The Sherms Phins Recap: Week 4

At least its not bag-over-head time.....yet


by Ryan “The Sherms” Sherman


The Dolphins improved their position in the “Suck for Luck” Sweepstakes on Sunday by going down in defeat to the Chargers 26-16.

At least the first quarter was interesting. After throwing an INT on our first possession, Chad Henne was “lost” with a left shoulder injury on the second drive. Henne went to hand the ball off, but Lex Hilliard had already darted past; Henne kept the ball and awkwardly hit the dirt. Painful screams and contorted faces ensued.

Only the Dolphins could be capable of such a Comedy of Errors.

I swear I didn't cheer (loudly) when this happened

Enter backup QB Matt Moore.

[Note: Matt Moore was apparently the only backup QB on the roster….you know, because 2 QBs on the same team never get knocked out in one game.  Rumor has it that Devone Bess would have possibly been the emergency QB as he “played QB in high school.”  You would think Sporano would use 3 of 48 game day roster spots for QBs.  Oh well.]

On Moore’s first play, he delivered a 31-yard completion to Charles Clay to get down to the Charger 20.  Four plays later Hilliard ran up the middle for a 1-yard TD.

This would be the last time the Dolphins found the end-zone.

Phins scored so early, Dol-Fans mistakenly expected another

From there it was pretty standard Dolphins’ offense:



Field Goal and Sparano celebration


Field Goal and Sparano celebration

Field Goal and Sparano celebration


Game over.

Though Moore went 17-of-26, four of his completions came on 3rd down for less than the distance needed for a 1st down.

3rd and 11 – Pass to Bush for 9 yards.  PUNT.

3rd and 14 – Pass to Marlon Moore for 12 yards.  PUNT.

3rd and 21 – Pass to Brandon Marshall for 13 yards.  41 yard FG (this was acceptable, as the yards helped get into field goal range).

3rd and 8 – Pass to Reggie Bush for 6 yards.  37 yard FG (6 yards on 3rd down not exactly necessary).

In summary, for the second week in a row, 3 drives stalled on account of passing for less yards than we needed for the 1st down.

As a wise man once said, completing a 7 yard pass to a receiver coming back to the ball on 3rd and 10+ is not an accomplishment but, rather, a concession. (Hint: that wise man was me, last week). 

At least the Dolphins are leading the league in one offensive category…conceding.

"Why are they picking on me?"

On the opposite side of the ball the Chargers basically did what they wanted, and took what they needed.

The most memorable play came on the heels of the lone Dolphins’ TD, and was the third and final play of the Chargers’ 3 play, 80 yard drive. Philip Rivers launched a bomb and two Dolphins let Vincent Jackson basically run by them…because, you know, Vincent Jackson isn’t awesome. The ball wasn’t perfect, but the wide-open V-Jax had enough time to adjust, lay out for, and catch the ball on Dolphin’s 10 yard line.

Despite the fact that Jackson would have been ruled down if a Dolphin defender merely touched him, the nearest defensive back was so far away that Jackson jumped up, had a cup of coffee, talked to his agent about the Chargers’ needing to show him da money, recited this week’s Torah portion, and then ran into the endzone for the TD.

Blown Coverage is one thing. This just blew.

The Chargers led 13-10 going into halftime, but quickly pulled away when they opened the 2nd half with a TD drive.

So now that the Dolphins are down by 10 points in the 2nd half, what do they NEED to do?  Score TOUCHDOWNS.  Or, at the very least, A TOUCHDOWN.  You can’t take the lead when down 10 by only kicking field goals…unless of course you kick 4 and shut out your opponents. Unfortunately shutouts are difficult to come by in 2011 when your first name is “Miami” and your last name is “Dolphins.”

That is why you call plays on 3rd down that — if completed — move the sticks. Are you paying attention, Sparano?

That is why when a 3rd down pass is actually thrown the required distance for a 1st down, and it’s actually catchable, you catch it. You don’t drop it, Brandon Marshall.

That is why when Matt Moore throws a perfect bomb and hits you in stride, you catch it. You don’t let it slide through your hands, Brandon Marshall.

Marshall Claims he's bi-polar, but we're still waiting for the pole that can catch


Where to go from here?

Obviously at 0-4 and going into a bye week, Stephen Ross is going to fire Tony Sparano. Right?

What’s that?  He’s not?

Sparano will have at least one more game?  How can that be?

Most people knew Sparano wasn’t up for the task before this season started.  Now we’re 0-4 and he still ha a job? What does he need to do to get the axe?

Put in Vernon Carey in as the emergency QB after Matt Moore goes down with an injury?

Defecate on the sidelines after a missed FG?

Put a stump of oak and an axe in the locker room and have Dolphins punter (and MVP) Brandon Fields take some whacks?

Draw a 15-yard penalty by calling the Side Judge a “fairy?”

Relinquish his naked pictures of Ross’ wife?

Sparano looks down; Special Teams must not be on the field yet

Seriously though, what has to happen for Sparano to get fired?  Aside from being 0-4, he’s clearly lost the support and confidence of a team that – while far from great – has more talent than their 0-4 record shows.

I guess the contract extension that Sparano was inexplicably given after Stephen Ross’ attempt to lure Jim Harbaugh failed, could have something to do with it.  Perhaps Ross is reluctant to shed light on the reality that this extension was poorly thought out (or better yet, not thought out at all), which is what he may fear firing Sparano now will do.

***NOTE TO ROSS:  Everyone already knows it was a catastrophic error made in a panic.  It’s ok, we all do it from time to time in our own lives (albeit not to the tune of $8.4 million). Don’t throw good money after bad.  Don’t compound a mistake by trying to “ride it out.”  The Dolphins need a change and they need it now.  Please, for the love of G*d, give someone new the opportunity to prove themselves and possibly win over this failing team.

***ANOTHER NOTE TO ROSS:  Your GM, Jeff Ireland, sucks too.  I will elaborate after the Jets stomp us in Week 6.


Next Week

Next week the Dolphins have a bye…which means we may not lose.

Its the little things that we Dol-fans look forward to.

Surprisingly it's not the pink towel or wristbands that make Henne look soft

One Comment

  1. If they fire Sparano, who do they make the head coach? The OC, b/c the offense has looked so good? Mike Nolan, b/c he was so great as the Niners coach? Ireland purposely surrounded Sparano w/ terrible coordinators to insure that Ross can’t fire him in the middle of the season.