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 %. (

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