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Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag
By on December 25, 2013 at 5:43 am

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Andy Cohen In The Morning will continue to appear on dolphins.com  Monday through Friday as long as the Dolphins are playing. The column will continue to run during the offseason, but only as events dictate.

Be sure to follow Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins

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Q. C’mon, Andy, tell us your Christmas wish. @rGkopp5

AC: That’s an easy one. A Dolphins victory over the Jets and a Ravens loss to Cincinnati. That’s the quickest path into the playoffs.  I don’t need a box. I don’t need wrapping paper. I don’t need a bow.

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Q. Andy, now that a few days have passed. What happened in Buffalo? @robinf616

AC: I think it really comes down to the strength of the Bills being their defensive line and the weakness of the Dolphins being their offensive line. We saw this to some degree in the first meeting and it became evident to a larger degree in the second meeting.

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Q. So what do you attribute this poor play to? @mistatimboneTim

AC: This is a tough league. Every team, or so it seems, has one stinker of a game. This was it for the Dolphins. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was a lack of concentration. Maybe the Dolphins simply don’t have an answer for the physical style of the Bills.

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Q. Andy, you’ve covered this team for a long time. How can you be shocked by this performance? So predictable. @behan19

AC: At first, I was shocked because I saw so much consistency over the previous three games, all wins. But as I thought about it, yes it did feel like many of the previous trips to upstate New York where heartbreak awaited. Through the years, the Dolphins have had some of their most forgettable performances on the road in Buffalo. This one ranks right up there.

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Q. Do you think the defensive game plan was too conservative given an inexperienced quarterback missing so many targets? @phinfan2003

AC: The major problem on defense had nothing to do with containing Thad Lewis; it had to do with stopping the run. The inability to contain running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller was a critical part of this loss. Sure, more of a pass rush would have been nice. But if the Dolphins had contained the run, there would have been a better pass rush.

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Q. Sam Brenner had done well up until the Buffalo game. Can he improve and be a permanent starter? @ellismcdanie133

AC: Too early to tell. I like a lot of things about Brenner and there is certainly the potential of a large upside here with such limited experience. But you really never know until a player shows up for a second season.  That’s usually when most of the improvement surfaces.

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Q. For crying out loud, why didn’t they go to the hurry-up offense? They needed to shake things up. @DBanta007

AC: Got to admit I was screaming for the hurry-up as early as just after halftime. I do know the defense needed rest and the danger of the hurry-up is that you can hurry-up and get off the field if things don’t work. Still, I’ve seen some very good things from this team in the hurry-up mode and I’d like to see more of it against the Jets.

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Q.  Andy, did the Dolphins think the game was in Toronto? @Jeff722

AC: I wish I knew what they were thinking.

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Q. Does this team have the resiliency to avoid letting the Jets defense do what Buffalo did? @mikeyp890

AC: No doubt about it. First of all, the Jets don’t have a defensive line as talented and deep as the one the Bills have. Second, the offense has played well at home and I really expect a bounce back performance by quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Resiliency? You better have it at this point in the season.

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Q. Andy, we are not going to let the Jets ruin our season are we? @pablorones33

AC: I can’t see that happening. This Dolphins team has overcome too much not to see this through with the right kind of finish. The biggest reason? The Dolphins, I believe, are a better team than the Jets.

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Q. What is the deepest area of the team right now and moving forward? @suzymintz44

AC: Interesting question. I’d have to say cornerback slightly ahead of the defensive line. That, of course, is assuming that Brent Grimes returns. If he does return, the Dolphins have Grimes and Nolan Carroll as starters, the prospect of a healthy Dimitri Patterson coming back and the potential of young players like Will Davis and Jamar Taylor, who should both be much improved in their second season. Yes, cornerback could be loaded next season.

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Q. Andy, tell us what’s going to happen on Sunday. @bobbiel76

AC: The Dolphins will beat the Jets, Cincinnati will beat Baltimore and the Dolphins will be back in the postseason. I feel confident about this. Not certain, but confident.

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Q. Thoughts on Miami’s running game?

AC: I can’t remember a Dolphins team that has been so up and down with the running game. Clearly, there are deficiencies that must be corrected. You see signs of a breakthrough, and then they regress.

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Q. Andy, before we head to Buffalo next season, can they make it windy with freezing rain in the practice bubble? @rogerv27

AC: Wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Philbin was already working on that one.

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On Thursday, AC in the AM takes a look at some of the interesting subplots surrounding this team.

Click here for more A.C. In The A.M. Columns


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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