The Phinal Word: Positive Thinking (and Drinking)

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The Phinal Word: Positive Thinking (and Drinking)
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I've run such a gamut of emotion since Monday night that my schizophrenia developed schizophrenia. And we're actually quite happy now.

Being an optimist is hard, especially when pessimism is easier than me after a few beers. That being said, I'm quite comfortable with the Miami Dolphins' current predicament.

And it's a predicament, 0-2 is a predicament. But at the risk of overusing predicament, this is one predicament I can handle.

Miami's offense executed a near perfect game plan on offense; and if not for some suspect play calling, a leaky secondary, and drops galore, things couldn't be peachier for the Fins.

So let's get positive!

Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown rushed for more than 200 yards combined. The Wildcat returned in resplendent fashion. Jake Long survived the Dwight Freeney onslaught (barely). Chad Pennington managed a superb game and even made some deeper throws when the situation called for it.

Look me in the eye and tell me that Pennington had a bad game. You can't. Mostly because of the computer screen and the thousands of miles between us, but also because Chad played a good game.

Pennington has twice as many interceptions (two) as he does touchdowns this year (one). Not inspiring. He also barely set foot in the red zone all Monday night (four plays). Inside the 20 the Fins went Wild(cat) and it worked. Don't tag Pennington for that. Tag him for being a noodle-armed choir boy. I kid, I kid (Chad Penne-ington).

Two games, two impressive completion percentage performances (72.4 and 66.7 percent) from the most accurate passer in NFL history (I know, right?) that were wasted.

The Fins offense is a well-oiled machine, but the parts of the machine are just inferior in some places (receiver mostly). It's like dropping a drum of Pennzoil on a remote controlled car. Which, by the way, is a good way to get kicked out of Jiffy Lube. Just saying.

Under Pennington, the Fins converted 71 percent of their third downs. The "Sheriff" Peyton Manning and his Colts only converted 43 percent. Manning couldn't police a pioneer village with those numbers. Please refrain from looking at any other of Manning's stats.

If you're going to tag anyone (what is this, a manhunt or something?) ask why a couple of Pennington's longest throws were batted down like a pinata at Al Capone's house. Ted Ginn had himself a game, a two-headed monster that could be viewed as his coming out (11 catches 108 yards on national television) or the point where the blowback from being a semi-bust of a first-rounder turns him into a pariah (two potential touchdown passes dropped).   

This is Ginn's year, for better or worse. He flashed some greatness, but a consistent effort (his catch rate is only 62 percent) is necessary to win in the NFL. That's why prunes have been classified as performance enhancing drugs.

Ginn has the tools, and it looks like he and Pennington have begun to develop a rapport. That needs to continue if Miami wants to stretch the field at any point this season.

The facts are that Miami's offense dominated the Colts front seven. Three quarters of the game were spent watching the Fins grind Indy into a fine dust that was then sold on South Beach ($9.95 a pound). Such ball control hasn't been seen since Jerome Bettis played Hog with his kids. 

Lest we forget that a certain team started 0-2 last year, and then 1-4 after that. Those Miami Dolphins managed to win the AFC East despite early struggles. Miami has a lot of season left to play and if they can control the ball like the did against Indianapolis, while having their No-Name receiving corps step up, they can claw their way back.

I see things like this: Their run game is great, their pass game is adequate. Their run defense is great, their pass defense is ade-not quite (the height of word-smithery).

Part of that may be that Miami has a lack of rocket arms to test their defense in practice. Part of it may be the lethargic pass rush allowing two good quarterbacks pick apart a still leaking secondary. Part of it may be two premier tight ends having their way with Miami's linebackers. Part of it may be that their rookie cornerbacks are playing like it's their first year or something. Who knows (I do, I just told you)?.

Fortunately, next week Miami plays a San Diego team that hates to pass. They don't?

At least the Charger's loss of Jamal Williams has destabilized San Diego's run defense, so the time is ripe for Miami to uncork another 45 minute possession gem. I, for one, can't wait to watch Darren Sproles reading Little Women on the sidelines.

Also, the Fins run defense maintained it's steadfastness by holding a team to under 70 yards rushing in back-to-back weeks. If they can limit Philip Rivers' effectiveness while continuing to stop the run they have an excellent chance to win.

I refuse to believe this team isn't good. It is. Get ready to see it on Sunday against the Chargers.

Stay positive folks.

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