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