Friday, September 20, 2013

We musn't get over confident!

It bothers me that everyone in South Florida is so confident that we will win.   I do believe we have the horses to win, but we have to run a very clean & efficient race.  

When Chris Perkins picks us to win by 12 points, 32-20, I start to panic.   I can't remember the last time that guy picked our game even remotely close to accurately.  

Please team.  Do not drink the cool-aid.  We (YOU) must execute on Defense, "The front feeds the back!"  D-Line get after those O-Lineman.   DBs - cover, cover cover.  LBs stay on the TEs.   D hit Matty Ice.  And finally, wrap up when the ball carrier is in your vicinity.  CREATE TURNOVERS!

On Offense:  Protect the football first and foremost.   O-Lineman make some running room for Miller and Thomas.  And, Tanny, make good decisions.  Throw the damn ball away sometimes.  Throw accurately, and hit your man in stride.  We need to play flawless football.

Play sound Special Teams.  And, everyone keep the yellow flags in the pockets of the refs.   Play smart!

And of course the most important thing:  Sherman and Coyle - Call a great game!   Give your players the opportunity to win their match-ups. 

Let's go take this one, because Atlanta is not going to rollover and hand it to us. 

This Is A Statement Game

That's right. Only 3 weeks into the season and our Miami Dolphins have an opportunity this Sunday to make a bold statement.

By 7:30 Sunday night, we are gonna know whether they are truly contenders or semi pretenders.

Are they becoming league elite or just another top of the middle?  Can they compete with and BEAT one of the better teams in the league or will they fade in the friendly confines of their own heat?

Are they fact or fiction?

Sunday night we will all know.  By then they will have either beaten one of last year's Conference Championship Competitors or NOT!

I don't care how they win or lose.  You don't get to the playoffs or win a division or  gain home field advantage with moral victories.

You either win or lose.  That's it!!  Win or lose.

So this Sunday our Dolphins better show up because I am sure that the Atlanta Falcons will. 

Oh, they've been watching the film.  Their O line knows about our D line.  Their D backs know about our receivers.  They know we blitz.    They know where we run the ball, blah, blah, blah.

They know everything there is to know about the Miami Dolphins.  There will be no surprises.

The Falcons are a veteran team built to win a Super Bowl and they want it now.  They will come prepared.

The difference in this game will be execution.  Whomever blocks, tackles, throws, catches and runs better will win this game.

Nothing else will determine the outcome of this game more than that.

So boys in White with Aqua and Orange trim, I hope and I pray that you show up fired up as all hell!

I hope and pray that you execute!

I hope and pray that you take care of the little things so that the big things take care of themselves!

I hope and pray that you want this damn game more than them!

Because, frankly, we have the talent to go out there and kick their asses!!

And then, by Sunday night, the NFL will be on Alert.


Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dolphins win again! ...hopefully :)

    My 18 year old son, Jon, wrote this and I thought it was pretty well written - and his points seem valid, so..

    We are 2-0 and the fans and media finally have a reason to be positive about our team.  We finally have  a realistic chance at a playoff spot.  And it feels so good!!  With that being said, we play Atlanta this week. And most people don't expect us to win, for a good reason.  There is no denying Atlanta is a powerhouse team with an offense that is just scary.  I mean come on, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and Matt Ryan all on the same team?!?  That's just unfair.  It may be crazy to think we can beat Atlanta.  But, I honestly think we can and will.  In the words of the great Billy Joel, "you may be right, I may be crazy."

    To beat this football team we must play mistake free football.  That means we can't give up the ball and we can't give up many penalties.  This is not an impossible feat!  We gave up zero penalties last week against a good football team and who says we can't do it again?  Honestly, we need to if we want the dolphins to go 3-0 for the first time in recent memory.  We also have to win the turnover battle...and by that I mean, we can have no turnovers.  Other than the incompletion the zebras called a fumble, we didn't give the ball away last week either  (A few more calls like that, and I'm gonna have to declare zebra season!!).

    I know that there were some no calls that probably should have been called against the Phins, but for the most part we played a clean, mistake free football game and came out on top.  If we can do that again and get our offense going full throttle for 60 minutes, there is no reason the Dolphins couldn't get that third W and something for everyone to talk about come Sunday night.

Taking look at the past and future.

If you had told me the Dolphins would end up at 2-3 heading into the bye week I would be content. Before the season the Browns were seen as an up and coming team with a strong defense and a good run game. A team that could keep things close and grind out a victory. The Andrew Luck lead Colts were considered a playoff contender and it seemed as though they were primed to win a playoff game this season. The next three opponents were 3 for sure playoff teams, the Falcons, Saints and Ravens. So  by telling me we would finish 2-3 means that we would beat at least one playoff caliber team and I would be happy with that. With an easier schedule after the bye it would set us up nicely to finish with 9 or 10 wins and be in wild card contention.

Well we are guaranteed to at least be 2-3 going into the bye. However in the span of just 2 weeks everything has changed. We are 2-0 heading into our home opener in Miami in front of an excited crowd. Atlanta is a super bowl contender but it seems like a real possibility that we will win this game. Atlanta is beat up just 2 weeks into the season. Stephen Jackson is out, and Roddy White and Asante Samuel are banged up as both of them did not practice yesterday. There offensive line has allowed a bunch of quarterback pressure and with our new and improved pass rush it should be a good day for the defensive line. We are healthier than them and I believe this game will be close and one that we can win. If we win here we are set up very nicely at 3-0 and with this momentum a 4-1 record heading into the bye week is very likely as well. Where we stand right now I would be happy if we are 3-2 honestly but the Dolphins have exceeded my expectations already why can't they continue? A win at home will be huge for this team and makes this game crucial for the Dolphins. I am liking this team and without a doubt believe they are a playoff team. Like I have said before, just enjoy the ride, it looks fun.

Tom Garfinkel and Mike Dee switch jobs. Garfinkel to be named new CEO of Miami Dolphins today. - Gaslamp Ball

Didn't this happen in an episode of Seinfeld? George got traded from the Yankees?

I wonder if the fins got a draft pick in basketball in return?

I did notice that "Art Garfunkel" is credited with updating the field that the diamondbacks play in. One might assume that will be a primary task in Miami as well.

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

If Atlanta were healthy, I might lean that way.

Everyone knows how upbeat I am about the Dolphins.   I have stated over and over, this is the most talent (up and down) that we have had in over 20 years...   I am very excited.

That said, The Falcons are one of those perfectly balanced teams that scares me.   We are nicked up, and so are they.  I am bothered to find out that Tannehill is hurting.   It is bothersome that so many of our Defensive Backs are fighting injury.   Paul Soliai missing will hurt a little as well.   However, Jackson not able to go for Atlanta will make the middle run defense slightly easier.

This is the thing:   Matt Ryan is not that mobile.  BUT, he is one of the most accurate passers in the NFL.   If we can't get pressure on him early and often, we will be in trouble.    To be honest, this is a team that somewhat resembles the Patriots.  We must to be able to defend the pass.   On offense, we must attack their DBs.  That is pretty much their only weakness on Defense.   I am really hoping that their weakness on Offense is their inability to protect their passer -  I hope i hope.

Tanny, I sure hope you are healthy.   We need you this week.

Patterson, Clemons, Soliai, Davis, Taylor - we need you guys too.   Get healthy.  We will need you the rest of the way!

Now for my pick this week:   I picked this game in preseason as a loss - a very close loss.   However, after reviewing Atlanta's injuries, it makes more sense that this is a pick'em game.   When I started writing this morning, I intended to pick the Falcons in a very close game, but I just couldn't.  Something tells me, we are ready to play with the big boys.   I think we will have to play almost flawless Defense, and very cleanly on Offense.  We have the slight edge as this is a home game, and we should have a decent showing of fans.  Miami 20, Atlanta 17.    Even nicked up, our defense will get to Matty Ice a few times and turn this game in our favor.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stunner For Browns Fans, Colts Fans Pumped

How do you hang on to your Dog Pound Bones now?  They will get buried across the Cleveland area tonight.

Their best player, Trent Richardson, just 18 games into his career has been traded to the Colts for a 2014 1st round pick.

In Indy, they are dancing in the streets. Now they have a tough between the tackles work horse who got 3.75 yards per carry behind an avg at best offensive line.  The Colts have now opened up their play action package, wide open.

The Browns are stock piling picks for next year with 2 picks in each of the 1st, 3rd and 4th rounds. But only a 1st Rounder for Richardson?  I would think a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I am not comparing Trent Richardson to Herschel Walker, but come on, who else are you gonna get next year with the Colts pick probably around 18-26 range.

Sorry but I don't get it!  Am I missing something here?

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Odds Of Making Playoffs After 2 Win Start

Two Games does not an NFL season make unless they are, ofcourse, the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl.  But those are, hopefully, a tale for another day.

I found these stats very interesting.  They were compiled since 1978 and do not include the strike years of 1982 and 1987.  These are based on a full 16 game schedule.

Since 1978,  262 teams have started at 2-0 and 167 of them wound up making the playoffs that year. That's 63.7% of those teams made the post season.  Looks pretty good for us right now.

By contrast, 264 started out 0-2 and only 28 of them or 10.6% made the playoffs that season.

So where does Sunday's game fall on the chart?

Only 157 teams have started out at 3-0 and 119 of them or 75.8% made the playoffs.

So if we win on Sunday, we have a 3 in 4 chance of making the playoffs.

If we, ughum, let me clear my throat, lose...then 335 teams have started out at 2-1 with 175 of those going to the playoffs or 52.2%.  So now we would be basically 50-50.

Big game Sunday with big consequences none the less!

Just so you know, teams that finish:
10-6  83.8% made playoffs
11-5  97.5% made playoffs
12-4 or better  100% made playoffs

Carl Leone
Dolfan sinice 12/25/1971

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cowboys Stadium uses more energy than Liberia -

Who knew?


Nolan Caroll played lights-out

I know, right?  Nolan Carroll played about as tight and as well as I have ever seen him play.   He is the forgotten player yesterday.   Great job Nolan!  

Yes, Brent Grimes played awesome and except for being out-jumped on a long ball by TJ Hilton, he was just about perfect.  However, Carroll played very well.   He made his man, whether over the middle or down the sidelines, disappear.  I really enjoyed the fact that he was not burned and did not give up a completion in the second half. 

Jimmy Wilson, on the other hand did not stay with his man quite as well.   Most of the Colts completions in the second half (especially) were against his man.  I miss you Dimitri Patterson - get well soon.

Which is what makes this all the more impressive - we had a safety playing the nickle, and we still kept Andrew Luck to 3 points in the second half.   Great job Defense!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2-0 And Heading Home

Great early road trip by the Dolphins!

Winning 2 in a row on the road in the NFL is no easy picnic.  But the Dolphins are gonna make believers out of a lot of people after coming out of Indy with a win against a play off caliber team.

Ryan Tannehill played great today.  300+ yards passing, a TD, no interceptions and a 107 QB rating. He took the crowd out of the game early.

He did under throw a wide open Wallace for 34 yards down to the one but Clay punched it in soon after.

Speaking of Clay, great game with 109 yards receiving and his first rushing TD. Keller who?

Wallace with 9 catches for 115 yards and a TD. Should leave him speechless.

No penalties for the Dolphins!  WOW!!!

Grimes is worth well more than 5+ million. Better lock him down now.

Poor time management late in the game. We have a first down with 4:36 left. Hartline gets pushed out of bounds and then the problem. Two incomplete passes and we only take 20+ seconds off the clock before punting it away. Not good.

Huge run by Miller to pick up the first down and ice the game. You can see him look at the chains while going down and reach out with the ball to make sure he got the first down. Veteran play.

Sturgis is a steal for a 5th round pick. Once again, great job on touchbacks and that was one hell of a 2 for 1 special on tying up the game at the half with that 54 yarder and wait. Time Out Colts, no kick. No problem, he splits the uprights again! Impressive and another shot at Rookie of the Week.

Turns out that the 54 yarder forced the Colts to have to score a TD late rather than just kicking a game winning FG.

Hey Dion Jordan, this isn't 2 hand touch! You should have drilled Luck into tomorrow.

Great job coaches and players. The fan base is very proud of you and fired up for Atlanta at our joint next Sunday!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Okay... I had the score off some...BUT nice win Team!!!

That forward pass called for a fumble was total crap.  If the ball travels 10 yards past the line of scrimmage after a throwing motion, it's a pass.

Anyway, very exciting.  Okay NFL, we can play quality opponents - AND WIN!!!   Luck is hard to bring down but as the game wore on, our defense stood the test over and over. 

A few notes:

1.  Sherman, I liked the play calling in the first two drives, but I thought you were dreadful after that.  You have the horses, run them!!! 

2.  The 3 sacks were pretty good - should have been more - damn, Luck is hard to bring down.  Great pressure from the second quarter on though...

3. This is on Sherman and the coaching staff.  If you run the ball, you can be creative.   AND, RBs, when it is 3rd and 1 or 2,  run fast, use momentum to push for the first down.  

4.  Tannehill - This was not even a great game for you and you still shined!   I am very excited about that... on good day, you will carve some people up.

WHaHOOO - great to be alive!!!

Miami Herald, I beg of you. Hire 3 new Beat Writers.

Adam Beasley is an idiot.   His last article complains that letting Richard Marshall go was a mistake. 

Marshall was the worst corner I have ever seen in a Dolphins uniform, no offense Richard, but you were unimpressive at best.    It was addition by subtraction.

Then, three out of the five beat writers at the Miami (fish-wrap) Herald picked the Colts to win.

When are we, the fan-base, going insist that the non-supportive beat writers need to go find another team?   We want better reporting with less negativity!   Get on board or get out of town.  Yes, you Salguero, Neal and Beasley.   You have no business reporting for my team.  You guys keep twisting the coaches and the players words to fit your agenda. 

Leave the reporting to people who actually love the Dolphins.  We do a much better job.

By the way, Miami will win this game convincingly, 27-17.   I believe in our Defense to completely disrupt their offense and destroy their offensive line, and I believe in the offense to pick apart the Colts porous defense.  My respect for Luck is why I predicted 17 points.   I want to say,  "10 points is all our defense gives up," but that may be pushing it.