Saturday, December 07, 2013

Memories of the usfl

MrBitchinDave just uploaded a video
Memories of the usfl

Another Martin article

I'm hot on this topic today. Many of the royal "us" may have all put it aside or assumed it will all just work out. Its never that easy.

And this article - written a few weeks ago - reminds us why

Economics of the Martin situation

Thought this was interesting...

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Miami v Steelers (Talent Even) 3 Concerns

Before I really looked at the Steelers, I felt we were the far superior team.  And, I do still feel we have a better, healthier team. 

However, these are my 3 areas of concern.

1.  The Field / Weather:   Heinz field is in notoriously poor condition.  Some have said the surface itself is the worst of the 32 teams.   If you add in 32 degrees F weather with a snowy rainy mix, you have conditions that favor the home team.  Tannehill admits he has never even thrown a ball in snowy conditions.  Throw in a 10-16 mile and hour wind and you have a passing game and kicking game that will have issues all day long.

2.  The Dolphins I dare say have a better Offensive line (for this one game anyway), but Pittsburgh has the better QB, especially at home.  Ben Roethlisberger has more TDs, higher completion %, roughly the same number of turnovers, and is by far harder to take down under pressure.  Tannehill runs faster.  Arm strength is about the same...    I think in this game:  QB play gives Pittsburgh a huge advantage.

3.  The Fans:  I have been to Pittsburgh.  The fans are much better than in Miami.  They are loud obnoxious, and when their team is 5-7, they still come out to root for their team.  They will be there until the last snap.  Part of that has to do with, and unlike Miami, their is not much else to do in Pittsburgh (no offense).

All that said, the defenses are almost even (Miami is slightly better statistically according to the Bruschi index).  Now, let me say this out loud.  Miami's passing defense is in the top ten.  Wow that felt good.  Dolphin's top 5 receivers have slightly more yards than Steelers' top 5.   The running games are about the same.  Miami might be healthier.   The hunger factor may be slightly in favor of Pittsburgh....

Overall, this one is a tough call.   I first thought we were the clear favorite from a talent standpoint, but given the 3 factors above, I am very nervous.  Miami will need to dominate from the starting whistle, and fight through the elements and the environment.   It is a tall order.  BUT, if our team really wants the post season, we must have this one.  It is a tiebreaker game...

Miami 24 - Pittsburgh 13

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Greatest QBs

On a previous post, mattbatt mentioned in a comment a podcast I did about the greatest QBs....he couldn't find a link to it, and to be fair....neither could I!

I posted all of the podcasts to a site, but they are not appearing currently.  :(

In any case, to make the point here (in short form), the basic premise was this: every single one of the greatest QBs of all time started during their rookie season, and took the reigns before the mid-point of the season.

Now there are a couple of exceptions, such as Phillip Rivers, who did not start immediately ... but in every case like this, it was because they were sitting behind another of the greatest QBs, and didn't get a chance until the guy in front of him retired or left the team.

Oh and there is the Brett Favre exception, where he was in Atlanta for his rookie year. That's an exception that doesn't otherwise fit into the rule.

At the time, I was referring to Chad Henne, because he didn't start in his rookie year.  And that meant it was unlikely he would have great success.

Now on the flip side, starting early does not guarantee success.  It only works in the one direction - certainly there have been a slew of QBs who started early who flamed out.  But unless they start, you never know.

Applying this to Tannehill, does it mean that he will be a success?  No.  But, because he has been starting since he arrived, its possible that he might be.  

Monday, December 02, 2013

We Have 3 Issues Moving Forward

Jets Week is behind us and now its December and time for the cream to rise to the top.

As I see it, with four games left, we have 3 issues staring us in the face and if they don't correct these, we will wind up with only having the lowly Jets left on our schedule.

I don't believe we can win out unless these get corrected.

#1 Sturgis' inconsistency
When your offense drives 68 yards and sets you up for a 41 yard field goal off of a turf field with hardly a breeze and you miss it, we got problems.

Sturgis is 4 for 4 up to 29 yards. But from 30-39 and 40-49 he is 16 for 20. He is also 3 for 6 from 50 yards and beyond.

Let's focus on the 30-49 range which is where you need to be well over 90% to keep a job in the NFL. He is 8 for 10 in both 30-39 and 40-49. Currently, Sturgis is at 80%. That means he has missed 1 out of every 5 attempts.

And as we all know, how those 4 misses can come back to haunt you. Now, I am not talking about 54 yarders to tie a game. I am talking about routine 41 yarders to get you on the board and in the lead.

You know, the ones all good kickers drill right down the middle. Sturgis's kicks seem to sneak in just inside the upright.

Despite his ability to drill Kick Offs deep into the endzone, if we want to make the playoffs and actually win one playoff game, we may have to start trying out some kickers.

Pittsburgh's Heinz Field is not an easy place to kick in. The wind coming in from the open end can play havoc with any kicker, however, if Sturgis blows another kick there less than 45 yards, I am sorry, but it is time to cut our losses and get another kicker in for a try out.

We just cannot afford to run this risk any longer.

#2 Cannot Gain A Yard Running The Ball When We Need To
I don't know the exact numbers right now, but we are absolutely pitiful trying to get a stinking yard for either a first down or a touchdown by running the ball.

We are not carrying a pure fullback on our roster which may be the problem. I know about how running the ball is all attitude but sometimes instead of using an H-back in motion, how about putting another guard at fullback and let him plow into the line ahead of the tailback.

I believe we will need to address this issue with the draft unless a tough running S.O.B. becomes available. In the meantime, lets go with a "Fridge" type of formation instead of our styrofoam cooler type of formation we currently use to complete failure.

#3 Tannehill
I know I am striking a nerve here with a lot of Dolfans but I am starting to wonder now about his future.

Does he has the size and arm strength you want in a QB? Absolutely!

Plus he can run like the wind too.

So what's the problem? First of all we are in week 14 about to play our 13th game and he still hasn't hit Wallace or Hartline deep and IN STRIDE once. Not once!

He either over throws them or under throws them. They either have to layout or make a circus catch to any ball thrown beyond 25 yards. And that's if they can even do that.

I cannot believe, for the life of me, that he hasn't dropped one ball in on them 40+ yards down the field that all they had to do was look up and catch it and then run like the wind.

One more issue with Tannehill, and this is more mental than anything, is hitting receivers when it matters most. He has driven us down field enough times especially before the half but he has also missed enough throws like the 2 glaring ones Sunday against the Jets.

Both on 4th downs, money plays. Hartline is open down the sideline and Tannehill under throws him. Clay is open in the endzone and he overthrows Clay. 14 points right there.

Against Baltimore or Buffalo, I forget which one, very late in the game, he had Hartline wide open on the left sideline for the game winner and over threw him.

I am starting to think that he may tighten up with these "Oh my gosh he's open" throws. In other words, he may be a choker.

Oh he is very good on the 8-12 yard slants, come backs, square out, sit downs, etc.

But with the deeper posts, flags and fly patterns he should be showing a lot more consistency.  Well, consistency assumes you are at least doing it once.

He has hung receivers out to dry, ask Gibson. But mostly, just badly missing long targets and money plays.

Hell, Wallace was standing there wide open on his TD and Tannehill almost over threw him.

Now I know this is hard to hear after he just threw for 330 yards and 2 TDs.  But we aren't gonna be playing teams with as bad a secondary as the Jets put out there on Sunday.

Cromartie was hobbled and Milliner just stinks. Ed Reed is well passed his prime.

I don't think we should start Matt Moore over Tannehill this season but if he doesn't start making these throws then we may need to start looking at drafting another QB and let Tannehill play wide receiver.

I like the kid. I do. He is a great face for the franchise. But we do need better production on deep throws and starting this sunday.

Please Ryan, drop ONE in the bucket.

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

We need 4 more AFC wins to make the playoffs - that was 1

I wrote a few weeks ago that a 9-7 record with four more AFC wins would be enough to make it to the playoffs.  After our dominant performance against the Jets, we should be fine if we win 3 out of the next 4 games.

The only team who holds the tiebreaker against us at the moment is Baltimore with a head-to-head victory. (remember the missed field goal at the end of that game - so close).

If we were in a 3 way tie with say Baltimore & Tennessee (where Baltimore loses only 1 more AFC Game), The Dolphins would get the nod by virtue of a better Conference Record over both of those teams.  The Phins only have 3 conference losses.   If they win out, they would be in - unless Baltimore wins out (Highly Unlikely!).  Baltimore's remaining schedule is Min, @Det, NE, @Cin.   And, say Baltimore runs the table and wins out.   Cinci's remaining schedule is Ind, @Pit, Min, Bal., which means 1 built in loss.  Two more and the Dolphins would hold the tiebreaker against them should Miami win 3 of 4.  If Cinci only loses 2 games, Miami would still have the tie breaker if they won out.

Even Kansas City is gettable with 3 straight losses.   They have 4 tough games @WSH, @OAK, IND, @SD.  Their confidence is shaken, and at 9-3, they could easily lose 3 of 4 or even 4 of 4, which mean Miami could overtake them as well.

I give Miami a 75% chance of making the playoffs if they can go into cold Pittsburgh next week and win.  I am certain the odds-makers have Pittsburgh a hefty favorite.  But hey, we just beat the "favorite" Jets this week pretty convincingly, and it could have easily been 37-3.  AND, Pittsburgh's defense is not what it used to be.   I really love our chances.

Don't read too much into it

Over the weekend we heard incognito came to an agreement with the fins on his status and pay.

And that has led to speculation that maybe things work out in some way.

But I'm saying this is the owner trying to do some damage control. He pays the guy and avoids some of the potential legal hassles.

The suspension without pay for 4 games was knee jerk stuff and appears to have been done by Ireland. This just reverses course on that decision.

Make no mistake: this only means that Ross is trying to keep this from getting any worse for him.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

How Dominant Was Our Defense Against The Jets

Check out these numbers:

5:48 Jets first half time of possession

21:08 Jets total time of possession

13 total Jets drives

1:37 avg time of Jets drives

4 Jets drives of less than 49 seconds

5 Jets drives between 1:11 and 1:39

3 Jets drives between 2:07 and 2:32

1 Jets drive for 5:12

6 three plays and punt by Jets

1 three plays for 11 yards ends with Ellerbe interception

1 four plays for only 9 yds

2 five plays end with punt and fumble recovered by Wheeler

1 nine plays ends with Grimes interception

1 eleven plays ends with FG

2-12 Jets 3rd down conversions

0-2 Jets 4th down conversions

Congrats Defense!!

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971