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5 Questions with The Phinsider: Patriots @ Dolphins

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5 Questions with The Phinsider
Ginn vs. Quinn: Matty I Still Likes Ginn

The Phinsider: SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog
Last week, it was the battle of undefeateds. This week, it's undefeated vs. winless. Most members of the Pulpit congregation have admitted that facing the winless Dolphins in Miami worries them more than traveling to Dallas, where New England had never won before, to play the conceited Cowboys. To discuss Sunday's matchup, we welcome old friend and "Around the AFC East" colleague Matty I of The Phinsider.

tommasse: In 2004, the Patriots finished 14-2 and won their third Super Bowl. That year, Miami had a tough season, but they handed New England one of the two losses in a 29-28 game in Miami. How do the Dolphins make history repeat?

Matty I: Yes, history has shown that the Pats have some trouble playing down in Miami. But that was a different Dolphins team and certainly a different Patriots team. For the Dolphins to pull off the upset of all upsets, and quite possibly the biggest upset in pro football in quite some time if you ask me, I think the Dolphins have to throw caution to the wind and play like a team with nothing to lose. After all, they don't have anything to lose, do they? And that's especially true now following the trade of the team's top receiver and the fact that the team's backup QB has been forced into action and will be making just his 3rd career start.

Nobody is expected the Dolphins to even keep this one close. So why not play with reckless abandon? Have Cleo Lemon take shots deep early and often to Ted Ginn, whose role is going to expand following the Chris Chambers trade. Let Ronnie get his 25+ touches in the game, whether it's on the ground or through the air. Perhaps try a fake punt. Maybe run some wild gadget plays. On defense, get creative. Mix things up a bit. Send some crazy ass blitzes. Play physical. Sneak in a surprise onsides kick. Why not? You got nothing to lose. Oh, and a big return or two by Ginn would also be helpful.

tommasse: Which would you prefer: (a) Beat New England for a confidence-building win. (b) Beat New England to spoil the Patriots' thus far unblemished record. (c) Take the loss and put Miami in position for a better draft pick.

Matty I: I'd definitely say option B is the best. I want to be the team that ruins this perfect season. I'd love to see New England go 15-1 and even win the Super Bowl, knowing that the one loss was to a winless Miami Dolphins team. That would make my season. It would quiet down the Patriot-loving media. It would keep the Dolphins as the only unbeaten team in NFL history. But more importantly, it would bother Bill Belichick. I really think he wants to go undefeated. I think he's thought about it already. I think he goes to bed and dreams about it. And to have this pathetic Dolphins team be the team that wipes that smug smile off of his face would be priceless...just priceless. But yes, I'm aware the odds of this are so slim that they make Calista Flockhart look obese, but I can dream for now.

For more from Matty I, click 'Read More' ... To see my answers to Matty's questions, visit The Phinsider.

tommasse: Before the draft, you wanted Brady Quinn. After the draft, you said you were OK with Ted Ginn. How do you feel about it now? Ginn or Quinn?

Matty I: Right now, I'd give it an incomplete. Ginn has been looking better and better each week, especially returning the ball. He's also about to get 100x more involved in the offense now that Chambers is in San Diego. Also, I think we are getting close to seeing John Beck on the field. Remember: the Dolphins think very highly of him and is one of the main reasons they passed on Quinn. So I think I'm getting closer to forming an opinion. Even if Ginn never becomes an elite player, as long as Beck becomes a very good quarterback, I'll be happy. I say this because I'd rather have Ginn and Beck than Quinn and any receiver the Dolphins could have gotten in the 2nd round. But right now, it's impossible for me to form a logical opinion about the 2007 draft.

tommasse: I think just about everyone expected Miami to be better than 0-6 at this point. What exactly is the problem down there?

Matty I: Good question. Man, I never thought I'd say this while Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas were still playing, but the problem in Miami is actually the defense. Just how does the 4th ranked defense in the NFL fall so quickly in a matter of months? I'm not sure. Some blame Dom Capers. Others say it's just old age catching up with these key veteran players (Thomas, Taylor, and Keith Traylor).

But, without a doubt, the defense is to blame. The offense has played well enough for this team to have at least 2 or so wins. Ronnie Brown has been an absolute stud. The offensive line has come together relatively nicley and progresses each and every week. But Zach Thomas said it best following the loss on Sunday to Cleveland. He said he feels bad for the offense because they've played well enough for this team to be 3-3 or even 4-2. Now, Zach might be overstating it a bit, but .500 could have been obtainable right now if the defense played like they did last year, or at least close to it.

tommasse: If Cam Cameron doesn't last, who would be your choice (besides Bill Belichick or Tony Dungy) for a coach to turn things around? (If Marty Schottenheimer isn't your first choice, what do you think of Schottenheimer?)

Matty I: Well let me start out by saying I think Cam gets at least 1 more year. He was brought in here to turn around the offense and he's done just that. They are improved in almost every important offensive statistical category. So he's been successful at doing what was expected in terms of the offense, and that's despite the fact that they've had to play their backup QB after just 4 games. He's made Brown into a star and is working on developing some receivers in Ginn and Derek Hagan. Considering all that, he's done a good job with the offense.

The defense has been the letdown and, if any change is needed, it's the firing of Dom Capers. As the defensive coordinator, he's basically had all the control on the defensive side of the ball, which is why he's the highest paid coordinator in the NFL. Basically, he's the assistant head coach in charge of the defense. He makes the gameplans and he makes the calls. But if Cam was booted for whatever reason, I'd probably like somebody like Bill Cowher. His fire and desire to win would be welcomed.

Marty Schottenheimer is somebody I wouldn't want at all. I don't think I could suffer through "Marty-ball" in Miami. Cam was the one who called the plays in San Diego. Cam's the guy who ran the offense in San Diego. Why fire Cam to bring in Marty? It just wouldn't make sense.

But again, I want to just reiterate that I'm not in favor of firing Cam. He was the guy I wanted all along and I'm willing to give him 2 or 3 years to turn this around. He was handed a total mess thanks to guys like Rick Spielman and Nick Saban. It's going to take time to turn around. So far, offensively, I like what I'm seeing.