Q&A with PhinPhanatic


Dec. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; A general view Sun Life Stadium during a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills will face off against the Miami Dolphins this week in Miami.  We traveled down to Sunny South Florida to do a little Q&A with one of the writers of PhinPhanatic.com, the Fansided site for the Dolphins.  We met up with Dale-Paul Jordan and asked him a couple of questions regarding the game this week.  This is what we came up with.

1. We are coming into week 7 for the season. Where do the Dolphins stand at this point for making the playoffs as well as what do they need to do to make the playoffs?

The best news for the Dolphins is that the hardest part of their schedule is over. No one, myself included, thought the Dolphins would go into the bye week at 4-2; many experts predicted a 2-4 record.  With 7 of the 10 remaining games against teams that are currently under .500 the outlook looks great.  With the Patriots continuing to shine, I believe that the Dolphins will be in wildcard hunt as we enter December. 

If you have watched any Dolphins game this year, we need to get better at protecting our QB and opening up some running lanes for our backs.  We both know that to be a true playoff team you need to have a strong running game, especially in December when the weather starts to turn.

 2. What are three keys for the Bills to focus on that will guarantee a victory for them this week?

This is hard question; you want me to give you pointers on how to beat our team.  I can’t do it.  However, what I can tell you is that you need to hit us hard and fast.  We have a solid backfield, and our front 7 is the best in our division.  If you want to score points you are going to have to pick on our cornerback’s.  Bret Grimes is playing at pro ball level, so I would attack the other side of the field and stretch our Safeties deep.

Jones and Clemons are not playing up to their talent level…yet.  I would come right out of the gate and run a play action deep fly and see what happens. 

Once I get ahead I would want to keep Tannenhill off the field.  Use your best asset which are your Running backs and control the clock and the line of scrimmage.   

3. Who on the Dolphins may have been flying under the radar that Bills fans should watch out for this week?

Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (42) catches a pass against Atlanta Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu (59) in the fourth quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

This is an easy question and some people around the league are starting to take notice as well.  The player is Charles Clay.  When Dustin Keller went down in the preseason, no one knew who was going to fill the void at Tight End.  Clay has stepped up large! Watch the game tape on him against Indy and ATL, and you will see a player that is all over the field.  Joe Philbin is lining him up at FB, WR, TE and H-back to try and expose a weakness.  On Sunday night, you are going to be cussing the name Charles Clay.

4. You mentioned the Kelly/Marino era and both the Dolphins and Bills have been looking for the franchise QBs since them.  Is Tannenhill that guy?

I grew up watching Kelly and Marino go head to head.  And truth be told, my older brother is a Bill’s fan.  Back in the day, the Bills owned this match up, regardless of how we played each other in the regular season; it was in the playoffs where we couldn’t move the ball in the frozen tundra of Ralph Wilson Stadium.   

Fast forward to 2013 and I am seeing a player develop into something special. Tannenhill did not impress me his rookie year, I honestly didn’t think he was the solution.  However, it is a brand new season and a brand new player.  The control he has shown on and off field is something you want to see in your starting quarterback.  His awareness in the pocket has improved substantially which make me a believer that he is trying to learn on and off the field.  Desire is something you can’t teach a player, you have to earn it.  Tannenhill is starting to earn my respect.  

He still has a long way forward (he has to learn to step up in the pocket and reading his hot routes to get rid of the ball faster) but the shadow that Marino casted over us is starting to fade.

5.  What is your prediction for the Bills/Dolphins game?

It’s going to be a great battle against two teams that are trying their best to keep up with the Brady bunch.  The Bills QB situation is suspect without EJ Manual and although Lewis has shown great poise against a top rated Cincy D, I can’t see him leading the Bills to victory.  The Dolphins will throw the ball to Wallace and Hartline on the outside and move the chains with Gibson.  Plus add in the Miami humidity it will be a long day for the Bills front seven.

Miami 24 Bills 13