DOW (Dolphins Overall Worth) heading into the Bengals’ lair: 730 (-19)
ON THE RISE
DAN CARPENTER (NASDAQ: CARP) +4: Five field goals for the 2009 Pro Bowler. This trend could very well continue, because there may be no bigger fan of the kicking game than Tony Sparano. Pencil in Brandon Fields for a spot in the Pro Bowl too. Both guys have been getting a hell of a workout, and figure to keep doing so if we don’t find a way to stop stalling. CARP will remain a solid performer, though his earning potential is limited by the very nature of the kicking portfolio.
DAVONE BESS (NASDAQ: BESS) +3 1/2: The Dreaded Volcano shows no signs of slowing down. This week Bess pulled off the “Devil’s Deed”, 6 catches for 66 yards. Not the most spectacular day on the surface, but those who witnessed his incredible sideline touchdown know that this kid is playing his Hawaiian behind off.
CHRIS CLEMONS (NASDAQ: CCLEM) +3: This kid has impressed in a big way. A few lapses, but heading into the season free safety was a massive question mark. He has surpassed all expectations. 9 tackles and a half sack against the Steelers, and of course the forced fumble everyone in the world saw, that will somehow never count.
TONY SPARANO (NYSE: TSPAR) -2 1/2: Sparano’s safety blanket just packed up and went home. Without Parcells around it’s time for Tony to start winning. Time for Tony to stop acting so freaking happy about field goals. At a certain point you have to view those 3-pointers as what they often are, failures to score touchdowns. And Tony took a moment this week to remind us that he will never, EVER take a chance if he can wait ’til later, when he decided to play to remain behind by 1 instead of going for the game-tying 2-point conversion. Was it late in the second quarter? Yes. But were we playing perhaps the best team in football? Yes. So we ended up losing by that 1 point, with a big L to show for it. Any difference between that and losing by 2? Nope. But if we had gotten the 2-pointer? Overtime baby. Good thing Tony played it safe. Believe it or not, TSPAR is a stock on somewhat shaky ground. Our schedule is tough moving forward. Our owner has deep pockets. And there are some potential replacements floating around out there with rings on their fingers.
JASON ALLEN (NYSE: JALLEN) -4: Jason done good to work his way out of the bust bin and onto the field this year, but the Rudy story may be coming to a slow and painful end. The Steelers went after him hard this weekend, and the holes in his game showed. Sean Smith brings more to the table, and has assumed the bulk of snaps.
DAN HENNING (NASDAQ: DHENN) -5: This offense is stalling constantly. Stalling at our opponents’ 40-yard line. Stalling in the red zone. Stalling, stalling, stalling. 3 out of 12 on third downs last Sunday. And that was an absolute joke of a 2-minute drill. Polite had no idea if he was supposed to be in or out of the game. We rushed the second down play to beat the 2-minute warning and came up with nada. Should have waited. Two minutes is still plenty of time. The Dolphins looked like chickens with their heads cut off when it mattered most. DHENN has been doing this a long time, but investors can’t be expected to stick around out of loyalty.
Well, the SoFlo Sea Mammals got hosed by the refs. No doubt. Ben didn’t score, but thanks to a giant, zebra-striped cluster-eff, Jeff Reed did. But we didn’t have to kick five field goals. We didn’t have to play not to lose, instead of playing to win. We didn’t have to bumble around the field on our two minute drill. We did plenty to put ourselves in that horrible situation to begin with. We’re looking like the “also rans” right now, and a win in Cincy is crucial to keeping hope alive.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose