COMMENTARY | At times, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
Despite the Miami Dolphins being at the center of the Richard Incognito-Jonathan Martin NFL bullying incident, Ryan Tannehill and Company are poised to dominate the power rankings among the NFL Week 10 picks.
Timing is on the side of the Dolphins as two members of the team face uncertain futures. But a win over the 0-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football (Nov. 11) may be the best therapy Miami needs to heal and rebuild.
NFL Week 10 predictions: Dolphins will make quick work of struggling Bucs
With Tom Brady and Geno Smith on their bye week, this gives Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins a great opportunity to grab headlines by moving up in rank with a victory over Tampa Bay come Monday night.
The Dolphins' four-game loss certainly doesn't' bolster my claim that they can make a power play as a strong Week 10 NFL pick.
I'll yield to that argument; without question, they've had challenges closing games, protecting Tannehill and warding off blitz packages.
Luckily, Cameron Wake's sack and safety of Andy Dalton in Week 9's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, helped stop Miami's slide.
I'll be the first to admit that the win wasn't pretty, by any stretch of the imagination. It certainly won't get them style points for winning in that fashion. In any case, it gave me a glimmer of hope that the Dolphins' defense finally got enough backbone and were deft enough to close games in crucial moments.
As far as quarterbacks are concerned, Miami wins by a landslide.
The Dolphins lead in three key areas over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Total yards per game (315.2 vs. 304.2), passing yards per game (217.6 vs. 197.8) and points per game (21.8 vs. 15.5).
And if the game is decided in a battle of the quarterbacks, Tannehill gets my nod, despite having the lower quarterback rating 80.8 vs. Mike Glennon's 83.1.
But a closer look at their situational stats tells a slightly different story. In other words, Glennon doesn't fare well at home.
Case in point: When Tampa Bay plays at home, Glennon's rating drops to 73.9 (101.8 in road games). On the other hand, Tannehill's QB rating is 76.2 on the road.
Coupled with a bit more experience than his rookie competitor, the Dolphins should do just fine.
Incognito-Martin incident just what the doctor ordered
Taking a glass half-full approach, the bullying incident that has clouded the Dolphins locker room is not necessarily a bad thing.
Let me elaborate on that a bit: In no way do I condone the use of the N-word, bullying in the NFL or making threats of bodily harm. Even so, at times, it takes a pivotal event to start the healing process and put a person, place or thing on the right track again.
Notwithstanding, the NFL has opened up an investigation -- not only of Richie Incognito's alleged actions, but the entire Dolphins roster -- Miami can possibly benefit from the adversity.
Traumatic and controversial events have ensnared teams and professional athletes from time to time. At the time, the attention given to the situation often proved to be more damaging than the event itself.
Tiger Woods was labeled an infidel in his marriage and cheater in the sport, the infamous "Malice at the Palace" (Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, 2004) resulted in at least nine players suspended for a total of 146 games without pay, LeBron James was labeled a traitor by Cleveland Cavaliers fans after the big " Decision," Barry Bonds was at the center of a doping scandal, strings of NFL players have been nabbed by the law for bad behavior and the list goes on. You get the picture.
In each of the cases above, the players and teams in question recovered from the unwanted attention. In short, time has a way of healing all things and I imagine the Dolphins will mend from this latest mishmash.
Besides, fans in American sports are very forgiving…and forgetful.
Bradley is a professional writer, journalist, sportswriter and avid fan of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins developments.
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