Nov 082012
 

Last week: 12 (-2)

Record: 4-4

In spite of a close road loss in a previously underrated Colts team, the Dolphins are still legitimate playoff contenders and if history is any indication, they’re more likely to make it than some other borderline playoff teams in the AFC right now, other than San Diego. Every year, 5 new playoff teams make the playoffs that didn’t make it the year before, dating back 17 straight years. I use this in my Power Rankings every week.

Right now, Chicago, who didn’t make the playoffs last year, looks like a lock to make it this year. Meanwhile, Cincinnati and New Orleans, two playoff teams from a year ago, look very unlikely to make it this year. Indianapolis, sitting at 5-3, is another solid bet to make the playoffs after missing it last year. Detroit, at 4-4, probably has to go 6-2 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, against a brutal schedule, so they’re probably out. Other than that, not much is set in stone.

Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Seattle, and Tampa Bay are the serious candidates for the other 3 spots in the 5 in category, while, in my opinion, Green Bay and Baltimore, thanks to injury, seem to be in the strongest (weakest?) position to be the other 2 out. Philadelphia and Dallas were candidates to be in the 5 in group before losses last week and that pretty much locked the Giants, another 5 out candidate, into a playoff spot.

Pittsburgh is another 5 out candidate, but I think they’re a better team than Baltimore right now and will sweep the two games against them, but we’ll know more in the next few weeks. With Baltimore out, that opens one more spot in the AFC, with Indianapolis already pretty safely locked into taking Cincinnati’s vacated spot. I think it will come down to either Miami or San Diego and I’m giving Miami the slight edge right now as San Diego has really not impressed me lately. With 4 games against Buffalo, Tennessee, and Jacksonville (3 out of 4 at home), as well as a home game against Seattle, who is notoriously poor on the road, the schedule is in Miami’s favor.

Studs

LG Richie Incognito: Did not allow a pressure on 42 pass block snaps, run blocked for 30 yards and a touchdown on 5 attempts, 1 penalty

RG John Jerry: Did not allow a pressure on 42 pass block snaps, run blocked for 6 yards on 3 attempts

WR Brian Hartline: Caught 8 passes for 107 yards on 9 attempts on 40 pass snaps, 2.8 YAC per catch

LOLB Kevin Burnett: 5 solo tackles, 3 assists, 4 stops, 1 missed tackle, 1 quarterback hit on 9 blitzes, allowed 3 catches for 31 yards on 4 attempts

SS Reshad Jones: Didn’t allow a catch on 1 attempt, 1 pass deflection, 3 solo tackles, 1 quarterback hit on 6 blitzes

LE Cameron Wake: 1 sack, 3 quarterback hits, and 3 quarterback hurries on 45 pass rush snaps, 2 solo tackles, 1 assist, 2 stops

LE Derrick Shelby: 1 quarterback hit and 3 quarterback hurries on 7 pass rush snaps, 1 solo tackle, 1 stop, 1 missed tackle

P Brandon Fields: 4 punts for 213 yards, 2 inside 20, 4 returns for 29 yards, 46.0 net yards per punt

Duds

LT Jake Long: Allowed 1 sack, 3 quarterback hits, and 2 quarterback hurries on 42 pass block snaps, 2 penalties

TE Anthony Fasano: 1 catch for 8 yards on 3 attempts on 27 pass snaps, 2.0 YAC per catch, 1 penalty

CB Jimmy Wilson: 4 solo tackles, 1 batted pass, allowed 8 catches for 99 yards on 10 attempts

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