Archive for: November 2010

Miami Dolphins – Game Balls for Week 12

The Miami Dolphins have turned their attention to the Cleveland Browns, but we will have one more day to bask in the complete team win on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins struggled early and often on special teams, but they hung in there and pulled out the victory. Here are our 3 game balls for the week:

Game Ball #1 – Chad Henne
We are Henne supporters, we won’t deny that. However, this guy played with a brace on his leg and through pain to lead the team to victory. Was he great? No. But he did what he needed to do to win the game. He finished the day going 17/30 for 307 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT. That amounts to a QB rating of 100.27. Henne helped move the chains and helped the Dolphins control the clock, totaling 41+ minutes of possession. Maybe the benching lit a fire under Henne. Maybe he will now take the reigns of the team and prove to everyone that the Dolphins do not need to look for another QB this offseason.

Game Ball #2 – Davone Bess
This was Bess’s homecoming to the Bay Area. Added to the pressure of playing in front of close family and friends, Bess also had to lead the receivers who were without Brandon Marshall. Missing Marshall meant that Bess could be covered by Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the league’s elite corners. He caught 6 balls for 111 yards. Adding to that, he had an electric punt return that set the Dolphins up in Raiders territory.

Game Ball #3 – Yeremiah Bell

While we would love to give a game ball to the entire front 7 for their great work against the ‘vaunted’ Raiders rushing attack, we don’t give out group game balls here.  We will say that they did a great job though :)  Some were beginning to question if Yeremiah Bell still had what it takes to be a great safety.  He took a step on Sunday to answering his critics.  He tallied 3 tackles, 1 interception, and a fumble recovery.  Not bad for a days work!  If Bell and Chris Clemons can continue to gel in the defensive backfield, this defense will only get better.

Stayin’ Alive – Miami Dolphins beat Oakland Raiders 33-17

Playing in what could only be considered a ‘must win’, the Miami Dolphins played their most complete game of the 2010 season.  Yes, they were hurt.  Yes, they gave up a 101 kickoff return on the games opening play.  BUT, the Miami Dolphins managed to continue fighting in their 33-17 route of the Oakland Raiders.

The Dolphins held the ball for over 41 minutes in the game and controlled it throughout.  Even though they down 14-13 at halftime, they still felt like they were doing things right.  The ground game was held in check early, but unlike previous weeks, they stuck with it.  Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for 180 yards on the ground and a touchdown.  Chad Henne, back from his knee injury, had his best game of the year, throwing for 2 touchdowns and 307 yards.  He did have one brain cramp when he threw into zone coverage and was easily picked off at the goal line.  But the Dolphins were resilient and played like this game was a playoff game.

The defense was the even bigger story of the day.  They held the Raiders offense to just 16 yards on the ground.  This is impressive considering the Raiders came into the game as one of the league’s best rushing teams.   Since one TD was given up on a kickoff return, the defense only surrendered 10 points, all the while getting off the field when they needed to.  Additionally, the Dolphins turned the Raiders over 3 times (int’s by Bell and Clemens and a fumble recovery by Bell).

The Dolphins put up their highest point total on offense without Brandon Marshall.  They could’ve had another 6 points if their usually reliable kicker didn’t miss two field goals.   Overall a great game that the Dolphins desparately needed.  They improved to 5-1 on the road and now must turn their attention to taking care of business at home.

With the Pats, Jets, Ravens, and Steelers all winning this weekend, the Dolphins still find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture.  BUT, if they can win this weekend against the Cleveland Browns, they will move closer to 2 of the teams they are chasing.  The Ravens play the Steelers and the Jets play the Patriots.  While the Jets and Pats are both 3 games up on the Phins, they could move to within one game of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens.  1 game out with 4 to play; I’d say they’d be playing meaningful games in December, wouldn’t you?

Playoffs start today for Miami Dolphins

The calendar still says November, but the playoffs start today for the Miami Dolphins. They are 5-5 overall, but just 3-4 in the conference and 1-2 in the AFC East. If the Phins hope to make the playoffs, they must put together a 5-1 finish and it must start by winning today.

The Dolphins have to win, first and foremost, BUT some help on the scoreboard would help the Dolphins chances. A Tampa Bay win over the Ravens and/or a Bills win against the Steelers would help ALOT. If either of those teams can pull off an upset, the wild card comes right back into play. There are other games that could also help the Phins, I’ll be rooting hard for the Seahawks, Texans, Chargers, and Giants. With a WIN and some help the Phins could be right back in the middle of the playoff discussion.

The Dolphins will be without all-world WR Brandon Marshall, but should be able to eek out a win against the Oakland Raiders. Dolphins win behind Chad Henne 23-17!

AFC East Preview: The Week Ahead

Well, the Dolphins have done a great job of digging themselves a hole as far as the playoff race is concerned.  The Dolphins are 3 games behind both the Pats and Jets who are both 8-2.  Realistically, the playoffs are out of reach, especially when you consider the injuries the Dolphins have sustained. If they DO hope to make the playoffs, they will need a lot of help, particularly hoping that one of the AFC North Teams (Ravens or Steelers) fall quickly.

New York Jets (8-2)

The Jets remind me an awful lot of the early 2000’s Patriot teams that won games every year that they had no business winning.  The Jets did it again on Sunday, coming back with a late touchdown from Sanchez to Holmes to beat the Texans.  This week, the Jets welcome in the woeful Cincinnati Bengals.  Remember the Bengals, the team that blew a 21 point lead to the Bills.  Look for the Jets to move to 9-2. Not much of a Thanksgiving night game.

New England Patriots (8-2)

The Pats will also get a turkey on Thanksgiving, traveling to Detroit to take on the Lions tomorrow.  The Pats are coming off a home win against the Colts and shouldn’t have too much trouble matching the Jets at 9-2 heading into their big showdown in 2 weeks.

Miami Dolphins (5-5)

The Phins needed the full 10 days to rest and recuperate following their embarassing 16-0 loss to the Bears, at home, last Thursday night.  The Phins will likely be without Brandon Marshall, but may very well get back their starting QB, Chad Henne.  If the Dolphins want to even be in the playoff discussion, they must win this week at the Raiders.

Buffalo Bills (2-8)

The Bills picked up their second win of the season last week, rallying to beat the Bengals.  This week the Bills could really help the Dolphins by picking up a win at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Bills offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders, but their defense will have to come up big against Big Ben and the Boys.

Other Games of Note:

– Jaguars (6-4) are ahead of the Dolphins and travel to NYC to play the Giants.  Let’s go Big Blue!

– Titans (5-5) are tied with the Dolphins and travel to Houston to play the Texans.  The Texans let the Jets off the hook last week, hopefully they can do something to help out the Phins this week.

– Chiefs (6-4) travel to Seattle in another game where the Dolphins can root for the NFC squad.  The Chiefs haven’t played well of late and could be in for a late season meltdown.

– Ravens (7-3) host the surprising Bucs.  Let’s go fellow Floridians!

– Colts (6-4) take on the Chargers (5-5), really a toss-up, but if you had to root for one team, it should be the Chargers.  The Phins need every team in the AFC to get to the 5 losses that they have as quickly as possible.

Dolphins Back at Practice – Weds. 11/24

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and the Miami Dolphins are back on the practice field.  It appears that Jake Long and Chad Henne could both be playing this Sunday in Oakland.  The team is surprisingly upbeat considering their playoff chances get slimmer by the week.  Personally, we would like to see Jake Long shut down.  No need to risk an injury to your perennial Pro-Bowl Left Tackle in a season that will ultimately end in a 9-7 or at best a 10-6 finish.  This team isn’t ready to compete for a title now.  BUT, if Jake Long suffers a more serious injury to his shoulder, it could compromise any chance the team has at being a contender in 2011.

Joe Berger is back on the practice field, which a great sign for the depleted interior of the Dolphins offensive line.  He is expected to start on Sunday against the Raiders.

Karlos Dansby is reportedly back at practice as well.   The only Dolphin missing is Brandon Marshall, who is still nursing his hamstring injury.

Be sure to follow @phinnation on twitter for the latest news and practice report information.

The Miami Dolphins should be Embarrassed!

I’m writing this on limited sleep, after 2 grueling days, so take it for what it’s worth. I drove about 10 hours in the car yesterday, just in time to make it home for the second half of the Dolphins game. Well, I would’ve rather driven another 10 hours than to watch Tyler Thigpen take another snap from center.

This team is beat up, they have injuries, ALOT of injuries. Other teams have injuries too, but they have enough depth to still put a good team on the field. What happened to the Dolphins last night was an embarrassment. I went back and watched the first half to see why things went wrong. I have been a member of the Tony Sparano fan club, BUT last night his team wasn’t ready. Short week, alot of injuries, I get it. But, you have your 3rd string QB in the game and you hand the ball off 7 times??!?!?!

It’s not like the Bears were up by 3 touchdowns in the first quarter. It was a 6-0 game at halftime. Ronnie -3 carries, Ricky – 3 carries…Not enough Mr. Henning. That’s not enough even if you have Peyton or Tom at QB. How do you control the clock if you can’t run the ball. Look, I know the early runs weren’t working. Well, change it up! Try some runs with fake reverses behind them. Heck, throw in a WildCat or 2! Keep the defense honest. Throw on first down, then run on second.

I’m done venting – I’ll be back tomorrow for a post game recap after I’ve calmed down

AFC East Preview: The Week Ahead

Well, it’s a short week, so we want to get you all of the posts you’ve come to expect from! Last week, every team in the AFC East won. Who can keep the momentum going? Who slips up? We’ll find out soon enough.

New England Patriots (7-2)
The Pats traveled to Pittsburgh and beat the tar out of the Steelers. The final score was no indication of how the game was actually played. The Patriots beat the Steelers from the opening whistle. This week, the Patriots welcome in Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. This is a game that the Pats should win considering how banged up the Colts are. BUT, you never know!

New York Jets (7-2)
The Jets seem to have a knack for getting lucky in 2010. The Browns forced overtime last week and were moving into field goal range when Chancey Stuckey fumbled at the Jets 35 yard line. The Jets ended up winning the game, a game they had no business winning. It’s happened 2 or 3 times this year. But they are 7-2 and are home this week to take on the Houston Texans. The Texans are in desperation mode and must win this game if they hope to make the playoffs. I think this game goes to the Texans.

Miami Dolphins (5-4)
We know they are hurt. We know they are down to their 3rd string QB. But they are above .500 and have a chance to take a BIG step forward in the AFC Playoff race. A win on Thursday and the Dolphins are 6-4 with 10 days to heal up before taking on the Raiders in Oakland. A loss and they will likely need to go 5-1 to finish the year, making the playoffs. A loss doesn’t kill the season, because it’s against a non-AFC opponent.

Buffalo Bills (1-8)
The Bills win, The Bills win! They beat the Lions, so we’ll keep this short. They head to Cincinnati this week to take on the 2-7 Bungles. Talk about your game of the week!

The Dolphins are 2 games out of the AFC East lead and could make up ground on one, if not both of the teams ahead of them this week. A win tomorrow night would be HUGE, especially considering the week they’ve had!

Dolphins Game Balls for Week 10

There are many, many game balls that could be awarded this week, following the Dolphins 29-17 victory over the Titans. However, Phin Nation has the tradition to honor 3 deserving Dolphins.

Game Ball #1 – Anthony Fasano
In a game that saw so many starters go down with injuries, Fasano posted a career day. He caught a touchdown and had over 100 yards receiving. In addition, he had a few key catches that helped keep drives alive for the Phins. Yesterday, it has been reported, that he signed a contract extension through 2012. Well done Anthony!

Game Ball #2 – Tyler Thigpen
The guy took ZERO practice reps with the first team and all he did was come in and go 4 of 6 for 63 yards and a TD. He stabalized the game and led the team to a touchdown when they needed it most. Good luck this week, starting quarterback Tyler Thigpen!

Game Ball #3 – Rashad Jones
Jones has seen only limited time so far this year. BUT, with the injury to Chris Clemons on Sunday, Jones came in and made his presence known. He recorded a sack and picked off a Vince Young pass int he end zone. He also had another chance at an interception, but he was out of bounds before he could get 2 feet down. Way to come to play Rashad, keep it up!

What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree?

Injury Update – Monday

The Dolphins are the walking wounded….literally! We learned a little bit today about the injuries suffered yesterday and they may not be as bad as expected. Chad Pennington is done for the year and perhaps his career.

Chad Henne was getting treatment and is apparently day to day.

Cameron Wake should be okay as he was sent home with some pain killers and some ice for his hip.

Jake Long has a dislocated shoulder but teammates THINK he’ll play Thirsday night?! I hope so BUT if he’s not himself he shouldn’t play.

The Dolphins have reportedly signed Patrick Ramsey fir QB depth.

Stay tuned folks, this is going to be a whirlwind week!

Dolphins Beat Titans 29-17, But lose QBs in Process

If I didn’t sit and watch the entire game yesterday, I wouldn’t have believed it.  The Dolphins made the controversial decision to sit their ‘future QB’ for an aging vet that would add a ‘spark’.  Well, the aging veteran, Chad Pennington, didn’t even last a full series.  Reports suggest that Pennington is done for the season.  His career could also be over as well.  So in comes the man who was benched, Chad Henne to save the day.  Henne was good, if not great for the 2.5 quarters he would play.  He threw for almost 250 yards and had 1 touchdown and 1 interception.  Late in the 3rd quarter Henne was hit and injured his knee.  He left the game and was done for the day.

So the Dolphins are leading, albeit by 6 points (23-17) late in the 3rd quarter.  If they insert their emergency QB, Tyler Thigpen, then Henne, nor Pennington could re-enter the game.  And at that time, both were questionable to return.  So, what did the Dolphins do?  They turned to their old friend, Mr. Wildcat.  They ran 2 wildcat plays for big gains and the 3rd quarter expired.  In stepped Mr. Thigpen, who’s first pass looked terrible.  After that initial pass, Thigpen looked like anything but a 3rd string QB.  Thigpen ended the day going 4 of 6 for 64 yards and a TD (a 141 qb rating).  I loved, LOVED, the excitement Thigpen showed following his TD pass to Anthony Fasano.

Overall this is a great win for the Dolphins.  They beat a good Titans team (5-3 going into the game) and they did it while trying to patch together a lineup.  Jake Long (shoulder) and Cameron Wake (hip) were also injured during the game.  The Dolphins should know within the next 12 hours how they are doing and if they will be able to play Thursday night against the Bears.  This could be the worst timed short week EVER.  Thigpen will likely get the start and if Henne is done for the year, the Phins will need to sign not 1, but 2 quarterbacks!  However, if, IF the Dolphins can string together a team and win on Thursday night, they would improve to 6-4 and will have 10 days to heal up.

Great job yesterday by the Dolphins, they truly showed that they were a team!