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23 posts from December 2009

December 30, 2009

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter, final: 41.7%

[Thanks to all in the live chat this week. Great response. We do it every Wednesday from 1-2 in the Q&A Forum. Join us live then or post questions early, either by clicking here].

[Game post on Tuesday night's 20-14 UM loss to Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl may be found directly below this in the blog].

The final verdict is in: In the wake of this week's bowl loss, 41.7 percent of Miami Hurricanes fans are satisfied to some extent with the team and season. That breaks down to 7.5% "very" satisfied and 34.2 "somewhat." Those are the figures closing the book on the 2009 season of Canesfan Satisfaction Meter polls. The final figure strikes as a bit low, considering UM's improvement from 7-6 to 9-4, but that's just me. The people have spoken!

The CSM, new to the blog this season, is a continuing gauge of how UM fans are feeling about the team and season. Polls are posted following the conclusion of every Canes game. Season results appear beneath the latest poll.

The criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and especially the season as a whole, the program's direction, and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open, but results become official on midnight the day after each game. In this case voting was been extended into Thursday.

Canesfan Satisfaction Meter season results:

Game 1: 98.9 percent satisfaction (72.3 very, 26.6 somewhat) following 38-34 victory at FSU.

Game 2: 99.5 percent satisfaction (89.0 very, 10.5 somewhat) following 33-17 victory vs. Georgia Tech.

Game 3: 65.3 percent satisfaction (24.9 very, 40.4 somewhat) following 31-7 loss at Virginia Tech.

Game 4: 99.0 percent satisfaction (87.5 very, 11.5 somewhat) following 21-20 victory vs. Oklahoma.

Game 5: 99.0 percent satisfaction (76.4 very, 22.6 somewhat) following 48-16 victory over Florida A&M.

Game 6: 97.1 percent satisfaction (71.5 very, 25.6 somewhat) following 27-7 victory at Central Florida.

Game 7: 44.1 percent satisfaction (15.5 very, 28.6 somewhat) following 40-37 OT loss vs. Clemson.

Game 8: 59.8 percent satisfaction (13.4 very, 46.4 somewhat) following 28-27 victory at Wake Forest.

Game 9: 95.2 percent satisfaction (66.4 very, 28.8 somewhat) following 52-17 victory vs. Virginia.

Game 10: 24.9 percent satisfaction (5.9 very, 19.0 somewhat) following 33-24 loss at North Carolina.

Game 11: 80.2 percent satisfaction (25.3 very, 54.9 somewhat) following 34-16 victory vs. Duke.

Game 12: 93.5 percent satisfaction (62.5 very, 31.0 somewhat) following 31-10 victory at South Florida.

Bowl/Final: 41.7 percent satisfaction (7.5 very, 34.2 somewhat) following 20-14 loss to Wisconsin.

December 29, 2009

Bowl: Wisconsin 20, Hurricanes 14 (Final); Disappointing ending to season of progress

1acanesmascot 1acanemascot2 1acaneslogo 1awisclogo

[Has Dolphins' 1972 Perfect Season been devalued? Continue the lively debate in blogpost directly below this].

[Note: The latest and final Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll of the season will appear in a separate blogpost TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY AT 8 A.M. Watch for it and vote!]

FINAL: A disappointing bowl game for Miami, which was higher ranked and slightly favored and led early. After the first minute and until the last minute or so, UM got handled phyically.

4Q: UM recovers onside kick but goes 4-and-out with a sack (the fifth) and three incompletions ..... Jacory Harris 14-yard TD pass to Thearon Collier with 1:22 left draws Miami within 20-14 ..... Badgers add a FG for a 20-7 with 4:01 to play? Do you believe in miracles? ..... Jacory Harris sacked, loses fumble. Not gonna happen for Miami ..... Wisconsin fumbles into end zone and UM's Randy Phillips recovers in first minute of quarter. What a huge break. Miami was staring down the barrel of a 24-7 deficit .....

3Q: Promising UM drive ends at Wisconsin 35 with Jacory Harris overthrow on 4th and 4. 

HALF: UM's offense has 106 total yards in the first half. That's pathetic. Miami's defense has been roughly  as bad. Unless some magic is going on in the halftime lockerroom, Canes are in trouble.

2Q: Graig Cooper suffers right-knee injury on kickoff return with just seconds left in first half ..... Badgers tack on a 37-yard FG for a 17-7 lead 12 seconds before halftme ..... John Clay 3-yard TD run, his second, gives Badgers first lead of game at 14-7. Clay's 51-yard run set up the score ..... Awful Canes series. Two sacks then a muffed snap for 4th and 30. No sense of rhythm or momentum for Miami since that fast 7-0 start ..... Now Canes get game's first turnover for real, an interception by lineman Micanor Regis off a deflection at the line. Big play because Badgers were getting close to Canes' red zone ..... First turnover of game a Miami fumble recovery at Cheesers' 38 -- but no! Reversed on review.

1Q: Quarter settles down into normalcy after those UM fireworks at the outset ..... Wisconsin ties it 7-7 on John Clay 3-yard TD run ...... Graig Cooper 16-yard TD run and UM up fast, 7-0. Play set up by a Sam Shields opening kick-return score that, because of a penalty, was put at the Wisconsin 16. Shields credited with 84-yard return, a UM bowl record. What a start for The U! 

PREGAME: Has the pregame paratrooper-landing-on-field run its course. I think so ..... Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger arrested in prostitution sting on International Drive .....  Bulletin: Faced with a predominantly pro-UM crowd, Wisconsin Badgers forfeit Champs Sports Bowl. I just wanted to see how that looked in print ..... Exclusive in-depth pregame report from the Citrus Bowl: Chilly here. Not real cold, but chilly. By the way, on this trip, I am paying a personal-record $108 for a rental car. Were it a Maserati, fine. But it's a Chevy Cobalt.

Original post:

The Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando tonight offers neither the prime January date nor the national prestige the University of Miami would like, but it is nevertheless the stage that will help define UM's football season as a definite success or something less. It also offers what should be a good game vs. Wisconsin, with both Badgers and Hurricanes entering 9-3.

UM should be and would have been in the bigger/better Gator Bowl if not trumped and bumped by the melodrama of Bobby Bowden's farewell, but let's get over that. Bowden deserves the stage, and Miami's Orlando date still provides an opportunity for a 10-win season -- one of the stepping stones that help define how far "back" The U really is.

I like the Hurricanes, say, 31-23, although college football's long layoff between season and bowl always makes predicting a bit dicey. As does Jacory Harris' tender thumb. UM is the visitor, officially, but I expect a pro-Canes crowd. Miami is higher-ranked, should win, and will.

I'm in Mouseland columnizing off the game. I'll also update the score here throughout, although a live blog won't be possible due to deadline issues.

Your thoughts on UM's bowl and season welcome here before, during and after tonight's game. 

Watch for our latest -- and final -- Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll of the season in a separate blogpost soon after tonight's final whistle.

Love,

Twitter.com/gregcote

December 28, 2009

Sorry, '72 Dolphins but it must be asked: Has the Perfect Season been devalued?

[Voting in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll continues in the blogpost directly below this one].

1aperfectville Warning to Don Shula, Mercury Morris, Nick Buoniconti, et al: Your doctor advises you not to read this blogpost. Especially if you have high blood pressure. No I do not consider the '72 Perfectos to be Grumpy Old Men. However I do think it is fair to say that team in general feels underregarded by history and is sensitive about how its accomplishment is seen and judged, even after all this time.

A 37th NFL season has passed since the Dolphins' historic 1972 Perfect Season (17-0), and still Miami's great accomplishment remains unique, unequaled. Conventional wisdom is that Miami's feat grows bigger and bigger with each passing year, but what the Colts did -- or didn't do -- on Sunday invites an alternate view worthy at least of consideration:

Has the notion of a Perfect Season been devalued? The blasphemous question does not mean in any way that what the '72 Dolphins did is less notable. But times have changed, the season is longer, the playoff format is different, and more and more teams with a chance at perfection seem to care less and less about that, shifting emphasis to resting key players late in a season when a win might not be necessary for playoff seeding.

Indianapolis becomes Exhibit A for what I mean. Coach Jim Caldwell is 14-1 today but being vilified by Colts fans because to him resting Peyton Manning and other key starters -- lessening the chance of their injury -- was a clear priority over a perfect record. Nobody watching that game vs. the Jets has any doubt Indy could have won if it chose to. Further, the Colts are the betting-line Super Bowl favorite -- meaning 19-0 was not only possible but considered likely if Indy wanted the "0" part that much.

Without meaning to, the Colts (one could argue) disrespected the '72 Dolphins' accomplishment by publicly holding it less hallowed and sort of demystifying and stripping its Holy Grail status.

For 36 years you could say and believe that no team had finished perfect because no team was capable. Sunday that changed. For the first time, a team with a strong, legit shot at perfection didn't just say but openly demonstrated late in a season that perfection was not important.

Now, and perhaps increasingly in the future, the '72 Dolphins' geatest ally may be the notion that perfection is seen as a thoroughly superfluous accoutrement to a Super Bowl trophy.

Miami's 1972 accomplishment won't ever stop being a source of absolutely justifiable franchise pride, or stop being historically notable. But the uniqueness of it may become less and less a barometer or argument-ender for which teams have been the all-time greatest.

[Join the following at Twitter.com/gregcote]

December 27, 2009

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll: 20.1%

[Note: Game post on Sunday's 27-20 Dolphins' home loss to Houston is just below this in the blog. Also, join the following at Twitter.com/gregcote for a chance to win fabulous imaginary prizes].

The Dolphins' Sunday loss at home vs. Houston, 27-20, putting the season record at 7-8 and realistically ending playoff hopes, caused overall fan satisfaction to plummet to 20.1 percent, according to the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll. The percentage of fans who are "very" satisfied (3.8) is at its lowest point since the 0-3 start. 

1dsm In its second year in the blog, the DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans are feeling about the team and its direction. Right after each game, I invite fans to share their overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on midnight the day after the game, meaning midnight Monday in this case.

Week-by-week results may be found beneath the latest poll.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: Season Results

Game 1: 9.9% satisfaction (3.0 very, 6.9 somewhat) after 19-7 loss at Atlanta.

Game 2: 22.3% satisfaction (3.9 very, 18.4 somewhat) after 27-23 loss vs. Indianapolis.

Game 3: 6.4% satisfaction (3.7 very, 2.7 somewhat) after 23-13 loss at San Diego.

Game 4: 79.4% satisfaction (34.2 very, 45.2 somewhat) after 38-10 victory vs. Buffalo.

Game 5: 97.1% satisfaction (65.0 very, 32.1 somewhat) after 31-27 victory vs. N.Y. Jets.

Game 6: 25.2% satisfaction (5.5 very, 19.7 somewhat) after 46-34 loss vs. New Orleans.

Game 7: 85.5% satisfaction (23.3 very, 62.2 somewhat) following 30-25 victory at N.Y. Jets.

Game 8: 33.6% satisfaction (8.0 very, 25.6 somewhat) following 27-17 loss at New England.

Game 9: 59.9% satisfaction (5.8 very, 54.1 somewhat) following 25-23 victory vs. Tampa Bay.

Game 10: 94.4% satisfaction (42.9 very, 51.5 somewhat) following 24-17 victory at Carolina.

Game 11: 16.1% satisfaction (5.6 very, 10.5 somewhat) following 31-14 loss at Buffalo.

Game 12: 93.2% satisfaction (54.1 very, 39.1 somewhat) following 22-21 victory vs. New England.

Game 13: 94.3% satisfaction (42.3 very, 52.0 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Jacksonville.

Game 14: 51.9% satisfaction (10.1 very, 41.8 somewhat) following 27-24 loss at Tennessee.

Game 15: 20.1% satisfaction (3.8 very, 16.3 somehwta) following 27-20 loss vs. Houston.

Next poll: Following regular-season finale vs. Pittsburgh.

Houston 27, Dolphins 20 (Final); Disappointing result snuffs playoff hopes. The good news? '72 Dolphins win!

1arickyw 1adolhelmet 1ahouhelmet 1aandrej

[Note: The latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll is up and running in a separate blogpost just above this one. Vote!] 

FINAL: Maddening game. Maddening team. Playoff hopes all but dead now. Miami must win next week and hope that five teams all lose. The good news? The Colts losing this evening -- largely because Peyton Manning was rested much of the game -- assured the unique distinction of Miami's 1972 Perfect Season.

4Q: Onside kick fails. Miami out of timeouts. Game. Playoff hope expires ..... Miami within 27-20 with 2:30 left on Dan Carpenter 38-yard FG ..... Down 27-17, 6:19 left, Dolphins need quick-strike TD. Instead, team punts with 5:22 left. Fans leaving in droves ..... Lex Hilliard 10-yard TD catch from Chad Henne and Miami within 27-17 with 9:25 to play. Ted Ginn went up and fought for 35-yard catch in drive. No, seriously. Can the Dolphins do it!?

3Q: Quarter waning, Miami moving in dribs and drabs. Need big plays, chunk yards - and got 'em in 62-yard TD pass to Ted Ginn. But tripping penalty vs. Lousaka Polite negates score. Man that hurts! ..... Miami challenging incomplete pass ruling, claiming Dolphin fumble recovery. Then refs decide play is not reviewable! Earlier in drive Gibril Wilson dropped  interception that your grandmother would have caught ..... Yeremiah Bell with a big interception and 29-yard return off deflection by Kendall Langford. But takeaway goes for naught as drive fizzles and Dan Carpenter misses 54-yard FG try ..... Miami got what it desperately needed: A TD drive to begin second half, culminating with Lex Hilliard's 2-yard run on a handoff from Wildcatting Pat White. Ricky Williams shaken up on drive. Miami still in a deep hole, but a glimmer of hope now, at least ..... Urban Meyer has changed his mind, now saying he is taking "indefinitive leave" from Gators, not resigning. Must be getting career advice from Brett Favre.

HALF: The bad news? Miami is being embarrassed at home, was outgained 306 yards to 107 in the first half and is watching its slim playoff hopes all but disappearing. The good news? Dolphins get kickoff to start second half!

2Q: The Dolphins score! The Dolphins score! Last-minute 27-yard Dan Carpenter FG puts Miami on the board ..... Houston adds chipshot FG to make it 27-the 0 ..... Miami challenge claiming Vontae Davis interception. The bad news? Even if Dolphs win, they'd get ball at 1-yard. Miami loses challenge, and a timeout ..... Dolphins punt after a Davone Bess drop. I cannot remember another Dolphins game this important starting this badly. A flat-out embarrassment so far ..... Here's the thing. If the Colts or Saints are down 24-0 early in the second, you don't dare write them off. But Miami's offense is not designed for this. Not enough weapons. No Andre Johnson. They rallied against the Titans, true. But today that seems unlikely ..... Houston parlays interception into 17-yard scoring run by somebvody named "Arian Foster" and it's an enormous 24-0 dicth for Miami. Wow. An unfathomably awful start for the desperate Dolphins ..... Pass deflects off Ricky Williams' hands and is intercepted. And the nightmare continues ..... Crowd in an ornery mood. Just booed Ted Ginn running o.b. on kick return ..... Jacoby Jones 44-yard scoring pass from Matt Schaub, thanks to two missed open-field tackles. Brief but audible booing, and well deserved. Must win. At home. Playoff hope at stake. And Miami a no-show so far.

1Q: Houston 127 1Q yards to Miami's 37 ..... Second straight Miami punt as quarter winds down, and some early, scattered booing ..... Andre Johnson 10-yard TD catch off 4th-and-1 gamble. Houston passing getting better of Miami secondary so far. Drive included a 31-yard pass play to Jacoby Jones ..... Dolphins first possession expires in a punt. The pressbox announcer is one of those people who prounounces the word Houston as if it begins with a "Y." Annoying .....  Kris Brown 49-yard FG and Houston with first blood, 3-0 ..... Dolphins win toss, defer to second half. Mixed feelings about that. Shouldn;t a team have enough confidence in its offense to seek and assume an early lead?

PREGAME: A woman named "Orianthi" played the national anthem on electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix-esque. Wanted to hate it. Loved it ..... Kim Bokamper and Don McNeal are honorary captains ..... Crowd seems unsually into it. Better be. A "must win" that actually is ..... My two sons and some friends of theirs are at the game. One of my sons is weraing a Christmas goft: a T-shirt that depicts a Dolphin logo p---ing on the logos of the Jets, Patriots and Bills. The gift was not from me, by the way ..... Ted Ginn starting at WR over Brian Hartline. Never let it be said they aren't giving Junior a fair shot to save himself ..... Sean Smith today sets club record for starts by a rookie cornerback with 15. Old mark: 14 by Curtis Johnson and His Magnificent Afro in 1970, and Travis Daniels in 2005 ..... Have arrived at JoeRobbie-ProPlayer-LandShark-SunLife-YourNameHere Stadium, inhaled a tub of lucky popcorn and am ready to roar!

ORIGINAL POST:

Various computer models generally put the 7-7 Dolphins' playoff chances at between 15 and 25 percent. Lose today and they'll flatline at zero: elimination. Win today and they'll skyrocket, how high depending on other results. Call it a must win, then. Literally.

I'm on record predicting Miami to keep postseason hope alive, 24-20. The also 7-7 Texans aren't much more than Matt Schaub-to-Andre Johnson, so if Miami can at least reasonably contain Johnson they'll be in good shape. The Bodog over/under on Johnson's yards today 100.5. Miami could live with that.

By the way, Bodog's updated Super Bowl odds have it Colts 11-4, Saints 3-1, Chargers 11-2, Vikings 7-1, Eagles 9-1 and Patriots 10-1 for the top six. Dolphins are 125-1, but on the radar at least, and needing a win today to stay there.

Your thoughts on today's game invited here before, during and afterward.

Join us right here just prior to kickoff for the commencement of America's favorite Unofficial Semi-Live Boutique Blog. I'll be reporting from JoeRobbieDolphinProPlayerLandSharkSunLifeYourNameHere Stadium.

Later, watch for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate blogpost soon after the final whistle. 

December 26, 2009

Urban Meyer changes mind; resignation becomes indefinitive leave

1ameyer

Sunday update: Urban Meyer now saying he will take an "indefinite leave" from the team, not resign. His health must have significantly improved overnight. It's a miracle!

Original post:

The news broke Saturday and broke hearts all over Gainesville and Gator Nation: Champion football coach Urban Meyer had resigned from the University of Florida effective after the bowl game, for health-related reasons. What a shocker.

Later came reports Meyer's condition apparently is not life-threatening. Still, best wishes immediately for Meyer and family, because we presume his medical situation must be serious to have necessitated an immediate resignation. More may be known later today at Meyer's Sugar Bowl arrival press conference in New Orleans.

Click here for today's column by me on the biggest news of this bowls season, overshadowing any game result yet to come.

And what were the odds, by the way, that Miami's Hurricanes and Randy Shannon today would be the beacon of stability among Florida's Big Three college teams? With Bobby Bowden being forced out at FSU and now the Meyer stunner, might as well start referring to Hurricane Randy as Dean Shannon.

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! A special holiday video from me to you! (plus the gift of a Dolphins victory)

1agregsave 1amerry Merry Christmas, everybody! Also a shoutout to those who celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa or Eid, along with lesser-known fringe religions and customs. We welcome all here in the blog. Atheists, even. Let me ask you, though: What do you wish an atheist? Happy non-belief?  Also, do atheists look down on agnostics and consider them wishy-washy?

Click on Merry Blogmas 2009 for this year's special video greeting! As you can see from the snapshot here, I got together with Bernie Madoff and Tiger Woods -- back before either was involved in national scandal -- and we created this brief country-flavored holiday video. (Still trying to get The Miami Herald to OK the $3,000 barn rental on my expense report).

Hope everybody has a wonderful holiday! I'll be immersed in off-time revelry for a few days and reemerge at Sunday's Dolphins game.

WEEK 16 PICKS: My latest NFL picks have been made and have hurtled belatedly through Cyberpsace to finally appear online. Click on Week 16 Gems. Dolphins beat Texans, Jets upset Colts and more. Also click here for today's related NFL notes column by me.

December 22, 2009

Dolphins playoff chances 14.5 to 24.9%; Patriots mascot busted, Tiger likes Hooters, Shawn Johnson & more

[Thanks to all who joined us in the Q&A Forum from 1-2 p.m. today, undeterred by the busy holiday week. We do it every Wednesday at that time. Click here to join us live or to post questions any time].

DOLPHINS PLAYOFFS ODDS QUANTIFIABLY BLEAK: A new site called MakeNFLPlayoffs.com puts the Dolphins' updated postseason likelihood at 24.867 percent (to be exact, but who's counting!). The Coolstandings site I like puts Miami's chances at 14.5 percent. The point is: Don't count on it, Dolfans! You know what the killer was? It wasn't losing Sunday in Nashville. It was that no-show loss at Buffalo Nov. 29.

1apatsarrest PATRIOTS' MASCOT ARRESTED IN PROSTITUTION STING: New England football mascot Pat Patriot was arrested this week in a Boston-area prostitution sting (see police surveillance photo, above). It was not immediately known whether Patriot would make bail in time for this Sunday's home finale vs. Jacksonville, or how the scandal might affect Bill Belichick's team.

1atigerhooters TIGER WOODS ENJOYS HOOTERS: Speaking of scandal, it has been a couple of days since our last Tiger Woods mention, so here is photographic evidence (left), from a Hooter's restaurant, to add to the growing notion that Woods apparently is randy almost all of the time. (Click here for how Tiger evidently perfected the art of being at strip clubs but appearing as if it was always his first time).

PANTHERS END LONG PLAYOFF DROUGHT!: I just wanted to see how that looked in a headline. Because it is looking more and more, to me, like this might finally be the season for our woebegone Cats.

VICK HONORED FOR COURAGE. HUH?: The Philadelphia Eagles voted Michael Vick the winner of their Ed Block Courage Award. He'd have been a more apt recipient if it were the Ed Blockhead Award.  

SHAWN JOHNSON VIDEO: Click here to see perky-cute Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson perform a backflip over a speeding bobsled. No, seriously.

1asantasleigh SANTA JOINS 21ST CENTURY: Quietly and without the fanfare one might expect, Santa Claus has ditched his sleigh for a more modern modus operandi in terms of gift delivery. Although a loss-of-wages and mental-duress lawsuit has been filed by the Reindeer Union representing Rudolph et al.

Click back. Will probably be festooning this blog post with more vital information as the day progresses.

December 20, 2009

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 51.9%

Game post on Sunday's 27-24 Dolphins' loss at Tennessee is just below this in the blog].

The Dolphins' season record is even at 7-7 and, perhaps appropriately, fan satisfaction bobs around even at 51.9 percent favorable in the wake of Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss at Tennessee, according to the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll. The latest results reflect an indecision on how to feel about this season, which teeters on the far edge of playoff contention. But results also reflect an appreciation for Sunday's comeback and overall fan tolerance.

1dsm In its second year in the blog, the DSM is a continuous gauge of how fans are feeling about the team and its direction. Right after each game, I invite fans to share their overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance, the season as a whole, the direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations.

Poll and comments section stay open; however, poll results are certified official on midnight the day after the game, meaning midnight Monday in this case.

Week-by-week results may be found beneath the latest poll.

DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: Season Results

Game 1: 9.9% satisfaction (3.0 very, 6.9 somewhat) after 19-7 loss at Atlanta.

Game 2: 22.3% satisfaction (3.9 very, 18.4 somewhat) after 27-23 loss vs. Indianapolis.

Game 3: 6.4% satisfaction (3.7 very, 2.7 somewhat) after 23-13 loss at San Diego.

Game 4: 79.4% satisfaction (34.2 very, 45.2 somewhat) after 38-10 victory vs. Buffalo.

Game 5: 97.1% satisfaction (65.0 very, 32.1 somewhat) after 31-27 victory vs. N.Y. Jets.

Game 6: 25.2% satisfaction (5.5 very, 19.7 somewhat) after 46-34 loss vs. New Orleans.

Game 7: 85.5% satisfaction (23.3 very, 62.2 somewhat) following 30-25 victory at N.Y. Jets.

Game 8: 33.6% satisfaction (8.0 very, 25.6 somewhat) following 27-17 loss at New England.

Game 9: 59.9% satisfaction (5.8 very, 54.1 somewhat) following 25-23 victory vs. Tampa Bay.

Game 10: 94.4% satisfaction (42.9 very, 51.5 somewhat) following 24-17 victory at Carolina.

Game 11: 16.1% satisfaction (5.6 very, 10.5 somewhat) following 31-14 loss at Buffalo.

Game 12: 93.2% satisfaction (54.1 very, 39.1 somewhat) following 22-21 victory vs. New England.

Game 13: 94.3% satisfaction (42.3 very, 52.0 somewhat) following 14-10 victory at Jacksonville.

Game 14: 51.9% satisfaction (10.1 very, 41.8 somewhat) following 27-24 loss at Tennessee.

Next poll: Dec. 27 following game vs. Houston.

Tennessee 27, Dolphins 24 (Final, OT); Bironas 46-yard FG defeats Miami

1arickyw 1arickyw2

[Note: The latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll will appear in a separate blogpost at 5:30 p.m. Watch for it and vote!]

OT: Rob Bironas 46-yard FG in OT ends game and makes it a 27-24 final, Tennessee ..... Chad Henne awful interception in overtime, then personal foul on Greg Camarillo on tackle gives Tennessee ball on Miami 27.

4Q: Anthony Fasano 2-yard TD catch and then Ricky Williams' 2-point conversion run ties game 24-24 with 1:34 to play. Eighteen unanswered points have fashioned Miami's miracle comeback ..... Brian Hartline 57-yard catch off deflection puts Dolphins at Titans' 11 .....Ricky Williams 1-yard TD run wide and kick draw Miami within 24-16 with 7:41 to play. Still a chance! Anthony Fasano diving catch set up the score. Good call on the kick there. You don't go for 2 until you have to. 

3Q: Oy. Chad Henne intercepted in end zone on 1st and 10 from Titans 14. That's a killer as third quarter winds down ..... Dan Carpenter with a 45-yard FG inches Miami with 24-9. Dear Dolphins: Touchdowns, please! Sean Smith fumble recovery had given Dolphins ball at Tennessee 34 ..... Nate Washington with Vince Young's third TD pass of game and, this from 32 yards, and Titans now with a commanding 24-6 lead. Vontae Davis tripped on the play. Jason Taylor had forced a fumble a couple of plays earlier but Titans got it back.

HALF: Six points and two turnovers speak ill of the Dolphins' offensive performance so far. Not much to show for three trips inside Tennessee 25. Not much praise due the defense, though, either. Vince Young on a 300-yard pace, Chris Johnson has 71 yards rushing, and nobody can stop the mighty Justin Gage. Playoff hopes slipping. Can the Dolphins mount a comeback?

2Q: Chad Henne bed decision to make the throw that was picked off in last minute of half, with Miami nearing field goal range ..... Justin Gage with his second TD catch of game, this from 21 yards out. Vontae Davis nice coverage but did not make the play. Chris Johnson 41 yards on screen pass the big play in drive. Miami down 17-6 late in first half, the first time all game the Dolphins have seemed in trouble ..... Dolphins squander 1st-and-goal opportunity, settle for 28-yard FG to pull within 10-6. Henne 39-yard pass to Brian Hartline was big play of drive ..... Tennessee settles for chipshot FG after 1st-and-goal situatioon. Dolphins had been on march, nearing Titans red zone, but Ricky Williams' lost fumble aborted drive and led to Tenners' scoring drive.

1Q: Ricky Williams hits 1,000 yard rushing mark for season ..... Vince Young-Justin Gage 22-yard TD pass and Titans up 7-3. Gibril Wilson positioned to make a play, does not ..... Dan Carpenter 23-yard FG for 3-0 Miami lead. Score was set up by first big play of game,  an interception by Vontae Davis off a tip by Channing Crowder.

PREGAME: National anthem by Darius Rucker (Hootie). Apparently the Titans don't know Rucker is a huge Dolphins fan ..... Four of five ESPN talking heads pick Miami to win. All but Keyshawn Johnson ..... Reporting to your live from LP Stadium in Nashville with this exclusive pregame analysis: Man, it's cold! This concludes our pregame analysis ..... I wonder. When they update LP Stadium, will it be called CD Stadium?

Original post:

The Dolphins (7-6) will neither clinch nor be eliminated from the playoffs by today's result in Tennessee, although it's fair to say a loss will do severe damage to postseason chances. It's a must-win in all but the literal sense.

You allknow I'm on record predicting a 23-20 Tennessee victory, figuring the home field and Chris Johnson will be too much for Miami to overcome.

Your thoughts on today's extra-large game welcome here before, during and afterward. Join me here for our usual Unofficial Semi-Live Boutique  Blog starting around 12:30 or so. Then watch for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate blogpost soon after the final whistle.