The ranter posted some comments on posts over the last week, and I've gotten a few emails that are along the same lines....so I thought I'd take time to address them:
* Chad Henne. I think he is somewhat Fiedler-esque in his decision making. I know its his first year, and maybe I'm being hard on him. After all, we know he has no receivers to speak of...but there are other teams in a similar predicament, and that's not an excuse that they use. I know Henne still may have some upside, but I am seriously beginning to doubt his ability to manage games. And having him throw 50+ times in a game because you've fallen behind does not boost his confidence!
* The tripping call. Maybe its semantics, because his leg did go upward. But the reality is that the defender jumped over a falling Polite, and in doing so - diving toward Henne - it may have looked like he tripped, but it was his own momentum that caused him to fall. In the heat of the game, it may have looked like a trip to the ref who only saw the guy go over and a leg in the air. But what of the dozens of other cases every week where you see a players stick a leg out and literally trip a guy and that doesn't get called?
* Gibril Wilson: the ranter is right. He just plain sucks, and can't cover my grandmother. And you don't usually expect dbs to make catches. But sheesh, this one was so easy, and he nearly gave it back to Houston. This was just an illustrative example of a guy you don't want on the team.
* My comment about where to take the points. (a) My basic philosophy is that you always take a field goal unless you're way behind or its the 4th quarter. And given that they were down by 4 scores and had not generated much to this point, they needed some momentum on their side. Given the location on the field, it seemed odd.
Here's the play-by-play:
1-10-HOU 28 (:53) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 82-B.Hartline. PENALTY on HST-98-C.Barwin, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at HST 28 - No Play.
1-5-HOU 23 (:47) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short left to 82-B.Hartline.
2-5-HOU 23 (:42) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 83-G.Camarillo.
3-5-HOU 23 (:37) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 82-B.Hartline ran ob at HST 9 for 14 yards.
Timeout #1 by HST at 00:31.
1-9-HOU 9 (:31) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short right to 19-T.Ginn [91-A.Okoye].
2-9-HOU 9 (:22) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short right to 19-T.Ginn (40-J.Busing).
3-9-HOU 9 (:17) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short middle to 80-A.Fasano.
Timeout #2 by HST at 00:12.
4-9-HOU 9 (:12) 5-D.Carpenter 27 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-92-J.Denney, Holder-2-B.Fields.
So Miami had a 1st and goal at the 9 with 31 seconds remaining. And they had a timeout left. Anyone ever hear of a run? Or how about some trickeration? Or maybe Pat White coulda come in.
Here's what the Tuesday Morning QB said of it:
Houston leading Miami 10-0, Tony Sparano ordered a punt on fourth-and-1. Who cares if it was at the Dolphins' 29, you're already down 10 points, if you are afraid to gain one yard you might as well go home. As that punt boomed, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook -- and the Texans immediately drove the other way for a 17-0 lead.
Trailing 27-0 and facing fourth-and-goal on the Houston 9 on the final snap of the first half, Sparano ordered a field goal. Gotta keep a shutout of the resume! Miami was doomed without a touchdown at that point, and as the field goal boomed, TMQ wrote the words "season over" in his notebook. Just to prove all this was no fluke, trailing 27-17 with 5:22 remaining, Miami punted on fourth-and-5. To top it off, though Miami coaches called 58 pass attempts in a comeback bid, almost everything was ultra-short, even in the fourth quarter. Remember, this was essentially an elimination game for the Dolphins.
It seemed like a waste to me.
And (b) when you're down by 10, and have little time left, I say you should always go for the TD first, because its harder to get, and you can kick a long range field goal as time expires.
Here's the play by play:
1-10-MIA 22 (4:39) 7-C.Henne sacked at MIA 14 for -8 yards (sack split by 92-J.Zgonina and 94-A.Smith).
2-18-MIA 14 (4:25) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 19-T.Ginn ran ob at MIA 28 for 14 yards.
3-4-MIA 28 (4:20) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 15-D.Bess ran ob at MIA 40 for 12 yards.
1-10-MIA 40 (4:14) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short middle to 19-T.Ginn to MIA 47 for 7 yards (59-D.Ryans).
2-3-MIA 47 (3:46) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete short middle to 80-A.Fasano.
Timeout #3 by MIA at 03:40.
3-3-MIA 47 (3:40) 7-C.Henne pass short right to 81-J.Haynos to HST 44 for 9 yards (29-G.Quin).
1-10-HOU 44 (3:17) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass deep left to 83-G.Camarillo pushed ob at HST 26 for 18 yards (40-J.Busing).
1-10-HOU 26 (3:11) 7-C.Henne pass short left to 26-L.Hilliard pushed ob at HST 23 for 3 yards (54-Z.Diles).
2-7-HOU 23 (3:04) (Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass short right to 34-R.Williams to HST 20 for 3 yards (56-B.Cushing).
3-4-HOU 20 (2:41) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 7-C.Henne pass incomplete deep right to 81-J.Haynos.
4-4-HOU 20 (2:35) 5-D.Carpenter 38 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-92-J.Denney, Holder-2-B.Fields.
And again - what about a run or something other than a predictable pass?
In either case, given that Miami scored with 2:35 left, its conceivable that they could have kicked deep and tried to stop the Texans and still have time to get the other score. What was Sparano thinking?