Here goes nothin’.
1. GOOD GUYS AT BUFFALO
The Bills still have too many question marks, not to mention T.O. is long gone. They will play a spirited game in front of the home fans, and Spiller will flash some big play potential. Miami’s offense won’t be clicking on all cylinders just yet, but will win this one with their old fashioned, slug-you-in-the-mouth running game. I expect Henne to find Marshall a handful of times, hinting at the fireworks down the road. Our defense will control the line for much of the day. And three sacks again for Cameron Wake? Nah, only two. DOLPHINS 24 BILLS 17
2. GOOD GUYS AT MINNESOTA
Word on the “skreats” is Favre’s a lock to return next season. His twelfth Super Bowl ring was almost in his grasp, and the Saints wrenched it away from him. If he’s there, and we’re assuming he will be, the Vikes take this one. Marshall scores his first touchdown (or two) as a Dolphin, but Minnesota can score on anybody at home, even our beloved Sea Mammals. The good news, keeping up with the Vikings helps us oil up the gears of our offense a bit.
VIKINGS 31 DOLPHINS 28
3. GOOD GUYS VS NEW YORK JETS
Wow. A Sunday night gem in the making. I am assuming we’ll wear our magical orange jerseys again. The Jets will be looking a lot like last year’s squad for this one (although I’d rather face Ladainain on third downs than Leon Washington. Thanks Rex!). Santonio will be watching from the sidelines. Jason will get a sack, and why the hell not give him a moment to wag his finger at us? Problem is that’ll be only one play, and there will be plenty of others on which Ronnie or Ricky find good yardage up the gut. Revis vs Marshall is kind of a wash. 75 yards for Marshall, but a big catch for a first down to seal the win.
DOLPHINS 20 JETS 17
4. GOOD GUYS VS NEW ENGLAND
Back to back prime time games. MNF at Joe Robbie! The Patriots’ mystique has taken a bit of a hit lately, but they will always game plan well, and almost always keep it close. This will turn into a showcase for Mike Nolan, as he out-schemes the schemers, bringing guys from all over, and rattling Tom Brady just enough. Also, will the Patsies get a legit running back already?
DOLPHINS 27 PATRIOTS 20
5. GOOD GUYS AT GREEN BAY
This one will probably look a lot like the Vikings game. In Miami this one could go either way, but at Lambeau I can see Aaron finding Driver, Jennings, Finley and Co a few too many times. The kid has made the Pack look smart for letting Favre go. Again, games like this will be crucial for Henne’s growth. Though I think we’ll lose, Chad will have a monster stat line. Also, this will mark Marshall’s first 150+ yard game as a Dolphin.
PACKERS 31 DOLPHINS 28
6. GOOD GUYS VS PITTSBURGH
Big Ben has accepted his six game suspension, which turned this one from a toss-up to a win for Miami. Pittsburgh always plays tough. Their defense will frustrate us for much of the day, and hold our running game in check. But this slugfest will be decided by one simple fact, Chad “Crazylegs” Henne is better than Byron “Crazylegs” Leftwich.
DOLPHINS 17 STEELERS 13
7. GOOD GUYS AT CINCINNATI
The Bengals enjoyed a feel-good season in 2009, and their resurgence was nice to see. They’ve added Antonio Bryant, drafted stud TE Jermaine Gresham, and Wes Welker clone Jordan Shipley. Cincy has a good shot at winning their conference again, especially with Big Ben sitting out the first six in Steeltown. Shon Greene rumbled big time against the Southern Ohio Big Cats, and I expect Ronnicky Browniams to do the same. But the difference in the game will be a big play by The Beast, who will expose the Bangles’ weak safeties en route to the game-clinching score.
DOLPHINS 28 BENGALS 21
8. GOOD GUYS AT BALTIMORE
The Ravens are hard to beat at home. Real hard. Their defense is still kind of, legitimately bad-ass, and they’ll be throwing Mount Cody and Sergio Kindle into the mix. With Boldin joining the squad, and Ray Rice catching about 700 balls out of the backfield, Flacco should take the next step. This will be our worst loss of the year. We just don’t have it that day, while the Ravens do. In bunches.
RAVENS 31 DOLPHINS 14
9. GOOD GUYS VS TENNESSEE
The Titans are a dangerous squad, with the slippery Vince Young at quarterback and Chris “Crazylegs” Johnson in the backfield. But their WR corps just hasn’t put it all together yet. It will show, especially against a Dolphin squad eager to put the Baltimore game behind them at home.
DOLPHINS 27 TITANS 20
10. GOOD GUYS VS CHICAGO
Another prime time game. Miami has a chance to romp in this one. Matt Forte’s disappearing act in 2009 was no illusion. There is remarkably little roar on Chicago’s O-line. We will stuff the run, and Cutler will spend a good deal of time lying on his back, enjoying the moon over Miami. This game will do two things, announce Miami as a legitimate playoff contender, and put Lovie Smith on thin ice.
DOLPHINS 27 BEARS 13
11. GOOD GUYS AT OAKLAND
The Dolphins’ playoff push continues. Oakland was smart to grab Jason Campbell in a draft weekend trade. He will stabilize the position (relatively), and help their young WRs develop. But Oaktown has too many holes, and will falter in the second half as Ricky and Ronnie tag team the league’s 29th ranked rushing defense.
DOLPHINS 27 RAIDERS 14
12. GOOD GUYS VS CLEVELAND
Whoever is taking the snaps for Cleveland, they are going to be sacked several dozen times in this game. There aren’t enough pieces in place for the Brownies, though they are in good hands for the future. Last season Cleveland’s defense was 28th against the rush, and 29th against the pass. I don’t see how in the world they’d leave South Florida with a victory.
DOLPHINS 31 BROWNS 10
13. GOOD GUYS AT NEW YORK JETS
This one will be a much needed loss for the SoFlo Sea Mammals. After a string of cupcakes a tough Jets squad will punch us in the mouth a bit, reminding us that as the season wears on, everything gets tougher. New York will have their full stable of wideouts, with Santonio back from suspension. This one will be down to the wire. Henne/Sanchez could be the new Marino/O’Brien.
JETS 20 DOLPHINS 17
14. GOOD GUYS VS BUFFALO
A humbled Dolphin squad takes care of business yet again versus the work-in-progress Bison. Buffalo’s defense is decent, but their line will expose the quarterback too often.
DOLPHINS 24 BILLS 10
15. GOOD GUYS VS DETROIT
The Lions have weapons. No doubt. Stafford has Megatron, Burleson, Pettigrew, Scheffler and Jahvid Best to work with. However, that 32nd ranked scoring defense isn’t going to do the offense any favors.
DOLPHINS 31 LIONS 24
16. GOOD GUYS AT NEW ENGLAND
January in Foxboro. Okay. We lose. Fine. Nobody can see where the hell the goal line is. Somehow Randy catches a big pass from Brady. Not to mention the Dolphins will have 11 wins at this point, and, believe it or not, will have mathematically clinched a playoff spot. Our intensity won’t quite be there.
PATRIOTS 17 DOLPHINS 14
GOOD GUYS GO 11-5.
That should be good enough to win the East. Though the Scheduling Gods were kind to us, we can also partly thank the Milledgeville Mess. Both the Jets and Patriots have to go to Pittsburgh AFTER Big Ben returns from suspension. The Steelers will be playing their welding masks off, desperate to get back into the playoff picture. I think the Jets and Patsies both falter in Western Pennsylvania, and that could make all the difference.
Who gets into the playoffs? Well, the Chargers, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens take their divisions. The Jets and Texans take the wild cards. Patsies, Bengals and Steelers end up on the outside lookin’ in.
The Sea Mammals host the Jets in the first round, and pull out another Henne vs Sanchez squeaker. Lots of high-fiving ensues, but this win punches our ticket to Indianapolis, where Peyton Manning will miraculously plug our blowholes with some late-inning heroics.
Henne stops short of the tunnel, wipes the sweat from his brow, turns to Peyton and says, in a thick Austrian accent, “All be bawk.”
And he will be.