Miami Dolphins Frolic Across The Pond

The Oakland Raiders tootled around London for seven days whilst the Miami Dolphins stuck to their usual routine amongst the blood thirsty Miami media and fan speculation. Miami head coach Joe Philbin in an attempted quarterback motivating move, (by not naming his starting quarterback for the week four match up) fueled the jumping to conclusions paparazzi like mob.

What does matter! Is that Ryan Tannehill's liver felt the force of Joe Philbins foot to his backside, and responded by leading his team from behind with THIRTY EIGHT UNANSWERED Miami Dolphin points.

Oakland took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yards for an early 7 - 0 lead, and didn't score again until a touchdown in garbage time.

The Dolphins responded with a field goal to the Raiders opening touchdown and trailed 7 - 3. At this point, Ryan Tannehill proceeded to complete FOURTEEN successive attempts on three Miami Dolphin first half touchdown drives.

Miami executed scores on four of their six first half possessions for a 24 to 7 halftime lead. The two possessions that they didn't score on were due to a fumbled punt return in Oakland territory, and a purposeful first half ending kneel down.

In facing a 7 - 3 deficit. The Dolphins marched 91 yards that ended in a Mike Wallace TOUCHDOWN on their second possession. Wallace took the screen pass at the 15 yard line, uncharacteristically powered through two defenders at the five yard line, and another at the two for the score in Charles Clay type fashion. Ryan Tannehill went 6 for 6 for 86 yards of the ninety one that led to a 10 - 7 Miami lead.

On the Dolphins following drive of 63 yards. Tannehill went 3 for 3 and Miami scored in an aggressive manor from 8 yards out on a Lamar Miller 4th & one TOUCHDOWN play. Fins 17 Raiders 7.

After a Miami fumbled punt return possession on Oakland's side of the field, and another defensive stop/Raider punt. The Dolphins marched 90 yards on 9 plays for a 24 - 7 scoreboard advantage. Ryan went 5 for 5 and capped the drive with his fourteenth consecutive completion which was an absolutely beautiful TOUCHDOWN pass and catch of eighteen yards to backup tight end Dion Sims.

Miami took a knee on their final first half possession and went to the tunnel ahead by 17 points.

Ryan Tanne-THRILL was 17 of 19 for 204 passing yards and two touchdowns with 18 additional yards coming by way of his legs in only the first half of play.

The Dolphins took the second half kickoff, and Ryan's second down attempt of a 15th consecutive completion was dropped. No-Matter. On the next 3rd and 12 play he converted a pass of fourteen yards to Brian Hartline for "another Miami Dolphins first down". He drove HIS TEAM seventy yards down to the opponents two yard line before a Lamar Miller fumble at the goal line.

Oakland took the ball at their own 20, and NOW it was the Miami Dolphins defenses turn. On a Courtland Finnegan blitz that forced an errant throw, Brent Grimes intercepted the ball at the Raiders 35 and returned it to Oakland's three yard line. Two plays later Lamar Miller neutralized his own previous fumble with his second TOUCHDOWN of the day for a Dolphin lead of 31 - 7.

Upon the Raiders next attempt, a bad snap blew by the quarterbacks head and was swooped up by Courtland Finnegan who walked 50 yards for another Miami Dolphins TOUCHDOWN to go up by a score of 38 - 7.

The Raiders next possession resulted in Miami's Jimmy Wilson returning an Oakland interception from his own 38 to the opponents 31, (the ball was placed on the 16 yard line after an Oakland personal foul penalty on the play). On the Dolphins first play Ryan Tannehill hit a short pass to Daniel Thomas who scored his first touchdown of the season and Miami's 45th point of the day, but it was reversed by a penalty. On another touchdown attempt during the same possession, Dion Sims had the ball bounce off his two forearms for a Raiders interception, Tannehills first and only of the day. Oakland went three and out.

Later down the long and winding road whilst trailing by a score of 38 - 7, Oakland scored a touchdown with 11:50 remaining in the 4th quarter to pull within the games 24 point spread finality.

The Miami Dolphins defense didn't have a 2014 interception prior to this game. Late in the 4th quarter Rookie corner back Walt Aikens added a team third interception to the day for the "Jolly Ole Chaps" of the American South East Football Franchise.

T'Was like night and day in comparison to Miami's previous contest. The Dolphins stuck to their routine while changing everything with brilliant play calling designed towards the proficiency of Ryan Tannehills strengths. Miami skill players (for the most part) executed to a tee, the special teams showed up, and the defense forced turnovers play after play, after play.

Miami totaled 435 yards, (Tanne-THRILL directly accounted for 313 via his arm and legs). The Dolphins accrued 278 yards through the air on 31 passes with Brian Hartline being tops for 74 yards on six catches. Miami had 157 on the ground off of 35 attempts with Lamar Miller leading the way on 12 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns. The defense had two sacks and forced four turnovers (one for six points) whilst allowing 317 yards, (53 via the ground). The Dolphins punter Brandon Fields had just two attempts on the day.

To the joy (in one way or another) of all the attempting to be a distraction media, as well as all the faithful Dolphin fans far and wide. Backup Quarterback Matt Moore did indeed play on this day, (for the last eight minutes of the game) along with the rest of The Miami Dolphins much appreciated backups.

Head Coach Joe Philbin learned and understood that his ploy to motivate his young quarterback backfired to some extent by causing noise from the outside. In order to assure his team of such knowledge, he and his coaching staff relinquished their first class seats to the players on the flight from Miami to London! A CLASS MOVE and total team motivator!

Now (for at least two weeks through the Fins bye). The media saboteurs and Dolphin doubters must fall on their sword and attempt to LEARN TO APPRECIATE that The Miami Dolphins are quickly LEARNING from their previous mistakes!

THANK YOU for an Open-Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view !!


Cheery-Ohhh, GOFINS !!

Miami Dolphins vs Oakland Raider London Game Chat

This is an important game for Miami. A win would bring them back to .500

Miami Dolphin Expectations are an Illusion

Before getting into whether the Dolphins will win on Sunday in London, let’s take a little journey into illusion and see what comes out on the other side.

I’m not sure how illusions start… It’s amazing, simple clear logic usually matches actual results but those damn emotions somehow obscure the obvious. How many times have Dolphin fans heard this term recently, “he can’t be expected to learn on the job.” The object of that statement could be Ross, Hickey, Philbin, Lazor, Coyle or Tannehill.

He can’t be expected to learn on the job…

Well I’m here to present the bad news, everyone in this entire organization is learning on the job, starting at the top. Miami’s owner had no clue what it took to own a professional sports franchise five years ago. There are teams in this league with ownership ties to the infancy of professional football. Ross may have expected to dodge the shark-infested waters based on his experience selling real estate to Donald Trump, but unfortunately, it ain’t happening.

See, we talk about successful NFL franchises having long-term planning then conveniently forget about it 30 seconds later (another symptom of illusion). Foundations, not only in tenure, but also in a team’s style of play are indicative of long-term ownership.

The Dolphins were a “perfect” example of this back when Joe Robbie and Don Shula roamed the facility. The reality is, Miami last won a Super Bowl in 1974. The illusionists can point to that as lacking success, but they lost 3 Super Bowls over the next 20 years and were perennial playoff contenders.

Understanding what changed is easy, the long winning tradition ended with the death of Joe Robbie

The league was simpler then and Robbie didn’t split time in New York or allow corporate “professionals” to his run franchise.  He did not select employees based off skillfully written resumes, his hires needed at least a day of NFL experience at the job they were interviewing for.

Robbie stalked the halls of that building and knew every nuance of his football team. Football was his passion and New York was a place where enemy Jet fans forced him to keep his hands in his pockets for fear of slapping them.

These are the roots of true NFL ownership and any newcomer is learning on the job...

Okay, let’s start… New England – Robert Craft, Denver – Pat Bowlen, 49ers – Jed York (nephew of Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.), Pittsburg – Dan Rooney, New York Giants - John Mara, should I continue…

The Seahawks are the closest thing to new comers to raise the Vince Lombardi trophy since Tampa Bay. The Ravens had the same GM for 12 years through 2 owners. The Saints had an experienced coach and a great QB, not to mention the feel good story after Katrina. Teams can rise quickly, but the ingredients better be dynamic.

What is it about Florida, Tampa gave up 2 first round draft picks for John Gruden and then foolishly dumped him when the local media pressured the inexperienced ownership. The same media-fueled Tampa fans that booed Gruden, are now wishing he was back stalking the sidelines with his leering Chucky glare.

BTW, a guy named Robbie gave up a 1st round pick for coach Shula, Hummmmmm… After Robbie was gone, inexperienced ownership listened to know-it-all media and well, you know the rest…

In Seattle, Pete Carroll brought NFL coaching experience, college national championships and a burning desire to prove himself at the NFL level. Sounds a little like Nick Saban without all the outrageous expectations.

In Miami, replicating the winningest coach in football history is the only option before the media starts down the road of eviction. Yes, the same media that ran Shula out of town…

Nasty Nick Satan was just too hardnosed for those “professional” football players. He wanted them to do what it took to win and they wanted to bask over on South Beach. The media drooled over the “unnamed sources” telling them Nicky Satan wasn’t the saintly version they built him up to be. Yes Nick made mistakes, but in time, he would have put a winning team on the field. The media was not going to allow him that time and he bolted.

Nick's owner, H. Wayne Huizenga is the same guy that allowed local media run off The Don. Yep, H. Wayne knew all about garbage collecting, but was too worried about press clippings to do what was right as an NFL owner. The Don should have selected his own successor when he was ready, leaving a foundation that would continue to grow for years to come.

Water under the bridge I know, so that brings us to our maligned head coach Joe Philbin...

Oh, the media is just warming up to axe old terrible Joe and every loss is like a dry stump feeding the bonfire…

He’s too stoic, emotionless, won’t tell the poor deprived reporters who is starting at QB…

The woo, the indignity, the disgrace of it all…

They resort to asking a QB who led the Miami offense to a grand total of 2 TDs in the last 2 games whether he thinks it’s fair of mean old Joe. The QB, like the media, certainly must know more than the despicable mouth breathing coach.

Here comes that quote again, “he can’t be expected to learn on the job.” He should be prepared after all, it’s okay for the QB to still be learning in year 3, but a coach who has never been a head coach, at any level, better know how this works. That shiny resume said he could do the job and by golly, the media could do it better because they certainly will tell everyone what’s wrong.

Never head coached at any level, but can’t be expected to learn on the job...

There’s that illusion thing rearing its ugly head again. How the hell are you not expected to learn something you’ve never done before? What does that mean? Is it me? It’s like asking a kid to deliver the paper as fast as the kid before because he's smart and has a map of the paper route!

Looking past the masters of the obvious might lead to the right questions...

Given enough time, will Joe Philbin learn to be a great NFL head coach? Is he smart enough? Does he understand the game well enough? Does he have the motivational skills? Can he see talent? Can he groom talent? These are the questions a great owner will ask himself. If the answers are affirmative than a great owner will stick by his guns and there’s a reason why.

Those names of old school owners had the perspective of experience to know how to select Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. They knew what a great coach looked like and had the conviction to rebuild with complete disregard to what the sensationalists had to say.

They gave those coaches the opportunity to learn…

Folks in Miami just want to skip that whole learning part…

Tannehill should be great, well in all likelihood Tannehill may be the only bird in this nest that actually has experience and he has shown the same tendencies throughout his entire QB career. Here comes the illusion again, we see this strapping youth, height, weight, arm strength, foot-speed, brains, brawn, every freaking tangible thing that could be asked for in a QB.

It’s the illusive intangibles that differentiate Ryan Tannehill and Tom Brady. The "W" in the win column. The furious 4th quarter rallies that make you sit back and say, "wow this kid's got the stuff!" Brady did that in college... Just sayin.

I’ve hear people argue that Dan Marino wasn’t that good because he never won a Super Bowl and then predict Ryan Tannehill will be great.

Will be great… Tannehill can learn on the job, but the owner, GM, HC, OC or DC not so much. Let’s get back to the illusion thing. Of all the folks listed above, only one of them is actually on the field during a game. Only one of them is affectionately referred to as the “Field General.”

Those management folks who do not take the field have never held their positions in the NFL before, not one of them. So are we expecting Ryan Tannehill to teach them?

This is the illusion I’m trying to point out, how the hell can the expectation be so enormously high for a group of individuals that are indeed learning on the job?

So there is only one answer people, only one route to success…

They all grow up together; we all suffer the same defeats that teach them how to win together.

I don’t like it.

I hate it, but I know any magic, is an illusion. If the plan is well thought out, success will follow when the pieces grow into place.

Was Stephen Ross expected to walk into the NFL and know instinctively how to build a franchise?

Was Dennis Hickey expected to have the greatest draft in NFL history on his first attempt?

Was Joe Philbin expected to understand not breaking the sanctity of the locker-room would lead to a scandal ignited by the press

Did anyone really think Bill Lazor would call perfect games his first year as an NFL play caller?

Can Kevin Coyle truly be expected to disguise the lack of proficient players at linebacker for more than one game?

Those questions are reality.

I read all the lofty projections about games Miami should win, winning records and post-season play. I’m not sure if anyone even noticed the silence over here in reality land…


Let’s just start learning how to win against the Raiders. Just one little victory, one right call, one complete pass, one QB pressure, because…

The Miami Dolphins from the top to the bottom are learning how to win in the NFL…

Demanding anything more, is an illusion.

Miami Dolphin Bus Driver (Ryan Tannehill) Runs Self Over.

The Miami Dolphins special teams were severely out punted with an astounding hang time and yardage effort by Dustin Colquitt, and the Chiefs had numerous returns of big yardage for naught reversed due to penalties. The penalty match up was lost by the Dolphins with 65 yards to the Chiefs 23 yards, and Kansas City won the time of possession game by seven plus minutes.

Miami's defense missed a plethora of drive discouraging tackles while allowing 342 total yards, though only ten more yards than the Chiefs defense allowed. Kansas City superstar running back Jamal Charles was inactive for the game, and their backup Kniles Davis scampered for 132 yards on 32 carries with a touchdown.

The Dolphin defense won the turnover battle (2 - 0) with forced fumbles in the 3rd quarter by Jared Odrick, and 4th quarter by Brent Grimes while giving the offense an occasional short field to work with. Jelani Jenkins led the team in tackles with 15, eleven solo, and 1.5 sacks. Miami sacked the Chiefs quarterback five times including a safety for two defensive points while the Dolphin quarterback was sacked on four occasions.

The Miami Dolphins play calling was suspiciously questionable on many occasions, and the pass blocking wasn't overly efficient while once again there were numerous dropped balls.

Lamar Miller had a good day with 108 yards on 15 carries which one would think would have opened up a productive scoring game through the air. For a third straight week Mike Wallace led the Dolphin receiving corps with 74 yards on five receptions while in this game Brian Hartline had the one Dolphin touchdown reception.

However. On this particular day!

The Miami Dolphin quarterback Ryan Tannehill failed miserably in connecting on fewer than 50 percent of his 43 attempts for 205 yards at home versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Miami had possession of the ball on fourteen occasions and mounted 332 total yards of offense, at a mere twenty three yard average per possession.

Tannehills lone three scoring drives came in succession for a whopping, mind blowing thirteen offensive points. The first was a second quarter ending drive of 74 yards on eight plays in one minute thirty five seconds for a 22 yard Calib Sturgis field goal as time ran out. Earlier in the second quarter Sturgis missed a 48 yard field goal attempt, and Miami went to the tunnel trailing by a score of 14 - 3.

On the Chiefs opening third quarter drive, Jared Odrick sacked and forced a fumble by the Kansas City quarterback that was recovered by Derrick Shelby at the oppositions 19 yard line. Four plays and nineteen yards later, Tannehill connected with Brian Hartline for a one yard touchdown and a 10 - 14 deficit.

The Chiefs followed with a ten play, 66 yard, five minute touchdown drive for a 21 - 10 lead. Upon the Kansas City kickoff, Miami return man Jarvis Landry gave Ryan Tannehill another golden opportunity with a 74 yard kick return to the Chiefs 33 yard line. Miami went zero yards in 3 plays and kicked a 51 yard field goal to pull within eight points at 13 - 21.

Following a three and out for the Chiefs. Miami went 3 and out. On the Miami punt, the Dolphins got a reprieve from a 48 yard Chiefs return after a KC penalty pushed their backs up against their own goal line at the one.

The Dolphins were down by eight points with 2:42 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Miami fans throughout the world were screaming, ""give us a safety to pull within six, and give the offense an opportunity for a touchdown drive and a one point lead to end the quarter"". On first and ten Randy Starks and Jelani Jenkins got the sack and safety for a 15 - 21 scoreboard. The game was taking a positive turn.

Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins final five offensive possessions covered a total of eighty two yards with the longest drive being of twenty nine yards and zero points. Kansas City scored two additional touchdowns of the short field variety due to the Miami Dolphins four down territory offensive ineptitude and a final discouraging score of 34 - 15.

Thank You for a (Not So) open-minded read, and comments of which you have every right to "On This Particularly Disgraceful Day of the Dolphins quarterback" Ryan Tannehill!

Off to London for a road game against the Oakland Raiders.


Dolphins vs Chiefs Week 3 Game Chat

Will Miami be able to bounce back against the 0-2 Kansas City Chiefs? Let's find out.

The Miami Dolphins Face the Kansas City Chiefs

The Miami Dolphins face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in practically a must win game for the Chiefs. Only 12 teams in NFL history have survived an 0-3 start to make the playoffs. The Dolphins are favored by 5 points in this game and that could spell trouble as Miami is 6-23 the last 10 years when favored by more than 3 points at home. The spread is sure to plummet once that stat hits the wires…

Miami is difficult for handicappers to predict because of the inconsistent play at QB. The startling stat sticking out in Bill Lazor’s throbbing head is Ryan Tannehill’s 0.6 passer rating on throws of 20 yards or more. The Miami QB is 1 of 7 for 22 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. Last week the Bills disregarded Tannehill throwing deep and brought the house on every down. Surely watching the film has Eric Berry licking his chops.

The Chiefs find themselves 0-2 mainly due to stud RB Jamal Charles nursing a high ankle sprain. Explosive draft pick De'Anthony Thomas has yet to play a regular season down with a pulled hamstring. Both of these two players are expected back, relieving some of the burden on Alex Smith who has been ineffective in the passing game after signing a franchise contract.

De'Anthony Thomas presents a serious challenge for a Miami special teams unit that played about as poorly as possible against the Bills. Thomas returned a punt for a TD in the pre-season and is looking forward to duplicating the feat against Miami. The Dolphins will need to plug the leaks quick before facing Thomas.

The story will look much the same this week for the Dolphins, though fortunately the KC front 4 is not as formidable as Buffalo. The Miami OL held up fairly well against a relentless Buffalo defense. They will be presented with a similar 8-man front sprinkled with a few new wrinkles as KC aims to force Tannehill to win the game. Buffalo showed Miami’s vulnerability in the deep passing game and teams will use the same formula until it's fixed, one way or the other...

The hope for a big Miami offensive showing lies once again on completing a few early long passes. If Tannehill can break the drought and hit his receivers for big plays, the defense will back off and the running game will come alive. If the same ineptitude prevails, the game could very well turn into a low scoring nail-biter with the outcome decided by a single play somewhere along the way.

The Dolphins should return a couple linebackers this week bringing depth to a lackluster group. Jason Trusnik's massive snap total may have played a part in the total special teams collapse at Buffalo. The usually sure handed Jarvis Landry made some rookie mistakes fielding punts, but there's no returning to Marcus Thigpen who was wisely snapped up by Bill Belichick. This unit needs Trusnik at full strength and completely in on special teams.

Cameron Wake has probably heard enough about being handled by a 7th round rookie in Buffalo. The Miami front 4 is one of the better units in the league when they decide to show up for a game. It’s hard to fathom how the Bills took both Wake and Vernon out of the game last week, and equally hard to fathom that both will underperform for a second straight week.

The thought here is, this will be a closely contested defensive struggle. The team making a big play in any facet should come out on top at the end. Should Tannehill get untracked in the deep passing game KC could be in for trouble, but he has not shown that ability in 34 starts and it is doubtful to suddenly blossom. The absence of Knowshon Moreno was clearly evident in Buffalo and he won’t be playing any time soon.

Everything points to Miami needing a flawless defensive and special teams performance to come out on top. While the NFL has shown a dependency on great QB play to consistently win, the Dolphins have no such luxury and must depend on a total team effort.

Bill Lazor has his hands full on an offense that seems a mismatch of talents. The big play speed receivers do not particularly block well in the run game and the QB cannot complete long passes. If things go sour early the boo-birds will surface in Miami, Tannehill's honeymoon is over. The calls for Matt Moore have not surfaced yet, but the call is waiting on the back of tongues all over Dolphin land.

Tannehill has lit-it-up approximately one out of every three games and there’s a high probability this could be his week. The Miami faithful have been blowing up the blogs in a virtual showdown between believers and non-believers. Tannehill needs this game badly to right ship and regain the confidence of teammates, coaching staff and Miami fandom as a whole.

Miami wins a close contest. The offense pulls in and works on its strengths in the running game. Expect to see less Wallace and more of Jarvis Landry and plenty of tight ends. When a QB is struggling with a facet of his game, it makes little sense to force him into those situations. Joe Philbin showed this train of thought when deciding to sit on the running game at the end of the first half last week.

Lamar Miller may take a backseat to Damien Williams in this game and Daniel Thomas is looking for redemption. Miami will pull back and go with a power running game and sure up special teams in an effort to win a close contest. Tannehill will get a couple of shots, but the Dolphin coaching staff is well aware of the .06 passer rating on deep throws and the demoralizing affect those missed opportunities have on a football team.

Miami wins a close one with a defensive touchdown!

Buffalo Stampedes Miami (Not So) Special Teams.

The 2014 Miami Dolphins went to Buffalo on week two and faced a tough defensive line match up versus even the most cohesively established offensive line units, (of which Miami does not yet possess). The Bills have probably the best DL unit that the Dolphins will face over the entirety of the 2014 season. Miami's newly acquired, inspirational number one running back Knowshon Moreno left the game upon his first carry of the day with what appeared to be an extremely severe arm and/or elbow injury!

Buffalo beat Miami 19 - 0 in their most previous head to head in 2013. They held Miami to zero points over the first half of today's game while leading by a score of 9 - 0 on three of Dan Carpenters five field goals.

The Dolphins took the opening third quarter kickoff 64 yards down the field on 13 plays for a field goal and a six point deficit at 3 - 9. Miami's offense had been relatively shut down to that point (via three first half sacks, and several receiver drops), but suddenly appeared to have some cohesive offensive momentum.

Upon the following kickoff the tide immediately turned back in the other direction. The Bills star running back C.J Spiller returned the kick 102 yards for a touchdown and a 16 - 3 Buffalo lead.

Miami responded with an eleven play 64 yard drive and 7 yard Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace one handed beautiful catch for a touchdown to pull back within six points at 16 - 10 with three 3rd quarter minutes remaining.

Buffalo returned the favor with a six play 77 yard drive for seven points to end the 3rd quarter up by a score of 23 - 10.

Previous to that drive, the Dolphin defense (though held without a sack or turnover for the day) had done a good job in holding the Bills (with a short field) to nine offensive unit points.

Meanwhile. Along with the Buffalo kick return for a touchdown against Miami's (Not So Special Teams Units). The Dolphins Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields was shanking punts for an average of 33 yards, (nearly 20 yards shorter than his usual average) while giving the Bills advantageous field position throughout the day. The special teams OL unit also allowed a blocked punt inside of their own red-zone. Miami's rookie return man Jarvis Landry muffed a late fourth quarter punt off of his face mask for a Buffalo recovery inside of Miami's ten yard line and an easy lead extending Bills field goal (their second of the fourth quarter), and a final score Dolphin loss of 29 - 10.

The Miami offense allowed only one second half sack, but was plagued by at least seven consequential receiver drops, a few of which where the running back and/or receiver had nothing but grass between he and the End Zone. Miami ran 74 plays to Buffalo's 59 and had a two and a half minute time of possession advantage. Miami accumulated ten more first downs, and had only 25 fewer total yards, they had 8 more passing yards but 33 fewer rushing yards (80) to Buffalo's (113). Lamar Miller had 11 carries for 46 yards. Mike Wallace led the team in receptions and receiving yards with 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill went 31 of 49 for 241 yards with one touchdown and four sacks, he also threw a garbage time interception after the games finality had already been declared.

Thanks for an Open-minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view!!

Bring-On The Kansas City Chiefs.

Miami Dolphins at Bills Week 2 Game Chat

Can the Dolphins pull this one out for a 2-0 divisional and overall record? We'll see.

Click here to watch the game

Analyzing the Miami Dolphins Verses the Buffalo Bills

I’m not generally superstitious, but the last time New England lost on opening day was to the Buffalo Bills way back in 2003. They got destroyed 31-0. The Bills were coming off an 8-8 season and things were looking mighty rosy after that convincing win. Buffalo finished 6–10 and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, while you guessed it… New England went on to win the Super Bowl.

I wrote that paragraph on the off chance a Miami Dolphin player might catch a glimpse of it. You see, as recently as last season the Dolphins started 3-0 only to lose 4 consecutive games before righting the ship in advance of a late season collapse that found them out of the playoffs.

So what’s my point? You undoubtedly think Negative Nancy is writing this article...

The point is, winning the first game even against a rival like New England does not mean a thing as Buffalo showed us way back in 2003. I find it interesting Miami plays Buffalo right on the heels of mirroring such an emotional victory. The same Buffalo team that beat Miami 19-0 when a victory would lead to a winning season and playoff berth a year ago.

The Bills are not the pushover they seemed in the pre-season. They beat the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime and are primed to take the wind out of Miami’s sails. Things are in flux in Buffalo where a new owner is about to take over from the Wilson family and excitement pervades years of decline. Not a whole hell-of-a-lot goes on up on Lake Erie these days. A victory over Miami would make the chicken wings a little spicier and the brew a little colder.

Buffalo won three out of the last four contests against Miami and did it twice with a QB named Thaddeus who is no longer in the league. They're a physical team, with two very good backs in CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. They drafted Sammy Watkins whom many thought was the best WR in the country, but there are chinks in the Bills’ offensive armor…

E.J. Manuel is starting his second season and had his share of rough outings last year. Pressure can rattle Manuel and this is where Miami must take advantage using one of best defensive lines in the NFL.

Prior to the draft, the Dolphins took a long look at UM offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, but his weight and attitude issues caused him to fall to Buffalo in the 7th round. Guess who will attempt to block Cameron Wake on Sunday? Yup - Seantrel Henderson - after 2nd round pick Cyrus Kouandjio failed to beat him out.

I imagine Henderson has a few butterflies in his belly just thinking about it. With Watkins nursing sore ribs, the Dolphins should be looking at a full frontal attack. The Bills are going to test the Dolphin run defense to the fullest and with the LB situation dire in Miami; it should be interesting to watch.

The Dolphins used some curious schemes to make up for the deficiency at LB. There was talk of the old Buddy Ryan 4-6 and even a 5-2. The reality was closer to a 3-4 with Wake and Vernon playing OLB while Starks, Mitchell and Odrick played a traditional 3-man front. These schemes work much better with the element of surprise, but Buffalo will have the tape. Miami needs to beat the Bills with a base defense if they expect to shut down the running game.

I suspect a safety will be creeping in the box all day with Grimes shadowing Watkins, leaving E.J. Manual with the ball in his hands. No doubt, Miami will want to force Manuel to win the game while attempting to blow up the Bills’ rushing attack.

Seantrel Henderson, really? If you have Wake on your fantasy team you might want to start him, I’m just saying…

Now comes the fun part, predicting the Miami offense. Buffalo handed it to the Dolphin OL in that fateful game last year, but it was a unit in complete disarray and ripe for the raping (I had to throw in something Richie would say)! Buffalo actually showed the Jets what New England failed to capitalize on; the Dolphin line could not stop an all-out jailbreak attack. The Bills simply overwhelmed a depleted Miami line, leaving Tannehill and the backs - sitting ducks.

The Buffalo defense will be no less potent, but they will be facing a vastly improved Miami offensive front. The Bills will take the same approach as the Dolphins, shut down the run and force Tannehill to win the game…

Unfortunately for Miami, Buffalo has the defensive front to make life miserable for the Dolphin rushing attack. Tannehill will need to take over the game if the rushing attack falters and it is difficult to predict how he will perform. The loss of Jairus Byrd from the Bills secondary helps Miami when the outcome could very well hinge on the success of the passing game.

Miami has an excellent corps of WRs and the new scheme under Bill Lazor will have the Bills wary of a quick strike passing attack. Buffalo coaches have seen the tape and have little fear of Miami’s deep passing ability. Judging but the attacking style last season, the Bills will force Tannehill to complete some long throws before backing off. Buffalo will press the line of scrimmage attempting to take away both rushing and short passing unless Tannehill dictates otherwise.

A few deep completions will dramatically change the game in Miami’s favor. The Bills will creep closer and closer each time Miami fails to connect on open deep passing routes. The vertical passing game may very well be the key to beating the Bills. Bill Lazor knows this and is certain Buffalo knows it as well. The feeling here is, Lazor will attempt to lengthen the field early for Tannehill.

Knowshon Moreno was the spark that lit Miami’s offensive fire against NE. If Moreno can gain the tough yards again, it will take a lot of the burden off Tannehill, but the Bills will be loading up for Knowshon.

Everyone hates it when I put too much on Tannehill… It won’t be me putting it on our boy Ryan, I fully expect the Bills to make Tannehill win this football game. Miami can still win as they proved against NE, but the team needs to duplicate the same passion they played with against the Patriots.

Indeed - emotion is the fuel that rules football any given Sunday…

Play with reckless abandon every week and there will be no need to worry about schemes or quarterbacks. If the Dolphins play with the same passion, they showed against New England, few teams will beat them.

Seattle showed the formula, passion rules and they have the shiny rings to prove it…

Miami Dolphins Swimming With The Current.

The Miami Dolphins played horrible host on opening day of the NFL's 2014 season! Their visitors. The New England Patriots had won ten straight season openers as the AFC East Divisional Champ in eleven of the last twelve seasons.

The Dolphins won. Hold-up. Wait.
The Dolphins won?
The Dolphins won.

YES! On this day your favorite team did all the roaring!

In forcing the Patriots opening series to go three and out, Rookie Chris McCain followed with a blocked punt giving the Dolphins a short field and an easy short TOUCHDOWN pass from Ryan Tannehill to running back Lamar Miller for an early tempo setting 7 - 0 lead.

Despite following up the great start with early first quarter injuries to starting linebackers (Ellerbe and Misi) over a three play stint which resulted in the Pats proceeding to pick at the already suspect position (for a period of time). With Miami's third starting linebacker Phillip Wheeler being declared as inactive before the game, the Dolphins were forced to play with two backup's and a defensive back at the LB position for much of the day.

Simultaneously. The offense was committing three turnovers in five first half possessions, (two fumbles via huge hits, and an interception). However. Your Miami Dolphins prevailed over the Daunting New England Patriots for a second consecutive head to head VICTORY!

Miami walked out of the tunnel after halftime down by a score of 20 - 10. They received the second halves opening kickoff and proceeded to score TWENTY-THREE UNANSWERED POINTS! Free Agent running back acquisition Knowshon Moreno led the way offensively with 134 yards on 24 carries including a bruising, game clinching four yard TOUCHDOWN run through a handful of defenders. The Fins accumulated 192 total rushing yards behind (five new offensive lineman, a first in NFL history)!

Ryan Tannehill went 18 of 32 for 178 passing yards with two TOUCHDOWN passes, ONE SACK, and one interception. Receiver Mike Wallace had 7 receptions for 81 yards and a TOUCHDOWN while failing to toe tap a beautiful second long touchdown reception. Running back Lamar Miller had 11 carries for 59 yards, and 4 receptions for 19 yards with a TOUCHDOWN, while having a rushing touchdown nullified due to a penalty.

Meanwhile, the Fins Defense shut down the 2nd half Patriots for approximately 57 net yards and ZERO POINTS in seven possessions! Miami's defense relentlessly poured on the heat with four second half sacks of Tom Brady. Cameron Wake led the way with two plantings of the quarterback to go with two Brady forced fumbles recovered by Miami's FA safety acquisition Louis Delmis, and Rookie DT Anthony Johnson. Rookie LB Chris McCain and Dolphin standout Olivier Vernon executed the other two setting downs of the great Tom Brady.

The New England Patriots wilted under the pressure of SIX (3 & outs), and TWO (4 and outs)!

For the defense it was like groundhog day, and the swarm never allowed the the QB to see his own shadow, let-alone his receivers.

On Offense while Miami marched up and down the field with relative ease! It was similar to the Good'Ole'Days with aggressive play calling at a blinding pace, and five to 15 yards gained, play, after play, after play. Also similar to the "Good'Ole'Days" was the announcers saying MORENO this, MORENO that for big gains and ""another Miami Dolphins first down"", time, after time, after time.

A similarly named HERO that goes by MORENO led the way while motivating an ENTIRE TEAM EFFORT!

Was it mentioned that your Miami Dolphins stomped the New England Patriots in a more impressive fashion than the THIRTY-THREE to TWENTY score might indicate?
Dolphins win, Dolphins win, DOLPHINS WIN!!

Thank You for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view!!


Miami Dolphins vs Patriots Week 1 Game Chat

The season is finally here. Can Miami open with a win against the top dog in the division?

Preseason Defensively Speaking

Tony has another top-quality piece for us. Enjoy!

I've had my say about our new look offense under first year OC, Bill Lazor this preseason. Now I want to have a few words about Coyle and Company.

It seems we looked pretty much like we picked up where we left off last December. Our linebackers and secondary whiffed something awful, missing tackles and allowing a lot of after the catch yardage versus the Falcons. (As well as running backs getting yardage after initial contact).

It turned out to be our worst showing. We didn't get any turn overs or sacks in the game. Atlanta racked up 84 yards rushing and 288 yards passing. The defense did keep us in the game, though. The final score was 16 to 10, in their favor.

After practicing during the week on the fundamentals of wrapping up and tackling, our meeting with Tampa Bay went somewhat better. The Buccaneers totaled 91 yards rushing and only 159 yards passing. We forced 2 turn overs, (fumbles) and got 5 sacks. The final score was 20 to 14. (Tampa Bay got a pick six and their late game scoring drive was nothing more than garbage points for them when it didn't matter).

Our third contest was against the Dallas Cowboys. (The dress rehearsal where most of the starters would stay in the game until the early third quarter). Dallas was a top 5 team last year on offense so this would be a good test for our defense. The Cowboys only mustered 94 yards rushing and 157 yards through the air. We got 3 sacks and forced a fumble. Our defense stymied them late in the game allowing us to come from behind to score two TD's and win it 25 to 20. A good showing against a potent offense.

The Saint Louis Rams had us down 13 to 0 going into the fourth quarter. Tannehill and just about all of our starters were kept on the bench, to save them for the regular season. Still, the defense held the Rams to 87 yards on the ground and 178 in the air. We managed to get 5 sacks and once again scored two TD's in the fourth quarter for the come back win.

In 2013, we allowed an average of 234.5 yards passing, 124.9 yards rushing and 20.90 points.
In 2014, we allowed an average of 195.5 yards passing,   95.5 yards rushing and 15.75 points.

Of course, these are only preseason games, (and 4 at that) but we did not allow a 100 yard rushing game and in 3 games we got 13 total sacks. (Tied for second best in preseason). The defense held our opponents to fewer yards and points per game, (on average) than we averaged in all three of these categories.

Overall, Miami is tied for second in average yards per play in preseason, too. (4.4 yards per play).
The Dolphins are 9th in overall defense. 13th against the pass and 8th versus the rush.
We are second behind the Bronco's 9 yard longest running play from scrimmage with  a 14 yard run.

Defensively, we will have 2 starting players out with 4 game suspensions to start the regular season. Aside from inconsistent tackling and receiver/tight end coverage by our line backers, I expect our defense will be improved this season. At least in the top 15, (or maybe 10).  That will be enough to make us competitive in the play offs. Yes I said playoffs.

The defensive line and secondary are a versatile,stout group. There is good athleticism and speed on this roster. If Wheeler or Ellerbe cannot get it together we have some fresh talent that can be worked into the mix to either spur them along or take their place, outright.

I like where this team is going and that Philbin/Coyle are not afraid to tap into the youth movement. It's been a while since we had rookies that showed such promise. This means Hickey is doing his job, too.

Now that this blog is over I can concentrate on our game with New England. And I can not believe CBS has decided to show the game in 39% of the market, which means I will get to see the game here in Oregon. I will still be popping in and out of the Shout's live game chat to touch base with you guys during the game, though.


Are the Dolphins Playing Possum?

This post was submitted by our very own Tony Nicoletti. Enjoy!

I know the preseason is over and that Lazor had to do everything he could to keep much of Miami's new offense under wraps. (Especially with the Patriots coming to Miami to open the season). But I have to wonder....

Perhaps I am an incurable, overly optimistic fan. A hopeless homer of sorts. Someone that doesn't just believe the glass is half full, but sees it's contents being almost full of my favorite Koolaid, too. I'm about to offer an extremely hopeful, rose colored view point of what one could garner from this, "cloak and dagger" preseason. And what might be in store for us Dolphin aficionados.

Tannehill only played in 3 games. But in those 3 contests, this is what could be construed as the results:

The very first preseason outing, he goes 6 for 6 and drives the team down and scores a TD. He gets yanked after the first quarter. I can almost hear Lazor on the sidelines talking to Ryan after that glowing sample of work. "Easy kid". "Cool your jets"! (Excuse the, "Jets" pun, there).  "You are setting yourself up to give these fans too much to hope for". "We don't want the new and improved Tannehill/Dolphins to appear too good to be true".

Now in his second appearance, Tannehill comes down to earth with a much more realistic, yet favorable showing. 9 of 14 for 110 yards. He has a fumble, (not necessarily his fault)  due to a blown assignment, allowing McCoy to bust through the line to disrupt the play. He stays a couple of series and takes them down for a field goal before getting pulled so Moore can get his turn. Lazor is probably relieved Ryan has performed closer to what everyone is accustomed to seeing. But for two games Tannehill is still 15 of 20 for a 75 % completion rate.

Tannehill's third and final game, (the so called, "dress rehearsal") he plays into the third quarter and goes 13 of 21 for 116 yards. Seems pedestrian enough for him. He manages to bring them down for a field goal on an early series. Then he drives them down into enemy territory twice and throws an INT on one occasion, (at the 5 yard line). Another series stalls when Dion Sims catches a pass from Ryan for a first down, but fumbles at the 25 yard line. (Again, while Tannehill has them driving down field and well inside field goal range).

The point to all this is that Tannehill winds up completing 68.2 % of his passes against mostly, opposing first string defenses. (Considerably better than his 2013 stat line of 60.4 %). Though, there is still the issue of scoring, he is moving them down the field relatively well. (Even connecting on some long passes, just not to Wallace). He's getting the ball out quicker. Looks confident, decisive and the offense around him appears to be more exciting.

This is what happens when your top QB only gets sacked once in 3 games. And in 4 games the OL only gave up 3 total sacks, too. Testimony which indicates Bill Lazor is calling the right kind of plays to get the ball out before bad things happen.

In the three games where they had difficulty running the ball in the first half, the second half produced considerably better rushing totals. This demonstrates Lazor's unwillingness to give up on the run. Instead, he finds creative ways to not take what the defense is giving him, but spread the defense and exploit their weaknesses. I believe Lazor gets it. I think he understands the importance of trying to achieve a balance and at least have a decent running game that the defense has to respect.

And after two sub par rushing performances, (52 and 46 yards) Miami explodes in a big way, (be it against a weak Dallas defense) for 200 yards? (Once again, tipping their hand as to what kind of potential they have). But of course, this has to be followed by a weaker preseason tally of 79 yards in their final scrimmage. Who are you kidding, Bill?

As far as meaningless victories are concerned? We lose a winnable opener in Atlanta, 16 to 10. Easily beat a Buccaneer team that has a very good defense, 20 to 14. (Put the brakes on now, Bill Lazor). Then we come from behind late in our final two games to win. (25 to 20 versus the Cowboys and 14 to 13 against the Rams). And naturally, they would be home games that saw us scoring two touch downs in the fourth quarter in each of them. (With second and third string personnel, no less)? Grand standing much are we, Mr Lazor?

I mean......Are the Dolphins playing possum?

First, you have Ryan Tannehill coming out of the gate like his dorsal fin is on fire. Better throttle him back before people start thinking he's the second coming of Nick Foles of the Eagles. Like....We all know Dolphins can give the appearance of being able to walk on water. But not our young QB. I don't care if his tail fin is on fire or not.

Then after two outings that did not amount to a 100 yards of rushing you decide to pacify us by game planning 200 yards? Sure Moreno finally got to play, but he only accounted for 64 of those yards and perhaps, did set the tone for the other RB's to follow. Yeah, it was against the Cowboy's porous defense. But it seems all the RB's had a field day and not one of them wound up scraping cow paddies of their cleats in the process. Could this have something to do with your play calling?

And all of the sudden, the Dolphins become cardiac kids? Coming from behind to win 2 games in the fourth quarter. And not with an occasional field goal, mind you. With multiple, needed TD's.

But this is a work in progress. A team learning a new playbook that is still supposed to be an off shoot of the West Coast Offense. I ain't buying it.

If this is what we can expect from this new group of Dolphins then I can understand why Belichick is snatching our recently released players off the waiver wire to pick their brains. I honestly don't think it will do him much good. The Philadelphia Eagles had some success against New England last season with their Kelly/ Lazor offensive scheme, and Belichick remembers.

As creative as you are and how well you have this offense trying to down play and stymie our opponents with our true talents and abilities, you will only change up and adapt to the Patriots defensive sub packages. And nothing would be more satisfying than really ticking old Belichick off. That and a win!

And I haven't even mentioned how much better our defense has played during the preseason. I'll try to have a few words about them in an up coming piece. Maybe, before we play New England this weekend.

Miami Dolphin Season Rests on Ryan Tannehill

The Miami Dolphins enter 2014 season transitioning a new general manager supposedly finally on the same page with the head coach. A roster boasting the possibility of 12 rookies. The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel’s David Hyde calling for the playoffs or house-cleaning... It's the annual beginning of the season ritual for the Dolphins, boom or bust!

A dose of reality shouldn’t be difficult for the Miami faithful when considering the last Super Bowl victory was a mere forty years ago. A forty-year drought should provide enough caffeine in the wake-up-call to resist the formula of constant churn, but it’s good media. Turmoil sells, the media figured this out long ago. Unfortunately for the writers, Stephen Ross intends to stand by the men he chose to lead this team after the Parcells debacle, leaving one person with the ball clearly in his hands.

Ryan Tannehill...

Certainly, it’s a lot of burden to place on one man, but the NFL is a league dominated by the performance of one player, the quarterback. To imply there are no other problematic areas on the football team would be foolish, but the playoffs are not like the illusive forty-year drought monster. Any NFL team can make the playoffs with stellar QB play. The Dolphins have enough weapons to join the playoff ranks.

It would be quick to say this article is another stirring of the pot but the message is simple, don’t blow up all the pieces if only one is the problem. The intent is not to hand Ryan Tannehill a pink-slip stamped with a declaration of his inability to play quarterback at the NFL level. The message is for him to prove he belongs.

Boss Ross has a unique ability to see beyond the BS and make proper conclusions. Jeff Ireland’s ineptitude made it easy for Ross to see the need for a new GM. Watching Daniel Thomas and Michael Egnew hit the waiver wire certainly added credence to that decision. Given the opportunity to prove he belonged, Ireland’s top 3 picks in 2013 barely touched the field.

Mike Sherman may have been a little harder decision with the OL problems and inconsistency at QB, but it was obvious the offense lacked flair. Mike Sherman was not going to be the OC to provide a progressive scheme, with or without an OL or consistent QB. From the beginning, Ross said he wanted a high-octane NFL offense, to get there Sherman had to go. Ross gave both Ireland and Sherman the opportunity and when they failed, he fired them.

Herein lies the problem for Ryan Tannehill, Sherman
was undoubtedly  influential in the decision to draft the Texas A&M QB. In this high-stakes arena, Sherman placed his future on the line by guaranteeing Tannehill was the man for the job. Without Sherman, Tannehill would probably not be in Miami. Luckily, Stephen Ross gives opportunity before making rash decisions.

During the 2014 preseason, it was quite interesting to watch Bill Lazor’s offense. It was obvious Ross and Philbin made an excellent choice at offensive coordinator. Seeing Ja’Wuan James step in at right tackle and a Miami team sporting 12 rookies validates Dennis Hickey. These two choices have one thing in common, they go against the good-old-boy network of replacing retreads with retreads. Tannehill was not chosen by the GM and not indorsed by the OC.

Ryan Tannehill is in a precarious position this year, he needs to perform or his job is in jeopardy like Ireland and Sherman before him. Ross has done his weeding in the front office, for the moment. He is happy with the performance of the head coach he selected and he likes the GM he chose. Should the offense flounder, Tannehill stands as the fall guy if he is incapable of running Bill Lazor’s scheme.

There is a positive thread in what may be interpreted as a negative narrative, it has been a long time since the key positions off the field have been competently filled. Kevin Coyle is a good defensive coordinator and 12 rookies hints at the lack of depth on his roster (not to mention Ireland's brilliance at selecting FA linebackers). It means the churning is over for the Miami Dolphin coaching staff and front office. Stephen Ross is finally happy.

In a league dominated by QB play, Tannehill’s performance will dictate whether the Dolphins reach the playoffs. The issue is of a larger magnitude
for Ross, the playoffs are fine and dandy but the name of this game is Super Bowl. It is very difficult even for the ardent Tannehill fan to project him as a Super Bowl QB at this point in his career. Ross looks to end the forty year drought and knows Tannehill’s ability to play the position is paramount to seeing his dream become reality.

The reverse nature of sports is interesting; supposedly, great coaches and personnel people make great teams. The reality is, great players’ make great coaches and personnel people. Churning coaches and personnel people is usually a panacea for the inability of players, particularly the QB. Firing Jeff Ireland was correct… He was abysmal. Had he selected Matt Ryan instead of Jake Long, he would still be working in Miami.

Ireland Selected Ryan Tannehill…

From this perspective, it seems Ross has set this season up for Ryan Tannehill to make his statement or follow Ireland and Sherman out the door. Over the course of a season, the QB is the player most capable of influencing the win/loss column. If a team has a great QB, they win and if they don’t, they lose. There can be playoff seasons, maybe a Super Bowl or two, but long-term stability in the NFL rests squarely on the shoulders of the QB.

Miami has done everything right in nurturing Tannehill. They did not place undue pressure on him to be great, while at the same time gave him the experience of starting 32 NFL games. It is concerning, after 32 starts his future is still not obvious, but he has a shot. The Dolphins removed an OC who lacked vision and fired a GM with questionable talent evaluation skills. Now it is up to Tannehill to prove he has the ability to play quarterback at a high level in the NFL.

There is no right or wrong. There is no derogatory assessment of his ability. There is no prediction of the outcome. There is simply one variably that will lead to success or failure for the Miami Dolphins this season and his name is Ryan Tannehill. Stephen Ross gave Jeff Ireland and Mike Sherman the opportunity and they failed. It’s all a professional can ask for, an opportunity to be great.

Every Dolphin fan wonders the same question…

Can the Dolphins find a QB to slay the forty-year drought monster?

If Ryan Tannehill shows the way, house-cleaning will be forgotten in Miami…