F. I. N. S. WIN, WIN, WIN 📢 🚒

 Miami's Dolphins perservered through the seasons opener last Sunday with a resiliant home field victory of 27 - 20 over the Titans in the NFL's longest game in history of (7 hours, 8 minutes).

On the following Monday they were informed that their 2018 FA prize LG Josh Sitton would be lost for the season to a shoulder injury. On Tuesday, their 2017 FA prize Guard Ted Larsen became the starting left guard. Miami (against two run stuffing DL's) rushed the ball (via Sitton) 29 times for 120 vs the Titans, and for 135 yards (via Larsen) on 31 attempts at the Jets.

The Dolphins flew in from Miami to visit NYC on week two of the 2018 season to take a (team vs team yardage simularity) 20 - 0 halftime lead. They headed home with a 2 - 0 record for the first time since 2013 while also (as the divisions only undefeated team) being in sole possession of the division lead for the first time in at least those same five years.

Ryan Tannehill on a designed QB run scampered for 20 yards on the games opening play. He was sacked four times for the game. On one occassion he was running for his life as the DE climbed on to his back to take him down akwardly with the entirety of #17's own weight as well as the defenders girth (to total 500-plus pounds) all being supported by THills repaired left knee. With a knock, knock on the forehead, that knee is as stable as any in the league. 

Miami started the scoring after Safety TJ McDonald (lined up as Sam LB) baited the Jets (second series) rookie QB sensation Sam DARNold into an ill-advised pass that TMc returned 31 yards to the home teams 15 yard line. Rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick lined up tight vs the slot receiver, sprinted to the safety zone upon the snap, and TJ jumped in front of the slot guy for the pick. Sam Darnold never saw the Sam LB McDonald or such a defense.

After two runs that led to a 3rd & 1. Kenyan Drake ran untouched up the gut for the 6 yard TOUCHDOWN and 7 - 0 visiting teams advantage.

Two NY & Miami punts later on a Jets first down play for another first down, LB Kiko Alonso popped a receiver between the shoulder blades that forced a fumble that MLB Raquon McMillan fell on for the recovery at the home teams 49.

On the second play from that moment Ryan Tannehill hit Albert Wilson at the 24 on a 5 yard crossing pattern between the hash marks, Wilson streaked west for 26 yards to avoid the LB, and then North 24 yards for the Dolphins 14 - 0 TOUCHDOWN score.

A Jets three & out for minus 7 yards that included a Robert Quinn sack followed.

Miami took over with 2:29 first half ticks remaining at their own 38 for their longest drive of the day yardage wise. Four passes, and three runs took the Dolphins to the NY 19 yard line. From there Tannehill threw an endzone TOUCHDOWN dart to TE AJ Derby for the 20 - 0 halftime lead, (Sanders missed the EP kick).

NY marched 74 yards in the halfs remaining 49 seconds, but Miami stopped them at the one at as time expired.

The Jets scored a TD on the third quarters opening series and missed their own Extra Point attempt for a 20 - 6 defecit. NY scored two Field Goals in the second half also for the 20 - 12 final score loss.

The Dolphins didn't do much in the second half to risk their first half 20 - 0 lead, but Xavian Howard had a EndZone pick.

For the game.
Miami's DL had 9 TFL (tackles for loss), 5 via the interior with 4 from the ends. The 3 DL sacks came via DE Robert Quinn, & DT William Hayes along with a vicious sack from DT Jordan Phillips.

LB Kiko Alonso led the team while accruing 13 solo tackles (with most being of the face to face, big hit variety), and he forced a fumble that McMillan recovered.

CB X had his pick as did S/Sam LB TJ McDonald.

The Dolphin D allowed just 17 first half rush yards, and 42 over the games entirety. 149 first half pass yards and 171 in the second half for one TD & two FG's to total 12 points.

On Offense.
Drake led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 53 yards with a TD while THill had 8 attempts for 44 yards, and Gore with 9 for 25. PS. Miami Homey Frank Gore moved into the All-Time rushing leaders fourth spot ahead of long time Jet/Patriot Curtis Martin, and behind only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders.

Albert Wilson topped the receivers with 3 catches for just 37 yards with the TD.
Amendola had 4 for 32, Grant 2 for 27, and TE Derby had the one for 19 and the TD.

Tannehill completed 17 of 23 for 122 yards with two TD passes and the 44 rush yards. The run game produced 135 yards with a TD on 31 attempts

T'wasn't an offensive field day, but the D made it so it didn't need to be. Miami played on a short field while the opposition didn't. The Offense scored 14 points off of NY's first two turnovers and toyed with a two to three score lead for the days most part. Even when the Dolphins couldn't sustain a drive, they still turned the field over with great punts and coverage on all kicks.

Miami's Dolphins went 6 of 13 on 3rd down, and committed just TWO PENALTIES for a grand total of 10 yards.

The J.E.T.S. pulled within 8 points with just under six game minutes remaining,
and never again touched the ball.

Miami's final possession (that included a 3rd/18 short dumpoff to Gore for a 19 yard first down run) was their most extensive drive of the day. They ran 12 plays for 58 yards to the NY 13 in 5:56 before going into 20 - 12 VICTORY FORMATION for the games final four plays rather than taking the additional bonus points of a TD or easy chipshot FG.

Yo Fireman Ed,
The Miami Dolphins are walkin'ear so STFU!!!

The F. I. N. S. WIN, WIN, WIN  📢 🚒


Miami Dolphins at Jets Week 2 Game Chat

Find a stream here.

Adversity Cannot Stop the Miami Dolphins

After a torturous 2017, the Miami Dolphins opened 2018 winning in the longest game in NFL history. Lightning scared off the officials, but it was not enough scare off the Dolphins.

Adam Gase released what many thought his most talented players because his team folded under pressure in 2017. He was determined, it would not happen again. A stickler for details, Gase may have researched a little history surrounding this storied franchise.

The opening game in 2017 wasn't the first time a hurricane forced the Dolphins to lose their bye week. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew forced the rescheduling of Miami's September 6 opening game against New England to October 18, when both teams originally had a bye week.

It does not stop there for the NFL's most weathered team. On October 25, 2003 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to fight a massive fire ignited two days earlier. The NFL moved the Miami's October 27 Monday Night game against San Diego to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Forcing the teams to travel early and disrupt their usual practice routine.

In 2004, the Tennessee Titans at the Miami Dolphins opening-day game, scheduled for Sunday, September 12, was rescheduled to Saturday, September 11 due to Hurricane Ivan. That same year, the Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami game scheduled for Sunday, September 26, at 1 PM was moved to 8:30 PM due to Hurricane Jeanne.

In 2005, the NFL moved up the Kansas City Chiefs at Miami game from Sunday, October 23 to Friday, October 21 due to Hurricane Wilma. Gase figured out quickly, if he was going to be successful in Miami, his team needed to be prepared for Mother Nature.

By allowing the stars to shine elsewhere, Gase built a roster better suited to handle the elements. In actuality, the 2018 opening game could not have been better scripted for Adam Gase and his Miami Dolphins. He preached mental toughness and continually warned his team to be ready for circumstances beyond their control.

When Lightning forced the teams into the locker room for nearly 4 hours, Gase's preaching became reality. Nothing could reinforce his persistence better than defeating the very obstacles he anticipated. His team met the elements head-on and came out victorious. A locker room built for adversity, grew closer with every bolt of lightning.

The game was not a thing of beauty, it didn't need to be, all the Dolphins needed to take from this game was a victory. Each time the Miami offense began to get untracked, the officials jumped in and stopped play, sending the teams to the locker room. Tennessee faced the same disruptions, but was unprepared. Vrabel admitted, he had never seen anything like it in his storied NFL career.

Welcome to Miami Mike...

There was plenty of good and enough ugly to go around.

Tannehill threw two beauties for TDs and a couple clunkers for INTs. His 89.9 passer rating was not Aaron Rodgers, but it was good enough for the 13th best of the week. No other QB had to deal with Tannehill's distractions and Marcus Mariota's game ended with a hit from defensive lineman William Hayes early in the third quarter. Tannehill was good enough to win.

Kenyan Drake averaged only 3.4 yards on his 14 carries, gaining 48 yards, but the stat does not account for his clock killing runs, into an eight-man front, to seal the game. Ageless Frank Gore rushed 9 times 61 yards, a nifty 6.8 yards per-carry. The Dolphin running game looked impressive in spite of the conditions and disruptions.

The Miami receiving corps was perhaps the most impressive offensive unit on the field Sunday. Gone was Jarvis Landry as a permanent fixture in the slot. Gone was DeVante Parker camped on one side or the other. Instead, Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant ran a dizzying stream of formations and alignments! Miami hadn't seen this since the Mark's brothers.

Looking forward, rookie Mike Gesicki has not touched the impact he will have on the Miami Dolphin offense as he learns the NFL. Miami is not forced to rush DeVante Parker back and his job and playing time will be on the line when he returns. It will bring out the best in Parker or he will follow Jarvis Landry out the door.

On defense, the Miami secondary was as good as advertised, every player made defining plays. Free to roam, Reshad Jones sniffed out two interceptions. Bobby McCain had zero passes completed against him. Minkah Fitzpatrick stuffed a 4th and goal prior to a 98 yard Miami touchdown drive. The Titans avoided Xavien Howard and TJ McDonald led the defense with 8 tackles.

By the season's end, the Miami defensive backfield could be special...

The defensive line did not show the exceptional pass rush fans were lured into during the pre-season. Tennessee was without its first team tackles and the Dolphins did not register a sack. The Titans rushed for 116 yards at 4 yards per carry, which is not terrible, but isn't very good. The line needs to have more impact on the game if the Miami defense ever hopes to be elite.

The linebackers were completely nondescript. Kiko Alonso pulled in an interception for the group's only highlight, but there were also no glaring mistakes from the two first-year players. The signs are indicating the unit is destined to get better as the season moves on.

Aside from giving up a kick return touchdown, the special teams played an exceptional game. Jakeem Grant's 102 yard return was the second longest in Miami history. Rookie kicker Jason Sanders was perfect, including 3 field goals and Matt Haack averaged 53.8 yards per punt.

It's a single game against a team that lost its QB, but the victory was against more than the opponent. Adam Gase built the Miami Dolphins to overcome adversity, and on the first, very long day of the season.

His TEAM responded...

Fins Up!

Miami Dolphins vs Titans Week 1 Game Chat

Find a stream here.


The Miami Dolphins are Ryan Tannehill's Team

The loss of Miami Dolphin quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2017 left Adam Gase searching for leaders to fill the void. The signing of Jay Cutler made it immediately obvious Gase was not impressed with Matt Moore. The inability of Mike Pouncey to participate in practice limited the oft-injured center. As the team's designated playmaker, Jarvis Landry's swashbuckling style left it impossible to depend on mercurial receiver. At some point, Gase realized a huge change was necessary if the Miami offense would ever reach the potential he envisioned.

Contrary to what many pundits and fans believe, Gase firmly stands behind Ryan Tannehill. Matt Moore had his moments as a Miami backup, but Moore never pressured Tannehill to start and accepted his reserve role. That acceptance left a void in the absence of Tannehill. The Miami Dolphins were now dependent on the leadership of a backup who was happy collecting a paycheck on the bench. Gase made a mistake believing Jay Cutler could lead; it was obvious by the season's end, Cutler would never play another down in the NFL.

Mike Pouncey was the player coaches proclaimed the best lineman on the team, while frustrated fans only saw a completely inept unit. Pouncey sacrificed his body for the game of football. For coaches and teammates, this is the ultimate gesture of love for the game. Leadership in the locker room comes from players willing to strap it up in the face of injury. It is often said, "after the first week, everyone in the NFL plays injured." Gase needed players willing to sacrifice, but his need for leadership was far greater.

Mike Tannenbaum refused a salary increase for Pouncey and Gase had his out. The center could remain a favorite, but the fabled "NFL is a business" line saved Gase from cutting the injury prone Pouncey without cause. With its leader unable to practice, Gase's offensive line never came together. No other unit on the football field depends more on playing together. The line could not work as a unit with Pouncey on the sideline during practice.

Jarvis Landry wanted to zig when the play was a zag... Jarvis Landry wanted to prance after a catch when his coach was running a fast-paced offense. Baiting Jarvis Landry into throwing down punches when his team was marching to score was easy. Jarvis Landry caught 112 passes and those catches were the wide receiver's only obsession. In today's fantasy world of stats, it's easy to argue, Landry was due a huge payday.

Adam Gase clearly understands money talks more than anything in football and perhaps life. Players follow the example of core leaders generally paid the highest salary. A huge payday for freewheeling Landry clearly would send the message to follow the money. In 2017 the Miami Dolphins needed a leader and Jarvis Landry was not that player. Paying him would have sent the wrong message and Gase knew it.

2018 begins anew with Ryan Tannehill back at the helm. A cohesive offensive line has practiced every single day together since the opening of training camp. The wide receiver room is now a precision group without the leading freestyler. The offense is set for the next play when the QB is ready, and a loud mouth ball-hog no longer challenges Tannehill in the huddle.

Is there addition by subtraction? In seven years with Mike Pouncey as the leader, the Miami Dolphins never fielded a decent offensive line. Four years with Jarvis Landry leading the NFL in receptions, the Miami offense never rose above average. The last eight games Miami played with Tannehill at quarterback, the Dolphins are 7-1.

The Miami Dolphins are finally Ryan Tannehill's team...

23 of the 53 players on the 2018 Dolphins were not on the team when the 2017 season began. When the Dolphin offense takes its first snap this season, only three players may remain from the 2017 season starters. The Miami brass may claim they are not rebuilding, but it certainly seems the team has made a drastic change.

In three seasons, Gase learned who could play his offensive style and who could not. Adam Gase did not make bold or rash decisions this off-season, he simply wanted players who loved the game of football. The city of Miami is an extremely difficult place to cultivate a winning football team. The players are young, wealthy, famous and in the best shape of their lives. The distractions are plentiful and difficult to avoid.

These distractions often lead players into thinking the game is secondary to the spotlight. Gase knows he must find football-first players if he is going to succeed in Miami. Ryan Tannehill is a perfect example of this type of player, Mike Pouncey and Jarvis Landry, not so much.

The Miami Dolphins are finally Ryan Tannehill's team...

This drastic change is settling in for the Dolphins; gone is the glitter and flash, replaced by football-first players. The NFL has taken on a fantasy mentality and with gambling laws changing it will be harder to avoid players looking for stats. It is a very difficult time for coaches. The off-season actions indicate Adam Gase understands and is trying to change his team to keep pace with the game's evolution.

The pre-season gave no indication whether this offense would step forward in 2018. If anything, the pre-season showed the opposite, but it was obvious, Miami held back its aces. Sit back and watch Miami fans, it's Ryan Tannehill's chance to shine. For the first time, an offense built around his strengths aligns squarely on his shoulders.

The Miami Dolphins are finally Ryan Tannehill's team...