|Posted by TheBEEZER 19 Hours Ago
Well, so far we have done the best All-time HR hitter...Pitcher...SS...and Catcher....
So today, we'll discuss who is the best all-time MLB...Read More
Tim Tebow has owned a great deal of attention from the media, football fans, and religious zealots long before the Denver Broncos drafted him last year. A former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow became a legend at the University of Florida by leading the Gators to a pair of national championships.
While setting several Southeastern Conference records, Tebow also became the first collegiate player to ever score at least 20 touchdowns in both throwing and rushing in a single season. He was a consensus All-America choice once and has been called one of the NCAA's best players in the 2000s decade.
Undeserved or not, the hype of his collegiate achievements have followed him to the NFL. huge part of this reason has nothing to do with the gridiron. It has to do with his personal life, which some follow at every turn.
Tebow's mother was told to abort her son during her pregnancy, as doctors expected a stillborn delivery due to an infection. His mother, a devout follower of the Christianity religion, refused and both mother and son beat the odds. After spending his life being home, he became the Florida Player of the Year twice in high school after being allowed to join a team at a school he did not attend.
The religious beliefs of his family has drawn a legion of fans, several who are unconcerned about his gridiron exploits and more concerned about his following of the same gospel they believe in. This was seen when he joined the NFL in 2010.
There have been many more Heisman winners to have played poorly in the professional ranks than there have been players who have been excellent. Since the award started in 1935, just seven players eventually were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This fact has followed Tebow, as has the fact many think of him to be more of a fullback than quarterback. While he has an immense desire to win, the mechanics he possesses is quirky and not considered good enough to succeed in the NFL by many.
While he hasn't completed even 50 percent of the passes he has tossed in his career, Tebow is 2-2 in his career starts. Whatever circumstanced led to those victories, most pundits agree is has been accomplished with a Broncos franchise that has more questions than talent on their squads the past few years.
When Denver came back to defeat a horrid Miami Dolphins team last week, the Tebow hype has been full blown. Even as the game was being played, the NFL's own website didn't even keep track of the match up like they typically do with all contests. Unless you were a Broncos and Dolphins fan actually watching the game, or you bought an NFL package that allowed you to view, the game remained largely shrouded in mystery.
With Brett Favre now retired, the media has been craving a replacement to dote over constantly. Tebow has come along to take this mantle, whether it is viewed as a good thing or not. Unless an injury ends his career, expect the camera to follow every move he makes for at least a decade.
Not every fan wants to follow this hype train, as many have never boarded it or had gotten off long ago. Those fans can concentrate on much more interesting and important stories that are going on during the 2011 season. Stories that could carry on to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
The Green Bay Packers are looking like a team that could be the first to repeat as Super Bowl champions for just the eighth time since the game was first played in 1967. They won last year despite having a plethora of key players injured, and now they are pretty much at full strength and the leagues only undefeated team this year.
Not only is quarterback Aaron Rodgers considered one of the very best at his position today, the Packers are one of the leagues top teams in scoring, passing, rushing defense, and yards allowed per game. Rodgers already has tossed the ball to 13 different players, seven players have caught at least 11 balls and scored a touchdown.
While they are a long way away from having a chance to repeat, the road traveled so far has been impressive. Even with all of this, Green Bay isn't even the only story in their division.
The Detroit Lions, one of the NFL's worst teams for the last decade, shot out of the gates at 5-0. While they have lost their last two games by 14 total points, this young team has shown an exceptional balance that belies their experience. They rank 13Th in scoring and 10Th in points allowed, a stat that could help the franchise reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The tight end position is seeing a boom in production as well. Since most of the defenses in the NFL play a zone, the success of the tight end splitting the seam has become even more important. This has allowed quite a few become stars this year.
Only eight tight ends are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though there should be more. Men like Jerry Smith and Fred Arbanus belong, but most feel the first tight end ever selected, John Mackey, is still the best ever at the position.
While youngsters like Jimmy Graham, of the New Orleans Saints, and Fred Davis, of the Washington Redskins, have stood out this year, there are a ton of excellent players at this position at the game today. Many are good blockers, but they have enough speed to get downfield at break a zone scheme with their deep threat abilities.
Men like Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Witten, Ron Gronkowski, Kellen Winslow Jr., Tony Gonzales, Aaron Hernandez, Owen Daniels, Jermaine Gresham, Jermichael Finley, Dustin Keller, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and Ed Dickson are just a few who are important players on their teams as well. Pettigrew, Gresham, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Dickson are youngsters learning their positions as they accumulate impressive statistics.
Established veterans like Dallas Clark, Kevin Boss, Mercedes Lewis, and others, have yet to truly break out in 2011 due to injuries and quarterback struggles their teams are having. Wide receiver may get a lot of attention, mainly due to the diva-like behavior of a few head cases at the position, but the tight end in the NFL today has quietly become the consistent star a team needs to win often.
All eyes will be on Carson Palmer for a few weeks, monitoring his progress as he learns the Oakland Raiders playbook after having joined the team barely a week ago. He had sat out all year, refusing to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who also spent that time refusing to trade him.
After gridiron giant, and Raiders owner, Al Davis died, the team made the type of risky move Davis spent his career making by dealing away possibly two first round draft picks for the quarterback.
Palmer was thrust into action last Sunday, the first time he had ever come off the bench, and completed just eight of 21 passes. Three attempts were picked off, as the Raiders were dismantled 28-0 by the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
The race for the services of Andrew Luck, a quarterback at Stanford University, has started to thin out some. Luck, who many think the 2011 Heisman is his to lose, is considered to be the best quarterback prospect in a very long time.
Two horrid teams this year, the Saint Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, are probably not interested in Luck. The Rams used the first pick of the 2010 draft on quarterback Sam Bradford, and the Vikings used their 2011 first round pick on Christian Ponder.
The main two teams in the "Battle for Luck" are the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins would love to draft him, especially now that it seems the injured Chad Henne's days are done in South Florida. Not only has Miami failed to win a game yet this year, it almost appears they are laying down in each contest in order to procure defeat.
Peyton Manning's neck is still not healing, even despite a radical stem cell surgery that had hoped to help. While heading to Canton as a first-year inductee, the Colts did not foresee this when they gave Manning a five-year contract worth $50 million before the 2011 season started.
Manning has led the franchise to two Super Bowls, winning once in a game was named MVP in. He has been to 11 Pro Bowls and has broken many Colts passing records that were once held by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, considered by most experts the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
Yet he will be 36 years old if he even is able to play next year. Luck would benefit sitting and learning from Manning in 2011, and there are similarities between the two. Both have fathers who played quarterback in the NFL, and both are students of the game who are known for being detail oriented.
While Miami would want to see Luck follow in the footsteps of Bob Griese and Dan Marino, the Colts would love to see Luck give them at least the same greatness as Unitas, Manning, Earl Morrall, and Bert Jones once did for the team.
Miami is battling the Colts for misery in 2011, since the Colts have failed to win a game as well so far. This epic battle of futility and Luck could see Indianapolis get an edge in two games, as the Dolphins host the struggling Chiefs. The rest of Miami's schedule appears difficult for them to win much.
The Colts, who have already lost to Kansas City, might have a harder time getting Luck. They have been trying to win and have been competitive in a few contests. Indianapolis will also face mediocre teams like the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars twice, as well as an encounter with the struggling Carolina Panthers in a month.
No matter who is the winner of this battle, the prize of being the worst of 2011 is a banner not to really be proud of nor promote in their quest to get a franchise quarterback of an unknown future. If Luck plays as many expect, maybe a ton of losses will look a little less uglier in a decade from now.
So there really is no reason to follow the evolving Tebow story faithfully, even if you are a fan of the game or a Bible thumping fanatic. With a lousy team that just traded their best receiver, it is doubtful many victories will follow. Especially if he plays like he did most of the game last week.
But he must win because he does not want Denver to be in a position to get Luck. If that happens, these could be your final weeks to get Tebow souvenirs and bask in the bizarre hype unless another franchise wants to take a shot at seeing how far they can go with the kid that has cameras following him everywhere.
Yoooooooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun once again. My cuzin 3rd covered dis entry so I iz gunna make it short and sweet. Capeesh?
I went 7-6 las weak, so I iz now 62-41 overall. Letz get too it.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
OK, da Titans have been losing lately. Dat getz solved now.
Titans 24 Colts 20
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Da Jags showed me sumfin las weak. I tink dey are more confident now and will defeet a injured Texans.
Jaguars 23 Texans 21
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
You iz kidding, rite?
Giants 38 Dolphins 13
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
I bet da Ravens iz mad over las weaks crappy showing, so dey is out four blood.
Ravens 27 Cardinals 17
New Orleans Saints @ Saint Louis Rams
Da Rams secundairy can't stop da Saints passing attack.
Saints 35 Rams 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Both teems is improving behind dere rookie quarterbacks, but I tink AP makes da difference hear.
Vikings 30 Panthers 27
Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions
Tim Teblow wont get away wif da crappy way he played las weak, so da Lions will crush dis glorified fullback cuz dey ain't chumps like da Dolphins.
Lions 27 Broncos 13
Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills
Sorry 3rd, but Fred Jackson will kill da Skins. Plus Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick iz happy after just signing a huge contract da other day.
Bills 34 Redskins 24
Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
I just tink da Bengals defense is two much for da Seahawks.
Bengals 23 Seahawks 14
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Game of the Week
OK, da Steelers are aging but proud. Da Pats are aging and proud. Both got rosters wif champions on dem, and coaches wif rings to. Da run game will be da important factor, cuz I expect both quarterbacks two play well.
You almost hafta flip a coin hear, four reel. I'm taking Mike Wallace and da gang over dat suspect Pats secundairy.
Steelers 30 Patriots 28
Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers
OK, da Brownies stink no matter who iz da coach.
49ers 23 Browns 13
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
I am tinkin da Igglez got dis, cuz dey always seem too win after a bye week.
Eagles 34 Cowboys 24
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
I laugh at ESPN, cuz Monday Night Football has SUCKED this yeer. Wasn't what dey had hoped.
Chargers 27 Chiefs 17
1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New England Patriots
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Detroit Lions
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. New York Giants
11. Philadelphia Eagles
12. San Diego Chargers
13. New York Jets
14. Houston Texans
15. Chicago Bears
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Oakland Raiders
19. Cincinnati Bengals
20. Tennessee Titans
21. Carolina Panthers
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
23. Washington Redskins
24. Minnesota Vikings
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Seattle Seahawks
28. Kansas City Chiefs
29. Denver Broncos
30. Saint Louis Rams
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Indianapolis Colts
OK, I met at dis hunny da other day. I iz gonna go show her how too eat a stromboli, capeesh?
As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.
These Are The Best Dolphins Who Are Not Yet, And Might Never Be, Inducted Into The Pro Football Hall Of Fame
Quarterback : Earl Morrall
Morrall was a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1956 draft. He was mostly used as a punter in his rookie year, but he did start four games when the starter, Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle, was injured.
He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers after that year, and was named to his first Pro Bowl in 1957. After starting the first two games of the 1958 season for Pittsburgh, Morrall was traded to the Detroit Lions for Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. There, he backed up Tobin Rote, Jim Ninowski, and Milt Plum until 1964.
He was traded to the New York Giants before the 1965 season. He started the entire year, and threw the longest pass of that season for 89 yards. Morrall started seven games the next year and threw a pass that is still franchise long of 98 yards to Homer Jones, the man who invented the spiking of the football after a score.
He then was dealt to the Baltimore Colts in 1968, where his career would be reborn. Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas was injured in the last preseason game and was out for the year, so Morrall became the starter. He led the Colts to a 13-1 record, tossed a career high 26 touchdown passes with a career best 2,909 yards.
He led the NFL in touchdown passes, touchdown percentage and yards gained-per-pass attempt. He was also selected First Team All-Pro and to his last Pro Bowl, while being named the 1968 NFL MVP. The Colts would go on to lose in Super Bowl III. With Unitas healthy again, Morrall started three games over the next two seasons.
In 1970, the Colts would win Super Bowl V when he was called upon again after Unitas was injured early in the game. Morrall helped the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13.
Morrall started the first nine games of the 1971 year, leading the Colts to a 7-2 record.
He was then injured and replaced by Unitas as the Colts would go on to lose to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship game.
The Colts then cut Morrall, but he was claimed by the Dolphins because their coach, Hall of Famer Don Shula, had coached him on the Colts' 1968 Super Bowl team and was familiar with the quarterback.
The move paid off early into the 1972 season, when Hall of Famer Bob Griese was injured during the fifth game. Morrall started the next 10 games and helped lead the eventual Super Bowl Champion Dolphins to the only perfect season in modern NFL history.
He took them to the AFC Championship game, but was replaced by Griese. Morrall was named the AFC Player of the Year, First Team All-Pro,, and won the first Comeback Player of the Year Award. He started one game the next year, as the Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl Champions.
Over the next three seasons, he started two games, and won both. Morrall retired after the 1976 season at the age of 42 years old. Though he started only 102 of the 255 games he played over 21 years, Morrall won 60 and tied three, while being on four Super Bowl teams..
He is an inductee of the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team.
Don Strock, Jay Fiedler, and David Woodley deserve mention.
Fullback : Norm Bulaich
Bulaich was drafted in the first round of the 1970 draft by the Baltimore Colts. He led the Colts in rushing as a rookie, helping lead them to a Super Bowl V victory. He ran for 116 yards in the first playoff win against the Cincinnati Bengals, then his two rushing touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders provided the margin for victory.
His second season was his best. He ran for a career high 741 yards and eight touchdowns. Bulaich set a Colts record that year by running for 198 yards in one game, a team record that stood until 2000, and was named to his lone Pro Bowl appearance.
He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before the 1973 season and lasted there two seasons. Bulaich joined the Dolphins in 1975, backing up Don Nottingham. While Nottingham was the primary short-yardage specialist, Bulaich was second on the team with 32 receptions and still scored five times on the ground himself.
He started six games the next year and was second on the team in rushing and receiving. The 1977 season saw him place third in rushing and receiving for Miami while splitting starts with Leroy Harris. After a decrease of touches over the next two seasons, he retired.
When you talk of the great fullbacks in Miami Dolphins history, it all starts with Hall of Famer Larry Csonka. Besides Csonka, only three Dolphins fullbacks have more rushing yards and scores than Bulaich. Just two have more receptions.
There have been many Dolphin fullbacks behind Csonka that brought different skill sets to the team. Even though he didn't always start, Norm Bulaich might have had the best of all of them.
Andra Franklin, Woody Bennett, Don Nottingham, Keith Byars, and Rob Konrad deserve mention.
Halfback : Mercury Morris
Morris was a third round draft choice by Miami in 1969. He spent his first three years as a Pro Bowl kick returner, carrying the ball just 140 times. The Dolphins had a Pro Bowl duo of Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick in their backfield, so Morris special teams play was his main contribution, though he did average 6.8 yards on 60 carries in 1970.
Things changed in the Dolphins perfect 1972 season. Morris began to share carries with Kiick, getting 190 carries. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, finishing with 1,000 yards. Morris also led the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns and caught a career best 15 balls as he was named to the Pro Bowl.
The 1973 season was his last as a Pro Bowler, as Miami won their second straight championship. He led the NFL with an excellent 6.4 yards on 149 carries. Morris also ran for ten scores, despite playing with a neck injury. His 6.4 yards per carry is a team record and ranks 17th best in NFL history.
Morris hurt his knee in an exhibition game in 1974, limiting him to just five games and 56 carries that year. With Csonka and Kiick now gone, he became the workhorse in 1975. Morris had a career best 219 carries while gaining 875 yards.
Miami then traded him to the San Diego Chargers. Despite averaging over five yards per carry, Morris retired after one season due to the lingering effects of his neck and knee injuries.
He still ranks fourth in rushing yards in a career for the Dolphins, and his 29 rushing touchdowns is fifth best in franchise history. Morris averaged 5.1 yards per carry with Miami, easily the best in team history by anyone with more than 42 attempts. He ranks sixth in Dolphins history with 754 rushing attempts.
Though he had to share carries with a Hall of Fame fullback and Pro Bowl halfback, Morris earned his Pro Bowls with sheer determination. Blessed with blazing speed, he went from being one of the best kick returners in the league to becoming one of the best halfbacks.
He is an inductee of the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team, and might be the best halfback the Dolphins ever had.
Jim Kiick, Tony Nathan, Ricky Williams, Mark Higgs, Delvin Williams, and Karim Abdul-Jabbar deserve mention.
Wide Receiver : Mark Clayton
Clayton was drafted in the eighth round of the 1983 draft by Miami. He was buried on the depth chart behind Dolphins greats Nat Moore and Duriel Harris, so Clayton returned a career high 41 punts and scored once.
Miami had also drafted quarterback Dan Marino, a future Hall of Famer in 1983. Marino and Clayton soon developed a close rapport that soon translated onto the football field. He exploded in 1984, helping the Dolphins reach Super Bowl XIX before losing.
Clayton made his first Pro Bowl by leading the NFL with 18 touchdown catches. Not only is it a team record, it was an NFL record at the time and still ranks as the third most ever. He also led the Dolphins with 73 receptions for 1,389 yards at an impressive 19 yards per catch.
He made the Pro Bowl in each of the nest two years, teaming with Marino and bookend Mark Duper as one of the most exciting passing attacks of their era. He led the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions on a career best 86 catches in 1988, then began to experience health issues.
After missing seven games over two years, Clayton rebounded with his last Pro Bowl season in 1991. He had 12 touchdown catches on 70 receptions. After missing three games because of injury in 1992, he was released.
The Green Bay Packers signed Clayton, where he started. He caught 32 balls as Sterling Sharpe was busy setting a then-NFL record with 112 receptions that year. Clayton retired at the end of the season.
No Dolphins player has more receptions and touchdown catches than him. Clayton also ranks second in receiving yardage. His 86 receptions in 1998 was a team record for ten years.
His 84 career touchdown catches still ranks 15th best in NFL history, and he ranks 47th best in receiving yards. Though diminutive, Clayton was an underdog who came from nowhere to become of of the finest wide receivers in Dolphins history.
He is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll, and his five Pro Bowls is tied with Hall of Famer Paul Warfield as the most ever by a Dolphins receiver.
Wide Receiver : Mark Duper
Duper was a second round draft choice of the Dolphins in 1982. Though the season was limited to nine games because of a players strike, Miami reached Super Bowl XVII before losing. Yet Duper played in just two games that season, not recording any statistics.
Business began to pick up for Duper in 1983 when the Dolphins used their first round draft pick on future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. Though he started just 11 games, Duper averaged a career best 19.7 yards on 51 receptions and scored 10 times in earning his first Pro Bowl honor.
He went back to the Pro Bowl in 1984 as the Dolphins reached Super Bowl XIX before losing. Duper was teaming with fellow wide receiver Mark Clayton as a deadly duo of 5'9" receivers nicknamed the "Marks Brothers".
Duper reached his last Pro Bowl in 1986 after catching a career best 11 touchdowns. One went for a career long 85 yards, which led the league. He caught eight touchdowns in 11 games during the strike-shortened 1987 season.
Injuries nagged him in 1988, but he came back to get 1,085 receiving yards on 70 receptions in 1991. After 44 receptions and seven touchdowns in 1993, he retired. Clayton was also released that year, effectively ending the "Marks Brothers" in Miami. Duper did reappear in 1994 to play two games with the Miami Hooters of the Arena Football League before retiring permanently.
Nat Moore almost was given this spot, and deservedly so, but we decided to let the "Marks Brothers" ride again. Duper's three Pro Bowls are the second most ever by a Dolphins wide receiver.
He has the most receiving yards in Dolphins history, and he ranks second in total receptions. Duper also has the third most touchdown catches in team history, and his 85-yard catch is the second longest by a Dolphin.
He is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll, and one of the best receivers in Miami Dolphins history.
Nat Moore, Chris Chambers, Irving Fryar, O.J. McDuffie, Howard Twilley, Duriel Harris, Orande Gadsen, Tony Martin, Jim Jensen, Karl Noonan, and Jack Clancy deserve mention.
Tight End : Bruce Hardy
Miami snagged Hardy in the ninth round of the 1978 draft. After rarely being used as a rookie, he started the next two seasons. The following four years saw Hardy splitting starts with other players.
He was named the started in 1985 and caught 121 passes over the next three years. The 1986 season saw Hardy catch a career high 54 passes and five scores. Injuries besieged him in 1988 and 1989, limiting him to just three total games and forcing retirement.
He still ranks ninth all-time on the Dolphins reception list and leads all tight ends. He also tops the list in receiving touchdowns amongst all Miami tight ends.
When you think of all the offensive excellence the Dolphins have given the NFL, the tight end position is the one area that has yet to be truly great. The team has sent just two tight ends to the Pro Bowl a total of three times, yet neither player lasted long with the club. Bruce Hardy could be the best the Dolphins have had so far.
Ferrell Edmunds, Keith Jackson, and Jim Mandich deserve mention.
Offensive Tackle : Richmond Webb
Webb was the Dolphins first round draft selection in 1990. He was put in the staring lineup at left tackle immediately and went to seven consecutive Pro Bowls. He was quickly considered one of the best as his position, and Webb was named First Team All-Pro twice.
Though he was solid in 1997, it was the first time in his career he failed to go to the Pro Bowl. That was followed by an injury the next year that took away significantly from his game, forcing him to miss seven games. Though he returned the next season, he wasn't the same player.
Miami let Webb go to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001. After one full season, he played in just four games in 2001. Cincinnati released him, so Webb tried out for the Dolphins but failed to make the team. He then retired.
He ranks first amongst all Dolphin linemen in consecutive starts with 118. The seven consecutive Pro Bowls he appeared in is also a team record. Webb also ranks second amongst Dolphin blockers in total starts.
His career started off destined for Canton, but his career seemed to hit the wall when he turned 30-years old. Yet there still is a chance he gets inducted one day because he was an upper echelon player for seven years and due to the fact he is a member of the 1990's NFL All-Decade Team.
Not only is Webb a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll, he might be the best offensive tackle in team history.
Offensive Tackle : Norm Evans
Evans was drafted in the 14th round of the 1965 AFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He soon found himself in the starting lineup protecting Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda. He also scored a touchdown off a blocked kick. Yet that still not prevent the Oilers exposing him to the expansion Dolphins before the start of the 1966 season.
Evans was plugged into the starting lineup right away and would stay there his entire career. The Dolphins would improve yearly and Evans was a big reason why. Starting in 1971, Miami reached three Super Bowl games and won the last two.
Part of the reason for their success was an offense that could run over teams with three Pro Bowl running backs while stretching the field with a Hall of Fame quarterback tossing it to a Hall of Fame wide receiver.
The Miami offensive line had two Hall of Famers, yet Evans also was sent to the Pro Bowl twice himself. He stayed a stalwart in the trenched until 1975, when the Dolphins exposed the 34-year old to the expansion draft.
The fledgling Seattle Seahawks grabbed him up and Evans would start over the next two seasons. After spending the 1977 season as a reserve for the first time in his career, he retired. He is an inductee of the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team.
He never missed a game in his entire 10 seasons with Miami. Evans ranks third amongst all Dolphin linemen in consecutive starts with 91, as do his 135 total starts. There have been few Dolphins players as durable and dependable as Norm Evans.
Wayne Moore and Doug Crusan deserve mention.
Guard : Bob Kuechenberg
Kuechenberg was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1969 draft. He quit the Eagles during training camp and the played for the Chicago Owls of the Continental Football League, the first professional football team to play on Soldier Field since the Chicago Cardinals occupied it for one season in 1959.
He signed with the Dolphins in 1970, and eventually started five games that year. He was named the full time starter at left guard the next year, remaining there mostly the rest of his career. Kuechenberg immediately earned to respect of his peers.
Miami went to the Super Bowl in his first season, where they would lose to the Dallas Cowboys. Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly, a star with Dallas, noted that Kuechenberg was one of the best offensive linemen he had ever seen.
After the loss to Dallas in Super Bowl VI, the Dolphins went undefeated in 1972 with the top rated offense and defense in the NFL. After winning Super Bowl VII, Miami repeated as champions the very next season. The offensive line led the way for Miami, with every starter of the 1973 team having made the Pro Bowl in their careers.
He made his first Pro Bowl in 1974, something he would duplicate in three of the next four years. The 1978 season was one of his best, making First Team All-Pro after having to play several games at left tackle because of injuries.
Kuechenberg played left tackle the entire 1979 season, then moved back to guard for the rest of his career the following season. He made his final two Pro Bowls in 1982 and 1983, then retired. His six Pro Bowls are the most ever by a Dolphins guard.
He ranks first amongst all Dolphin blockers in total starts and games played. Only Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino has played more games with the team than Kuechenberg. His 15 seasons is ranked second behind Marino's 17 years.
He is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll as both an individual and member of the 1972 team and has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame six times so far. It seems likely that one of the best offensive linemen in Dolphins history will eventually find himself inducted into Canton.
Guard : Ed Newman
Newman was a sixth round draft pick of the Dolphins in 1973. He did start one game as a rookie, helping Miami win Super Bowl VIII. The next five seasons were mostly spent as a reserve behind Hall of Famer Larry Little and Pro Bowler Bob Kuechenberg.
He replaced Little in 1979 and soon became an integral part of the Dolphins attack. He made the first of four consecutive Pro Bowls in 1981, establishing himself an elite NFL right guard.
The Dolphins reached the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1984, but lost both times. Newman was named First Team All-Pro in 1984, yet retired after the Super Bowl XIX defeat. He has since become a judge in Miami.
He ranks second in games played for all Miami offensive linemen. His 12 years is tied with Hall of Famer Larry Little as the most by a Dolphins lineman. The four Pro Bowls he appeared in are the third most ever by a Dolphins guard, one less than Little and two fewer than Kuechenberg.
Roy Foster and Keith Sims deserve mention.
Center : Tim Ruddy
Ruddy was the Dolphins second round draft pick in 1994. After sitting on the bench as a rookie, he was named a starter from his second year on. Called "Big Master" by his teammates, Ruddy led an offensive line that protected Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.
He was durable and gifted. Besides his rookie year, Ruddy started in every game he played and missed just four games with the Dolphins. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2000. The 2003 season was his last due to knee problems.
Center has been a strength in Miami, starting with Pro Bowlers like Tom Goode and Bob DeMarco. Hall of Famers Jim Langer and Dwight Stephenson followed. Ruddy was once named one of the 40 greatest Dolphins of all-time, cementing his legacy with the franchise always.
Jeff Dellenbach, Bob DeMarco, and Tom Goode deserve mention.
Defensive Tackle : Bob Baumhower
Baumhower was drafted in the second round of the 1977 draft bu the Dolphins. He was drafted to handle the nose tackle position because Miami switched to the 3-4 defense that season. He started in all 14 games he played that year.
He quickly established himself an elite player in 1978, after scoring a touchdown off a fumble and intercepting the only pass of his career. Baumhower made he first Pro Bowl the very next season. He would return to the Pro Bowl in 1981.
The NFL did not recognize sacks as an official statistic until 1982, a season marred by a players strike. Yet Miami led the league in defense behind their "Killer Bs" defense. With Baumhower manning the middle in his third Pro Bowl year, the Dolphins made it to Super Bowl XVII before losing.
His 1983 season may be considered his best. Baumhower was named First Team All-Pro for the only time in his career after getting eight sacks, an excellent number for a nose tackle. He made the Pro Bowl that year and the next after scoring on another fumble recovery.
Miami returned to the Super Bowl in 1984, but were soundly defeated by the San Francisco 49ers after a record setting performance by the 49ers offense.
Most nose tackles are squatty player with wide bases. Baumhower was not of this mold, standing 6'5" and weighing just 261 lbs. He was a master technician with superior intelligence and athleticism. Yet nose tackle is the hardest position to play in football.
Though he was named to the 1984 Pro Bowl, he decided to have knee surgery instead. Earlier that year, his streak of 125 straight starts was ended when he hurt the knee, but he got right back out there, not missing another game, and damaged it further to try to help Miami win a title. He needed help walking off the field after the loss to San Francisco.
The knee got so bad that he couldn't walk for awhile. He sat out of the entire 1985 season, but tried to return in 1986. He played 12 games that year but decided to retire because the knee was giving him problems.
He is easily the greatest nose tackle in Dolphins history, but it was a position he was not keen on playing initially. “But a lot of that was because the center and two guards I was practicing against were Jim Langer, Bob Kuechenberg and Larry Little, three All-Pros, maybe the best trio ever.", Bauhower said. "They bounced my around like a pinball. But I learned a lot, and that made playing other teams easier.”
Baumhower is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll. His five Pro Bowls is tied for second as the most appearances by a Dolphins defensive lineman, and it is far and away the most by an interior defensive lineman.
Defensive Tackle : Tim Bowens
Bowens was Miami's first round draft pick in 1994. After getting a career best 52 tackles and two forced fumbles, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The 1997 season was one of his best. Bowens had a career high five sacks and scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery while tying his second-best career total of 48 tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl the next season.
He returned to the Pro Bowl in 2002. What interesting about his two Pro Bowl years is that they are the only seasons of his career, excluding his last, where Bowens failed to record a sack as well as being two years that were amongst his lowest tackle totals.
Bowens hurt his back in 2003, forcing him to miss three games that year. He had missed five total in his ten years by then, showing his toughness and dependability. He played two games the next year, but retired because of his back issues.
The excellence of Bowens is especially amazing if you consider he was missing three toes on his left foot caused by a lawnmower accident as a teenager. He was the only Dolphins defensive tackle in franchise history to go to a Pro Bowl until Randy Starks went in 2010.
It is safe to say Tim Bowens is the one of the best defensive tackles in Dolphins history.
Brian Sochia, Manny Fernandez, Daryl Gardner, and Bob Heinz deserve mention.
Defensive End : Bill Stanfill
Stanfill was the Dolphins first round draft pick in 1969. Miami put him at defensive end despite his playing defensive tackle so well in college that he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Miami was intrigued by his athleticism, which once had Stanfill play quarterback in one collegiate game.
The move worked out great right away. He was named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie after scoring twice on the only two interceptions of his career. He also had eight sacks, which is still a team record by a rookie.
Miami was building a special football team at this time, and Stanfill was a key component. Stanfill would lead the team in sacks the next two years as Miami began to make an impact on the NFL. They reached Super Bowl VI in 1971 before losing as Stanfill made the Pro Bowl.
The 1972 Dolphins team is the only team in modern NFL history to have a perfect season. Though their great defense was dubbed the "No-Name Defense", people knew about Stanfill. He was named to the Pro Bowl and given his only First Team All-Pro honor.
After Miami won Super Bowl VII in 1972, they repeated as champions the next season. Stanfill went to the Pro Bowl after setting a team record with 18.5 sacks. He also set a team record with five sacks in one game.
His 1974 season was his last as a Pro Bowler. He tied his record of five sacks in a game, finishing with 10 that year. Stanfill then jammed his next during a exhibition game in 1975 that was so bad that he spent much of the next two years as a reserve before retiring.
Though the NFL did not recognize sacks in his era, Stanfill retired with a franchise leading 67.5 in 1976. It is still the fourth most in team history. His five Pro Bowls is the second most ever by a Dolphins defensive lineman.
He is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll as both an individual and member of the 1972 team. Stanfill is also a member of the Dolphins All-Time Team. When talk of the greatest defensive end in Dolphins history is discussed, Bill Stanfill should always be the first name mentioned.
Defensive End : Jason Taylor
Taylor was drafted by Miami in the third round of the 1997 draft. He quickly earned a starting job, getting five sacks. The next year he scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery, a prevalent theme throughout Taylor's career.
He was given his first Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honor in 2000 after getting 14.5 sacks and scoring off another fumble recovery. Taylor would score his third touchdown off a fumble recovery the next season.
The 2002 season was one of the best in Taylor's career. He led the NFL with 18.5 sacks and was given his second Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors. Though he had 13 sacks the next year, as well as recording a safety and scoring off yet another fumble recovery, he was somehow not given a Pro Bowl honor.
Taylor then went to the Pro Bowl four straight years starting in 2004. He recorded a safety and scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery in 2005, as well as having a career best 73 tackles and 12 sacks.
The 2006 season is considered by some the best of his career. Taylor was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after forcing an amazing nine fumbles. He also scored twice off interceptions, which led the league, and had 13.5 sacks.
After making his last Pro Bowl in 2007, where he scored off an interception, Taylor left Miami and was dealt to the Washington Redskins in a trade. His stay in Washington was so ineffective that the two parted ways after just one season, partly because Taylor refused to participate in team conditioning activities.
He returned to the Dolphins in 2009, but was moved to the linebacker position. He has seven sacks and scored once again off a fumble recovery. Taylor then signed a contract with the New York Jets as a reserve linebacker and recorded a safety. New York released him and he is currently a free agent.
Taylor is all over the record books for both the NFL and Dolphins. His six touchdowns off fumble recoveries and three safeties are the most in NFL history. His 27 fumble recoveries in just two short of an NFL record by a defensive player, and his 246 yards off fumble recoveries is 23 yards short of another NFL record.
His 132.5 sacks is eighth best in NFL history, and the 124 he had with Miami is a team record. Taylor's six Pro Bowls and three First Team All-Pro honors are the most by a defensive lineman in team history.
He scored nine non-offensive touchdowns in his career. Not only is it the most in Dolphins history, but it is the most by a defensive lineman in the history of professional football. His 42 forced fumbles is easily a team record, as is the nine he had in the 2006 season. Since the NFL does not keep track of this stat, it is unknown where it stands historically.
Yet his impact in Miami goes beyond the gridiron. Taylor's mission to try to teach kids to read in a foundation of his garnered him the 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his charitable works.
At just 250 lbs most of his career, Taylor was surprisingly stout against the run despite facing off against the opponents best offensive tackles weekly. Most weighed at least 50 pounds more than Taylor, but his athleticism, quickness, strength, and intelligence allowed for him to make play after play.
It is unknown if his career is over, but Taylor does seem bound for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. He was always around the ball making huge plays. Whether it was scoring or getting the ball back for his team, the definition of "play maker" certainly can be branded onto his extensive resume.
Jeff Cross, Doug Betters Marco Coleman, Ed Cooke, T.J. Turner, and Vern Den Herder deserve mention.
Outside Linebacker : Bob Brudzinski
Brudzinski was a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams. He started half of his rookie year at left outside linebacker after an injury, eventually being named All-Rookie by several publications.
He moved over to the right outside linebacker the next year and was named a starter on a team known for their excellent defensive unit at the time. The Rams reached Super Bowl XIV in 1979 after an excellent season from Brudzinski. He piled up 127 tackles and five sacks while breaking up 14 passes.
After the Rams lost, Brudzinski headed into the 1980 wanting a pay raise. After the owners declined his request, he walked away from the team nine games into the season. He vowed to never play with the Rams again, which forced them to trade Brudzinski to the Dolphins before the 1981 season.
Miami plugged him in as the starting left outside linebacker right away, and he would stay there the next seven years. Though his specialty was stopping the run, Brudzinski was also solid against the pass and an effective blitzer.
He became an integral part of the Dolphins famous "Killer Bs" defense, which also had Glenn and Lyle Blackwood, Doug Betters, Kim Bokamper, Bill Barnett, and Bob Baumhower all helping Miami's defense rank first in yards allowed and second in points allowed in 1982.
Miami reached Super Bowl XVII in 1982, but lost. He led the team in sacks that year. The Dolphins went back to the Super Bowl in 1984, but lost again. After scoring the only touchdown of his career, off a fumble recovery, in 1985, he continued to be a steadying force.
In 1988, he was a key reserve of Miami. It was the first year of his career he was not a starter. He retired after the next year. Brudzinski is a member of the Dolphins All-Time Team.
Middle Linebacker : Zach Thomas
Thomas was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 draft by Miami and immediately earned a starting job. He had a career high three interceptions, one of which was taken for a touchdown, and a career best 120 solo tackles. He was named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The 1998 season was his first to be named First Team All-Pro after matching his career mark of three interceptions and returning two for scores. He then began a run of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 1999, three of which he was also named First Team All-Pro.
He returned to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006, as well as earning his final First Team All-Pro nod in 2006 after getting a career high 165 tackles. Thomas was hurt the next year, appearing in just five games. Miami then released him.
Thomas signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 and played one year for them. He tried to join the Kansas City Chiefs the next year, but was cut in training camp. He then retired.
Since the NFL began officially recording tackles in 2001, Thomas has the fourth most in NFL history. He is one of three players credited with 100 or more tackles in each of his first ten seasons.
His 17 interceptions are the most ever by a Dolphins linebacker and his four touchdowns off interceptions is a team record. His five First Team All-Pro honors is tied with Hall of Famer Larry Little as the most in Dolphins history, and his seven Pro Bowls is the most by a Miami defender.
The list of legendary middle linebackers awaiting induction into the Pro Football if Fame is long, starting with Tommy Nobis, Randy Gradishar, and Lee Roy Jordan. Thomas has a very good chance at one day joining fellow Dolphins middle linebacker Nick Buoniconti in Canton because of his excellence as a player and leader.
Bryan Cox, A.J. Duhe, and John Offerdahl deserve mention.
Outside Linebacker : Larry Gordon
Gordon was the Dolphins first round draft pick in 1976. He started right away at left outside linebacker as a rookie.
Miami switched to a 3-4 base defense in 1977, deciding to move veteran Bob Matheson inside. Gordon replaced him at right outside linebacker, where he would stay the rest of his career.
Statistics like tackles and sacks were not recorded officially during his career, but Gordon was a force. Whether it was intercepting passes or sacking the quarterback, his steady play was a key to the teams defense.
The strike-shortened 1982 season would be his last. Gordon was part of a defense that allowed just 14.2 points per game, which was second best in the NFL that year. Miami began an improbable run in the playoffs, winning three games and giving up just 26 points total.
After shutting out the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game, Miami would lose 27-17 to the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII. It was the last game of Gordon's career, because he passed away while jogging a few months later.
Though he was taken away in his prime, the seven seasons Larry Gordon spent with the Dolphins was special. He helped bring the team back to the Super Bowl after a nine-year drought and left a legacy those who knew him would not forget.
Kim Bokamper, Bob Matheson, Doug Swift, John Bramlett, Tom Erlandson, Larry Izzo, Joey Porter, Mike Kolen, and Derrick Rodgers deserve mention.
Strong Safety : Dick Anderson
Anderson was the Dolphins third round draft pick in 1968. He was named their starting strong safety right away and responded by leading the league with 230 interception return yards, which came off of eight picks. One interception went 96 yards for a touchdown. It was a team record until 1992.
After getting named AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year that season, he followed that up with 106 yards off three swipes the next year, Anderson led the NFL with 191 interception return yards. He had eight interceptions, returning one for a league leading 86 yards.
Despite all of that excellence, he did not go to the Pro Bowl until the 1972 season after leading the NFL with five fumble recoveries. He returned one for a score. Teaming with Jake Scott as one of the greatest safety duos ever, the Miami "No Name" defense dominated the league in helping the team have a perfect season.
The Dolphins went to the Super Bowl three straight years between 1971 and 1973, winning the last two games. The 1973 season was probably the best in Anderson's career. He led the NFL with eight interceptions and two touchdowns off of those interceptions. He was named to his second straight Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors.
Anderson was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in a year he picked off four passes for 121 yards for two touchdowns in a key late season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He stayed with Miami until 1977, making the Pro Bowl for the final time in 1974. After missing five games due to injury in 1976, Anderson failed to record any statistics the next year as a reserve. He then retired.
Though he ranks second in Dolphins history with 34 career interceptions, one less than Scott, Anderson was used several different ways by Miami. He played both safety slots, punted the ball nine times, caught a pass, and returned both punts and kickoffs.
The 792 interception return yards in his career is a Dolphins record. His 230 interception yards in one season is still a team record, as is his eight interceptions as a rookie.
Anderson is the only Dolphin with three seasons of at least eight interceptions. His four interceptions in one game in 1973 is a team record, and the 121 yards he got that day stood as a team record until 1992.
His three career touchdowns off interceptions is the second most in team history and the most by a Miami defensive back. The two he had in one game and season is tied as a team record.
He is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll as both an individual and member of the 1972 team. He is also a member of the NFL's 1970's All-Decade Team. There is no question that Anderson is the greatest strong safety in Dolphins history.
Glenn Blackwood, Jarvis Williams, and Tim Foley deserve mention.
Free Safety : Jake Scott
When the Dolphins grabbed Scott in the seventh round of the draft, Miami general manager Joe Thomas proclaimed the team had gotten first-round talent for seventh-round cash. Scott had been an All-American player who is now on the 50th Anniversary All-Time SEC Team.
Scott was coming in from one season with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League after having left the University of Georgia as a junior because Vince Dooley had brokered a deal for his team to play in the Sugar Bowl, a lesser game at the time, despite the Bulldog players having voted to play in the Orange Bowl.
Dooley had long called Scott the greatest athlete he ever coached, which includes men like Hershel Walker, but their disagreement in has led Scott to declining induction into the College Football Hall of Fame because Dooley was involved.
Scott joined the Dolphins despite making $10,000 less than he had made in the CFL. He was starting right away at free safety and returning punts full time with the team. He picked off five balls for a career long 112 yards while returning 27 punts. He took one ball 77 yards for a touchdown
The Dolphins safety tandem of Scott and Dick Anderson was quickly becoming the best in the NFL. Both were supremely intelligent and athletic, capable of playing either safety slot at a Pro Bowl level. This versatility gave Miami an advantage few teams have ever enjoyed in NFL history.
The 1971 season saw Scott lead the NFL in punt return yards, getting 318 on 33 returns. He also intercepted seven balls, which led the team and helped Scott earn his first of five consecutive Pro Bowl nods. The Dolphins would get all the way to the Super Bowl that year before losing to the Dallas Cowboys.
He severely broke his left hand on the helmet of Kansas City Chiefs fullback Jim Otis in the 1971 AFC Championship Game, then he would break his right wrist early in Super Bowl VI. This led to both hands in heavy casts and the famous Scott quip, "Now I find out who my real friends are when I go to the bathroom."
The Dolphins 1972 season was one that all teams head into striving for, but only this team actually accomplished. They led the NFL in both offense and defense while going undefeated the entire year. Scott returned less punts that year because Charlie Leigh took most of the attempts.
Miami also had Scott playing strong safety often, and it led to five interceptions. He hurt his shoulder so bad that, heading into Super Bowl VII, prognosticators favored the Washington Redskins because the word was that Scott would be unable to play.
Not only was he able to play, but Scott became the first defensive back, and just second defensive player, to ever be named Super Bowl MVP. In a defensive battle where ball possession reigned supreme, the Dolphins outlasted Washington 14-7 in the lowest scoring game in Super Bowl history.
Scott intercepted a pass on the Redskins first possession, then picked off a second in a crucial moment in the fourth quarter. On a Billy Kilmer pass intended for Hall of Fame wide receiver Charley Taylor, Scott picked off the ball in the end zone and took it 55 yards.That would set up the famous "Garo's Gaffe", when Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian would throw an interception that resulted in the Redskins only points.
Miami would reach their third consecutive Super Bowl in 1973, a year that saw Scott get named First Team All-Pro on a defense that gave up only 10.7 points per game all season. Scott handled the return duties in Super Bowl VIII and recovered two fumbles in the Dolphins 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
When Dolphin legends Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield bolted for the fledgling World Football League in 1974, Scott bluffed Miami by saying he also had an offer. The Dolphins quickly signed him to a five-year contract for $600,000, making him the first defensive back in NFL history to make at least $100,000 per season.
He rewarded Miami by intercepting a career best eight passes, which had him earn his second First Team All-Pro honor while playing most of the year at free safety. He also returned 31 punts for 346 yards. He was named NFL Defensive Back of the Year by Football Digest.
Scott and Dolphins head coach Don Shula were close to the point the Shula's son wore Scott's jersey number when playing football because Scott was his hero. When the Dolphins brilliant defensive coordinator, Bill Arnsparger, left Miami after the 1973 season to become head coach of the New York Giants, several Dolphins defenders, including Scott, were unhappy that Vince Costello was chosen as the replacement.
Costello was replaced by Don Doll after one year. Playing under Doll, he enjoyed his final Pro Bowl seasons in 1975 after six interceptions. Rookie wide receiver Freddie Soloman handled the punt return duties instead of Scott that season.
One practice in 1974 had Scott telling Costello he didn't know what he was talking about. When Shula interjected, the pair had words. This carried over into 1976, when Shula wanted Scott to play a preseason game even though the safety said his shoulder was hurting too much.
When Scott refused to shoot pain killing medicine into his shoulder, the coach and safety argued so much that Scott was quickly traded to the Washington Redskins for safety Bryan Salter. Salter lasted six games with Miami before calling it a career after one more game as a Baltimore Colt that season.
Scott lasted three years with the Redskins, starting in every game that he played and missing only two games. Though Washington had him return three punts in 1976, those duties were primarily given to Pro Bowler Eddie Brown.
In his three years with Washington, Scott picked off 14 passes. He had a career best five fumble recoveries in his first year, then picked off seven and retired at the end on the 1978 season.
He is the Dolphins all-time leader in interceptions, punt returns, and punt return yards. Scott is a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll as both an individual and member of the 1972 team. He is definitely the greatest free safety in team history.
He might not yet be inducted into Canton, but his 49 interceptions, punt return prowess, and overall excellence say he surely belongs.
Brock Marion, Lyle Blackwood, Willie West, and Louis Oliver deserve mention.
Cornerback : Sam Madison
Madison was the Dolphins second round draft pick in 1997. He was mostly used as an extra defensive back as a rookie, but would earn a starting job from his second season on.
He intercepted eight balls in 1998, then led the league with seven the next season. He was named to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro after scoring a touchdown off a pick and recording a safety that year.
He made the Pro Bowl, as well as again being named First Team All-Pro, in 2000 after swiping five balls and taking one for a score. He and fellow Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain represented Miami in the Pro Bowl that year and again in 2002.
Madison and Surtain were perhaps the best cornerback duo in the NFL and Dolphins history over this time. Teams rarely tested Madison, who was know for his toughness and willing run support.
He became a free agent after the 2005 season, so he signed a contract with the New York Giants. He led the Giants with four interceptions in 2007, helping them reach Super Bowl VLII.
New York defeated a New England Patriots team trying to become the first perfect team since the 1972 Dolphins. He broke his ankle seven games into the 2008 season, causing him to retire at the end of the year.
His 31 interceptions with Miami is the third most in team history and the most ever by a Dolphins cornerback. His four Pro Bowls are the most ever by a Dolphins cornerback, as is his two First Team All-Pro nods.
Some longtime Miami fans will tell you that Sam Madison is the best cornerback in team history. He one day should find himself in the Dolphins Ring of Honor, hopefully joined by Surtain.
Cornerback : Patrick Surtain
Surtain was the Dolphins second round draft pick in 1998. He was used as a nickel back as a rookie and swiped a few balls. Taking over a starting job towards the end of the 1999 season, Surtain picked off two passes and had a career best two sacks.
Now firmly entrenched as a starter, Surtain became a top-flight AFC cornerback. After scoring a touchdown off a pick in 2001, he began a run of three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 2002 after scoring once again. The 2002 season saw him named First Team All-Pro as well.
He and Sam Madison were perhaps the best cornerback duo in the NFL from 1999 to 2003, where at least one of them represented Miami in the Pro Bowl each season over that time. The pair would go to the Pro Bowl together twice.
After a career high seven interceptions in 2003, Surtain became a Pro Bowler for the final time in his career the next year. He was due a raise in salary, but Miami chose to dealt the 29-year old to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round draft pick.
Kansas City had him paired with Ty Law starting in 2006, and the Chiefs had one of the NFL's best pass defenses in 2007. He got hurt in 2008, missing half of the season. The Chiefs then released him, so Surtain retired.
In his seven season with the Dolphins, Surtain intercepted 29 passes. It is the second most ever by a Dolphins cornerback, and tied with Glenn Blackwood as the fourth most in team history by any player. His three Pro Bowls are the second most ever by a Dolphins cornerback.
Miami has had several great cornerbacks wear their jersey over the years, and Patrick Surtain was one of their very best.
William Judson, J.B. Brown, Troy Vincent, Paul Lankford, Dick Westmoreland, Curtis Johnson, Lloyd Mumphord, Don McNeal, Tim Foley, Gerald Small, and Terrell Buckley deserve mention.
Kicker : Garo Yepremian
The journey of Yepremian to NFL stardom is a better story than any Hollywood writer could concoct. He had emigrated to the United States from the island of Cyprus in the 1960's looking for work. He inadvertently watched a few minutes of an NFL game on television and decided he could make money kicking a ball.
After tryouts with several teams, he made the Detroit Lions roster in 1966. He knew so little about the game that he decided not to wear a facemask at first. When Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke hurt him in the fourth game of the season, Yepremian decided to wear one.
A famous story of his football innocence was in a story Lions Pro Bowl defensive tackle Alex Karras liked to tell. Detroit scored a touchdown late in a game that they were losing heavily in. Yepremian celebrated after converting an extra point, prompting Karras to ask Yepremian what he what happy about.
"I keek a touchdown". was Yepremian's reply.
He set an NFL record as a rookie by kicking six field goals on eight attempts in a single game. Jim Bakken, of the Saint Louis Cardinals, broke that record the next season by making seven of nine attempts. Yepremian still holds the rookie record.
He also set an NFL record by making four field goals in one quarter. This has been tied since, but he owns the record for a rookie. Though he made six field goals that day, Yepremian made just seven of 14 attempts in the other eight games he appeared in.
Detroit had him suit up for eight games the next year, where he attempted just six field goals and made two. They preferred having Pro Bowl linebacker Wayne Walker kicking field goals.
He joined the Army for a short stint in 1968, then kicked for the Michigan Arrows of the Continental Football League. The team folded after the season, so Yepremian was out of the game in 1969.
The Miami Dolphins gave him a tryout in 1970, and Yepremian made the team. He had worked hard on his game during his year off, and this was shown by his leading the NFL in field goal percentage that year.
He was named First Team All-Pro in 1971 after making 28 field goals on a career best 40 attempts and leading the league a career best 117 points. His highlight that year was kicking a game-winning field goal during double-overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs in the longest game ever played in NFL history. Miami would go on to reach Super Bowl VI before losing.
Yepremian led the NFL in extra point attempts the next year, as well as the making the first three field goals of his career of 50 yards or longer. He would only make two kicks of 50 yards or longer the rest of his career.
The highlight for Yepremian was not just the fact the Dolphins had a perfect season, but his famous moment in Super Bowl VII will have him forever a part of the games historical lore.
The Dolphins were winning 14-0 when they decided to have Yepremian try a field goal against the Washington Redskins. The kick was blocked right back into Yepremian's hands, where he inexplicably tried to pass the ball.
The ball started to slip from his hands, causing Yepremian to bat it straight in the air. Washington's Mike Bass caught it and ran for a score. Though a play considered a comedy of errors, Miami prevailed with a 14-7 victory.
Yepremian made his first Pro Bowl, as well as earning his second First Team All-Pro honor in 1973, as the Dolphins repeated as champions. He was now a celebrity in Miami, rubbing elbows with their most famous residents.
In the 1973 Pro Bowl, he became the second kicker to ever win the MVP Award after making a Pro Bowl record five field goals. Though Jan Stenerud won it two years earlier, he shared the award with teammate, and fellow Hall of Famer, Willie Lanier. Yepremian is the first kicker to win the award by himself.
Staying with the Dolphins until 1978, he made his last Pro Bowl that year after making 20 consecutive field goals and leading the NFL in field goal percentage. Miami still allowed him to join the New Orleans Saints in 1979, where he played one season.
Yepremian joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1980, then retired after playing in three games the following season. Of the 1,074 career points Yepremian had, 830 came with the Dolphins and is the second most in team history.
His 117 points in a season was a team record until 1991. No other Dolphin has attempted nor made as many extra points as Yepremian. He has the second most field goal attempts and third most made field goals in team history.
He is an inductee of the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team and the first Dolphins kicker to ever go to the Pro Bowl or be named First Team All-Pro.
Yepremian is a member of the NFL's 1970s All-Decade Team. He was named Kicker of the Decade for the 1970's, beating out Hall of Famer Stenerud. He was also named one of the Dolphins "Greatest Players" on their 40th Anniversary celebration.
Miami has employed several excellent kickers in their franchise history, yet there have been none better than Garo Yepremian.
Pete Stoyanovich, Uwe von Schamann, and Olindo Mare deserve mention.
Punter : Reggie Roby
Roby was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 1983 draft, and was the 167th player chosen overall. He produced immediately, averaging 43.1 yards on 74 punts. He also had the first of just five career punts blocked. Roby went to his first Pro Bowl the next year, when he averaged 44.7 yards on 51 punts.
He would be named an All-Pro that season. Known for his strong leg and incredible hang time, Roby led the NFL in 1986 and 1987 with the longest punts of the year of 73 and 77 yards. He led the NFL with a net average of 38.7 yards per punt in 1986.
Roby returned to the Pro Bowl in 1989 after 42.4 yards on 58 attempts. He then led the NFL with a 45.7 yards average in 1991, on 54 attempts. He is the only Dolphins punter ever to go to a Pro Bowl.
He then joined the Washington Redskins in 1993, and went to his final Pro Bowl the next year. He averaged 44.4 yards on a career high 82 punts. It was also the final time he would be named an All-Pro.
Roby then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 1995, and averaged 42.8 yards on 77 attempts. He also attempted his only career pass that year, which went for 48 yards. The 1996 season saw Roby in a Houston Oilers uniform, and he had a career best 38 yards net that year.
He stayed with the team as they moved to Tennessee the next year, and then joined the San Francisco 49ers for 14 games in 1998, and averaged 41.9 yards on 60 punts. He then retired from the game with a career average of 43.3 yards per punt on 992 attempts.
Roby was one of a kind. He was known for his quick two step delivery, which many have tried to emulate since. He also wore a watch many games so he could time his punts in the air. The NFL only started recording net punting average in 1991, as well as virtually every other type of punting statistic.
Roby's career net average is probably better than the recorded one of just over 36 yards. He was a great directional punter and put an incredible amount of air under his punts. Twice he had opponents fair catch his punts 23 times over the 8 years that stat was kept.
He still holds several NFL and team records. His 77-yard punt in the longest in Miami Dolphin history, as is his 58.5 yards per punt single game average.
His ten punts in the 1985 Pro Bowl is a record, and he ranks second in Dolphins history in punt attempts and yardage. Reggie Roby is a member of the NFL 1980's All-Decade Team, and should never be forgotten.
Larry Seiple and Matt Turk deserve mention.
Kick Returner : Mercury Morris
Morris was the Dolphins primary kick returner during hid 1969 rookie year. He led the AFL with 43 returns for 1,136 yards and a 105-yard touchdown return that is still the sixth longest in pro football history. He also returned 25 punts.
Averaging an impressive 29 yards on 28 returns the next season, Morris also started to become a bigger part of the Miami offense. He made his first Pro Bowl in 1971 after averaging 28.2 yards on 15 returns.
He began to share kick return duties the next two years as his responsibilities on offense increased. The 1973 Super Bowl-winning season was his last as a return specialist. He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in his career, a Dolphins record.
The 26.5 yards per kick return average is the 16th best in NFL history and is the best in Dolphins history by anyone with 13 or more returns. His 29 yards per return average is a team record for anyone with 18 or more attempts. He still ranks third in team history in career yards on returns.
While other players have had more attempts and yards as a kick returner for the Dolphins, Morris was the most explosive and effective in franchise history. He is on the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team.
Wes Welker, Fulton Walker, Brock Marion, and Tedd Ginn Jr. deserve mention.
Punt Returner : Tommy Vigorito
Vigorito was a fifth round draft pick of the Dolphins in 1981. He was the Dolphins primary punt returner, but he also returned the only four kickoffs of his career as well. He had a career high 36 punt returns for 379 yards while scoring on a team record 87-yard return.
He returned 20 punts in the strike-shortened 1982 season and scored again. He got hurt in the first game of 1983 after returning one punt for 62 yards, forcing him to miss the rest of the year and the entire 1984 season. He came back to return 22 punts in 1985, then retired.
Miami liked to throw the ball to Vigorito on third down in his first two seasons, but they ran him occasionally as well. He ran the ball 54 times and caught 57 passes his first two years, then caught just two balls the rest of his career.
His two touchdowns on punt returns is a Dolphins record and he still ranks fourth in team history in punt return yards. Vigorito was a passionate overachiever who finished his brief career as one of the best punt return specialists in Dolphins history.
Jake Scott, Wes Welker, Scott Schwedes, Freddie Soloman, and O.J. McDuffie deserve mention.
I'm filling in on an emergency basis for Beeze, he emailed me and told me the Mrs. might be ready to deliver any minute so he had to get his game face on...he'll keep me posted, so when I know you'll know!
On with the show...
What can only be described as a snow bowl in Chi-Town, with temperatures lingering in the low 20's and wind howling, the New England Patriots blew into Soldier Field to play a tough Bears team - well tough up until yesterday. By the time it got to halftime this contest was over, at least it was here in Atlanta when network television switched the broadcast to the Fish-Props game, that's when you know it's really over when network TV pulls the plug. I wasn't pleased, regardless of how much an ass-whoppin' the Pats put on I wanted to watch the entire game. Thanks CBS for ruining my afternoon of football, but thank God for RedZone. I'm digging RedZone, I can sit and watch an entire Sunday's worth of games and never touch the remote, follow my fantasy guys, see all the big plays as they happen...nice concept. Let's see how much they jack the price next year from the current $5 a month. Actually I thought I would lose it after the first few weeks of the season trial offer but when I called Comcast they told me it was part of my sports package...very nice.
Anyway, I was bit concerned going into this game, not because I didn't think New England could win, just that Soldier Field in a blizzard isn't usually favorable to the visitors, but then again the Pats don't play in a Dome, as Beeze said, Dome's are for pussies, but I sure thought the Bears would give them a challenge. Tom Brady as expected used his wide receivers getting everyone involved, the defense played solid all day, the running game was effective, the Pats were running on all 8 cylinders and never let off the gas and became the first team to qualify for post-season play. Brady's numbers in this blowout, 27 of 40 for 369 yds and 2 TD's. If this isn't doesn't help wrap up an MVP nod for Brady there's something seriously wrong. Next up the Packers in Foxboro.
Speaking of the Packers, GB had a chance to tie in the standings with Bears but ran into a buzz saw at Ford Field as the Lions knocked Aaron Rodgers out of the game when Rodgers took a hit running for a first down and not sliding instead was tackled and bounced his head off the field and saw butterflies. In came Matt Flynn and all I can say is in the offseason GB would be smart if it looked for a backup, this kid sucked, and bad. The Packers lose to Detroit in a snoozer, 7-3. We'll have to wait and see if Rodgers is able to get back for the big game against the Patriots, and for their sake he'd better.
As I mentioned above the Jets played the Dolphins at home looking to redeem themselves after being trounced by the Pats on MNF...let's just say this didn't work out too well for the Little Props that can't, in fact in three weeks NY has only scored one TD and 19 points total, not exactly Super Bowl caliber football. Rex Ryan had stated he was about to pull Mark Sanchez from the game. Okay, he was thinking about it, at what point do you actually do it? Here's the stats on Sanchez in these 3 games; 50/105, 1 TD, 5 INT's and sacked 9 times...it might be a good idea if Mark Brunell takes some snaps this week, with the schedule NY has coming up at Pittsburgh, at Chicago then close with the Bills things won't be getting easier for them.
It's not out the realm of possibilities that the Props get eliminated from the playoffs by the end of the regular season, even if they get in, at the rate they're going they'll get knocked out in the first round, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, I'll say they just don't make the playoffs. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Rex! Maybe it'll be what NY needs, to be humbled, maybe it teaches them like the Cowboys that you need to play the games not put some notion in your teams head that they're the team that will compete in the Super Bowl for the Lombardi trophy, save that for after you clinch the AFC title game, not during training camp while mugging for the cameras filming Hard Knocks.
Good Luck Beeze!
Hello Gabbers. It is time once again for a few deep thoughts. There is so much great stuff to wade through this week, but before I begin, I want to take a moment to acknowledge this special day. Today is the 2nd anniversary of You Gab Sports. Without the foresight of Steve, Sully and Frag, we would not have a place for our voices to be heard. Many of us started at TSN and probably remember the uproar when You Gab Sports was created. "It will never last and I will give them 3 months" were a few of the quotes that were heard. However, this is not a time to bash TSN, but rather a time to celebrate the "Gab". I am honored to be able to say a big thank you to Steve, Sully and Frag.
I will take an old page from my restaurant days and quote this stat...90% of all restaurants fail within the first year. Another 5% fail in the second year. Like a restaurant, a website cannot succeed without an investment of money, time and a passion to succeed. You Gab Sports was not created to make a buck, but rather to provide a venue for all of us to rant, rave or have a casual conversation about sports. Each of the creators has worked extremely hard to maintain and grow this site. On this special day, I wanted to offer you a glimpse of our illustrious leaders.
Here is Steve before an Allman Brothers concert on Monday. ( He is on the far right)
Here is Sully chilling at his office.
Here a picture of Kyle (Frag). I have such a hard time calling him Kyle. He will always be Frag to me...
Congratulations guys and thanks!!
Okay...on to sports!
Wow, what a game on Monday Night Football! Michael Vick certainly appears to have figured out how to read defenses. The beat down that Philly put on the Redskins was epic. The game was essentially over by the 2nd quarter. I missed the beginning of the game, but apparently there was some type of shoving match between Eagle and Redskin players before the game. Here is a quote from DeSean Jackson:
"The pregame altercation got us going. It had us ready. We came back into the locker room pumped," Jackson said, via the AP.
"We were like pit bulls, ready to get out of the cage."
Oh no...he didn't say that did he?
Speaking of Redskins, I ran across this video that totally cracked me up. It is about a couple of Redskin fans going to Philly to try to convert them to becoming Washington fans...my 15 year old son even thought it was funny. Here is the link:
In other NFL action...Dallas finally won another game. Honestly, I would have not given them any chance to beat the NY Giants in NY. What was the big difference? Jason Garrett told the players that they would have to be on time to meetings and wear a coat and tie to travel? This was the big change? Wade Phillips is a really nice guy, but obviously this team needed and wanted more discipline than he was providing. Perhaps a veteran team with strong leadership could win with the laid back Phillips, but not this team. I have another rule that perhaps Garrett should look into...no jewelry on the field?
If you watched the game, you probably remember the long pass that Bryant caught. At first it was ruled a catch, but was challenged and overturned. The catch was a leaping twisting back slamming affair that apparently jarred one of the diamonds from his ear when he landed. The diamond is obviously very large...perhaps worth $40,000 or more. I have an idea. Why not leave the jewelry at home when you are playing football. This story has a happy ending. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, a security guard found the earring and returned it to Bryant in the locker room after the game. Bryant said he gave the security guard a "big thank you." Wow...I bet he was happy.
Wait...this story sounds familiar. Do you remember this from September? This was a story that I copied to jog your memory:
Miami defensive end Kendall Langford is a little less shiny today than he was yesterday. He arrived at Tuesday's practice iced out with a 2.5-carat diamond hanging from his earlobe. He forgot to take it out before practice.
And Wednesday, his ears were sadly bare. After Langford and his teammates raked the grass and were on hands and knees looking for the earring, they gave up the search for a team meeting. Shortly after the grounds crew mowed the lawn and the diamond was nowhere to be found.
The defensive end would not disclose how much the diamond was worth. However, a local jewelry distributor told reporters that the diamond could be worth more than $50,000.
If I could call a quick time out here, I'm confused about one thing -- We're in Miami, and we can't locate an old man with a metal detector? Come on now. Put an ad in the local PennySaver, see if an old guy can help you, and if his trusty metal detector finds the diamond, then you buy him as many Grand Slam breakfasts as he wants for a month. Seems like this should be an easy fix.
The earring remains at large. Langford remains a little less icy.
Bill Parcells is going to have to have a long talk with his players about proper ridiculously sized earring care and maintenance.
Changing sports for a moment...
We are in the home stretch of 2010 and of course Time will have to name a person of the year award. Who would you nominate for person of the year? Am I crazy or did this used to be called man of the year? Anyway, I digress...I was stunned to see who was on this list. I know that the Gabbers will not be happy with this, but it is none other than Lebron James. Whoa...don't shoot the messenger. It sure got loud there for a second. I know. It is crazy. I had to read the report twice just to make sure I did not read the article wrong. For grins, here is the rest of the nominees:
Other finalists this year include President Barack Obama (the 2008 winner), Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Also on the list: The trapped Chilean miners who spent more than two months underground before finally being reached and rescued in a gripping story that was covered worldwide.
For what it's worth, Lebron is not a total idiot. Here was his take on being nominated:
Calling it "crazy" just to be on the list of finalists for the award, the NBA's reigning two-time MVP seemed almost a bit embarrassed on Monday when he learned that he was one of the final 25 names under consideration.
"I am who I am and I think I'm in a position of my life where I'm going to get better every day," James said after Miami wrapped up its practice Monday. "But it's too much."
If I was voting, it would be for the Chilean miners...
Next up is a story that is really sad.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)—Two doctors are playing golf on New York’s Long Island. One hits such a poor shot from the rough that it hits his partner, standing somewhere off to the side, in the head. Whose fault is that?
The state’s top court will hear arguments Tuesday about whether Dr. Anoop Kapoor was negligent and should have yelled “Fore!” as a warning before the shot. A lower court judge dismissed Dr. Azad Anand’s lawsuit, finding he took on the risk by golfing.
Anand was blinded in one eye.
A midlevel court agreed, concluding Anand was “not in the foreseeable danger zone” and his friend had no duty to yell the customary warning.
A dissenting justice said there’s a factual question under existing case law about whether Kapoor violated the sport’s rule and unreasonably increased his partner’s risk.
This sounds like a bad joke, but I swear it was a real AP story.
I know it is football season, but I had to give a quick shout out to a few 2010 baseball awards that were announced today:
The AL ROY went to Feliz.
The NL ROY went to Posey.
In a landslide, Roy Halladay received 32 of 32 first place votes for the NL Cy Young award.
Congratulations to all three for an excellent season. If I voted, they would have received my vote as well.
Back to football...
So everyone has heard about the big contract that McNabb signed. Guaranteed money of $40 million. 5 year deal for $78 million. Just how stupid is Snyder? Well, apparently not that stupid. As more details have come out, there is an out clause at the end of this year that would only cost the Redskins $3.5 million. Only? Well, compared to lazy shit Haynesworth, I guess this is not such a bad deal. I still can't get over the image of Haynesworth just laying on the ground watching Vick throw another TD. How does a professional football player quit like that? Of course when your coach punts on 4th and 1 down by 4TD's in your own end of the field...I guess it is easy.
Well, my son's team fought a very valiant fight, but lost 17 to 14 in the first round of the playoffs last Friday. It is hard to lose, but when you are a better team it is especially tough. Strange that not one pass found it's way to the best receiver the entire night? The season ended on a QB iso behind a tackle that was filling in. He missed the block and the 4th and 3 play only gained 2 yards. It was a sad way to end, but as my wife told my son, " there is only one happy team at the end of every season." Oh well, baseball season will be here soon.
I have to leave you with a laugh or two, so here is a bit of "old school" work by Martin Lawrence:
Now I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handy:
“Here's a good trick: Get a job as a judge at the Olympics. Then, if some guy sets a world record, pretend that you didn't see it and go, "Okay, is everybody ready to start now?"
“Sometimes life seems like a dream, especially when I look down and see that I forgot to put on my pants”
Steve, Sully and Frag...thanks for creating You Gab. This is a great place to blog.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to add a comment or three...
If you love the REAL NFL and not this load of effeminate malarkey that commissioner Roger Goodell has been trying to cram down our throats since he was hired in 2006, then you love the truth Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu spoke this week.
“I think a lot of players have said a lot of things, and I guarantee he heard everything everybody said. But he’s (Goodell) got all the power, and that may be part of the problem, that there needs to be some type of separation of power, like our government. There should be some type of players involved and decisions into how much people should be fined, or what they should be fined for, as well as coaches, as well as front-office people. I don’t think it should be just totally based on what two or three people say who are totally away from the game. I think it should be some of the players that are currently playing.
It’s football, you know. If people want to watch soccer they should watch soccer," Polamalu said. "But honestly, overseas, when people are attracted to this game, they’re going to see the big hits. They’re not going to care about touchdowns and different things, so you’re also taking a part of what attracts people to this game."
Perfectly said, and words the fascist Goodell cannot fine him for. You can bet the petulant Goodell checked with the legal department already to see if he could. While Goodell is just continuing the mission of his predecessor, basketballer Paul Tagliabue, he has raised the ire of current and former players by disgracing the game by his revolting disrespect to the history of the game and the gridirons legacy while trying to force his own image as the stamp of the game today.
These last two commissioners of the NFL knew nothing about football or what made the game so popular. While they spent their time boot licking the pedestal of the quarterback with inane rules that castrated defenses, and furthered it by polishing off the knobs of most every other offensive position, the reason most fans watch the game is for the collision instead of points.
The American Football League showed the NFL you could score without disparaging the defense. This is why they forced a merger. Yet that message taught has been lost for the bottom line with the failure of realization the accounting department would have been unaffected if they had just let defenses play defense.
Whether you see a penalty and fine for "putting too much of his weight on the quarterback" or fines for legal hits like Dunta Robinson incurred, the chagrin of the player grows deeper. Though they stay quiet, for the most part, to collect their paychecks, some understand the legacy of the game is being besmirched by a clueless and power hungry puppet named Roger Goodell.
Thankfully Troy Polamula said what most players feel. While it probably falls on deaf ears in the NFL front offices, as well as most the fans with attention spans of a fruit fly with Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, it resonates with those who truly love and respect the game of football.
Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens
Game of the Week
This is an evenly matched clash. Both teams are very similar statistically in almost every facet of football. Miami, however, has lost all their home games and won all of their road games.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh is biting at the bit for more snaps, and would prefer to start at wide receiver, but Derrick Mason is still too important and productive to bench. To make things worse for T.J., Donte Stallworth will return this week and has a wealth of talent himself.
Both teams are health, run the ball well, and have young quarterbacks showing they have bright futures. The Ravens need this to stay in the running with Pittsburgh, while Miami has to win to stay within reach of New England and the Jets.
This game could go to overtime or be won by a late field goal.
Ravens 16 Dolphins 15
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
In this divisional match up of 5-2 teams, the Buccaneers are a nice surprise. They rank 21st and and 25th in offense and defense respectively, but they don't turn over the ball and the defense comes up with timely big plays.
Atlanta's defense is about the same as Tampa Bay's statistically in yards allowed, but their offense is very productive. Though the Falcons run the ball very well, their effective passing games gives them nice balance.
If Atlanta hangs onto the football, they should win.
Falcons 27 Buccaneers 17
New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns
On paper, this is an evenly matched game. Both teams are porous on defense and below average on offense. Yet, New England wins as much as they appear to struggle.
Tom Brady is having another MVP caliber season for the Patriots, and running back Danny Woodhead is a find who has been an x-factor the past few weeks.
Cleveland hasn't yet announced their starting quarterback this week, but that is more their head coach Eric Mangini trying to stick it to his old boss Bill Belichick. Belichick will try to remind the Browns of the mistake they made firing him as head coach in 1995.
Patriots 31 Browns 20
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
This game involves two starting quarterbacks struggling mightily, though one still may return to the NFL somewhere next year. The Cardinals are still within reach of their division lead, while the Vikings appear to be going nowhere.
Both teams need to run to win, since their erratic quarterbacks cannot be relied upon to do much more than throw interceptions. Adrian Peterson, the star halfback of the Vikings, could run for over 200 yards this Sunday.
Vikings 20 Cardinals 17
Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills
Chicago has become pass happy, eschewing the run. Buffalo is dead last in the NFL at stopping the run, but excellent versus the pass. If Chicago does not decide to rediscover the running game this week, the winless Bills will have an even better shot at their first win. Even if Chicago runs halfback Matt Forte 25 times or more, the Bills are due for a win.
Bills 24 Bears 21
New York Jets @ Detroit Lions
While Detroit celebrated the return of quarterback Matthew Stafford with a win off his three touchdown passes last week, the Jets came off their bye week getting shut out by a beat up Packers defense and their quarterback ended up calling out his receivers.
The real reason the Jets lost is that they blew off their vaunted running attack, and tried to pass too much in very windy conditions. The Lions defense is improving, but they are still ranked 27th against the run.
The Jets love to say they ground and pound the opposition, and this is the week to prove it.
Jets 19 Lions 13
San Diego Chargers @ Houston Texans
This has the makings of a very exciting game, but it depends on both erratic teams playing up to their potential. That has not happened as much as it should have so far.
San Diego played last week like a team with the first ranked offense and defense, while last week showed why the Texans have the worst ranked defense in the NFL. Houston will need to outscore the Chargers in a shootout to win this if the Bolts decide to show up.
Chargers 34 Texans 26
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The Panthers seem to be fighting for the first pick in the NFL draft in 2011, because they haven't shown a lot of fight in many other areas. Head coach John Fox will probably be gone next year, putting a dismal ending to a nine year run with the team that previously never had a team finish a season worse than 7-9.
There are rumors that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has a knee injury where the meniscus is torn and fractured. Watching him closely is the most important issue for the defending champions, because their season will pretty much be over without the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Year, which he won for a third time last season, and Super Bowl MVP.
Saints 28 Panthers 13
New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks
The Giants have stepped up the past few weeks to be the best team in the NFC. Their veteran corp bristled at a lousy start to the season, and have won four games in a row.
While a young and deep group of talented Jint wide receivers strike fear in opponents, their offensive attack is well balanced and the defense has been special at times. Seattle, who has shocked many with a 4-3 record in a rebuilding season, is in a lot of trouble. Especially now that their starting quarterback will not play.
Giants 34 Seahawks 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
If you are under the age of 18, you may not truly grasp the importance of this rivalry. Both teams have hated each other for decades, and for good reason. Both teams generally ruled the American Football League, and would end up battling each other for the right to go to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs persevered three times, while the Raiders made it once.
When the teams joined the NFL, Oakland kept winning while the Chiefs struggled. Still, the rivalry remained strong, with Kansas City leading the series 52-45-2. The difference in points scored is only 123 in favor of the Chiefs.
Kansas City has jumped out to a surprising 5-2 record this year, while the Raiders are starting to excel under the offensive genius of coaches Hue Jackson, Paul Hackett, and Ted Tollner by winning three of their last four games behind the fourth rated scoring offense in the NFL.
Both teams love to run the ball. While the Chiefs are ranked first in the NFL in rushing, Oakland is second. The difference may come from the aerial assault, as the Raiders are ranked 20th and the Chiefs are dead last in the NFL.
An x-factor to look for is the Black Hole. The Raiders fans, who heartily despise the Chiefs, are amongst the loudest and best in football. They will be pumped up and wearing extra make up for this one to ensure a sea of black and silver in Oakland-Alemeda County Coliseum.
Raiders 23 Chiefs 20
Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles
The big news here is the return of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who gets to face an effective Colts pass rush in his return. Indianapolis lost another important starter, linebacker Clint Sessions and his 38 tackles, for the season because of injury.
While eyes might be on Vick and the return of star wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the best plan of attack for Philadelphia may be to feed the pill to halfback LeShon McCoy over 25 times against a horrible Colts run defense.
Indianapolis will rely on quarterback Peyton Manning as usual. He may be the leading candidate for 2010 NFL MVP, and the Colts season would be over if he went down too. The Colts may have just one running back with some health in Donald Brown, who recently came off injury himself.
Eagles 34 Colts 30
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
The worst thing about the Cowboys is now America is being forced to watch "America's Team" on television every week, as we all will be soon again on Thanksgiving Day. They aren't going anywhere this season, and obviously packed it in weeks ago. The only battle they have left is with the Vikings as the most disappointing team this season.
Green Bay is beat up, especially on defense. Wide receiver Donald Driver failed to catch a ball the past two weeks after having caught one in 139 straight games. He will sit out until week 11. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn't always been sharp this season, but he is still the fifth-ranked NFL passer in passing yards.
While Dallas has the talent to win this game, they probably still don't have the heart or desire to do so.
Packers 34 Cowboys 24
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh may have lost last week, but they still are an upper echelon team. The defense is stifling, the running game effective, and their quarterback has nearly shaken off all the rust incurred from his suspension.
Cincinnati needs to win this game. A loss here will end their season. Quarterback Carson Palmer seems to appease the egos of wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco by taking turns throwing them the ball at the expense of the teams won-loss record.
The two receivers are expected to have extra relish added to their bologna this game in order to promote their television show. Pittsburgh will let them have it, to a point, as they procure the victory.