Special thanks to Kevin, aka Mosul_Dolfan, the lead Editor of the SB Nation Dolphins' site, The Phinsider, for fighting through the flu to get his responses back.
I think the Dolphins have finally figured out how to use Bush, and Bush has finally figured out how he fits with Miami. We have seen more outside runs, jet sweep type of plays for him. That has loosened up the middle, then he can do something between the tackles. Before, it was just slam him between the tackles, and hope he can break something. He hasn't been as involved in the passing game as most fans would like, but if he is getting near 100 yards rushing, we can't really complain either.
I wish I could tell you it was one specific thing that is causing the problem. Starting cornerback Vontae Davis has been struggling with a hamstring injury all year, so that's part of it - and the Dolphins are starting either second year, developmental corner Nolan Carroll or rookie Jimmy Wilson if Davis is out. Then, like the past few years, the Dolphins cannot cover a tight end. Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett was supposed to come in, replace Channing Crowder, and solve the tight end coverage problem. The last couple of weeks, he has started to fit into the defense better, and cover better, but it's still the biggest weakness of a weak pass defense.
3.) Before the KC game, Matt Moore had 9 sacks, 2 fumbles, and 1 INT. What improved...or is KC that bad?
Something changed with the Dolphins. Something fired them up. The offensive line suddenly remembered that they are allowed to stand between a defender and the quarterback. It only took them 7 losses to realize it. With more time to scan the field, Moore seemed to lock on to receivers a little less, and to be exactly what everyone thinks he is - a good game manager and a great guy to have as your backup quarterback. He won AFC Offensive Player of the Week against the Chiefs, and, hopefully, the offensive line giving him time continues and we see similar performances the rest of the way.
4.) What has the fan experience been like this year? Is it going to be like a neutral site for the Redskins this week? (We still travel well)
It very well could be. The Dolphins are having problems selling tickets. In fact, the team and a local TV station just had to buy roughly 10,000 tickets to ensure the game would be a sellout and the local market would get the game on TV. Dolphins fans are tired of losing. Since 2004 (when Dave Wannstadt resigned as head coach after using up Ricky Williams for two years, the Dolphins have gone 4-12, 9-7, 6-10, 1-15, 11-5, 7-9, 7-9, and now 1-7. For the team with the best winning percentage in league history (0.576 entering the year, tied with the Chicago Bears) - losing like this is unacceptable, and the fans are done with it. There's so much other stuff to do in Miami, the fans won't support a losing team - or a World Series winning team (twice).
5.) Is there something in the water down there where QBs all get season ending shoulder surgery?
I think it's actually a disease that Chad Pennington brought with him from New York. I mean, who could leave that stadium and not have a disease, right? Unfortunately, he apparently passed it to Chad Henne this season. Which, is a shame because Henne was starting to develop and show the potential we all saw from him in 2009. I would like to see the Dolphins re-sign Henne after this year, and let him compete for the job with which ever quarterback the Dolphins draft. Henne just needs to know, if he gets beat out for the job, he needs to be a mentor to the rookie, and serve as a backup. But, I think Henne will be gone in 2012, serving as some other team's backup quarterback, waiting for his shot to start - maybe he can replace John Beck....again.
I think anybody would take Henne and his gimpy shoulder over what we have now.