Friday, December 20, 2013

Two Worries With Buffalo

There are two concerns that have been running around my head the last few days.

They both have nothing to do with Xs and Os.

They have nothing to do with playoff seedings or weather reports or injury updates.

No, something else bothers me a bit.

I hate playing "teams" that basically have nothing to lose.

That's right, the Bills as a team, are gonna have a losing record. That's a lock as they are currently 5-9. The best they can do is 7-9.

So what's to stop them from going for it when they are facing a 4th and 1 from their own 35 yard line?


We can stuff them for 2 downs and then we keep them behind the yard to gain stake as they pick up 8 yards on a 3rd and 9.

Our defense starts to celebrate and high five expecting them to punt leaving us with good field position for our next drive.

But they don't care about failure any more. They throw their cares to the wind, get the crowd fired up and pound out a yard to keep the ball.

I hate that shit!

Now comes my bigger worry.

As a "team" they have nothing to lose. But as "players" they have everything to lose.

That's right. Everyone of these Bills have only 2 more games before the draft and free agency.

Only 2 more opportunities to let their GM and coaches see that their position isn't a problem.

Those 5-9 Bills are gonna be fighting a life and death struggle to keep their jobs.

They may be 5-9 but their motivation is gonna be 14-0!

This is what worries me about this game.

Not whether we are better, because we are a much better team.

But our team better be ready for a war because these Bills are gonna give them one and with unconventional weaponry too.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Poll Question: Should we Boycott WQAM?

    I have loved WQAM my entire adult life.   I love following Florida Sports listening to their comments, positions, and general opinions related to all things sports.

    But lately, especially on the Crowder & Guzio Show, the banter has been more about dressing in off-the-rack suits, taking your gun out to protect the neighborhood, and/or telling contractors of neighbors to get back to work.  When I asked them in a text to pickup the sports talk, I was criticized and read the Sunday Buffalo weather.   I sent another text to express my displeasure and WQAM sent me a text to (and I quote) "shut ur mouth."


    Don't get me wrong.  I love the altruistic, donation of time and energy by Crowder and crew...  That is not sports, but it is worthy of some radio time.  And, I also get that this is entertainment.  So, yuk it up some...

    BUT, when my beloved Miami Dolphins are on a Playoff run (and haven't been for 5 years) or the Heat comes from behind and wins an exciting NBA game last night against the second best team in the East (the Pacers) - why do we have to listen to scolding of workers in the neighborhood for 11 straight minutes?  Jeeze, there is only about 22 minutes of radio time each half hour.  I feel cheated.  I can't get those minutes back. :)

1.  If you think we should boycott WQAM, text 56121 - "Boycott WQAM"

2.  If you think we should boycott Crowder and Guzio, text 56121 - "Boycott C & G"

3.  If you don't think we should boycott at all, text 56121 - "Don't Boycott"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Miami does not give up 3 turnovers against Buffalo

     There is absolutely no way the Dolphins turn the ball over 3 times to the Bills in this edition of Miami v  @Buffalo (like they did last time in week 7).   I also believe the Phins Offense is FAR BETTER than the last time these too teams met.  

     Yes, the Bills have a formidable defensive front four.    In fact, the entire defense is very good.  However, Miami is primed to take this thing all the way to the playoffs.  Their Defense is solid and the Dolphins Offense is beginning to look impressive (especially at the ends of the halves)....  I expect Miami to score at least 27 points.

I predict Miami will win 31-17.

Truth is:  This is the most complete Miami Dolphins football team this late in a season I have seen since the mid-1990s -maybe more complete actually.


From the 2 seed to missing the playoffs

    From the 2 seed to missing the playoffs...   The range of possibilities is amazing with only two games left to play.  Rarely is there this many possibilities this late in the season.

      1.  Win Out, Patriots lose out, and Indy, Bengals, and/or Ravens all finish at 10-6 (or the 2 division winners finish 10-6 anyway) - Miami then wins the division and is the number two seed.

      2.  Lose 2 and miss the playoffs (7% chance the Dolphins could still back in at 8-8 - but who wants that?).

   If the Bengals or Ravens lose this week, Miami can lose a game and still get in relatively easily...

    The only way this should play-out is getting into the playoffs winning 5 straight... It would serve us well - and it would serve notice to the NFL that Miami has finally arrived.  The Dolphins are a very young team with a (soon to be franchise) QB getting better and better.

   Buffalo is a very bad match-up for the Phins.  Their strength is that Defensive Line.  It can be argued that the Bills D-Line is better than the Ravens' or the Bengals'.    So, like Keith Sims says, Miami's coaching staff must keep that defense from teeing-off on Tannehill.   On the other hand, the Dolphins should have no problem beating the Jets.  South Florida's team is far superior.

Monday, December 16, 2013

NFL Network To Replay Dolphins vs Patriots Game On Tuesday

If you missed the game or would like an opportunity to make a copy which includes sound bites from the coaches and players, then thanks to the NFL Network, on Tuesday, you'll have that chance.

Set your DVRs or recorders if you have to work on Tuesday afternoon. The game will be replayed in a condensed 1 1/2 hours on the NFL Network starting at 3:30 EST.

These replays are very well produced and make wonderful keepsakes for years to come.

Pins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill Has Come Of Age

Yesterday's victory will be remembered as the mile post that Ryan Tannehill finally became an NFL quarterback to be considered amongst the league's elite.

He engineered 2 critical TD drives, with the help of some big catches, at the end of both halves.

That's what elite QBs do. Despite what may have happened previously in the game, they find a way to make plays and put points on the board when everything is on the line.

Ryan Tannehill did just that and now deserves this recognition!

 In the first half, trailing 10-0, with 1:23 left and facing a 3rd and 10 from our own 18 yard line, Tannehill found Rishard Matthews for 24 yards and a first down at our 42 yard line. This play was huge, not only to extend the drive, but we all know what Tom Brady can do with 1:10 left and 3 time outs in his pocket.

Five plays later, facing a 3rd and 2 from the NE 39 with only 40 seconds left, Tannehill fired a strike in stride to Mike Wallace on a skinny post, resulting in a TD and giving the Dolphins some much needed momentum going into the second half.

Tannehill took us 82 yards on only 4 completions in 8 plays in only 59 seconds, without needing a time out.


That brings us to the most important drive of his career to date.

After NE scores a go ahead TD with 4:07 left, we get a gift from NE kicker Stephen Gostkowski as he boots the ensuing kick off out of bounds setting us up on our own 40 yard line.

The Dolphins need to gain about 35 yards to get Dolphin kicker Caleb Sturgis a realistic shot at a game tying field goal.

After an incompletion on 1st down, Tannehill gets sacked for a 6 yard loss. With the clock ticking, he finds Brian Hartline for 11 yards at our 45 yard line.

Facing a 4th and 5, with 3:20 left, Coach Philbin decides to go for the 1st down rather than punt the ball back to NE despite having 3 time outs in our pocket. I couldn't have agreed more with this strategy.

 And it pays off! Tannehill, facing a NE blitz, fires the ball outside to Charles Clay on a screen and Clay maneuvers his way through a few Patriots for a much needed first down at the NE 49.

What a great call by our Offensive Coordinator, Mike Sherman!

With 2:10 left, 1st and 10, Tannehill hits Matthews for 3 yards and we hit the Two Minute Warning.

Tannehill next finds Hartline for 8 yards and a first down at the NE 38 yardline. The clock continues to tick.

Now comes the catch of the game.

Needing another 13 yards to get Sturgis a 42 yard field goal attempt with 1:30 left, Tannehill looks for Matthews against press coverage down the left sideline. Tannehill puts the ball perfectly were only Matthews can grab it and Matthews makes a gem of a catch keeping both his feet inbounds.

Gain of 24 yards and a big first down for Miami at the NE 14 yard line!

We are now well within field goal range and I like Philbjn's decision here. With 1:25 left, he could have run the ball 3 times forcing NE to burn TOs and then kick a game tying field goal.

But Philbin trusts his QB. And it pays off again.

After an incompletion, with 1:21 left, Tannehill comes to the line and recognizes the coverage. He knows he will get Marcus Thigpen one on one with a linebacker and that is a mismatch to heaven.

Sure enough, 8 seconds later, Thigpen beats  his man and makes an adjustment to the ball for the game winning TD.

On this drive Tannehill was 7 for 9, hitting 4 different receivers for 60 yards. Philbin showed complete trust in his quarterback and tremendous patience as well by not burning any time outs.

In both drives, Tannehill completed 11 of 17 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs without running the ball once.

Despite 4 sacks, Tannehill finished the game 25 for 37 to 10 different receivers for 312 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. And get this, his career best 120.6 qb rating!

2 huge drives for TDs, with complete trust from his head coach to lead his team to a comeback victory in a game against a first ballot Hall of Fame QB and keeping your team in the playoff picture.

If that doesn't sound elite, then what does?

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dolphins control their own destiny

What a day to be a Miami Dolphins fan. Huge win and now with that Bengals lost we are in control as to whether we make the playoffs. 2 wins and we are in. It is that simple. This is due to the fact we beat the Bengals and they play the Ravens in week 17, so the loser would essentially be eliminated. And that is if the Ravens win the next two versus the Patriots and Lions. It is looking good for our chances to make the playoffs, this is exciting. Plus we are still mathematically able to be the number 2 seed. Crazy season.

Offense and Defense found a way to win

What a game! The Dolphins found a way to beat the New England Patriots and has put them in position to make the playoffs by beating the toughest opponent on their remaining schedule. The offense with 4 minutes left found a way to score a TD off a Tannehill pass and then with a minute and 30 left the defense held in the redzone on 4th down with an INT in the end zone. We have beaten the bully of the 2000s and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.  All that is left is the Bills and Jets.

This has sparked hope throughout the organization and the city and this feels a lot like the 08 season. Lets enjoy this win and watch the monday night game rooting for the Lions. This has been a fun ride.

Patriots are vulnerable

Isn't this the game Miami spent all that money in free agency for? A game at home in December with the playoffs in sight, all that stands is three games with divisional opponents. The first one, those annoying Patriots. Here is the catch though they will be without Gronk and without their two rookies Dobson and Thompkins. All we need is 4 quarters of great football, being able to control the line of scrimmage against the 31st ranked rushing defense and pull out a win. And then hope the patriots get those two receivers back so they can beat the Ravens. This is probably the worst patriots team I have seen in years excluding the year they lost Brady, but somehow they still win. I don't get it, but hey they have lost 3 games this year so why no make it a forth?

All I want is to see another playoff game. The 2008 season was nice and I want to see another one like it. And much like the 08 season, the Jets are the last team we face on the schedule, which can propel us into the playoffs. A loss tomorrow isn't the end of the world because if we beat the bills and jets I still think we can make it in, but it sure would be nice to finish the year off with some momentum,