Fins V.S. Panthers: At The Crossroads
Tonight’s crossroads game will weigh heavy in determining the Fins 2017 fortunes
Despite the Miami Dolphins loss to the Raiders being a close one, the “L” is still an “L”. The Fins are now 4-4 at the halfway mark… with a very tough game tonight and tough stretch of games following.
Were opportunities squandered this season?
Was there a chance to notch a needed win last week?
None of that fluffy talk of ‘close and excuses’ amounts to a hill of beans or a point on the score board tonight…
…And right now, this season is looking less like a miracle ‘Lazarus season’ and more likely, a descent in a Top 10 pick?
Remember though, the final grade isn’t in the books yet.
Simple math says (let me get that calculator) Miami’s season can a range from 4-12 to 12-4. Given the schedule, and their play so far, 7-9 or 8-8 appears the most ‘realistic’.
But, things change fast in the NFL… and so as not to be accused of being on the fan sauce, that change can be for the worse or better.
Here are some major Question Marks that will receive a lot of clarity tonight :
- Was Jay Cutler a wise move? Or would it have been wiser to save the $10 million?
- Post Jay Ajayi offense… is it trending up or down? When Kenyan Drake get the load of snaps, how does he respond?
- Can Adam Gase rally his team in a dire situation, call a great game, and get his team dialed in to not make boneheaded mistakes?
- Were Ted Larsen and T.J. McDonald good buys? Yes, it will take time to evaluate, but first impression is key.
- Is Jesse Davis a stop gap or steal in Free Agency?
- Laremy Tunsil did well last week… can he make it 2 in a row?
- Can Miami’s young corners step up and create turnovers?
- Can Kiko Alonso cover consistently and not just tackle post catch, but force pass incompletions?
Back against the wall and desperate for a win, how does this team respond?
Tonight will essentially be for all the marbles. This game will determine if there’s any real hope to saving 2017 or not. And 5-4 is far, far better than 4-5. Given that a trip to the Chiefs, 2 games with the Pats, and a trip to the Bills is on the menu, they can’t lose tonight and expect to get reach double digit wins–unless they beat Lotto type odds.
Many of you are laughing: ‘With this offense, this running game, this O-line, this deep coverage, this coaching staff, you’re talking about saving the season’?
For many, the good news of Ted Larsen and T.J. McDonald returning means little as the bad news that Ja’Wuan James being on I.R. far outweighs both players.
I get it. I’m the less sensible. It’s far better odds with the pay per head sites that you who say it’s over are right… but I’ll save that talk till late tonight… if Miami’s losses.
This is do or die time. I’m getting my rah-rah on for game day. Family fights and argues, but when it’s dire family pulls together and rallies. Maybe it’s the last time this season, but for today, I’m rallying.
I’m leading with my heart and not my head, I know–but so be it. If Miami loses tonight it will be a long time till the Fins have a truly relevant game… that’s a tough thought to digest this early in the season. So I’ll savor each relevant snap, till it’s obvious otherwise. Just in case, I’ll do a Jimmy Bourbon and buy double the amount of booze– for celebration or consolation. GO FINS!!!