Hoodie likes Jason Taylor. He likes him so much that he went after him during the off season. Taylor ultimately made the right decision and decided to go back home for the 2009 season. 2010? Taylor's keeping an open mind:
"We’ll see what happens after the season’s over," Taylor just said on a conference call. "I know my deal ends at the end of the year and we’ll reevaluate at the end of the year, and what the teams are wanting to do and go from there. You never close off any of your options, you don’t burn any bridges and you always keep an open mind."
Taylor's no dummy. Belichick would have Jason's babies if he could. He loves the guy. Even in his mid thirties he could make an impact on a Patriots defense suffering from "No pass rush-itis". However, I still don't think Taylor should come here and it's not for any football reason - well sort of. Turn the tables and think about this for a minute: if Mike Vrabel became available, would you want him going to the Miami Dolphins? I can't see it. Same situation. I don't think a Fins fan could tolerate Taylor rocking a Flying Elvis.
After a very disappointing smackdown in the Big Easy, we're back to the AFC and a division rival. As you all know, conference games, especially division ones, are key. You could have the weakest division on the planet but as long as you win it, you're playing in January. Remember how aggravated we were last year? 11-5 and we lose a tiebreaker to the Dolphins while an 8-8 Chargers heads to the playoffs. With our remaining schedule (Dolphins, Panthers, Bills, Jaguars, Texans), it appears we don't have much standing in our way. I know, any given Sunday but you know what I mean.
Is there a loss in there? If there is, it could happen in any one of the five remaining games and Miami is just as likely an axeman as any of them. We have traditionally had trouble with the Dolphins, but recently have been 3-0 with Brady at the helm (2007: 2-0, 2009: 1-0). Read what you want into it. I always think Miami spells trouble, especially when we play them in their house.
The absence of Ronnie Brown is an issue, but the Fins' rushing offense still ranks third in yards per game. Not too shabby when you lose one of your best running backs. I'll be writing more about this in the next few days, but I think Belichick will use a similar strategy when facing the Dolphins this time around. That is, pick on the young secondary. Wes Welker seems to have success against Miami and when Randy Moss matches up against talented rookie Vontae Davis, I believe experience wins out.
Face-to-face wins is the first tie breaker for a playoff spot. If it comes down to that (again), it'd be nice to have this one in the W column.