the Dolphins’ will be better off sucking and finishing with the worst record in the league to “earn” the #1 draft pick.  Bittersweet news: at the rate they’re going this isn’t entirely out of the question.] 

This is the mold that has been created.

It is the mold of a team that can’t win the close games.

The mold of a team that flounders in crunch time.

The Dolphins are a team who only knows a knockout punch when it gets socked in the mouth with one.

Hey Female-Dog Pound: We still have LeBron

 

More on Henne

Don’t let Chad Henne’s 19/29, 265 yards (1 TD, 1 INT) stat line impress you.  4 of his completions came on 3rd down and too short to move the sticks.  Completing a 7 yard pass to a Receiver coming back to the ball on 3rd and 10+ is not an accomplishment; its a concession.

It’s taking what the other team wants you to have…a one-way ticket to Puntsville.

Overall grade: C. 

Just like Henne to be taking his team in the wrong direction


 

Tony Spo-gone-o 

I’m not usually in favor of mid-season coaching changes. That said, Tony Sporano needs to go. Stephen Ross should not wait until the end of the season to fire him. Players historically don’t play to their fullest potential for a lame duck coach. Sparano is the lamest of the lame.

The Upside: Whomever we give the chance to coach the last 13 games (on an “interim basis”) rises to the occasion and earns the head coaching position for the years to come.

The Downside:  There is no downside.

Nobody likes the "Strip-Bill Parcells-Naked-for-Motivation" picture on the Jumbotron


 

Next Week

Next week we got the Chargers, in San Diego.

I don’t see how we win this one, which means we just might.

Stay tuned.