Thursday, December 29, 2016

Brady Bunch Week in Miami

Let's go ahead and give a nasty welcome party to the Pats, yes they took the division but they need this game to clinch home field advantage through out the playoffs.

The Fins are hurting from injuries, but won't give up and the coach has expressed that we play to win and this week is no different. Besides a division foe is a division foe no matter what week it is.

I don't know about you but I hate our division foes all the same I don't discriminate I hate them all, even though I respect the accomplishments that they have made, and the list is endless.

It's time for the tides to change and for the Dolphins to start challenging for division as soon as next season, so why not make a statement with this beat up team in this, the last game off this most improbable of the regular season, with a victory the Dolphins would  be 5-1 within the division and 11-5 on the season (that started 1-4 and we all thought was lost) Good luck to the Dolphins who have made us proud!!!

Dolphins 10-5 Despite Missing About Half Of Presumed Starters

   If you think about all the changes to our starting line-up since the pre-season, both on offense and defense and not just injuries but also poor performance, it becomes clear how great coaching has been.
Coaches have done so much more than just coach games they installed a system that teaches and developes our young players and prepares the back-ups to be game ready.
I don't remember a time that we had young players develope so fast or back-up players be so well prepared for game day and that is the real reason why next man up works.
OK, I know game planning and putting your players in position to succeed is great too, but the attention to the small details with back-ups and rookies and young players is nothing short of amazing. Remember this, to put a player in position to succeed you have to know that player really well and know absolutely what that player is good at and be able to teach him how to defend and hide his flaws, you have to know were his weakness is and help him with technique and practice. How much time do you think a head coach has to give to a player who is not a starter? There's so many things going on at the same time , I'm just happy our coach has a really good staff and is really on top of things.

Ajayi wins ther weekly rushing honor

The fans have spoken and the winners have been chosen! Dolphins Jay Ajayi was awarded the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week! Ajayi won for his spectacular performance against the Buffalo Bills (rushed for 206 yards on 32 carries (6.4 avg.) and a touchdown in a 34-31 overtime win). This is Ajayi’s third award of the season.
 
Don’t forget, because of his win, $2,000 will be given to The USO in Ajayi’s name.
 
Also, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers was awarded the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week for his performance against the Minnesota Vikings (completed 28 of 38 passes (73.7 percent) for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns for a 136.6 passer rating in a 38-25 win).

Happy New Year, Dolphins: Or, How A Curse Ends (and Joy Returns)

    You all smelled  it.  The inevitable stench of failure coming our way.  Mike Gillislee churning out yards. Charles Clay catching big first downs and touchdowns.  It was the way it always happens.  The Dolphins lose in the clutch, and lose to their own cast offs and fomer players we let get away.  Wes Welker was only the most prominent case- we had all been here so many times before.
    Then Franks missed his kick.  Carpenter loomed on the other sideline and prepared to put us out of our misery.  The end of the script was written yet again- Rex and his stupid grin, happy Canadians in the parking lot drinking.
    Only it never happened.  First Franks hit from practically midfield. Then we all saw the Bills unravel.  First they failed to score the touchdown in overtime that we were all dreading as a certainty.  Then Carpenter missed the kick- CARPENTER MISSED, with a chance to kill the Dolphins dreams.  And then Jay Ajayi showed what young players can do:  not give a ___ about the past, not know they aren't supposed to do what they can do.
    Happy New Year, Dolphins fans.  This group just buried the last bodies, exorcised the remaining demons, and sent the last ghost happily to a restful grave.  The nightmare is over.  Let's enjoy the playoffs.

Jay Lopez

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jay Ajayi nominated for FedEx ground player of the week


Today, the NFL announced the Dolphins Jay Ajayi is a finalist for this week’s FedEx Ground Player of the Week award for his gritty performance against the Buffalo Bills (rushed for 206 yards on 32 carries (6.4 avg.) and a touchdown in a 34-31 overtime win). This is Ajayi’s third nomination of the season.  You’ll find a list of nominees below:

Air Nominees
·         Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgerscompleted 28 of 38 passes (73.7 percent) for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns for a 136.6 passer rating in a 38-25 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

·         Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilsoncompleted 29 of 45 passes (64.4 percent) for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns for a 117.8 passer rating against the Arizona Cardinals.

·         Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradfordcompleted 34 of 50 passes (68 percent) for 382 yards and 3 touchdowns a for a 110.5 passer rating against the Green Bay Packers.

Ground Nominees
·         Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 206 yards on 32 carries (6.4 avg.) and a touchdown in a 34-31 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills.

·         Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bellrushed for 122 yards on 20 carries (6.1 avg.) and a touchdown in a 31-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

·         Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnsonrushed for 95 yards on 28 carries (3.4 avg.) and 3 touchdowns in a 34-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Every week, following the Monday NightFootball game, through Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, fans can visit NFL.com/FedExor tweet using #AirandGround and the nominees’ last name to cast their vote. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and then FedEx will award a $2,000 donation in the winning players’ names to The USO.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Dolphins Magic Continues!!

I am still buzzing. And not from drinking.

Although, Saturday's game against the Bills could very easily cause me to drink. And heavily.

There were way too many turn of events and emotions for me to enjoy that game.

From blowing a 14 point lead late in the third period and falling behind with a buck and a half left in regulation.

With Bills kicker Carpenter missing two FGs to us hitting the upright trying to get a 10 point lead.

And then, with the game on the line, drilling a 55 yarder to send the game into OT.

So many big plays from both teams. If I was a neutral fan, I would've absolutely loved watching this game.

It was football paradise. Probably the most exciting game I have seen all year.

Luckily for us, we have been in quite a few of these nail biter games.

I truly believe that we are battle tested and ready for the playoffs, if we get in.

Are we dominant? Not at all.

Are we a tough out? I wouldn't want to play us.

As banged up as we are on defense. As leaky as our run defense seems to be. As anemic as our pass defense was today. I still would not want to play us.

We have some very scary players with very scary speed on offense. We have quite a few guys who can go the distance on any given play.

That's dangerous!

And we are young! Too young to know how good we can be yet old enough to get it done.

We still make some growing pains mistakes but we still find a way to win.

Magically turning around a season that seemed so hopeless at 1-4 and now, after winnning 9 of 10, we stand on the doorstep of the playoffs.

If the Chiefs beat the Broncos Sunday night that door swings wide open.

I didn't want to mention any players or coaches in this post.  It wouldn't be fair to any player or coach to say he did more than another in this run.

This has been, as it should hopefully continue to be, a true team effort. Somebody always seems to step up big at the right moment and make a big play to win the game.

For so many of us Dolfans, thinking we could win 10 games after a 1-4 start, that was completely out of the question. No possible way!

Yet here we are.

I don't need the nerve wracking, hair pulling, screaming at the TV lifestyle.

But I am so proud of this team right now. So proud.

Hopefully we keep it going.

Phins Completely Up, Up, and Away!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971


Monday, December 19, 2016

Watch What You Wish For....

It just may come true.

With only two weeks left we control our own destiny.

The good thing is its very exciting to be in this position. Especially after starting the season 1-4.

The bad thing is we are in this position and now I am nervous as all hell about having to go into Buffalo to pull out a win.

This is not going to be easy at all.

It's going to be cold.

40° worth.

Can we tackle any better in the cold? I doubt it very much.

We are going to get a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy.

McCoy right, McCoy left, McCoy, McCoy McCoy.

This game has all the makings of one of those slow deaths were our defense is teased with plenty of 3rd and 2s but cannot get off the field.

The Bills can get 5-8 yards on first down. Throw some incompletions and still ram it down our throats to move the chains.

To win we are going to need the same effort we got against the Jets on Saturday.

Just enough yards rushing to keep the Bills defense honest.

Just enough to allow our play action passing to be effective.

The wind in Orchard Park could be an issue. Forecasts are for 14 MPH with gusts of 18-20 MPH.

Not too friendly confines for Matt Moore.

A few turnovers and a big special teams play may be necessary as well.

It is wonderful to be in control of our playoff chances.

It's also nerve racking having this opportunity.

Lets face it. Been there, failed at that.

But this is a different team traveling into blustery Buffalo.

I feel pretty good about our coaches coming in with a good game plan.

I feel even better about them scraping it and adjusting to whatever would work better.

That's been the strength of this team.

Adjusting to whatever adversity confronts us has been our mantra.

If we can pull out this win, then Sunday night's game between the  Broncos at the Chiefs will be must watch TV.

The Chiefs  could put a big ole bow on a big ole Christmas gift for Dolfans across the globe and send us into the playoffs.

Currently, no one expects us to beat the Bills.

Vegas says no putting us at a 3 point underdog.

The talking heads say no figuring history repeats itself.

I hope and pray this group of resilient Dolphins can prove them wrong.

That this group can some how, some way, pardon the expression but, circle the wagons and find a way to keep this magical season alive.

After all, isn't that what we all wished for all along?

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Some Dolphins Thoughts...

The first thing I wanna say is it is a fantastic feeling to sweep the Jets. They truly got their asses handed to them. I have said it once and I'll say it again, With all the injuries at key positions this season, it is truly amazing what this coaching staff is doing with the so called "back ups".

This is a fore gone conclusion: Xavien Howard is a beast. He was stride for stride with anyone who was put in front of him yesterday. Hopefully Maxwell gets back ASAP and we should be pretty set at cornerback. Not to mention that Tony Lippett has really came on as a playmaker. One of the glaring holes in this defense at the beginning of the season seems to have turned into a strength. 

Our defensive line is ridiculously good. Suh has been wreaking havoc all year. Cam Wake is the best defensive end in football and we need do resign Andre Branch. 

All these things point to the fact that the coaching staff really knows how to develop players. For once this offseason, we might have to cut some really good players which hasn't been the case in recent years. 

We really need Pouncey to stay healthy or we need to replace him. Our running game suffers badly when he is out and if he can't play we need to find an adequate replacement to help our run game. I credit Gase for sticking with the run game even though it has little success, it keeps the defense honest.

Gase is smarter than most coaches out there. His play calling has been on point. That is the only thing I can think of as to why this offense continues to have success with all the injuries. That bomb to Kenny Stills was no fluke, he saw the defense show something on a previous play and knew the middle of the field would be open later and called the post at the perfect time. 

I was a little skeptical of having Vance Joseph as a first year coordinator but he has put those worries of mine to rest. He has complete control of this defense and I truly believe his expertise as a former DB coach is shining through in Miami. How else do you explain the secondary success without their best defensive back?

For the first time in a long time, Miami has earned a winning season. Not only are they on the right side if their record but they have a shot to win 11 games, ELEVEN! Who guessed that at the start of the season?! I believe we have a good shot to win eleven games too. We should beat Buffalo, no guarantee, but we should. New England? They are the best team in football right now but we always seem to split the season series with them and they already have one on us. 

With all that being said, if we don't win another game the rest of the year, I would be content with the season. I said at the beginning that I just wanted this team to compete and start building for the future, a 9-7 season under a rookie head coach with all the injuries and holes this team has, I would say mission accomplished!

Phins Up!!!!!






Sent from my iPad

Friday, December 16, 2016

Matt Moore: Clutch Since Day One

    I am more bummed out about Ryan Tannehill's injury than anyone other than David Appollos.  But persist we must.  Win, we must.  It's Jets week.  So I want to send a bit of sunshine into the lives of Dolphins nation by recalling an early experience as a Bruins fan.
    I moved to LA to pursue my PhD in 2000.  I was learning to be a college football fan since my undergraduate school was a basketball and academics kind of place.  In 2002, the Bruins caught two injuries at Cal, and were ready to trot out a scrawny freshman from Van Nuys that none of us had ever heard about.  Surprisingly, the coaching staff came out throwing, and the Bruins stomped on the Cardinal in glorious fashion.  Here was the third stringer, putting the stupid tree to rest.  Nothing is more pleasing than collapsed smugness, and Stanford's pathetic fan base, populating a bar in Westwood that day, looked suddenly crumpled sad and wrinkled in their khaki and gingham costumes.
    Matt Moore stomped them.  He was cocky, bright, swaggering- in short, the sort of guy you play your tail off for because, quite simply, you like him.
    So let's send the Jets into oblivion once again.  Brandon Marshall can cry about holding calls, ___- here I was going to call out another of their players, but I can't remember any... Oh well.
    Fins Up.  And let's rally around the kid from Van Nuys.  He's got moxie and he'll leave it all on the field.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How 2002 Wrecked the Dolphins (and what this team can do about it)

     In the next three games, the Dolphins will face Jacksonville, Houston, and Tennessee to determine our post-season fate.  We won't, of course:  we'll be on the road in two cold weather stadiums with drunken, hostile, obnoxious fan bases and frozen, crappy surfaces.  We'll then be at home against the seemingly perennial world champions. But I thought it worth a tease, since in 2002 this almost came true.
     But for the economics of three then fragile clubs, the Dolphins would have been the crown jewel of the AFC South.  The Colts would have remained in the AFC EAST.  Manning and Brady might have fought for division titles, while the Dolphins feasted on a hapless and backward division, coasting to 12-4 records and first round byes.
     The Patriots, Bills, and Jets wanted to keep Miami, as the Dolphins were argued to be the principal rival of each of the three clubs, and therefore crucial to their revenue models.  For reasons we may never know, the Dolphins accepted membership in a nasty, frozen division that was about to get tough, and the Colts got a free pass to the playoffs. And that was that.
     A franchise that struggles in cold weather games inherited three games a season in New Jersey, Canada, and Foxboro, while the Colts migrate south to Houston, Jacksonville, and Tennessee three times a year.  The NFL is a business, and the Dolphins paved the way for realignment and expansion by taking one for the team- er, league.  But the franchise has suffered for it, make no mistake.
      As we wrap up this season playing three games with our bitter foes, it is worth knowing where this all came from: dollar bills.  
      That said, the division is what it is.  You have to win your neighborhood if you want to win the league.  There is no better time to start than right now. But tell me you wouldn't rather be playing Bortles than Brady.

Jay Lopez

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nfl Officiating - Part 2

Went to the archives after reading Carl's story about the quality of the officiating in Miami Dolphins games this season.

On the face of it, the calls even out at 104 - 103.

Dolphins opponents were assessed 755 penalty yards, opposed to 981 penalty yards against the Dolphins. Not a big difference over 13 games.

However, there are disparities.

At San Diego, Terry McAulay's crew called 11 penalties for 81 yards on the Dolphins and 4 on the Chargers for 29 yards. What's more, The Chargers got seven 1st downs to the Dolphins one. 

And we come to Jerome Boger and his crew's horrendous calls last week against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cards were assessed 54 yards on 7 penalties. The Dolphins? Fourteen penalties for 118 yards. That windfall gave the Cards five 1st downs to the Dolphins one.

To add insult to injury, Ajayi fell on a fumble near the Cards goal line, clearly recovered it and was down by contact. The officials swallowed their whistles until the Cards wrestled the ball away in the pile.

This week at the Jets, it's Pat Morelli.

On a side note, do officials try to balance out penalties? In the Rams game, the Dolphins were charged with the first seven penalties of the game. Then, the Rams got hit with the next seven of the next eight penalties to even both teams out at eight penalties.




Sunday, December 11, 2016

What Is With The Officiating In The NFL?

This was truly another crazy Dolphins game.

Two teams combining for 5 turnovers and that was only in the first quarter.

Rain and rain and rain didn't help.

Field goal hits the upright and bounces out.

Another hits the crossbar and bounces in.

A blocked extra point turns into 2 crucial points going in the other direction.

Ryan Tannehill, who played well again, may be lost for not only the rest of this season but well into 2017.

Matt Moore steps in and after handing off for 2 series, hits a big pass to set up the win in the closing seconds.

What was Gase thinking by trying to squeeze in an extra play before kicking the game winning FG? That was about as stupid a move as I have ever seen.

It almost back fired, except for one glorious second left on the clock.

Despite all that excitement and the roller coaster of emotions, I am left wondering if the league actually influences their officials to do whatever they can to keep as many teams alive for the playoffs even if they screw one team out of a win and their rightful place in the playoffs.

We had 14 penalties called against us vs. only 7 against the Cardinals. 

Now I know the refs aren't concerned about evening the penalties out but how many ticky tack calls will you call against one team that bails out the losing team and extends their drives vs. ignoring a direct hit below the knee that ends a QB's season.

The Cardinals are in deep shit right now. A win would've kept their playoff hopes very much alive.

This loss turns a lot of next week's Arizona TV channels from Cardinal football to something more interesting to the Arizona TV market.

Golf, basketball, horse racing, bowling, hockey, figure skating, basket weaving, you name it.

With ratings down, the NFL needs as many TV markets in the playoff hunt as possible.

With a loss, Miami would still be in the hunt.

I just gotta wonder. There were way too many calls going against us including James getting called for holding when he pancaked a LB early in the game.

It seemed so glaring, so obvious, that something is up.

It's now officially Jets Week II and we got Matt Moore under center. 

I can only imagine how screwed we will be without even our "star" QB in the playoff hunt.

Would the NFL rather have Matt Moore or Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger or Denver's Trevor Siemian or Titan's Marcus Mariota leading their teams into the playoffs.

Granted, one Cinderella is good for ratings but Matt Moore's foot won't fit that slipper.

Gonna be interesting.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone 
Dolfan since 12/25/1971


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Dolphin Keep Delivering The Goods

   The worst start turned into a heck of a season, personally I feel so good about the Fins and the direction and culture change that I'm drunk of excitement for our team with their first winning season and playoff birth since 2008.

   I'm thinking what if Pouncey, Jones, Misi, Jenkins, Albert, Alonzo and Tannehill weren't out for the season or playing hurt. It's got to be really hard to tackle a RB with a clubbed hand or block an opposing DE.

   The excuses can be made about a lot of what's happened just as in seasons past, but no not this guys they just grind and fight for the win. I've been a fan a long time and I've never seen that next man up mentality work for the Fins before at least not like this.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Dolphins Loss Hurts, But It's Not All Lost.

Ok, so we are back to looking in from the outside at the play-offs, We're experiencing that same feeling that makes us sick to our stomach thanks to a Ravens team that absolutely brought down the house of Dolphins dreams and hopes for this season's play-offs, not that it can't happen, but it just became a lot harder because the blue print is out on what to do against the Dolphins and every team we play will try to use it, hopefully we can adjust but the damage is great and the fact that we can't cover the middle of the field is obvious.

When I say all is not lost I mean look at the big picture we knew the Dolphins aren't a great team before the streak, but coaching and change of culture gave us a direction and though we don't have the talent at some key positions (O-line linebacker, corner, safety) to be a solid play-off contender, we have a good coaching staff and direction, the fact is our draft picks are starting to make a difference and our system is going to work for us once we have the right players on the roster.

The next couple seasons are where we become that team nobody wants to play, that team that has enough firepower to be a real play-off contender and a real contender for the AFC East.

One last thing to remember is that in the next year or to Tom Brady will begin his inevitable decline and we have the second best QB in this division ( not that I'm totally sold on Tannehill ) but we have better QB play than the Jets or the Bills.

Jones Injury Exploited.

     The Dolphins winning streak was impressive.  Brought about by heart and solid schemes, the Dolphins out-performed our talent for a few weeks this year, and that was fun. In Baltimore, we ran into a playoff team and got its full attention.  The truth is, we aren't there yet. And that's ok, considering our first-year coach is still building his team.
    We aren't ready for the playoffs yet- too many things need to be improved. Many of those improvements are wearing other team's colors today.  We need a cornerback or two, some new linebackers, and some low-priced youth on our DL, and a pass-catching back who can make us lethal on third down.
     Two of our answers, however, are under contract. Our pro bowl center makes a big difference to our offensive unit. Perhaps more vitally, our defensive nerve center is missing.
     I have been silently wondering at how we have kept it together in the secondary without Jones. He covers so much ground, makes up for so many other defensive liabilities, and brings much needed swagger.  Superior play from Alonso and excellent scheming from our DC kept us competitive, but the cracks started to show when QB Castro lit us up last week.
    Our secondary is a mess. Our corners are both beatable, though both serviceable. Our linebackers can't cover tight ends or running backs (opposing offenses can have four yard dump-offs pretty much at will, and a quarterback who can confidently throw the seams can open us up entirely too easily.) And we are relatively helpless against running quarterbacks.
    All of this suggests that we are front-heavy, which we are. Our defensive dollars are all spent stuffing the run and generating front four pressure. We have bargain linebackers, a host of no-names, and Byron Maxwell, who maximizes salary and occasionally his play. Jones gave our secondary a chance. His absence makes us second rate.
    It's only one loss, and good to go ugly in all phases, perhaps, and get a wake-up call in all three units (how about that missed field goal to keep us on zero...) But all of this is to say that help is on the way- next year.  This year is about learning how to fight, winning winnable games, and cutting dead weight. We are on the right track.  Sunday was just a reminder that we have middle of the road talent at too many crucial positions, and that losing the leaders in the middle of our O and D units has a cost.

Jay Lopez

Sunday, December 04, 2016

SPANKED!

Can't finish drives. Miss a FG. 2 INTs in Red Zone.

And that was early in the game.

More to follow.

Too many offensive penalties, Too many missed coverages and tackles.

The true insult to injury is their back up QB comes in with over 9 minutes left.

That's how bad we got beat.

Fortunately, we keep our feathers numbered for just such an emergency.

It is only one loss. If the Ravens win their division, the loss won't hurt us directly against them for a wild card.

We have to win out now to have a prayer at 11-5.

And then get some help with Denver losing a couple games.

I know we all would accept losing on a last play FG by Ravens' kicker Justin Tucker a hell of a lot better than this shalacking.

It is what it is. One bad ass loss.

Keep the faith.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Already Out of Control...

And there's no excuse for it. The defense is playing about as terribly as they have all year. If the Ravens are on third down, it's ABOUT to be first down. You can take that to the bank. This is ABSOLUTELY pathetic and they better make some amazing half-time adjustments because this defense is making me sick to watch right now. You could take a giant sack, fill it with dog crap, and fling it out onto the field opposite of the Ravens offense, and it would be a FINE replacement for our defense today... and much cheaper.


YOU GET PAID A TON. EARN YOUR DAMN MONEY.


Un...****ing....believable.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hey Omar!! Let's All Play Your Favorite Game: Gotcha!!!!!!!!




Let's all play Omar Kelly's favorite game in the world!!!

"Gotcha!!!!"

These tweets were posted by our good friend Omar after the Cleveland game.

We were all a little frustrated, myself included, but these words by far take the cake.

So this Miami team is no better than a 6 win team Omar? Believe me, I am as surprised as you are but who exactly should be sadly mistaken? Me? Mr. Ross? Tannehill? Marino?

ALL WRONG!! No Points for you Omar. YOU should be sadly mistaken for posting that! We all might have been thinking something similar but you take the cake for actually tweeting that out.



"There probably won't be many more victories this season". What do you classify as "many more"? Just one? Possibly more than the 6 you predicted in your tweet? What exactly is "many more?"

The hell with it!! It doesn't matter anyway Omar! You still lose this edition of your favorite game "GOTCHA!!"

Thanks for playing!!

Brought to you by all the people who love pointing out when you are wrong!

See you next time!!

These Miami Dolphins...

So the Miami Dolphins are on a 6 game winning streak and are currently in the 6th and final spot for a wild card if the season ended today.

Ryan Tannehill has been playing lights out as of late with something like a 9/1 TD to INT ratio during this win streak.

I for one was wrong. I thought we had seen enough of Tannehill and was ready to pull the plug on him, good thing I am not an NFL coach! LOL. Can Tannehill keep this pace up? Probably not but I am very encouraged by what I have seen from him lately.

What is the most impressive about this win streak is how we are doing it:

Reshad Jones: Hurt

Brandon Albert: Hurt

Mike Pouncy: Hurt

DeVante Parker: Hurt

Jordan Cameron: Hurt

Dion Sims: Was hurt for most of this streak and recently came back

Jelani Jenkins: Hurt

Koa Misi: Hurt

Xavien Howard: Hurt

Earl Mitchell-Hurt for most of the streak

10 starters....T-E-N!!!!! 3 of them Pro Bowlers

That is what must be done in this league. You must find a way to win when things don't go according to plan. Miami has done that. It has not always been pretty but a win is a win.

Not to mention our defensive backs and line backers are playing very very very well. Those were the 2 major concerns coming into the season and they have easily exceeded expectations.

The team needs to re-sign Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell ASAP. As well as give Reshad Jones the contract he deserves.

Baltimore is going to be a very tall task on Sunday. Their offense has been stagnant as of late. If we can take away Mike Wallace, I think we have a very good chance of coming away with a victory. Not to mention, we have to run the ball as we have been even if it does not work very well. Baltimore's run defense is very good but we have to keep them honest.

This game has huge playoff ramifications. I personally believe that it will take 10 wins to get in the playoffs this year and that night not even bee good enough but the good news is that we are only 3 wins away with 5 to go and who knows, with Gronk done for the year now, the Pats might lose a few more also.

Congratulations Dolphins. We expected to see this competitiveness all year long. Its nice to see that you guys have seemed to turn a corner. Good luck tomorrow!


Friday, December 02, 2016

Tannehill must proof he can get the Dolphins to the play-offs.

    Tannehill is maturing and showing development in his fifth year as the Miami Dolphins QB. It is clear he's playing the best football of his career under rookie head coach Adam Gase, who apparently really is the QB whisperer.

It isn't just that he's playing better he is a better leader and teammate, he's earning the respect and praise from his teammates as well as the media and the fans who a couple of months ago were pretty much asking for his head booing and asking for Matt Moore at our own home stadium.

Now the doubters are being silenced by his play and the way this offense seems to act like an extension of him, what I mean is he he really does have control and command of the offense, the scheme and the playbook along with the power to change the play and adjust protections before the snap of the ball.

So there is just one more hurdle to overcome, and that is to get us to the play-offs. We've been in position to do this before and he could not, but with the changes he has made and the growth he is showing now is the time to make the final jump and become a real franchise QB and finish the season with a play-off birth and quite the mouth of those who would otherwise bad mouth him.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Can The Dolphins Win At Baltimore?

   The Baltimore Ravens seem to always have our number, sometimes it's a close game sometimes it's not, but going back to our last play-off appearance witch was in 2008 against the Ravens the Dolphins have not done well against them.

Yes, they have a 6-5 record and are not looking like a good offensive team, but they do have the number 2 over all defense and they are a very well coached team that will give the Dolphins a run for their money.

The offensive line needs to play like all five starters are playing because nothing is going to be given, and the most important battle is going to be in the trenches. The trenches are where the line of scrimmage and time of possession will win or lose the game for the Dolphins.

With all that been said, I do think that this is a different team than what the Dolphins have put on the field in a long time. They're fighting and not giving up and most importantly they find a way to win the close games.
 
     I'm expecting a huge game for the Dolphins on defense, not just keeping the Dolphins in it, but possibly winning the game for them. I do believe the Dolphins can and will find a way to win this game.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins Most Valuable Commodity

    Watch tonight's game between our rivals for the last playoff spot in the AFC.  It's going to come down to one of these three teams making it, and two watching from home.  And as the Chiefs and Broncos duke out a defensive gem, one thing is clear:  Neither of these two teams can pass against a loaded box.
    The game plan is simple if you want to beat KC or DEN- load up 8 in the box and make them pass. Their defenses are elite, and they may beat you ugly even if you stop their offense, but they will not score much if you dare them to throw.
    San Francisco came in today and dared the Dolphins to throw. Ryan Tannehill put 31 on them. Which means that the Dolphins have something that so many teams don't: a player who can make a team pay if they try a one-dimensional scheme.  None of the teams outside of the playoff chase have that.  And at least two that are in the hunt would love to have Tannehill's arm strength and ability.
    Tannehill may never be a pass-into-a-passing-defense type of quarterback. Or he may evolve into one.  The jury is out. What he certainly is, is a player who can look at single coverage and go to work. For the Dolphins, if the O-line can get and stay healthy, that may be enough.
    We struggled to run today.  And we struggled to defend.  And we came five yards away from potentially losing at home to a 1-10 team.
      This is the NFL and any win is a good win, so long as the team learns and grows.  That said, we won today with only one of our dimensions clicking.  Having a passing game that can carry the team when necessary is something few NFL teams have: Ryan Tannehill is a blue chip asset.
 

Jay Lopez

Dolphins Becoming Escape Artists

I am dying to find out what Nadomican Suh told Colin Kaepernick at the end of the game after almost snapping his back in half. I wonder if it was Anthem related.

Two weeks in a row for nail biting victories. I am already balding but this one cost me a bunch of what little I have left.

Way too much stress after a 17 point lead with 10 minutes left against a 1-9 team.

A real shame to waste Drake's kick off return.

Frisco showed some spunk and resilience. They never gave up.

We probably let down our guard and soon enough we were back in a battle.

That could've been a devastating loss.

Maybe we are just going through some growing pains. I hope so.

Got to give Ryan Tannehill some props again.
He looked terrific firing that ball around the yard.

Tannehill carried this team to victory. He is growing into a franchise QB right in front of our eyes.

We are going to need him playing well the rest of the season if we are going to make the playoffs.

Parker is the real deal. He made some incredible catches two weeks in a row. Too bad he was just out of bounds on 2 today. That bomb down the middle when he laid out is highlight reel material.

Sims is a beast breaking tackles.

Now I watched Leonte Carroo play at Rutgers and was very happy to see us draft him. If Parker is out any extended time, Carroo can help fill the void. He may not have Parker's leaping ability, but he will catch anything thrown his way.

Carroo won't do anything to hurt us but I want Parker back asap.

I have to wonder how many yards Ajayi would've have against the Niners with Albert, Tunsil and Pouncey in the lineup.

The triple replacements did an ok job. No glaring penalties but no big pushes either. On that screen late in the game they didn't block anybody. They all wiffed.

Our front office has put a decent roster together for Gase and company to coach. So many "next man up"s are stepping in and playing well enough to win. That's impressive.

Tannehill is shutting up the doubters and I was one of them.

I like him, have 3 of his jerseys but, I will admit, I doubted whether or not he could carry the team on his back to victory.

Two weeks in a row has warmed me over.

I always respected his toughness and arm strength and he has been playing so well during the streak, especially during the last 66 minutes of football. So well.

Next week will be a crucial test for us. Going into Baltimore is not easy for any team in the league.

Beating them would put us 2 games up on them and Pittsburg for a wild card spot.

We are going to need everyone playing at their best.

Wow, 7-4!

Who saw that coming after our first 5 games?

Some of you believed though no one knew.

We all are thrilled.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

So Much For The Health Of O-line.

The problem with the O-line is still the same, they just can't stay healthy. When the starters play they are unstoppable, I'm sure if the line played all 16 games together we are a play-off caliber team, but if more than 1 of those guys is out injured, we're going to struggle. 2 or 3 linemen out is too much for a team that has depth problems at that position, too much of a drop off in talent.

I believe with the win streak and the motivation that comes with it and everybody buying into the system and a good pep talk a player will give a great effort, but three guys out that's what I call patch work.

Thank God the defense was able to keep us in the game, and Tannehill who has apparently turned a corner of his own must have really given the offense a good inspirational pep talk just before the last two drives of the game.

I'm still in shock over the fact that we did absolutely nothing for about 54 minutes and manage to escape with the win. Think about it, the fins of recent years would have given up and crawled under a rock and died. Not these guys, Gase has them believing and trusting the coaching staff, put it this way,  I'm a fan and the most disappointing thing of the last few seasons was not finding a way to win the close games and that has been too long an issue that we finally seem to have turned the corner on.

So the starters on the o-line are not all going to be there for the 49ners game, thank God it's at home and that it is a bad team. A plus is that whomever is going to play will get the stater reps in practice that will help and so why not 6 in a row. Like Gase says let's take it one at a time.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Maybe the Most Important Win Yet

Yesterday was not pretty. 54 minutes of uselessness before the Dolphins finally woke up, but it was exactly what they needed when they needed it most, and it came from Ryan Tannehill! I have always been a supporter of his, but the Cinci game was when I really started to wonder if he'd ever get it together and started thinking about who we might be able to replace him with next year.


Well... yesterday he did something that I did not think he'd ever be able to do. At the end of the game, with Albert and Pouncey ("Ow muh hip!") hurt for the eight-millionth time and Tunsil out for the rest of the game, and with a patch-work O-line, he picked the team up on his shoulders and charged down the field against one of the best defenses in the league....and he did it TWICE.


Not to take away from the defense; they kept the team in the game. Just like Tannehill, the defense didn't do anything spectacular, but did exactly what they needed when they needed it most.


The Rams' front seven were nasty all day. Maybe the win would've been prettier if the O-line had all it's starters, but with all those backups in, Tannehill rarely had time to do anything and Ajayi was getting bottled up behind the line more often than I've seen since he became the starter.


We all know what the outcome was so I won't recap anymore, but I wanted to share some things I noticed that were easy to miss if you were too busy staring at the floor and shaking your head.


1. We can survive without Albert. Tunsil is already very good at LT. I only saw one instance where he blocked right to double-team a DT that really didn't need to be double-teamed and the DE went right around his left side and got to the QB, and that could've just been the design of the play. Other than that, he was great up until the injury. We have an all-star LT for years to come. I think we can cut Albert lose unless he's willing to take backup money. The guy is always.... AAAAALLLLLLWAAAAYYYYYSS hurt anyway and I'm tired of it.


2. Tannehill made a bad throw to the end zone that was picked off. I was furious....at first. Then I watched the play again... and then watched it again... and I noticed something wrong. He had no out on the play, meaning, he had no "security blanket" or "escape hatch," if you will. It was a three WR set, with all three going deep and everyone else staying back blocking. So, when the Rams were STILL able to get to Tannehill, he had nobody to dump it off to and really nowhere to run. He could take the sack, throw it away (which may have resulted in a flag for grounding), or throw deep to the MOST open receiver. He chose option 3, and honestly, if he had thrown it a little better it would have looked like pure genius. I'm actually going to let that throw slide, because the point of the play call was to go for the jugular immediately after the Rams turned the ball over, which I LOVE. That's what Tannehill tried to do and it just happened to not work out. I put this more on the coach who called the play for not giving Tannehill an out on the play.


3. The defense is MUCH better at tackling and they handle the fatigue of ugly games like this very well. I believe they have the ability to keep us in the game against any team in the league.


This wasn't like the game against the Browns. This was a struggle against a team who's actually pretty good (at least defensively) and the Dolphins, and more particularly, Ryan Tannehill, were clutch... about as clutch as any of us have seen for years. This win was more than a win, it was a message that the Dolphins are not a fluke. They can fly all the way out to the West coast and beat two teams on the road back-to-back. They can play ugly against a tough defense and pull it together at the very end to turn what USED TO BE a sure defeat into an exciting victory.


I know a lot of you are thinking about how we could still win the division championship. I have to say curb your enthusiasm. I'm honestly still not sold that we'll make the playoffs at all this year. We still have some tough games to play and I still say 8-8 or anything better is a HUGE improvement as long as the Dolphins stay competitive in every game.


I do worry about the status of the O-line. Aaron Rodgers is showing us that the elite QBs of the league in fact DO NOT always "find ways to overcome and win even with a banged up line." No support, no playoffs. Period. I don't care who you have at QB.


But we should all be proud of this team and of Adam Gase. Win, lose, or draw, this has turned into a good season and Miami is officially a GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

WOW! What A Crazy Win To Keep Division Championship Chances Alive.

I was sitting at the local watering hole in Jersey, watching us running a sominex offense. And just shaking my head for 54 minutes of this game.

I knew it was going to be tough enough to score with Albert and Pouncey out against a stout Rams defense. And when Tunsil left the game, I didn't think we could move the ball at all.

And we didn't.

That is for 54 minutes.

But miracles do happen.

A scrappy OL protected Tannehill enough so he could make some plays and we snatched out a victory from sure defeat.

It wasn't pretty but we will take it!

Props to the defense for keeping us in the game. And despite some questionable play calling for 3 3/5 quarters, we survived.

So we remain in the hunt.

Actually, if we run the table and NE loses just 1 game before our final game victory against them, we will win the division.

Gotta love it!

Phins Up!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Real Reason Ratings are Down

    The average NFL play lasts 6-7 seconds from snap to whistle.  The average NFL offense runs about 65 plays per game (though Miami was last, running 56.9 last year- figures, right?)  The quick math types out there will already see where this is heading: the average amount of time you actually see football being played is 850-900 seconds per game.  Which comes out to less than 15 minutes.
     Which is, in the end, why the NFL must pay players more, win a concession on the game clock rules, and add more football to football.
      Ask any play-starved fantasy owner how he feels watching his team play against one of the many clock-killing offenses in the league, and you will get a desperate version of what pretty much every fan senses:  there simply aren't enough plays.
     Many teams elect to play defense by running short yardage offenses and running the whole play clock between snaps.  This results in the fairly standard 9 minute drive we see at least once a half.  How many times does your team get the ball for its first possession with more than half of the first quarter elapsed?
     The problems are multi-sided.  First, the NFL has done its best to eliminate special teams play, which has resulted in touchbacks rather than plays, a rather joy-killing interlude between drives.  Second the NFL changed the rule that allows the clock to run after players leave the field of play for most of the game.  When most of us were growing up, the clock remained stopped on any out of bounds play at any moment in the game, which led to those glorious 50 pass afternoons we all remember.  Third:  the NFL now runs clock after penalties, which used to create stopped clocks. Fourth: few coaches like to snap the ball with significant time left on the play clock.
    The end result is that less football is being played. What do we get more of?  Instant replay reviews (I'd rather accept a bad call now and again than watch the idiotic number of litigious replays.) Advertisements.  And Phillip Rivers making nonsense "adjustments"  at the line of scrimmage (how many arcane calls are there for "I'm going to throw another interception now.")
   People laughed at Manning's "Omaha" calls- not fully realizing that what they were watching was the future of football- or should I say, the future of no football?
   The fix is simple.  Give the NFLPA some more loot in exchange for more plays, not for more games.  We don't need 18- we need the 16 we have to be more fun.  Stop the clock when players go out of bounds, no restarts on any fouls, and please, take five seconds off the play clock.  I can't handle the drama of the extended snap count.  I guess I don't understand "the chess match."  Or maybe I do- and I choose to watch football instead.

Jay Lopez

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Is Tannehill The Man In Miami

Someone called me out on Tannehill, I had lost faith in him, I didn't see him as a good QB in my honest opinion I believed the last couple drafts we should have drafted one QB early and give a fresh kid a chance to knock Tannehill off or not, the competition would have made them both better or at least bring out the competitors in them.

I love the Fins and I pay attention to games and I'm not blind to game tape and I'm very happy to see Tannehill coming into his own. Tannehill is maturing as a leader his always been tough and the biggest problem he had was the long ball and to his credit he fix that issue, his making better desitions getting them out of bad plays not throwing pics. If

Give plenty of credit to O-line play and the running game, but also I think the one major issue with him got taken care of this off season and that is ding, ding, ding, ding a coach unlike any he ever had before one that can get the best out of him, mold him into at least a good above average QB maybe a great one(I hope) but anyway let's see what happens there's a lot of football to be played and he has still a lot he can improve on if he wants a great career.

This is were I would love to be wrong, if he is the man great, but if not next year who wants to pay someone who is not that good something 18 or 19 million. There is only a minor salary cap hit if he is released. So yeah he has to prove it these next 7 games.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Dolphins To Roll Over The Rams.

   So the Miami Dolphins are tearing apart their opponents despite the mistakes that have been made and the flags that have been thrown. The team had to overcome so many penalty first down that kept Charger drives alive and Grant dropping the ball giving the Chargers possession at the 7 yard line, but they did it. The fans hadn't seen them overcome like they have done in this winning streak in many, many moons. This is a hungry team that finds a way to win were they used to fold.

  The fins are a young team and I have to say coaching is bringing the youngsters along just fine. The team is maturing right before our eyes, and the older players have all bought in to the scheme and have become better leaders and a better locker room presence to the young players.

   There's a new attitude in town and that's a resounding yes we can win attitude and that's a very dangerous thing for our opponents, and a great thing for us fans. Enjoy the games and cheer your team they are relevant and they are getting better every week.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Job One Complete: Gase has Gotten the Locker Room Right.

    This was a win we were not supposed to get.  The Dolphins were playing a talented opponent on the road.  That opponent was essentially in an elimination game. And the referees were partial, in my view, bailing out the Chargers on numerous third and longs on questionable calls (yet somehow missing the PI against Parker?)
    This was a game the old Dolphins would have lost, leaving all of us to complain and fret.  But this team showed something today that we haven't seen in a long while:  character in the face of adversity.  They were able to do so because our coach handled his first piece of real business:  resetting a dysfunctional locker room,
     Our team's attitude and energy hasn't been right since Jonathan Martin was lumbering around, mouth agape, and Joe Philbin was busily running all passion out of our building.  When Gase inherited this team, he had a group of underachievers on hand who were ready to mail it in and collect a check.  He also had some fine football players who wanted to work.  More crucially, he had a group of players who could break either way.  So he did three necessary things.
    1) He gave all of the existing players a shot.  How frustrated were we all watching Billy, Dallas, and Jamil stink up the joint in the preseason?  But Gase let his incumbents have the respect they likely felt they were due.  He gave them an honest shot- and this must have had a positive effect on the professionals in his locker room.
    2) He then ruthlessly cut dead weight.  He let the team know that he was the only man guaranteed to be on the team in three years, and he ran the weaklings off before they could make his position rooms soft.  Goodbye Billy, Dallas, and Jamil.  Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya. And in their absence, players who know how to work felt validated.
    3) He then smashed some egos in order to salvage talent.  Rather than running off a Vontae Davis, one gets the impression that Gase would have taught him how to be a pro.  Look at what he did with Byron Maxwell, who played today like his hair was on fire and his ass was catching.
    So rest easy, Dolphins nation.  We have a leader in place who understands how to build a football culture.  We haven't had that since Johnson.  The wins will come- and they will be sweet.  Like it was today.

Jay Lopez
 

A Huge Win For The Program!

Defense! Defense! Defense!

Wow! 4 interceptions in the 4th quarter says it all.

The refs tried to take it away but Kiko Alonso took it to the house instead.

After ticky tackling us to death with so many bull shit defensive holding calls, how the hell do they not call defensive holding when the dude pulls Parker to the ground in the endzone on our last series?

Just astounding.

Gotta love this win. it truly keeps our hopes alive for a wild card.

The way the AFC is shaping up, we may not be able to lose another game.

RT deserves a lot of credit today. He took some big hits and hit some big plays.

We are so young as well.

We just gotta get into the tournament and see what happens.

Congratulations to our coaching staff, our players and our fans!

Amazing win!

Phins up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NFL ratings decline

The NFL has a bit of a problem on its hands with the drop in ratings this season. But two things about that. One. There had to be a ceiling on ratings (they can't go up forever) and I guess we reached it. And two. The NFL created a monster they couldn't control.

Let me explain. With rising ratings come rising costs, particularly in terms of the cost to broadcast. And the way to recover that is through more advertising. And that slows the game rather a lot.

Plus you have the NFLs own weirdness in terms of penalties, how they deal with concussions, suspensions, and the now fairly constant migration of players that makes teams less cohesive. And of course calling it the no fun league is apt. Players are encouraged to just be robots and not show emotion.

There's also declining attendance at games, which the NFL was okay with as long as there was increasing tv revenue. I think they see that it's not a 1-1 tradeoff and you can't have both happen.

Fantasy football is also a concern. Fans become less interested in games and more interested in individual performances. While it's good for fans, it seems to indicate fans aren't watching whole games.

The advent of redzone hasn't helped either. That's like crack. Only plays in the redzone. No commercials. Once you watch it a few times it makes games seem boring.

And then there's the quality of the games. There have been some dreadful matchups and really bad games.

Count me among those people who have not watched a single NFL game this season from beginning to end. I've tried. But when it turns bad or there's a long break, I switch away and may never come back. If I happen to catch that it's close, maybe I come back. Maybe. And I love football.

Heres something else: I watched many of the MLB playoff games in their entirety. And they were loooong. Some of them stretched to 4 hours. So it's not about length so much as it is about quality.

Until the NFL makes it compelling and interesting and shortens games, and keeps them moving, ratings will keep dipping.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Defense Is Doing It

Much of the media hoopla about the Dolphins focuses on RB Jay Ajayi and the offensive line. Less noticed is the Dolphins defense, who are greatly benefiting by the resurgence of the running game. The D no longer has to play almost three-fourths of a game because of offensive ineptitude. The results speak for themselves, and the Dolphins defense is not only rising to the occasion, it's also moving up in several key metrics.

What are the key responsibilities of NFL defenses? They are, quite simply, STOP the run, STOP the pass and STOP third down conversions. How are the Dolphins doing?

These Dolphins defensive hogs are ranked 10th, and rising. This is a three-phased stat, including rush yards per attempt, negative pass play % and third down %. (coldhardfootballfacts.com)

The Dolphins rush defense is 26th, giving up 4.5 yards per rush. Room for improvement! The defense forces negative pass plays on 8.3% of plays, ranking them 12th. Where the hogs shine is limiting offenses to 30.84% third down conversions, best in the league!

Defensive improvement will continue as long as the Dolphins offense doesn't sputter. When fresh, the Miami Dolphins defense dominates!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Get out and vote!

If you haven't already voted (and unless you live somewhere that doesn't have early voting, why wouldn't you?) remember tomorrow (Tuesday 11/8) is Election Day... so plan to get out there and rock that vote!

Most polls are open 7-7 local time, though some areas offer different hours. 

Don't know where your polling place is? Check out this handle google tool!



Sunday, November 06, 2016

It Ain't Pretty....But I'll Take It!

In a game when Ryan Tanne-Hype was supposed to take advantage of a dismal Jets pass defense, it was a second chance Kick Off return that was the highlight of the day.

Not to discredit an improved defense even though they gave up plenty of penalty yardage to allow the Jets to extend a few drives into points, they still made enough plays, featuring interceptions by Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain, two sacks by Cameron Wake, plus two big plays by Ndamukong Suh during the Jets last possession.

This game was par for the course when the Jets play the Dolphins.  Lots of wacky plays from a dropped snap on a punt to a punt return for a TD brought back by penalty. The game boasted 5 lead changes.

RT didn't win this game in the 4th quarter as it appeared he may have to with just under 6 minutes left but he certainly did nothing to lose it. Which is a good thing.

We had plenty to cheer and of course moan about through out this classic seesaw battle between these rivals.

What impressed me most was the solid running game to grind out the W at the end. And that final formation with 2 WRs split way out wide on each side forcing the Jets to have only 7 men in the box to stop the run.

Good luck with that.

So we are 4-4 and headed west for two weeks to face the Chargers and then the Rams.

These will not be easy wins for anybody but if we can play well enough to win, we could come back home at 6-4.

Also, after tonight's Raiders Broncos game, unless there is a tie, one of them will fall to 3 losses, leaving us a game out of the Wild Card hunt.

For now, I'll enjoy this victory over the Jets no matter how ugly it was.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Is It Sustainable?

Yes, we are all happy that we can run the ball and have won two in a row, but the question is can this vicious run game continue to be successful or will defenses figure out how to stop it or will the O-line falter and not stay healthy given the extra effort they put out to win the the battle of the trenches and time of possession.

I must say that winning the time of possession also means a longer period of play for the O-line which has not been able to stay healthy for any extended period of time, the more they play the bigger the chance someone gets injured.

I'll bite, and say that I think we can sustain it because everyone in the team is exited and wants to be a part of something great, the players are all very motivated by what's going on and that confidence can move swagger can move mountains or at least opposing D-lines, I hope.

If the Dolphins can run for not 200 yards a game from Jay Ajayi, but if we can get between 120 to 150 yards a game from our RBs as a unit, we are good to go.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Jets Week.

 -In this run heavy offense the Phins will need Williams or Drake to take a step forward. Signing Rambo will reduce one of these RBs special teams snaps which will lead to a more expanded role on offense. I really hope it's Drake, he is just the kind of lightning to go with the Jay Trains thunder.

-The Jets play a ton of man coverage which should present some big play opportunities for Tannehill with his legs.

-Gase should add the Pistol formation to his arsenal. He would have most of the runs and almost all the playaction plays, with a different look. Also, a variation of the zone read would be available.

Mo Perkins

Thursday, October 27, 2016

An important moment for Gase

Everyone is so excited about the Dolphins resurgent running game. So am I, as good running teams tend to display the physicality that is necessary for winning football.  The Dolphins can now be a balanced football team, but if anyone believes that 200 yard rushing games or anything close to that is sustainable, you are setting yourself up for serious disappointment.  Now the Dolphins have put the rest of the NFL on notice. Now other teams are going to game plan to stop that potent running game and to some extent, they are going to be successful. This in turn will create opportunities in the passing game, but only if Adam Gase is not stubborn and inflexible. We cannot call power runs repeatedly just to show our commitment to running the football when the opposition is shutting us down. Gase must be ready to attack eight in the box sets with an improving and potent passing game.  He will need to anticipate other teams’ strategies and utilize that knowledge to stay one step ahead in preparation. I am not advocating for the Dolphins to in any situation to give up on the running game. But for the Dolphins to continue to win, the passing game will have to improve and become more consistent and the running game will need to sustain a level of success. I hope that Adam Gase is not using the bye week to exclusively tweak an already effective running game. I hope that he is working to improve the efficiency of the passing game in anticipation of the reaction of the rest of the NFL. The Dolphins offensive line and running backs have given Dolphin nation two amazing weeks. It has given us an edge. Will Adam Gase show the flexibility and creativity to parlay that edge into something meaningful and lasting? Go Dolphins!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

STOP IT! Tannehill is not a "Game Manager"


     I am so sick of hearing Orlando, Omar and all the other pseudo-expert "know-it-alls" tell me that Ryan Tannehill is "just a game manager."  Bull you know what!  Game managers can't throw the ball on the run to their non-throwing side of the field, stop and across their body deliver a strike for 55 yards, a la the Pittsburgh game to TE Gray.  That is a play-maker.   Game managers don't run for their lives and throw perfect completions for first downs - 3rd Down and 7 yards to go, Ryan escapes to his right and on the dead run delivered a perfect pass to a crossing Landry against the Buffalo Bills.  That is a play-maker.  Game managers can't do read option run plays for first downs in the red zone.  That is a PLAY-MAKER.   Strong-armed quarterbacks are rarely considered game managers.  And, as Marino is fond of saying, "never doubt Ryan's arm strength."



     Now, if you want to tell me he sucks.  Go for it!   You're wrong.   If you want to tell me he has next to zero pocket presence; Well, you are 100% correct.   This is Ryan's greatest weakness.  If you want to tell me he makes terrible throws after being pummeled for most of the game; You are again correct.  If you want to tell me that he is not accurate with ball placement; I will say that under duress you are partially correct (under duress on the run - he is really good), and with protection, you are wrong.  Early in his career he had terrible ball placement, no doubt.   His accuracy and general ball placement has gotten much better every year.  If you want to tell me he can't throw the deep ball; well, the statistics do not bear that out.  Ryan is actually one of the better deep ball QBs over the last two years.  Early in his career, yes, he was below average.  Frankly though, had Mike Wallace caught a few more and fought for a few more balls, it would have been much different.

     Let's be realistic.  Dan Marino, the greatest most accurate QB to ever play until Brady, had incredible Offensive Line protection for most of his career -  Webb, Sims, Ruddy... just to name a few protected him and EVERYONE KNEW he was going to throw and yet he was rarely hit.  Yes, he had the greatest pocket presence of any QB I have ever seen, and yes, he threw into tight windows that no one even attempts today, and yes, he had the fastest release of any quarterback ever.  But, hey, we will never see another Marino in our lifetime.    Ryan Tannehill will get better and better as the line protection and run game improves; But, most importantly as his line protection improves.  Let's not forget that Tannehill has been hit more than any other QB in the last 5 years, except Andrew Luck.  And, Luck throws a boat-load of interceptions, more than Tannehill.   Let's not compare Tannehill to Brady or Marino.   However, Tannehill is more than proficient enough to win a Super Bowl with a decent line.  He simply has not had a very good offensive line his entire career.  Had he played behind Dallas' Offensive Line, he would have been a star.  In the first five games this season, the line did a horrible job protecting Ryan.  This is exactly what Gase has been saying from day one.  If the offensive line does its job, Ryan plays well enough to win most games.   I think I will trust the offensive Guru, Head Coach Adam Gase, who is generally regarded as one of the smartest offensive minds in the league - over a few Wannabe Football Experts, like Orlando and Omar.

     Ryan Tannehill is a play-maker.  He is smart; actually an extension of the coach.   And, just because he has a vanilla personality does not mean he plays vanilla!









Dolphins To Take Advantage Of Todays Fast defenses

   As it has became a passing league, a faster style defense came to be in order to keep up with fast WR, TE and a lighter faster RB coming out of the back field.

Seems like that has made it more difficult to defend against a real bruising back. I mean a DB that's faced with stopping a big man at full speed is at a clear disadvantage especially if that happens 3 or 4 times a game, it can't be easy to jump in front of a truck (train in our case) multiple times in one game, just think about DB in the 4th quarter when the bruises from the first half are telling you please don't do anything crazy your well-being is on the line and all you see the J-TRAIN coming at you (choo, choo).

To all Fin fans, enjoy the fact that we're going into the bye week with a great taste I our mouth, the taste of victory and of Dolphins finally coming around and playing good football.

Monday, October 24, 2016

it Looks Like It's Coming Together For The Dolphins.

What a turn around for the Dolphins, it feels like it's all  coming together nicely for our loved team. The last two weeks have been really special, I hadn't smiled much watching them play in recent games, but I did the last couple weeks.

We finally have our starting O line on the field, the players are starting to thrive and because they understand all the nuances of the system. The coaching staff has learned where the players fit in and what they feel comfortable doing so they can put them in position to succeed.

The Dolphins have also figured out who they are and who they want to be. They found an identity behind tough, physical, man handling kind of play from the O line which made possible what the running game has been able to accomplish (wow J-TRAIN) as well as a clean pocket for our QB.

The time of possession battle has finally been won thanks again to the O line that dominates the line of scrimmage. That means the defense bis always fresh and under less stress so they can really just go after the QB and create pressure.

So now as they head into the bye week they can build on this new found confidence as they prepare for the Jets and rest and get healthy. They must not under estimate the Jets, they need to study them and prepare well because the division games are the most important and are always the toughest games because your opponents know you well.

Enjoy the axitement and let's hope they can stay healthy and keep the game winning streak going and the and action on the running game up and we'll be fine.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Credit to Gase for Bringing Out the Best in Ajayi




     A wise person said on this Blog that he was withholding judgement on this team until he saw a healthy O-line playing together.  That wise person wasn't me- I was too busy standing on the ledge to see that particular strand of reason.  It was Carl- hats off, sir.
    So as this particular football team shows signs of life and recovery even as many of us were shoveling dirt into the hole, it is time to reassess:
     1)  The loss to Tennessee at home- pathetic as it was- did come with extenuating circumstances.  The Dolphins players and coaches were handling a major life disruption in the form of a property (and potentially) life-threatening storm.  Perhaps we should have expected some chaos- even before ankle gate.
     2)  The win over Pittsburgh may not have been entirely due to desperation on one sideline and looking ahead on the other.  The Dolphins have beaten two hot teams two weeks in a row.
     3)  There may be life for this team after losing arguably its best defensive player.  This was a very solid defensive effort without our All-Pro safety.
And most importantly:
     4) Jay Ajayi may be a superstar in the making.
     This last is the hardest for me to believe I am typing.  I recently thought Ajayi (after his week one attitude problems) was not long for the team.  When Gase left him home for the season opener, I thought another fifth round flier had gone by the boards.  I was sad about it, because he seemed like such a smart risk for us to take late in the draft, with tremendous upside and small-conference sleeper potential.  When he missed the opening roster for poor attitude, I thought the door was closing.
     As with so much about this year's Dolphins, I was stark, raving wrong.  A young coach was simply sending a  still younger player a message:  attitude counts.  The player was listening.  By all accounts, Ajayi has attacked his opportunities since that early misstep, and the results are a historic two game run.
     Does it help that the line he was always meant to run behind finally started two games?  Does it also help to have a coach who calls your crap and runs mediocrity out of town?  It gets interesting now.  For another week, Lazarus walks.

Jay Lopez

Who Are Those Face Masked Men

It must be close to Holloween.

Pretty soon there will be plenty of Trick or Treaters and Partyers alike, doning costumes and masks, making them completely unrecognizable.

That I expect this time of year, every year.

No surprises there.

But these past two games have left me curious as to who the hell is playing for the Dolphins.

I am astonished to witness what is happening on the field.

Two games in a row with over 200 yards rushing!

Two games in a row dominating the time of possession!

This week, 37:02 to 22:58. That equates to the Bills averaging just 5:44 per quarter.

Am I dreaming?

Did some aliens from outer space secretly consume our team and replace them with robotic appliances whose only purpose is to churn out yards leaving an exhausted defense in its dust.

I don't recognize this team of Dolphins.

And I LOVE IT!

This new running game can not only dominate an opponent and win but it can also travel well and win in the playoffs.

With this type of game plan, all we need from Ryan Tanne-Hype is a pedestrian performance of managing the game with no INTs.

A couple hundred yards and no glaring mistakes.

This may be boring. This may create some yawns.

But in can win games and belive it or not, even championships.

Now, by no stretch of the word, am I putting us in the playoffs. Not yet anyway.

We still have some issues with bone head penalties that have nothing to do with playing the game. These unsportsmanlike conduct penalties have to end and soon.

Now that we are cooking, the bye may be coming a bit too soon.

I would love to keep this running game rolling.

Sure, some nicked up guys can heal. But I say "Let 'er ride".

There is one other benefit to the bye coming this weekend. We get 14 days of Jets Week!

And after the last two games, I am feeling a hell of a lot better about this team, no matter who they are.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dion Sims will be missed

refer to caption     I fear that the loss of Dion Sims this week will cripple the run game more than losing Rashad Jones will hurt the secondary.  Don't get me wrong.  Jones is one of the three best safeties in the NFL.  But frankly, the drop-off at safety is less than the drop-off at blocking Tight-End, which in this game at least will be severe.  Buffalo is one of the toughest most physical Defensive Lines the Dolphins will face this season.  No offense to the Steelers, but this is apples and oranges.  The Bills are the Real Deal Defense.  They will put pressure on the Offensive Line and Ryan Tannehill.  Having that sixth offensive lineman in Dion would have really helped this week as it did last week.  I hope MarQueis Gray (upper right) and Dominique Jones (lower right) can fill the blocking void left by Dion Sims. I believe both of these unproven journeyman Tight Ends hold the key to the running game tomorrow against the Bills.  We know they can catch the ball.  If they can provide much needed blocking for Jay Ajayi, THEN, we have a chance tomorrow.

    Now, the defense does need to provide a similar performance as in the Pittsburgh game.  And, if the running game and play-action passing succeeds, the defense should be able to play fewer plays than the offense.  Time of possession is a huge advantage when playing power teams, like Buffalo.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Stunning victory for Dolphins.

The game was amazing, I was stunned, the Steelers were shocked. Talk about a trap game for a perennial contender with a pretty dam good QB.
The defense played well, pressure was there so the corners weren't exposed and they played well, both Lippett and Maxwell had a good day in fact Maxwell had great day covering an elite WR in Antonio Brown and the safeties got us two picks. kudos to the D, but especially the secondary, they more than competed they won their matchups.
But the really good story about this game was the 0 line and the running game, the only time we've won time of possession and helped our defense. Jay Ajayi was a beast the way he hit people and ran over people and carried people was truly amazing he he got 204 yards (anybody miss Daniel Thomas) he's very dangerous and not afraid to hit a hole or a LB.
So back to the 0 line,  they made a real difference, this is what our 0 line was supposed to look like from the start of the season. I sure hope they can stay healthy the rest of the season. I'm a Fin fan and I love my team win or loose and I hope this thing really turns around, it's been too long that we've been disappointed and hurting when we see a game. Go Fins!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What A Difference With The OL Back

I thought perhaps the Dolphins and Steelers traded uniforms.

We played smash mouth football by pounding the run game down their throats, hitting open receivers, moving the chains, eating up the time of possession and finally playing tough as nails defense.

Going into the 4th quarter, all Pittsburgh could muster was one play. A reverse for a 60 yard TD. That was basically it.

Miami, on the other hand rushed for 222 yards. Tanne-Hype threw for 252 yards with no INTs.

Other than a few badly timed penalties, a few dropped passes and 2 missed FGs (one blocked and one wide left from 50 yards), we just dominated the Steelers.

Defensively, 2 INTs, 2 Sacks with giving up 317 yards to a very high powered offense.

With 4 minutes left in the game, the Steelers were starting only their 4th series of the second half.

That's amazing!

The entire OL should get game balls. They absolutely controlled the game.

The trick is doing it again and again.

For now, I'll take today's win and sleep well tonight.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Big Test For Tanne-Hype

Well Ryan Tanne-Hype should have no excuses as it looks like the entire starting OL will be assembled and ready to go against Pittsburg.

Granted, he had been running for his life the past few weeks with an OL comprised of enough cast aways to star along side Tom Hanks.

With Albert, Tunsil and Pouncey all expected to suit up together we should get a true gage on Tanne-Hype and his abilities to operate in Gase's offense.

I hope he does well. We surely need a big win to help salvage the season.

Phins Up!!!
Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Friday, October 14, 2016

A little humor

It's nice of the Dolphins to welcome the steelers, since they'll probably be spending a lot of time in the end zone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Not all is Tanne's fault

I say this there's a lot of problems on the team and that's obvious right now, Tannehill is an average QB maybe a little less or a little more than average. He seems have not idea where the pressure is coming from I see pass rush go almost directly at him and he doesn't see them coming. I see him hold the ball too long, I mean if your o-line is bad you have to feel the clock in your head going 1,2,3 throw the ball, not sit there I think one of my WRs is going to come open soon. I know pressure sucks but come on. If your QB is good he can hide some of the flaws of the line, if the line is good they can hide some of the flaws of the QB, but no we don't have that kind of QB or line to complement and make each other look good. I'm not even gonna talk about accuracy which is and has been a problem. There is no way Tannehill is our QB next season. To think that the team would have to pay him something like 19 or 20 millions for next season makes me I'll, that would set the franchise back for years. By the way don't forget that we have to pay Suh close to $30 millions next year and that is 4,5,6 good player money, I would feel better about it if he was a touchdown machine! So I go back to the saying that i began to say when my team began to suck (IT IS WHAT IT IS).

Mike Tannenbaum, Football Genius.

    The NFL has turned into a quick drop, short passing league.  Most offenses attempt to be positive on first and second down and rarely take big shots down field, unless they have mobile quarterbacks who can buy time in a broken pocket.  The goal is to take advantage of clock rules that allow offenses to control the football for 9 minutes at a time, so long as they can consistently earn short third down conversions.
    These changes have made pas- catching running backs a must.  They have made the tight end a massively important position.  And they have deemphasized the importance of field-stretching wideouts and pass protecting offensive linemen.
     Defensively, these changes have made linebacking corps the most important units on the field.  If teams are attacking the 3-5 yard area on the field on quick drops, it is fairly obvious that the players in that part of the field are the key.  Defensive interior lines don't matter much so long as they are competent.  Defensive ends are somewhat valuable, but the key is to be quick and tough in the middle.
    Mike Tannenbaum missed the memo- all of the memos, really.  He doesn't value linebackers.  He doesn't value tight ends.  He doesn't seem to understand that over investing in interior d-linemen who watch helplessly as the other team attacks the flats and the edges makes no sense.  And he certainly doesn't get that tying up 30% of our salary structure on offense and on defense in the lines was trying a 90's mentality in the new millennium.  
    The Dolphins suck because they are built to play a sport that no one else in the NFL is still trying to play.  The contracts suck.  The concepts suck.  And the general manager, unless he is secretly working for the Kraft family, is a complete wreck.  Let's blow it up and start over.

Jay Lopez

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

So much for expectations.

All I can really say is WOW, I thought I was being realistic when setting expectation for the fins. I figured a 7 or 8 win team is what we would put on the field. That would be ok if we show direction and excitement with competitive close games. Anyway some of you if not all where mad and saying a 9, 10 or 11 win team, all I can say is we all where dreaming, what a mess. I truly don't see an end in sight, the questions run deep, the hole they're digging is looking like grave!!! What a disappointing season we are having, what a bad taste each game leaves behind. And now we release our backups, when the starters are always hurt, shouldn't the coaching staff have known what the fan base has known for 2 years about Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner (they suck) should've released them in the summer (training camp).  We are in deep sh_t my friends. This season is lost.

Gase Missed A Chance To Overturn An Interception

Here is a learning experience for Adam Gase,

With 12 minutes left in the 3rd period, Tannehill threw a pass over the middle to Parker. Parker grabs it from behind and as he pulls it to his chest, Titans Jason McCurdy tries to grab it from him. Both Parker and Jason McCurdy have their hands on the ball as McCurdy goes to the ground. Since Parker's hands never left the ball as soon as McCurdy hit the ground with his back side the play was dead with co-possession in effect. Whenever there is co-possession in effect the ball belongs to the last team in possession unless the ball becomes dead on 4th down prior to the yard to gain (short of the yard needed to gain a first down).

Gase should have thrown his red flag to have that play reviewed and it would have been overturned.

If you look at the highlights link below, fast forward to 3:13 in the video to see the play and the corresponding replay.

https://youtu.be/CW1cazyxrYs

Better luck next time.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Monday, October 10, 2016

Politics imitates...Football?

A couple of seasons ago, we had "bullygate" and, really, that was about what happens in locker rooms.

And as a workplace, some general guidelines were put in place to govern what is acceptable in said locker room.

Over the weekend, we heard from a presidential candidate who made some off color comments and later he tried to demure, saying it was "locker room talk" and that has led to some debate on the topic.

The connection to the Dolphins struck me as interesting. We debated this at length back then and now it's on a national stage. Same basic premise, only the Dolphins for once were ahead in that game!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Tannehill...WTF?

Fans chanted "we want Moore!" - which could either refer to Matt or could just be a call for more offense in a game.

Afterward, Gase was asked about it and specifically if he had any plans to bench Benny Hill.

Of course he said something like "he's our guy, and we're sticking with him. Don't ask again."

We're all suckers. And the Dolphins are headed for (I'll be generous and say) 2-14.

Awesome.

Dolphins hashtags

Here are a few hashtags that came to mind today to sum up what I saw.

#DolphinsStillAlmostThere
#TannehillBlows
#AfterMatthewWeWillRebuild
#MakingOpponentsLookGoodSince1999
#AtLeastTicketsToTheGameAreCheap
#OffensiveLineWoesWeGotEm
#TheresAlwaysNextSeason
#IsThereAGoodPlayerOnTheRoster
#WowTheStadiumIsNiceTooBadTheTeamStinks
#AtLeastWeBeatTheBrowns


Have any? Add yours below.

Time To Change Our Name To Miami Penicillins

We are just not playing well, we are, more importantly, not a good proram.

So why continue to embarrass what was once a glorious past.

From 1970 to 2003, we went 34 years with only 2 losing seasons.

Lets cut the cord. Lets walk, no run, completely away from our storied past.

This seems so senseless to consider this current franchise as an extension of what we once were.

I hear melenials mention that the Dolphins always suck.

They just don't know.

And frankly, this franchise is a complete embarrassment to what we once were.

Always winners, always in prime time,  always proud.

Today, nothing needed to be said.

All that was needed was that image of Matt Moore standing on the sideline and peaking over his right shoulder to see if his time had finally come.

We truly did nothing else worthy of discussing.

So let's at the very least change our name to something more appropriate.

And since we seem to cure everyone else's ills, let have the courage and common sense to call ourselves the Miami Penicillins.

That we could be proud of.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971