Friday, September 27, 2013

Pre-season: I predicted a win against Saints

In preseason, I predicted a 31-27 win by the Miami Dolphins.   I stand by that score! 

I said the Saint's Defense was weak.  Yikes, I missed on that one.   However, our team chemistry, our fight, our desire to win - If this game is close in the 4th quarter, we will win by 4 points.

I love this TEAM.   And - this is a TEAM.  

I will be at the game on Monday night.   Big Papa Pump, if you and your crew are there, I'll buy you a drink on Bourbon Street.

I told my closest Phins fans that if we win this game, I will perform my own private Mardi Gras parade through the streets of the French Quarter!!!  I expect all the Phins fans there to join me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I mispoke - Olivier Vernon had a really good game vs Atlanta

When every play was analyzed by Pro Football Focus, Olivier Vernon had a great game.   He ranked as high as Brent Grimes in that game at +2.7 (where anything positive is a great grade).   Dion Jordan was the highest rated player last week at +4.3 (NICE!)

OV, I apologize to you for trashing you earlier in the week.  Great game.   I'm glad you are back!!!

Go get us a gumbo win this week.   Let's show the world that the Miami Dolphins are a real threat in the AFC.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Play Of The Game???

After watching the game again yesterday, it occurred to me that poor execution on one play may have lead to our victory Sunday against Atlanta.

With 2 minutes left we had the ball 2nd and 4 on the Atlanta 33 yard line.  Tannehill dropped back to pass and Miller ran a wheel route down the right sideline. He had a step on the defender and Tannehill put the ball right in his hands. But Miller dropped a sure TD pass.

Had Miller hung on and scored, Atlanta would have gotten the ball back with 1:40+ on the clock and two time outs in their pocket.

Who knows what might have happened then.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dale-Paul Jordan at Finside is misguided

He was very critical of Nolan Carroll.  WHY?  Why pick him out?   Because you played some highschool corner.  I played TE and MLB in high school.  So what?

I did not see anything about OV or Wheeler who actually HAD bad games.  He went after the 18th best Corner in the NFL after three weeks.  Grimes is 8th best.  AND, after facing two very good QBs with multiple weapons.

Further, when I tried to express my displeasure in his article using facts instead of BS observations, he and the finside cowards would not print my comments.  What a chicken s--t thing to do...

I welcome all criticisms and all points of view!  Bring it!

This Game At New Orleans Is Ripe For The Picking

New Orleans may be 3-0 and 6 point favorites this Monday night but they are far from invincible.  The line actually opened at 5 1/2.  Smart money says Wake is out, lets bet the Saints.  Well, the Saints are actually prime for an upset. 

They may have the number 5th ranked total defense but their rushing defense is ranked 24th giving up 111 yards per game and last week even Arizona managed 86 yards on only 16 carries. 

In a tight game against Tampa Bay two weeks ago, the Saints gave up 160 yards on 33 carries.  They opened the season against Atlanta who rushed only 14 times and still got 88 yards. 

New Orleans is giving up 5.3 yards per carry.  Now put Lamar Miller on the fast track of the Superdome and if we commit to rushing the ball, we can put Tannehill in very manageable short yardage 2nd and 3rd down scenarios even if Miller doesn't bust any the distance.

Against the only decent QB they faced, Matt Ryan, they were scorched for 304 yards.  I would suggest Tannehill is just as capable of passing the ball as Ryan.  And with Wallace, Hartline and Clay on that same fast track, we can put up some points.

Offensively, New Orleans has given up 10 sacks in 3 games.  Even though Wake will not play, we should still be able to pressure Brees anyway.  Grimes will take care of Colston, so we gotta worry about Graham at TE and Sproles out of the backfield.  If we blitz, Sproles will have to block.

We just need our Secondary to play as good as they already have.  We don't need anything super special here, just minimize the big plays and let our Red Zone Package do their job when we have to.

Our kicking game is on fire.  Fields is averaging 49 yards a punt to create good field position. Sturgis is 6 for 6 with two 50+ FGs.  Wind and weather won't be a factor.

All we gotta do is survive the 1st quarter as the noise level will be deafening for a Monday night game pitting two undefeated teams. We have already gone on the road to win 2 games.

What is not to like about our chances here.  Let 'em be 10 point favorites.  It won't matter. The Saints are ripe, perfect for some pie.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971                

AFC vs NFC - what is going on experts?

Before the season started, every single NFL expert across the nation agreed that the NFC was far superior than the AFC from top to bottom.   The AFC had all the worst teams, and except for the elite AFC teams, Denver, Baltimore, Houston and New England, no one could match the talent of the NFC teams.   To date, the AFC has beaten the NFC 16 games to 8.  Interesting!

The point here is this:  Miami can play with any team in the league.   Of course, they will not win all of them, but we must continue to believe.  And, thanks to this coaching staff, I believe they will be competitive in every game.

Monday, September 23, 2013

After 3 Games Tannehill in top 10 in QB Rating

Okay NFL.   Ryan Tannehill is ranked 9th in QB rating after 3 weeks at 94.3, six spots ahead of Drew Brees.

nuff said!

Jeff Ireland gets his contract extended

What did they say back in the offseason? The teams that win in the offseason usually struggle in the regular season. However the Dolphins are 3-0 with an improved offense and defense. Our offense can actually score points and build comebacks. The defense can make crucial stops and to think with all these new pieces they could only get better. Everyone said it would take us time til Wallace and Tannehill get on the same page as well as other pieces such as Gibson. Grimes has played great and made plays just like Wheeler and Ellerbe. Oh and I forgot special teams, have you seen Sturgis? A big offseason which many saw as a desperate move actually played out really well and I think Ireland deserves the credit. Hopefully the criticisms can stop after the end of this season.

Dolphins vs Falcons on NFL Replay

Set your DVRs or better yet, take tomorrow off. Yesterday's Miami Dolphins game vs the Atlanta Falcons will be featured on the NFL Network's "NFL Replay" Tuesday at 2 PM EST.

The game is edited down to be viewed in only 1 1/2 hours with commentary from players and coaches of both teams injected throughout.

A dvd copy will make a great keepsake for Dolfans of all ages.

Enjoy this broadcast as if you were having leftover Rigatoni. Its always better after it marinates a few days.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Offensive Redzone Effeciency

The Miami Dolphins are 1st in the NFL scoring a touchdown 87.50% of the times they enter the Redzone on offense.  Thank you Coach Philbin.   I attribute this surprising 3-game statistic to Coach Philbin's dogged insistence on practicing to finish drives.

Further, Miami has not given up a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  This defense plays bigger and bigger as the game wears-on.  Wins like this are so satisfying.  We have a complete, albeit beat-up, and pretty deep (solid) football team.  Four or five of our backups finished that game and the defense STILL did not give up a 4th Quarter TD.  WOW!

If you would have told me the defense would not register a sack, and we would still only allow 2 out of 5 TDs in the Redzone, I would have said you were crazy.

This is a TEAM.   They play like a team.   They say the right things about each other... They want to win and it is obvious.   This is more than a job to them.   They want this.  I love my 2013 Miami Dolphins.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


As I wrote Friday, this is and was a statement game. And what a statement we made!

To play toe to toe with the Atlanta Falcons, who lost the NFC Championship game last year in the last minute of the game, proves how far we've come.

To do it with so many reserve players making contributions proves our depth is so much better than last year.

As I wrote Friday, I don't care how we do it, just do it!  There is no need for a moral victory. There is no need to analyze and compare stats. Those are for losers and fantasy players.

You either win or you lose in this league. You either move towards the playoffs or you don't. And this team, showing the grit and the perseverance usually displayed by championship teams, hung in there and pulled it out in the end.

This is the biggest victory in the short Philbin era and one that I am sure Coach Philbin will declare as one of the biggest wins in his entire coaching career.

This win not only keeps us in first place tied with New England, it sends a message to the entire NFL that the revamped Miami Dolphins are contenders.

With a defense that bent plenty but held its own in the red zone, our Dolphins stayed close enough for a late heroic drive led by Ryan Tannehill and an O line that was fairly embarrassed at times and yet toughened up when they needed to.

Throw all the stats out the window. We are 3-0! Leave your doubts behind. We are 3-0!

Move over and make room on the bandwagon.

The Miami Dolphins are for real!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Miami remains undefeated

Your Miami Dolphins are 3-0 after beating the super bowl caliber Falcons 27-23. Tannehill was able to lead a touchdown winning drive in the final 4 minutes. This is not only a win on the box column but also means the Dolphins have been able to beat 2 playoffs teams from last year and are playoff bound and dare I say super bowl? Who knows what could happen. We had a brutal opening schedule and we have come up strong. Next game is against the Saints on prime time and we could show the whole world just how good of a team we are.  I am enjoying this ride.

Shoot Out In Miami

Strap yourself into to your recliner. Don't get up for one second otherwise you will miss one big play after another.

As a matter of fact, put a tv in the bathroom!

Today's game will feature over 750 yards of passing, missed tackles and plenty of "you gotta be kidding me"s with lots of "no f____king way"s.

Reminiscent of Marino vs O'Brien in 1986, look for both QB's to have their way as running the ball becomes an after thought in a wild, highlight filled air war.

The game comes down to Caleb Sturgis' 44 yard attempt on the game's last play and its good!

Miami wins 41-38.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

It all boils down to defensive pressure on Matt Ryan

If Matty Ice has all day to find Jones, Gonzales, and White, this game will become a shoot-out.  And, although I am very interested to see Ryan Tannehill in a full-fledged shoot-out with a top 10 QB, I would feel better about a balanced offensive attack in which Sherman calls a great game and we simply out-execute the Falcon defense all day.

The key to this game boils down to Defensive Pressure by the Miami Dolphins.   If we make Matt Ryan a little nervous in the pocket, he will lose some of that pin-point accuracy for which he is known.   Pressure up front means better play by the DBs. 

Their offense is the only thing that scares me.   WE WILL get our points.  Their defense is gettable.  We should put up 27 to 31 points.   Can we hold them under 20?    I really want to see that.

The second thing we need to see is semi-decent running game to work the clock in the second half.

In preseason, I had this as a 2 TD loss.   I did not believe we matched-up.  I think we do now, due to our improved play, and their injuries.   It will be tough, but we can win this.   Miami Wins 31-23