Dolphins could be only team in NFL to reach this statistical accomplishment
But apparently it doesn't equate to regular season success
By Chris Perkins
10:21 AM EST, December 24, 2012
Only one team in the NFL is likely to end the season with a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver, a 3,000-yard passer, someone with at least 15 sacks, and two players with 100 tackles apiece.
It’s the Miami Dolphins.
All they need is running back Reggie Bush to rush for 60 yards and linebacker Kevin Burnett to get one tackle in the season finale at New England. They’d join wide receiver Brian Hartline (1,014 yards receiving), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (3,059 yards passing), defensive end Cam Wake (15 sacks) and linebacker Karlos Dansby (121 tackles) to complete the list.
You’d think a team with such glamorous stats would be in the playoffs. Or at least in the playoff hunt. That’s not the case with the Dolphins (7-8). If they lose to the Patriots they’ll end the season with a losing record.
So do these numbers mean the Dolphins should at least be in the playoff hunt?
Or are these, in a sense, just numbers?
Here’s the evidence for the “should be in the playoff hunt” argument:
--Cincinnati (9-6) is the only other team with a good chance at Miami’s numbers. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins needs two sacks. They’re in the playoffs.
--San Francisco (10-4-1) has a chance at those numbers, if you give them an asterisk. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree needs 67 yards. But quarterback Alex Smith (1,731 yards passing) has been benched in favor of Colin Kaepernick (1,538 yards passing). Combine the quarterbacks and the 49ers could do it. They’re in the playoffs.
--Seattle (10-5) won’t get it, but we’ll put them on the list for perspective. Quarterback Russell Wilson needs 132 yards passing and safety Kam Chancellor needs eight tackles. That’s reasonable. But wide receiver Sidney Rice needs 266 yards, and defensive end Chris Clemons needs 3.5 sacks. They’re in the playoffs.
There are division champions that aren’t even within sniffing distance of Miami’s likely statistical accomplishment. Houston (12-3), for example, won’t have the tackles duo. Denver (12-3) won’t have the tackling duo or the rusher.
The Dolphins are, in a sense, breathing rarified air.
Of course, here’s the evidence for the “just numbers” side of things:
--Buffalo (5-10) has a very outside shot at matching the Dolphins with those numbers. Safety George Wilson needs two tackles and wide receiver Stevie Johnson needs 65 yards receiving. The sticking point is defensive end Mario Williams. He needs 4.5 sacks. He won’t get that, but he could come close. That takes a little shine off Miami’s accomplishment. You saw Buffalo up close on Sunday.
Still, to have such numbers – a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver, a 3,000-yard passer, someone with at least 15 sacks and two guys with 100 tackles apiece – hints at balance and a distribution of talent. You’d think it would be a sign of a good team. You’d think it would keep a team in playoff contention.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, it seems they’re just numbers.