Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post Game: Dolphins vs Raiders

Well it's been a long time since the Dolphins won a game this convincingly and it's been a long time since they did what I personally wanted them to do.  Sunday's 33-17 victory puts them back over .500 yet no closer to the playoffs.  They still need the Jets or Patriots to collapse and lose a lot of games in order to have a chance.

However, After my post last week on what the Dolphins should do for the rest of the season, it was startingly refreshing to see them take my advice, first giving the team back to Chad Henne who had his best game of the season, playing the youth of Nolan Carroll, Marlon Moore, Johnathan Amaya and Chris Baker and other talents like Patrick Cobbs and Tim Dobbins, players who offer something different as well as much needed rest to the starters.  And of course they finally returned to the running game, putting up a massive 190 yards on the ground, their best output of the season.  In fact, statistically in every category that counts it was their best game of the season.  Question is, is it a sign of what's to come, or just one of those anomaly games where a team just clicks while the opposition just folds?

To me, I don't think it's all on the opposition - yes the Raiders are struggling to win games, yet they battled it out quite hard at times in this game and made a lot of plays.  But ultimately when the Dolphins had their chances to make plays, they did.

I would like to give out a game ball as well as a leftover Turkey bag of gizzards for this game in honor of Thanksgiving weekend now gone past.

Game Ball - Davone Bess, 6 catches, 111 yards (almost had more but his drop can be forgiven as he got laid out on the play) and a shocking 47 yard punt return from a player who hasn't returned a punt more than 10 yards in 2 years!  He showed that he can step up and be the #1 WR when the #1 WR is out of the game.  The question is, why doesn't he put up these numbers when Marshall is being double teamed?

Gizzards - Vontae Davis.  5 tackles to lead the team, and at least 3 missed tackles.  Davis started the season like a pro-bowler and has in the past 5 games looked like something that got scraped off of the bottom of a horse-trainer's shoe.  I don't think I've ever seen such a sharp decline in performance in all my years of watching football.  Between Jake Long giving up sack after sack, Jared Odrick being on IR and Davis' recent woes, the SpIreland first rounders are not paying off. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Live Chat: Dolphins vs. Raiders

Dolphins inactives: WR Brandon Marshall, C Eric Ghiaciuc, OT Matt Kopa, TE Mickey Shuler, QB Patrick Ramsey, SS Reshad Jones, DL Ikaika Alama-Francis, DL Ryan Baker.
Raiders inactives:  QB Kyle Boller, WR Chaz Schilens, RB Michael Bennett, CB Chris X. Johnson, LB Jarvis Moss, CB Jeremy Ware, OG Daniel Loper, WR Nick Miller .

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dolphins vs. The Rest of the Season

Usually the only part of a Raiders game I'd be interested in watching are the occasional shots of the cheerleaders coming back from break, or if it's Halloween week, shots of the crowd.  But this week they're playing the Dolphins, and since both teams are struggling at 5-5 and both teams are engaging in a Quarterback carousel, and both teams are struggling in part because of over-rated coaching and the letting go of talented players during the off-season, well then, since they have all of that in common, the Dolphins have a fair shot at winning this game (despite the Raiders being favorites) and one thing I'm really interested in is the Dolphins winning a game.  I'm sure we all are.

Now, I'm aware that after the last shambolic outing by the Dolphins, a lot of fans are already starting to get interested in the 2011 Draft.  Fair enough.  But before we talk about drafting Johnathan Baldwin, Mark Ingram or Patrick Peterson, we need to finish the season - we still have six games left.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bears Vs Dolphins Wrap Up

Um, yeah.....let's just pretend that didn't happen...16-0.  Only the second home shut-out in 40 years.  A complete embarrassment.

Cory Proctor will be placed on IR with an ACL tear.  The good news for dinged up players like Chad Henne, Jake Long, Vernon Carey, Joe Berger, Brandon Marshall, etc is that the Dolphins now get three extra days to recover.  

The good news for the fans is that the coaching staff has three extra days in the cross hairs and may actually get their asses in gear...not likely...the lack of preparation and professionalism just seems to become more evident week by week.

At 5-5, the Dolphins are likely out of the play-off picture barring a complete turn-around and a collapse by several teams.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Live Chat: Dolphins vs. Bears

Dolphins inactives: FS Chris Clemons, QB Chad Henne, C Joe Berger, WR Roberto Wallace, TE Jeron Mastrud, OT Matt Kopa, DE Clifton Geathers, and CB Nate Ness
Bears inactives: LB Pisa Tinoisamoa, QB Caleb Hanie, DL Corey Wootton, DL Barry Turner, OL Edwin Williams, RB Kahlil Bell, DB Josh Moore, and TE Desmond Clark .

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Perfect Tenn....minus four

Two days ago I mentioned I couldn't imagine what would play out at Sun Life Stadium after the Dolphins decided to pull Chad Henne in lieu of Chad Pennington and replace youth with age in other areas as well.  Truth is, I don't think anyone could have imagined what went down, first a loss of not one but two quarterbacks, the loss of our two best players, Jake Long and Cameron Wake, and finally, a convincing 29-17 home win against a really good team in Tennessee.  It was, from all angles, a shocking Sunday.

More shocking things happened, like the Cleveland Browns blowing not one, not two, but three late opportunities to knock off the NY Jets.  How about Pittsburgh's normally steel curtain defense giving up 39 points in a loss to New England.  Hell, even Buffalo won.  

Despite Miami's impressive win, they made up no ground in the division and for now are still not in contention for the playoffs.  With a Thursday night game looming, the loss of Long, Wake, and Henne are potentially devastating.  Wake's only backup is Quentin Moses.  Long would be replaced by Vernon Carey, who we all saw got banged up himself and was laying flat on the ground in the Titans game.  Behind Long and Carey is Lydon Murtha, and newly picked up Matt Kopa.  More than likely, Pat McQuistan or John Jerry would slide over to play Tackle before one of those two got the start.

As for the quarterbacks, there have been preliminary reports that both Pennington and Henne are out for the season, though I would suspect Henne is more of a 3 to 4 week injury.  The Dolphins have reportedly contacted JaMarcus Russell, Daunte Culpepper and Chris Simms.  I know, all three names result in a triumphant groan from football fans, but rest assured, no matter who we sign, Tyler Thigpen is the starter and will remain so until the dust settles.  It is much more likely the Dolphins would bring in QBs they've already worked with.

Next up?  The Chicago Bears on Thursday.  Both teams played yesterday so there is no advantage of rest for either team.  More on that tomorrow but for now, check out this article by Omar Kelly where Cortland Finnegan calls out the Dolphins uninventive coaching staff

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Live Chat: Titans vs. Dolphins

Dolphins inactives: Third QB Tyler Thigpen, WR Roberto Wallace, TE Mickey Shuler, OT Matt Kopa, OT Lydon Murtha, DE Clifton Geathers, CB Nate Ness, and S Tyrone Culver.
Titans inactives: Third QB Rusty Smith, WR Kenny Britt, WR Lavelle Hawkins, T Troy Kropog, OL Ryan Durand, DE Marques Douglas, CB Ryan Mouton and S Robert Johnson.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hey everyone, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to preview the Tennessee game.  I apologize for this, but to be honest, I can't really envision what sort of team is going to take the field on Sunday for Miami. 

As usual there will be a live chat, and I will update the roster before game time.  See you then.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Dolphins continue to get it wrong

Rarely does an organization think it's fans or shareholders know better how to run the organization than the bigwigs in charge do.  That's a given, it's ego-driven, and it's understandable.

But rarely does a team or organization set forth a set of values and business plan then have difficulty understanding their own goals.

The Dolphins have waived CB Jason Allen, after he beat out competition for the starting job to begin the season, and have replaced him with a 36 year old injured Al Harris, a free agent formerly of Green Bay.   The media indicated that the Harris signing put Sean Smith and Jason Allen on notice after the right corner position has struggled all season.  The truth is, the left corner position, aka Vontae Davis, is the one that has been struggling of late.  Davis has given up more big plays lately than just about anyone on the team, including several touchdowns.

Still, the question is, on a team desperate for depth and youth, cutting ties with someone who was perceived to be good enough to start, or borderline starter at least, in favor of someone who's 36 and coming off of major knee surgery and entering the team half-way through the season - well to me that seems like a move only a complete idiot could make.  What is the plan here?  To open 2011 with Will Allen, Benny Sapp and Al Harris at CB?  With Yeremiah Bell getting older?  

It's extremely frustrating to me, as a defender of Jason Allen, that he would get waived in week 9 after being pulled out of the starting lineup in week 6.  He could have been traded at that point - he could've still been traded after the season.  He also gets cut after not even playing on Defense last week.  Is that the message here?  Since we didn't give you any opportunities, you didn't prove yourself, so you're fired?

For the record, Allen had 33 tackles, 3 INTs, and 8 PDs in 7 games this season.


Meanwhile, the Dolphins also waived OT Patrick Brown and signed OT Matt Kopa off the 49ers practice squad in the 'who cares' move of the week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ravens Turn Into Pigeons, Poop All Over Miami

For the third consecutive head to head matchup, the Baltimore Ravens ran away with a convincing victory in the second half after allowing Miami to stick around in the first.  In those three games, the Ravens have forced approximately 12 turnovers, most of them in the 2nd half.

The Dolphins had a chance though, as Baltimore conducted two of the worst red zone drives I've ever had the pleasure to witness in NFL history.  The game could've been far out of reach much earlier on, but these two drives accompanied by a couple of other stalled drives that resulted in FGs kept the game close.

The end result, however, was not so close - a 26 to 10 drubbing and an end to Miami's unbeaten road record in 2010.

The loss couldn't have come at a worst time with the AFC East crumbling.  The Bills lost again but the loss by the Patriots and the should've been loss by the Jets (honestly, all Detroit had to do was run down the clock....idiots) would've put Miami back in position to fight for the division.  As it stands they are very much on the outside looking in, even for a Wildcard spot.

As the game went on, and it became obvious once again that coaching/play-calling is the main reason this team is failing, another obvious observation is that Miami is missing serious depth, and due to injuries, has had to hang on to players that really don't belong on the field.  They've also been forced into leaving tired starters out there for 90% of the game because they don't trust the backups.  Case in point - Channing Crowder had a decent game, but he came up hobbled during the 3rd quarter, was replaced by Tim Dobbins, who had a sack, then Crowder was put back in and played the entire rest of the game without a break, despite noticeably limping around.  The Dolphins secondary struggled throughout the game, yet Jason Allen did not even get a chance to play, relegated to special teams, while Benny Sapp continues to be unimpressive.

The Dolphins had 6 active running backs, yet ran the ball just 11 times (not counting Chad Henne's scrambles) in the entire game.  Ronnie Brown embarrassed the legendary Ray Lewis a handful of times in the game, yet was just not used enough. 

Why this coaching staff does not understand the concept of playing to your strengths while exploiting your opponents weaknesses, well, I cannot say.  Neither can any of you.  Although I'm sure we all have similar opinions on it....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Live Chat: Dolphins vs. Ravens

Dolphins inactives: QB Tyler Thigpen, TE Mickey Shuler, WR Marlon Moore, OL Patrick Brown, OT Lydon Murtha, DE Clifton Geathers, S Reshad Jones, and S Nate Ness.
Ravenss inactives: TE Dennis Pitta, OT Scott Kooistra, DT Arthur Jones, DT Brandon McKinney, DT Lamar Divens, LB Dannell Ellerbe, S Ken Hamlin, and S Tom Zbikowski.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tapping At The Chamber Door

Two things could come out of this weekend's match-up versus the Ravens if the Dolphins can pull off a win.  For one, they will have beat the odds and beaten a dramatically better team than they are (Baltimore's 5 wins are considerably handsomer than Miami's 4).  Secondly they will put themselves back into contention for the playoffs.  It's not easy being third in the division under the Patriots and Jets, but if the Dolphins can get into the top 6 in the AFC, then wins over their division foes would put them in a very good spot to make the playoffs (if they can't win against NE or NYJ, they don't deserve to make the playoffs anyway).  And let's face it, even if they don't make it to the Super Bowl, a team returning with young, playoff-tested players is more likely to make the push in 2011.

Now, in the past we'd have had to pray for a miracle to beat the Ravens (it took a miracle last time we beat them, in 2007).  But the Ravens of today are not an elite team, they're just a pretty good team.  Their defense is no longer a top 5 defense, their offense is about the same as it's ever been, which is to say, average, and they don't seem all that concerned about the future if their depth chart is any indication.

But still, the Dolphins are plenty banged up, the odds of going 5-0 on the road are against them, and the Ravens are still a better coached team than Miami.  They have added offensive firepower since the last couple of times they thrashed the Dolphins.  However, the Miami Dolphins have yet to have a perfect game - this could be it....

My Prediction:  MIA 31  BAL 21

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tigger Bounced

The Dolphins continued their undefeated road streak (now 4-0 in 2010) with a 22 - 14 victory over the Bengals.

The game started scarily enough with the Bengals looking like they were going to destroy the Dolphins Defense all day long.  They ran the ball well and Terrell Owens and Ocho Cinco were beating everyone in the secondary.
The Dolphins offense was stop and start, the running game wasn't working and Brandon Marshall couldn't get open.

Then the Dolphins slowly started to take over the game starting towards the end of the second quarter.  They were able to both move the ball on the ground and completely shut down the Bengals offense in the second half.  Despite not having a huge lead, at no point was this a nail-biter at the end.  The Dolphins D played a fantastic 2nd half and even Sean Smith got his first NFL interception to close the game.

This wasn't the most exciting game - perhaps some of us were a bit jaded going into it - but it has to be considered a stepping stone.  The Dolphins need to be more explosive to compete with Baltimore next week, but at least they showed they can adjust and tighten up after a shaky start.