Monday, September 08, 2014

What A Turn Of Events!

Just when I thought "This ain't looking good" after Lamar Miller's shoe flies 40 feet in the air and the ball falls harmlessly to the ground without Miller surrounding it, leading to a Patriot fumble recovery, the Dolphin D comes up with a 3 and out to keep us only 10 points down.

Then the Dolphins go 55 yards on 11 plays and I am thinking "OK, down by 7 and back in it."

Then Brady takes just under 2 minutes to set up another FG and extend their lead back to 10 points and I quote myself "This ain't looking good".

The first half was nuts.  We get a three and out. We block their punt after a low snap but couldn't scoop and score and fall on it at the 13.

Was that first mini drive exciting or what?

Just to see all the motion and not have to hear "Go!" or "Go-Go!".

No, those days are "Gone, Gone-Gone".

This new look offense had guys going this way, others going that way and the ball going into the end zone.

A good start.

Then the wheels fell off. 3 turnovers that lead to 17 unanswered Patriot points. Our linebackers banged up and Julian Edelman is having a good first half.

"This ain't looking good".

Now, who amongst us thought we would make the correct half time adjustments?

Down by 10 with Tom Brady on the opposite sideline. 

"This ain't looking good".

Evidently Philbin gave an inspired half time speech "The plays are there."

And they were.

That was the best second half I have seen the Dolphins play in a long, long time.

They were feeding off each other.

Moreno ran wild behind a revamped O Line.

The defense dominated as the Patriots had these drives in the second half leading up to their last desperate drive:
4 plays, 14 yards, Fumble
3 plays, 2 yards, Punt
5 plays, 2 yards, Punt
3 plays, -5 yards, Punt
3 plays, 1 yard, Punt
4 plays, -4 yards, Fumble

Was it all good?

No.

Near the end of the third quarter, with the score tied at 20, Juwann James gets called for holding erasing a TD and leaving us with only a 3 point lead.

Not good.

Then in the 4th, Moreno takes a handoff from the Patriot 4 and turns what looks like is going to be a loss of 3 yards and winds up running through 3 defenders on his way to a TD and a 10 point lead.

That was better than good.

When we led by 10 with just under 6 minutes left in the game, who amongst us felt comfortable?

Not me.

They have Brady.

But I forgot we have Cameron Wake!

This guy is a beast. Another big Strip-Sack!

Up by 10. "Let's punch it in and put this away!!"

Nope.

4 plays, 5 yards, NE burns time outs, 20 seconds off the clock, we settle for a FG and a 13 point lead.

Who amongst us thought it was over? Completely over?

I guess when you have Tom Brady, as when we had Dan Marino, you feel like if there is at least 20 seconds on the clock you can get 2 TDs and win a game.

So with 15 seconds left, Patriots ball, I thought "They gotta score now if they are going to win."

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, fall harmlessly to the ground.

And then it was over.

But actually this game was over when Philbin said "The plays are there."

We just didn't see it coming like this coaching staff and players did because, quite frankly, we have seen enough to prove the contrary.

Who thought we would rush for 191 yards and give up only 1 sack against a Bill Belichick defense?

Not me.

So we are in First Place with a Division Win and lead the Patriots by 1 1/2 games in the standings!

This is truly a new season with new coaches, new players and a new attitude.

The Dolphins have turned over the roster and hopefully turned the corner.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

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17 comments

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Love the Read! Now thats a sports writer article worth noting!

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With fewer turnovers and a couple of catches that should have been made, Fins would have routed the pats.

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Thanks Douglas!

Glad you liked it.

Yes, those turnovers will eventually come back to haunt us.

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Great read Carl, looking back the game should not even have been that close, I might take some heat for this but unless Tannehill improves his accuracy this very well could be his last year. It wasn't until the second half he started hitting his receivers in stride (somewhat) I was pleased to see us coming out after the half and opening up a can of Pats whoop-ass, It warmed my heart to see Brady sitting on the sidelines shaking his head knowing he had no answer for our defense. But as we all know last season we started out 3-0 and ended up 8-8. Lest keep our perspective and hope we can continue our winning ways. I'll check in next week.

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Nice write up Carl.

I think the over-riding thought for me about this game is the difference from last year. I m not talking about the end of season melt down, or other tough losses, I m referring to the early season wins which took us to 3-0. Throughout those early season wins last year I felt like we won 'despite' our team, not because of it. I can't remember the exact stats, but I m sure we got out gained in yards and time of possession in at least two of the three games. This win is different. We deserved to win. The focus and passion and (mostly) execution were so much better. This fills me with so much more optimism than I had early last season - before the fall to earth we experienced in New Orleans!

The linebacker questions line Acker going to be interesting ones when everyone is fit. Hell, lets stick with these young guys, get them playing time and experience for our Superbowl run next year! Tanny still worries me though.

Fins up!!!

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*linebacker questions are going to be...

Damn windows phone!!

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Thank you David6660 and Mouldymuffin...I am gald you liked it.

Yes, one game does not a season make. So as we shuffle off to Buffalo, we will need the same intensity as yesterday.

Tannehill makes me nervous too. There were times when he dropped back and all I could say was "Oh boy, just run it." But then he makes some good plays and is still growing so we will have to live with the "Oh boy"s until we get to "Chuck it boy!!"s.

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Your are right David6660 about "the game shouldn't have been that close." We need to finish drives and put our opponents out of their misery,

Yes and Brady looking lost on the sidelines may be the coming of the end for them.

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I agree 100% Carl, I was not comfortable at any point in the game until the clock reached triple zeros. Tannehill needs to clean some things up but he made some good decisions yesterday. He does however need to run the ball a little more when the offense breaks down. I think he will be fine. It was a great win overall and I look forward to the Bills!!

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Great article!!
PHINs UP!!!

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Lawrence, Tannehill shows a lot of promise. He will settle down or sit down.

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Carl,

Nice recap. Great to read and re-live.

I'm still nervous.... the last time the Patriots lost the first game they ended up taking the division from us in the last. Thinking about it, one of three things just happened:

1. We have improved to the point where we are better than a very good Patriot team.
2. We haven't improved much and the Patriots just played a bad game.
3. We haven't improved much but the Patriots just stink this year.

I'd prefer to think this is selection #1.

I like that Lazor is calling out Tannehill. Lazor is right, Tannehill's play will be the difference in close games. I'm reminded of something I heard from Jim Mandich on his radio show that Shula was always tougher and nitpicked more when the team was good. Maybe we've got the same thing going on here!

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I couldn't see the game since Orlando is a suburb of Jacksonville ???
however in listening to the game I think there might be a 4th option linearz, we were able to surprise the Patriots. since there was no time to collect real game film they couldn't prepare like normal. if you watch the patsies after game interviews they look completely dejected and compliment the Dolphins. I feel sorry for whomever plays them next.

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Thanks so much linearz!

You are right to list the choices above as it is too early in the season to know exactly where we stand.

Now if the Mantra "You are only as good as your last Sunday" is correct then the Patriots have some issues.

Maybe, just maybe, the Pats' plug and play system is starting to catch up with them. How many years can you keep switching WRs and play well consistently?

I was happy as well to hear that Lazor ripped Tannehill. There is a new Sheriff in town and he is not going to wet nurse Tannehill, who is now in his third year.

I have always liked a "No Excuses, Just Results" approach.

Many coaches find it is easier to work their players harder when they win. Success breeds success as players buy into the system. I would say that the players are totally on board with the coaching staff.

Now the challenge is getting up for the Bills. I am sure that we were sky high for the Patriots. The Bills have a talented defense and beat us twice last year. This will be their home opener so maybe we have something to prove and can go into Rich Stadium and pull out the win.

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Well mattbatt, every team has limited film in the opener and I am sure the next time we face the Patriots they will be better prepared. They didn't look all that bad in the first half. They moved the ball and scored 20 points.

Now this past week there was a lot of discussion about Belicheat taking our players off waivers in order to get into our playbook. Here is my take on Belicheat taking our guys off waivers to gather info:

Sure a player can share some of the playbook but we have so many different plays that are run out certain formations. How do they know which one we are calling?

I think Belicheat could get good info on what our signals are at the line of scrimmage? But knowing exactly where we are going with the ball is kinda tough so early in the season.

What it boils down to is matchups. Can you get an advantage by trying to matchup our players' strengths against their players' weaknesses? That is good information to get from a former member of a team. What does a player struggle with?

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This is a crucial game for the Fins, this will either make believers or I told you so out of the experts. In my heart of hearts I am (and always will) route for the Fins, but as past history shows we rarely if ever win games that we need to, is this team different, time will tell.

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Well, as we all know we not only lost, but, what we did to the Pats was done to us. I was not able to see the game but from what I have read we stunk up the place. I know it is only one game and all that, but really only 10 points? that's all we could muster? So much for our fast paced offense. Where do we go from here?