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Dan Marino and the postseason

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by DevilFin13, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. DevilFin13

    DevilFin13 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I came across two good pieces that I wanted to share. They are both about the performance of QBs and their teams in the postseason. And Marino is a significant part of both because he is an interesting case on the subject of QB performance relative to the outcome of the game. This is going to be long but I think worth your time.

    The first piece is here. The author looked at every drive of 24 QBs during the postseason over the last 30 years. I encourage you to read all of his explanations and disclaimers. All I want to do is highlight Marino's numbers and compare them to the rest of the list.

    The first chart starts with the amount of points scored per drive. Marino averaged 1.79 points per drive, which is in the lower half of the group. He averaged .141 turnovers per drive, which is 3rd highest. And his average starting field position is 30.56, which is in the lower half of the list.

    That doesn't really tell us a whole lot about Marino or the other QBs' performances. Many other factors are affecting how often a drive results in points, how many turnovers occur, and where on the field the offense gets the ball. But it does tell us that on the whole Marino's offenses weren't scoring as much as offenses led by other top tier QBs, and they were turning the ball over more frequently.

    The average number of yards a drive that resulted in a TD covered for Marino was 63. That's right in the middle of the list. When a drive resulted in a TD, the average point margin of the game was -4.41, meaning that the Dolphins were losing by an average of 4.41 points when they scored a TD. That was the second worst margin on the list.

    The % of total drives Marino started in which the team was losing is 62.44, which is 3rd on the list. He also started the 3rd fewest drives in which the game was tied and when the team was in the lead. Marino also has the highest % of drives in which his team was down by 3 or more scores with 23.41. The author points out that the average for the 3 score deficit is 8.5%.

    Dan is tied for the 3rd most INTs per drive and threw them at midfield on average. The average score when he threw a pick was -11.04, meaning that the team was losing by an average of 11 points when he threw a pick. The team was losing 79% of the time when the pick happened and winning 16.7% of the time.

    41.7% of his INTs came when they were losing by 3 or more scores. 33.3% came down by one score. And he threw no picks during the 4th quarter while the team was either tied or losing by only one score.

    These numbers tell us what we have all been saying for years during arguments about Marino's lack of postseason success, that he was often put in difficult situations which caused him to play poorly or below his great standards. The second piece further reinforces that point by looking at the amount of support each QB got from his team and the effect of that support on the outcome of the game.

    This piece was actually started by an argument about Marino with one person making the familiar argument that Marino often lacked any run support. It turns out that not only did he lack help from his own running game, he also lacked run support from his own defense. Since this thread is long enough you can go read the explanation of how he did it.

    But essentially he combined the difference in rushing yards for both teams and combined it with the amount of points the QB's team gave up to calculate the amount of support the QB got from his team. Based on that calculation he came up with the number of games the QB could be expected to win.

    Out of Marino's 18 playoff games he could have been expected to win 30% of them, or about 5. He won 8 games, which is 44.4% of the total games he played. He won every game he could be expected to win and even one game that was labeled as difficult. He came really close to winning an impossible game, which was the 94 San Diego game.

    To sum all of this data up, it seems like the running game and defense that Marino played with often times did not play well enough to put Dan in the best position to win games, or at least in a position better than his piers.

    I don't want to make too much of these stats because this is a team game and its unfair to attribute too much to any one player or unit. But all of these numbers seem to suggest that there really is something to the argument us Fins fans have been making all along. And now when we are called Marino apologists we can point to hard data that at least begin to point in the direction towards backing up our claims.
     
  2. firedan

    firedan Well-Known Member

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    Interesting perspective,one thing the numbers don't tell is that the Fins didn't have a consistant running game in those days and that hurt the team when the playoffs started.Another point is they were beaten by alot of great teams.And a couple of average teams as well(I still can't believe they lost to he Seahawks in a blacked out home game)
     
  3. MarinePhinFan

    MarinePhinFan Banned

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    Marino's post season record was 8-10...not very impressive. But in games where the defense held the opposition to 17 points or less, Dan went 6-1. By comparison, Brady is 9-1 in such games and Manning 4-0. Dan's problem was in 7 of those 18 playoff games the Dolphin's defense allowed 29 or more points, including 5 times where they allowed 37 or more points. Not surprisingly, the Dolphins were 0-7 in those games.

    Looking at QB ratings, when Dan had a QB rating of less than 80 the Dolphins were 1-9 in the playoffs. That compares to 6-2 for Brady. When Dan played poorly in the playoffs, not only was it usually because his defense was giving up points by the butt load, but because his teams did not step up in other areas and help him out the way the Patriots have done for Brady when he played poorly.

    One of the flaws of looking just at the super bowl rings is the assumption that all truly great QB's step up at playoff time. While that is true to a certain extent, is that the only attribute of a great QB? Or even a good marker for one? Could a great QB lead his team to a couple of extra wins in the regular season and earn his team a playoff berth they otherwise wouldn't have gotten? Would that result in those same teams being exposed in the playoffs and some lopsided scores?

    That appears to be the case for Marino. The Dolphins were 1-6 on the road in the playoffs with Marino, and in 4 of those 6 losses they scored 37+ points! Furthermore, Marino had 5 games where the dolphins scored 14 points or less in a playoff game. Of those five games, 3 of them involved the other team scoring 29 or more points, indicating a huge mismatch.

    It's easy to criticize Marino for his failures in the playoffs. Most of the time those failures were due to an incredible leaky defense. Some of that may have been Marino's ability to get an otherwise unqualified team into the playoffs. In 1999, Dan guided a team to the playoffs that allowed more points than they scored, and even led them to a first round playoff victory! In 1997 he led a team to the playoffs that should have won only 8 games based on their point differential.

    I'm sure dan is as regretful as anyone that he never got that Super Bowl ring, but to lay all, or even a majority, of that blame on Marino is just wrong. Marino never won a Super Bowl because his teammates just weren't quite championship caliber.
     
  4. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Great post.












    Who wrote it for you?
     
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  5. MarinePhinFan

    MarinePhinFan Banned

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    I wrote this a long time ago on another forum that will remain nameless. You can google "Just for Fun marinephinfan" to find that forum if you wish. lol
     
  6. pumpdogs

    pumpdogs Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% with this post but another thing you need to add is the lack of any type of running game to take some of the burden off of dan.If dan had thurman thomas we would have been the ones going to those superbowls in the nineties not the bills.
     
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  7. Adam Strange

    Adam Strange New Member

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    Great post. And I think anyone who was there to witness the entirety on Dan's career recognizes that he was an unearthly talent who was saddled with a horrific defense and a never better than average running game. This stat-- "The Dolphins were 1-6 on the road in the playoffs with Marino, and in 4 of those 6 losses they scored 37+ points!"-- says it all.
     
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  8. MarinePhinFan

    MarinePhinFan Banned

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    *NOTE*-- This is a post I wrote in 2009. Some of the stats may have changed due to the time.


    Miami had teams with some pretty good running games while Marino was there.

    1984 Dolphins- 1918 yds rushing, 18TD's, 4.0 Y/A
    2001 Pats- 1793 yds rushing, 15 TD's, 3.8 Y/A

    The difference? Defense.

    Miami's defense gave up 211yds rushing to the 49ers.

    The Pats defense gave up 76 yds to the Rams w/ HoF RB Marshall Faulk.


    1985 Dolphins- 1729 yds, 19, 3.9
    2003 Patriots- 1607 yds, 9, 3.4

    Difference? Defense. Miami's defense gave up a whopping 320 points that season. The Pats defense gave up 238 points which is nearly 7 points less per game than what the Dolphins gave up.

    I can go on and on with these types of examples. The Dolphins may not have had one great RB while Dan was there, but they ran the ball well enough for a number of seasons when you compare them to some of the other Super Bowl Champs.

    Now, in 1990 and 1998 the Dolphins had a very poor running attack with a great defense.

    The Patriots this decade have won 3 Super Bowls with a defense ranked 5th, 2nd, 1st respectively. Brady has played only 2 seasons where his defense was ranked lower than 6th and he failed to win more than 10 game either time and got into the playoffs only once. They also had some really good running games to go with that.

    From 1984 until Dan's retirement in 1999 the Dolphins had a defense ranked 5th or better twice. 4th in 1990 and 1st in 1998. Those 2 seasons their running game was atrocious. In 1998 the Dolphins D also gave up 4.0 yds per rush. When your "great" defense can't stop the run they WILL lose in the playoffs to teams who can run. And they did. In that year's playoffs the Broncos ran all over us for 250yds. Elway's stats were 14-23 172 yds. Nothing to write home about. However, T Davis had 21 carries for 200yds. That's nearly 10 yds per CARRY! That "#1" defense gave up 38 points to Denver.

    Dan played 12 seasons with a defense ranked worse than 12th in the league. He got them into the playoffs 7 of those seasons.

    Point differential compared between Dan's first 9 seasons in the league and the Patriots first 9 with Brady/Cassel.

    Dolphins- 215(SB), 108, 25, 27, -61, -48, 94, -6, 59

    Pats- 99 (SB), 35, 110(SB), 177(SB), 41, 148, 315, 101, 105


    The numbers prove that defense was Marino's Achilles heal. And there was nothing he could have done about it.
     
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  9. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The word ''quite'' doesnt apply in this context, imo, what happened during those years, was some of the worst general managing ever...To not be able to compliment the great talent of Dan marino was a criminal offense...

    Bad defenses...No star running backs, always average tight ends, slightly above average wide receivers...A pathetic display of front office execution...
     
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  10. MarinePhinFan

    MarinePhinFan Banned

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    I agree. They put all of their eggs in one basket (Dan's arm) and paid for it. That does speak to how talented Danny was though. However, one person can not win a Super Bowl.
     
  11. pumpdogs

    pumpdogs Well-Known Member

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    49ers played 7 dbs almost the whole super bowl and miami still could not run the ball.But yea I agree the dolphins defence sucked.
     
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  12. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    You could get by without running the ball. I know that's obvious to everybody after GB's win yesterday. The keys are passing and stopping the pass. Marino's teams were never good enough at stopping the pass. He might have been enough on his own in a different era, but against Montana and that secondary, Marino ended up on the wrong side of the pass efficiency balance. I do think that if Miami had gone against the 85 Bears in that SB instead of NE, Marino would have had a win. He always struggled with his post-snap reads in general and NE specifically b/c they switched their coverages at the snap so often. IMO that was a big reason we lost that AFC Championship game. That was also what SF did to Marino the year before. If he had got past NE then he would have been fine against Chicago b/c even though they did a good job of disguising their blitzes, zone blitzes weren't en vogue yet. You could beat their blitzes by simply getting the ball out quickly to the area the blitz came from. Nobody was better at that than Marino was.
     
  13. Garryowen

    Garryowen New Member

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    lol..Didn't need stats to tell me Dan didn't have a D and running game..I watched it :)
     
  14. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    while true Garry, the point i tried to make is that it was even worse than that...

    example...besides average as a whole in terms of skill positions, name me an explosive returner during that span...lol...Scott schwedes...scott secules...Vigarito...was our GM a closet returner racist? lol.. i mean seriously...this topic always furiates me..

    Who was the best player to play with dan...the older version of Irving Fryar?..or mark clayton?...lol
     
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  15. Garryowen

    Garryowen New Member

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    LMAO@ Scott Schwedes. I think that guy needed Oxygen after he ran that one back. No, you're right on that too.
     
  16. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Clayton and Duper were incredible WRs. Really they had the offensive side of passing efficiency covered, it was just the pass defense that wasn't good enough.
     
  17. jetssuck

    jetssuck I hear Mandich's voice...

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    A nice little write up on how then 49ers DC George Seifert, defended Marino and the Dolphins offense that day.....and how they exploited the Dolphins D

    http://books.google.com/books?id=_E...AA#v=onepage&q=Bud Brown Ronnie Lott&f=false
     
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  18. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thanks. I agree with the book that SF was just a better team. Miami had Marino and great WRs, but everything else was sub-par in comparison to the 49ers. Our LBs, in particular had no chance in coverage against their backs and their OL man-handled our small DL. Then the few times our DL got pressure on Montana he just ran for positive yardage. Marino had trouble figuring out their D (post-snap reads) and that was it. Miami's only chance in that game was all-time great performance by Dan. He didn't have that.
     
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  19. pumpdogs

    pumpdogs Well-Known Member

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    I agree they had a really bad secondary.Judson was a horrible cornerback and the blackwoods had no speed.Its hard to believe shula couldn't get some playmakers on defence to make the team more balanced.
    I know they ran well in the playoffs that year but if they had a real threat at the rb postion against the 49ers they would not have been able to play nickel almost the entire game and maybe they would have had a shot to at least make a game of it.
    The nfc just flat out had more well rounded teams than the afc in the 80 and 90s.
     
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  20. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    You had an excellent slot receiver and a deep threat...I wouldn't say ''incredible'' Raf.....duper was not as good as clayton.
     
  21. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The debates at the time were always about whether or not they were the best tandem in the league. Even in the link provided by Jetssuck, a niner's DB was quoted as saying how he took it personally b/c all the talk was about Marino and those great WRs. While I agree that Duper wasn't as good as Clayton, he was still a good WR. I feel comfortable sticking with "incredible" for any unit that was considered among the best in the league during its time.
     
  22. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    fair enough, what would be your reaction if I said neither was a true #1?
     
  23. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I could see the argument and it would depend upon your definition of a true #1, but IMO Clayton was a guy who could catch at various depths, and could beat double teams so I would be comfortable labeling him a true #1.
     

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