Friday, September 16, 2016

Rex Ryan's Cheese Falls off Cracker (and the Dolphins Stand to Benefit)

   Perhaps that chain he wears has finally slipped underneath the wrong neck roll and cut off some sort of important circulatory function.  Or perhaps the teeth whitening agent has eroded a crucial synaptic structure.  Or perhaps ole Rex is simply protecting his family and unwilling to look at the truth.
    Either way, Ryan just did the Dolphins a great service.  Firing Greg Roman leaves the promising Tyrod Taylor in Ryan's incapable hands.  Roman knew how to bring along talented but fundamentally sloppy quarterbacks (Kapernick).  He knew how to dink and dunk his way to 36 minutes of possession and starve the other team of the football.  He knew how to put up 20 some odd points, which was about what the Bills used to need.
    What he didn't know how to do was score enough to protect the other Ryan's sad defense.  So he is gone- after putting up almost 400 yards last game.  He takes the fall, and the DC who gave up 37 and nearly 500 yards to a mid-level offense remains.
    The Dolphins need 4-2 in division to make the playoffs.  We need a divisional weak link to bolster our record.  Today Rex Ryan did his part for the cause.

Jay Lopez

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bills Will be in AFC EAST Basement

    Watching Thursday Night Football, one thing is clear:  the Bills are in collapse.  The Ryan brothers look sweatier than normal.  Tyrod Taylor looks inconsistent on easy underneath routes.  The Bills lack playmaking ability on the outside.  They are inefficient working against the clock and don't look particularly well organized.  EJ Manuel is now their answer in short yardage- which is to say, they have no answer in short yardage.  McCoy still looks dangerous- but he can't handle the workload they are asking for.  And this is Buffalo's stronger unit.
    Their defense is simply atrocious.  They can neither cover nor stop the run.  I hope Gase and staff are watching carefully what Todd Bowles did to them.  He committed to the run and allowed his offensive line to break down Buffalo's shallow front.  As the game has worn on, the front seven has disappeared.  Forte's last touchdown went untouched between the tackles:  from 12 yards out.
    It took discipline for Bowles to stick with the run given that Fitzpatrick averaged 11 yards a pass attempt. Per pass ATTEMPT!  Not completion!  This means that every time the Jets PASSED, they averaged a first down make.
    I can't get a clean read on the Jets.  They may be good.  They give up a lot of big plays and aren't very smart (no two point conversion up 13 with 3 to go?)  I'll need to see them against a quality opponent outside of week one to tell.  But the Bills may as well finish crossing the border into Canada.  They aren't winning anything in the lower 48.

Jay Lopez

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dolphins @ Patriots: Lawrence's Prediction

Miami travels to Foxborough this Sunday to play their first of 2 games this season against New England.

Miami has not won there since the "wildcat" game in 2008.

Can Miami win? Possibly, but highly unlikely.

This game will be simple if Miami wants to win. Establish the run and stop the run. Miami had no run game against Seattle, which was mostly why they couldn't move the ball, it made them one dimensional and with Seattle's elite secondary, it was near impossible to get anything going offensively. The offensive line must set the tone and allow our backs to break off a few big gains. This will allow our receivers to go to work on New England's mediocre secondary. I truly believe that if New England is trying to play defense against the run and pass all game long and constantly guessing what our offense will do next, our receivers can thrive. Some good play calling can also help this. We must keep the Patriots off balance defensively.

Did I mention that New England will be without Rob Ninkovich? He is currently suspended and he is the defensive QB so to speak. 

Stopping the run. If they put this game in Jimmy Garropolo's hands and make him throw to win the game, I like Miami's chances. This will allow Miami's D-Line to pin their ears back and do what they already showed they can, put pressure on the QB. Asking Garropolo to put a team on his shoulders and pull out a win will only raise Miami's chances of a victory.

Also, Gronk will be limited. Sebastian Vollmer, who has been a rock solid Left tackle for the Patriots, is on IR for the season and of course, we all know Brady isn't playing.

That's 4 very, very important pieces to New England's starting line up that are out or will be playing injured. Gronk, injured. Brady, out. Vollmer, out. Ninkovich, out. 

Of course, we have coaching. Is Gase on Belichick's level? No. Is he a smart coach? Yes. The interesting thing will be if he can counter Belichick's in game adjustments. Or how about this, can he be the aggressor and be the one to make Belichick counter his adjustments?

If this game was in Miami, it would make it a lot easier to predict a win for the Dolphins. But the Dolphins most likely will not get a more vulnerable Patriot team than the one they will face Sunday. Simple Dolphins, run the ball effectively and stop the run.

Miami with the upset. 24-20

Mikes Corner: reflections of Dolphins@seahalks

I saw the game, I rewound and saw the game again. The good: I come to the conclusion that I can't believe how well did when opportunity came against a good team in the worst environment possible, not only were we in it, but in position to win. Granted there is a lot to clean up on both sides of the ball. The defense held them to just 12 points and had a couple turnovers.                                        
The bad: we lost the game. The defense allowed points when it hurt us the most, at the end of the first half and to seal our fate allowed points at the end (nail in the coffin) The Seahawks are good play off team and we shot up our foot multiple times that Kenny Stills drop lost us the game, but it wasn't just that. If we kicked a field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1 we win. What about the blocked field goal. Also bad, we had no running game and I don't blame Foster, he look good but the o line needs to improve. That's why we got to mature and grow and learn how to win in the hopefully near future. There's hope I believe the coaching staff is good and will bring the team along just fine.

5 Reasons The Dolphins Will Win vs New England

Let's get down to business:

1.)  The Miami defensive line will dominate New England's jerry-rigged offensive line.  The Patriots will be forced into short passing all day on offense, and this plays into Vance Joseph's scheme.  The Dolphins are long and athletic on the outside, quick and nasty on the interior.  Jimmy G will be throwing into tight windows.  I like when rookies try that.

2.)  Miami's safeties and mobile linebackers will feast on New England's semi-athletic receivers.  New England exploited bad tackling by the Cardinals.  Bad tackling happens a lot in week one under the new CBA (too few contact practices.)  The Dolphins strength on defense is at the safety position, and our linebackers cover better than they run stuff.  If Suh and company dominate up front, the Patriots will have to run by passing in the 3-5 range.  Sure tackling will stall drives, and a few deflected passes may come down in friendly hands.

3.)  Miami's offensive line will protect.  Against this Defensive line, our retooled O line will have a field day.  New England will have to blitz to get pressure.  And their linebacking unit is depleted and below average.  Tannehill will have plenty of chances to throw over the coverage.

4.)  Miami's running game should get going.  Arizona averaged 5.4 yards per carry against the Patriots.  They got pass happy.  Gase will not make this mistake.  If Foster has "it", he'll get plenty of chances to show it.

5.)  The Patriots are fat and happy- Miami is pissed.  Watch Jarvis Landry, Reshad Jones, and Cam Wake's body language Sunday.  Contrast it to the playing-with-house-money Pats.  When a team finds a win between the couch cushions (terrible snap on special teams) and another is coming off of a week where they know that they left it- multiple times- on the field, there is a possibility for a motivation gap.  Miami may end up benefiting from the Patriots' good fortune last week.

In the end, I think Miami will win by a comfortable margin.  Remember, I also told you to take Miami plus 10 a month before the Seattle game.  Phins up.

Jay Lopez

Monday, September 12, 2016

2 very good defenses smacked the QBs good.

    I would be surprised if either Tannehill  or Wilson are moving around well today.  For the very first time in Tannehill's career, I was sincerely worried about him.  He was smacked as hard as I've ever seen.  He looked beatup by the end of the game.  That was two supior defenses doing battle.  When the Dolphins realize they deserve to win games instead of expect to lose, these types of games will be wins.  That includes the fans.  Start showing some love.  It really helps in the long run.

     By the end of the game, we learned that if Miami doesn't find an answer to the rush, quick slant, something, Tannehill will probably not make it 16 games.   It seems to me that if Ryan knows he has 6 or 7 guys coming, there should be a play to counter.  Coach Gase, please help him out.

    The deep pass missed by number 10 (no names today) was setup up by 5 passes that did not travel 2 yards past the line of scrimmage to start the game.   I understand the setup, but I am not sure that is a good strategy.  We need to throw for first downs on first down.  Let's setup the run a tad more.

    We also learned that our Defense will be good this year.  No rushing attacks, no 400 yard game QBs will be taking advantage of our Defense this year.  It was sublime to watch them work.  Yes, we all needed one more stop, but to their misfortune, they had been on the field almost twice as long as the offense.  The offense must help them out.  And, they must watch the silly penalties that extend stopped drives.

     For all of you that just wanted to see a competitive game.  There you are.  A two point game, 12-10.  Two very good defenses in a battle to the end.  Frankly, Seattle knows they got away with a win they probably didn't deserve, and that does bring some measure of satisfaction.

    However, unlike most of you, I sincerely expected to win.  I thought our offense would score more, and from what I saw, they really should have.  I saw a minimum of 10 points left on the field.  We should have won by a minimum of 2 scores.  If Stills and Cameron would have made some catches, who knows what kind of a rhythm the offense may have gotten into.  Could Tannehill thrown a few passes slightly better, of course, but for a change, let's not blame the QB.  This loss was ours to share.  We made them believe that somehow they were not worthy of winning.  We the fans and the media made it seem like we didnt have the talent and couldn't win, so we convinced our team of the same.  I blame us!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

8 Quick Takes on Today's Game (and what it Foretells for the Season)

    A few thoughts emerged from today's game:

1)  Devante Parker and Mike Pouncey are not optional pieces of our offense.  Parker is unique in his physicality; Pouncey is the difference between getting a push and not- we just couldn't establish the middle of scrimmage today on run plays.

2)  We have a real leader on defense.  Vance Joseph understands his personnel, makes smart in game adjustments, and can clearly command respect.  Look at how the Dolphin DE's set the edge to control Wilson today instead of blindly chasing sacks.  Our guys played as a team- it is too bad Wake lost his head with that personal foul, but otherwise, defensive discipline was exemplary.

3) Tannehill is going to run this year.

4) We are going to take shots when the other team attacks our underneath routes (as Seattle did today.)  We need to convert those opportunities- Stills' drop is still making me nauseous.

5) We aren't good on special teams.  It's not just the blocked field goal.  Our punt coverage was awful, we missed opportunities to pin them inside the 20, and we covered their returns abysmally.  Worse still, constant penalties negated positive field position all day.  We probably lost 6 points in the punting game today.

6) Gase trusts his guys.  Going for it on fourth was likely dumb (get your first point, especially in what is going to be a low scoring affair.)  However, in a first game of what we hope is a long career, there are worse things than trusting your team.  The fellas should want to give extra going forward for a coach who clearly believes in them.  I hate the call; I am not the leader of the franchise, though.

7) Abdul-Quddus is the man.

8) Arian Foster is a strange player.  He is beautiful to watch in space, but his days within the tackles might be past.  It would be wise to get Pead healthy and involved in the trench work.

All in all, it was a gutting loss given that we left 13 points on the field and Seattle probably got all but 4 of theirs.  It was, as several of us had called it, a completely winnable game, and losing these has a way of making 8-8 out of 9-7.  However, there are many positives on both sides, and we have a team that fights until the whistle.  There will be better days- I believe we have found the right leadership and a lot of the right personnel.  I'm on the ledge- but it may turn out to be nice out here; I'm not planning on jumping.

Jay Lopez

This Looks Like More of the Same...

There certainly has been a lot written this offseason about the changes Gase was going to bring to the team.  That's nice.  By the time Philbin left, we all were begging for change.  But do we have it?  To my eyes, this team seems to be just as dumb - in some ways different and some ways the same.

The Different Stupidity:  I think its certain, having been presented with the opportunity to kick a FG to tie, Philbin would have kicked that field goal.  It doesn't matter that Philbin's reason was that he was idiotically conservative regardless of the situation.  This isn't to say that Philbin generally made good decisions - most of the time he had this team playing as dumb as Cam Cameron.  But, given the close score and the lack of execution on offense, Philbin's conservative decision making may have won a game that Gase lost.

The Same Stupidity:  This offense, with this core of players (Tannehill, the WRs, part of the Line, etc.) has never really executed well.  The offensive system may be different, but the ability to score points is about the same.  Nothing ever clicks.  When the QB is on, the WRs drop the ball.  When the WRs get open, the O-line is a sieve.  And when it comes time to march the team down field for a last minute victory, the QB disappears when it matters most.  Sure, the offense may have individual talent, but it has yet to play as a team.  It was the case for Philbin as it is for Gase.

Maybe with that fourth and inches call, Gase was trying to show that he was "different" than Philbin.  But it all looked the same to me:  The offense still plays like they'd rather be somewhere else - cashing an easy paycheck, and the coaching still makes dumb game day decisions.  More of the same in Miami.  At least we can watch New England play Super Bowls under our new veranda.

Game Ball - Miami Defense

We learned several things about the Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks today. The Dolphins defense showed they were just as tough as the vaunted Seahawks defense. Miami's offense could have made a statement today, but crowd noise and aggressive defense got the better of them.

Nothing stands out more than the early dropped touchdown pass by Kenny Stills, who caught only one of five targeted passes on the day. The offensive line gave up four sacks, 4 tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits. We knew going in that run blocking wasn't their strength and they did nothing to change that perception. 3.2 yards per rush isn't very good, but to they're credit, they were playing against a tough defense.

Speaking of tough defense, Ndamukong Suh played a solid game. Four tackles - two solo, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass defensed and three quarterback hits. Cam Wake was limited to one quarterback hit and was penalized for roughing the passer.

The Dolphins other blue chip player, Safety Reshad Jones, led the defense with twelve tackles - six solo, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed.

Kiko Alonso, Isa Abdul-Quddus and Byron Maxwell, along with rookie cornerback Xavien Howard all played well enough to inspire confidence in their abilities. Along with Jones, this group had half of Miami's tackles and along with Suh, all five of Miami's passes defensed.

An honorable mention to Dolphins Punter Matt Darr for his 46.7-yard average that kept the Seahawks at bay for most of the game.

Seattle Seahawks  Quarterback Russell Wilson, injured against a relentless Dolphins defense, still mustered the game-winning drive.

It was an entertaining, tough effort by the Dolphins defense, but playing over half the game took physical toll on them with several injuries, hopefully none seriously.

Benny Hill at his best

I know. It's just week one. But the guy can't hit the deep ball and can't win a game. So I'm piling on early - or maybe just continuing from last year. 

To me, he still looks like Benny Hill back there. Especially on those last two totally laughable plays!

This Loss Is On Gase And Stills

I am sorry but there is no sugar coating this and I don't believe in any passes for being a rookie coach.

Adam Gase blew this "W"  with this NFL horse shit attitude of "If we cannot get an inch then we don't deserve to win".

Well it shit all over us.

When you are on the road in the loudest environment in the league and you have a second string center in the game, down by 3 points, you kick the field goal!

With all that noise, your offensive line cannot use a snap count. Your line has no advantage over the defensive line since both have to watch the ball.

Plus we haven't been able to run the ball consistently all preseason long.

So what's going to change now?

You are fired up?


As in left 3 points off the board.

Plus, even if you get the first down there is no guarantee you will score a TD.

Take the points. Tie the game.

You may need them later.

Shula would've kick the FG.

And now Kenny Stills.

Need I saw anything there.

This game just pisses me off.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Well, there you have it

Well the Dolphins did exactly what I expected. They competed and only lost by one possession buuuuuuuuuutttttttttt.......

They beat themselves. 

Stills dropped TD wide open

Offense unable to get 2 chain links in 4th and inches

Special teams had a blocked FG

Cam Wake with a dumb roughing the passer play

One Seattle player beat us single handed, Cassius Marsh.

Hopefully these Dolphins don't beat themselves all year.

Phins Up

Sent from my iPad

High Anxiety!

There are many forms of anxiety disorders out there. Some of you may suffer from one or more.

There are Panic Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) plus a number of phobias.

They cause us to basically lose it. We cannot function normally.

Well if that sounds familiar, perhaps you suffer from DAD or Dolfan Anxiety Disorder.

Here are some symptoms to check and see if you need to go into therapy:

1) Unable to pay attention to any conversation prior to Kick Off.
2) You constantly change Game Jerseys trying to determine the lucky one for a win.
3) You have cold or sweaty hands or feet despite putting them in an oven or freezer.
4) You put your hands or feet in an oven or freezer.
5) You adjust the DIRECTV Dish angles every 10 minutes to maximize your signal.
6) You don't eat all morning worrying about the injury reports.
7) You eat all morning after seeing the injury reports.
8) You throw your family out of the house just before kick off.
9) Your blood pressure rises above 160 when the phone rings 1 minute before kick off.
10) You scream at Coach Gase or another coach or player or ref even though you know they cannot hear you 3000 miles away.
11) You pace so much between plays that your flooring wears out.
12) You throw things including f Bombs even though your 4 year old daughter is on your lap.
13) You jump out of your chair after a TD even though your 4 year old daughter is on your lap.
14) Your spouse threatens to leave you and you give her the keys to your car.
15) You have to reach into your throat to push your heart back in place.
16) Your entire sense of happiness and purpose evolves around today's game and its outcome.
17) You sit in a darkened closet after every loss.

If you see yourself experiencing any of these symptoms please dial 9-1-1 immediately.

I have attached a blood pressure sleeve to my arm and if it hits 170 it automatically shuts off my TV.

I tend to miss a lot of plays.

Stay healthy and Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971