Kerry Byrne gives the Cold Hard Football Facts about the WIldcat: None of it matters. It’s all bells, whistles and BS.
The Wildcat is, at the end of the day, little more than window dressing that shades the eternal truth of pro football over the past 70 years: The team that wins the passing battle wins the game.
The Dolphins of the past two seasons aren’t the exception to this rule, as Wildcat advocates contend. They are the proof of this rule.
The 2008 Dolphins didn’t enjoy unexpected success because they ran the ball so well. The 2008 Dolphins enjoyed unexpected success because they suddenly passed the ball so well. Here’s the proof:
• The 1-15 Dolphins of 2007 averaged 4.0 YPA running the ball — 16th in the NFL.
• The 11-5 Dolphins of 2008 averaged 4.2 YPA running the ball — 15th in the NFL.
So, the much-improved Dolphins of 2008 barely improved over the awful Dolphins of 2007 in their ability to run the ball. They were mediocre running the ball each year.
But take a look at Miami’s passing game from 2007 to 2008:
• The 1-15 Dolphins of 2007 averaged 5.9 YPA passing the ball — 30th in the NFL
• The 11-5 Dolphins of 2008 averaged 7.4 YPA passing the ball — 7th in the NFL.
The much-improved Dolphins of 2008 showed a dramatic improvement in their ability to pass the ball. In fact, this improvement in Miami’s passing game was probably the greatest statistical story of 2008. But it was a story that barely got mentioned in the hype that surrounded the Wildcat.
- New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins. Broadcast info, series history, player connections and more.
- Erik Scalavino says Jarvis Green's surgery might mean more playing time for Mike Wright; plus news and notes from Tuesday's practice.
- Patriots signed TE Rob Myers to the practice squad after placing Robbie Agnone on 'Practice squad/Injured' with a shoulder injury. Myers, 6-4, 240 pounds, originally signed with the New York Jets as a rookie free agent out of Utah State in April of 2009.
- Ask PFW: Back from the Bye.
- First annual Special Olympics Flag Football State Games held at Gillette Stadium last Sunday. More than 250 Special Olympics atheletes from 4 states competed in games, football skills and cheerleader competitions.
- Patriots Today: Back from the Bye (9.39 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport reports last year, the Wildcat averaged 6.4 yards per carry. This year, it’s down to 5.4. New Orleans set the blueprint. Whenever Brown was in the shotgun, defensive backs blitzed off the edge with "corner fires."
- Karen Guregian focuses on Mike Wright, a jack-of-all-trades having played tackle in four-man fronts and right end and nose tackle in three-man fronts, and leads the team with four sacks. He has been the backup for Green and will be primed and ready should his number get called Sunday.
- Mike Reiss reports Mike Wright is ready to fill in for Jarvis Green. It's not often that a team can lose a starting DE and replace him with a player who has a team-high sack total.
- Jeff Howe notes the Patriots are well versed in late-season success.
- The Herald offers a game-by-game breakdown of Miami’s success, or lack thereof, with the single-wing style formation in 2009. Interesting.
- Mike Reiss lists Ten Things to know about the Miami Dolphins.
- Karen Guregian notes every Patriots' special-teamer is studying up on Ted Ginn Jr.
- Christopher Price says Patriots want to make sure Ginn has no more happy returns.
- Adam Kilgore reports that over the past five games, the Patriots have adjusted their offense and made themselves more balanced.
- Mike McDermott notes the Patriots may get a shot at ending two teams' dreams of perfection.
- Robert Lee finds the Patriots are traditionally successful in November and December and hope to keep it going.
- Mike Reiss notes the Patriots' kickoff coverage will be tested against Miami on Sunday, and looks at the core special teams personnel.
- Mike Reiss looks at where the Patriots rank in key statistical categories through 8 weeks of the season.
- MIke Reiss says Ty Warren is feeling good about his ankle.
- Steve DeOssie presents his mid-term Patriots Report Card. Still some work to do.
- Christopher Price answers his weekly reader mailbag and deconstructs the Wildcat.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag, kicking off with talk about preparing for the Dolphins.
Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Patriots OL focused on elite pass rushers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor; Matthew Slater has been practicing at Safety, but also was seen at receiver; Seven players were absent from practice;
- Michael David Smith (Pro Football Talk) Ward, Porter, Haynesworth called NFL's dirtiest.
- Jerome Bettis (SI) Inside the NFL: 49ers headed in right direction, no camp costs Crabtree.
VIEW FROM MIAMI
- Almando Salguero (Miami Herald) Can Dolphins give Brady another difficult day?
- Mike Beradino (Sun-Sentinal) Dolphins-Patriots: Key matchups.
- David J. Neal (Miami Herald) Unsung defensive linemen Randy Starks and Paul Soliai came up with stellar performances in Sunday's win over the Jets.
- Barry Jackson (Miami Herald) QB Pat White has work to do before Dolphins' caution lifts.
Ethan J. Skolnick (Sun-Sentinal) Making playoffs this year would be even greater feat for Dolphins.