Archive for: September 2012

Pitiful Picks: Dolphins will keep it close against Cardinals

The Miami Dolphins had a bad week 3….so did our Pitiful Picks, as they truly lived up to their name.  The Dolphins were left heartbroken at home when usually reliable, Dan Carpenter missed 2 field goals.  Our picks last week weren’t really heartbreaking, they were just pitiful.  After starting 4-1 on the season, we dropped to 4-5 after losing all 4 games last week.  Like the Dolphins, we’ll try to rebound this week:

San Fransisco 49ers -3.5 over New York Jets

The Jets looked pathetic last week.  If Dan Carpenter would have made the game winning field goal in overtime, the Jets would probably have heard about Tebow again all week.  But he didn’t and the didn’t.  So the Jets sit at 2-1, yet they look like a pretty sad football team.  Their opponents, the 49ers, are coming off of a humbling loss to the Vikings.  The 49ers will be focused for this game, as they didn’t even fly home after their loss to the Vikings.  The 49ers stayed in Ohio this week to avoid multiple cross-country flights, so they’ll be ready.

I watched the Jets last week and 2 weeks ago against the Steelers.  The Jets simply aren’t that good.  Their offense is anemic at times and will struggle against the 49ers defense, which is one of the NFL’s best.  I can see Mark Sanchez having a long day and the 49ers winning this game by at least a touchdown….say 20-13.

New England Patriots -3.5 over Buffalo Bills

The Patriots are 1-2 and currently occupy the basement of the AFC East with our Miami Dolphins.  This week they head to Buffalo and face a Bills team that they have had their way with recently.  I can’t see the Patriots falling to 1-3, I just can’t see it.  The Bills are 2-1 following victories over the Browns and Chiefs.  The team that beat them was the Jets, who we’ve already said, suck!

The Patriots offense has looked good, despite losing their last 2 games.  I think Tom Brady will have a solid day and the Patriots will rough up the Bills, in Buffalo.  I’d say the score will look something like 31-17.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Gameplan: Defense must dominate

Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby called the Dolphins game on Sunday against the Cardinals a ‘must win’.  The 1-2 Dolphins certainly have their work cut out for them if they hope to beat the 3-0 Cardinals.  The Dolphins offense has been sporadic and the defense is not ready to carry the team at this point.  The Dolphins must get more consistent play from quarterback Ryan Tannehill (I know he’s a rookie!), but he also must get some help from receivers other than guys named Bess and Hartline.  By the way, has anyone seen Charles Clay?

The Dolphins are also dealing with a couple of injuries that could greatly impact their chances of pulling off an upset.  Reggie Bush is working his way back from a knee bruise that he suffered against the Jets.  And yesterday, Richard Marshall’s back injury resurfaced, causing him to miss practice.  Although it may seem bleak, the Dolphins do have a chance in this game.  Here’s what the Dolphins need to do to pull off the upset in Arizona:

Protect the Football

Coaches always say that if you win the turnover battle, you have a much better chance of winning.  The Dolphins are -3 in the giveaway/takeaway department this season.  A big part of that statistic is the fact that Ryan Tannehill has thrown 4 interceptions.  3 of those came in the first game against the Texans, so he’s been doing a better job of protecting the football.  His only turnover in the last 2 games was the pick-6 he threw to LaRon Landry last week.

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Reggie Bush returns, says he’ll play Sunday, but Philbin isn’t sure yet

The Miami Dolphins are heading to Arizona on Friday, a day early, for their matchup with the Cardinals.  From the sounds of things, the Dolphins might have some help that they weren’t counting on earlier in the week.  Reggie Bush returned to Dolphins practice on Thursday, a day after practicing only on a limited basis.  Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel tweeted the following:

[blackbirdpie id=”251401717982326784″]

 

Omar also said earlier that Reggie Bush was running really well in practice, to the point where you’d never know he had injured his knee on Sunday.  Add to Omar’s comments, what Reggie Bush had to say for himself today:

“That’s something you’ve got to ask Coach about because I’ll tell you right now I’m playing Sunday, but I’m sure that’s why I’m not the head coach,” (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Jets and Bills jump out to early lead in AFC East

The Miami Dolphins had a chance to make a statement against the Jets last Sunday.  With just one Dan Carpenter field goal, this week would have been a whole lot brighter because the Dolphins would have been tied for the lead in the AFC East.  Instead, they are in the basement.  However, the basement has another tenant and it’s not the one we expected at this point in the season.  Again, I know it’s early, but it’s never to early to check in on what the other teams in the AFC East are up to (because we like to root against them all, you see):

New York Jets (2-1 overall, 2-0 division)

The rotten stinking Jets played like complete trash on Sunday, but still managed to leave Miami with a win.  The Jets are in trouble this season and not just because they lost their best player (Darrelle Revis) for the season to an ACL injury….The Jets suck because their quarterback sucks.  Mark Sanchez is the most accurate quarterback in the NFL….I’m not just saying that because I hate the Jets, look it up.  His inaccuracy was on display on Sunday against the Dolphins when we saw him missing open receivers left and right.  Granted, Tannehill wasn’t much better, but he’s a rookie and will improve.

The Jets beat the Dolphins in a game that neither team deserved to win. The Jets were just lucky that Carpenter missed his game winning field goal and Nick Folk made his.  Despite the outcome, both teams are flawed, but one kicker making their kick makes one team 2-1 and the other 1-2.  This week, the Jets host the San Francisco 49ers (2-1).  The 49ers are pissed too, because they were handed a beat down by the Vikings on Sunday.  If I were a betting man, and judging by my 0-4 record last week in Pitiful Picks, I shouldn’t be…..But if I were, I’d bet as much as I could on the 49ers this week.

Buffalo Bills (2-1 overall, 0-1 in division)

The Bills were throttled by the Jets in week one.  Then, they beat up on the Chiefs (who stink) in week two.  In week three, the Bills took advantage of another bad team, the Cleveland Browns.  The Bills are not that good, but right now, they’re 2-1.  This week, they’ll get a real test, as they host the New England Patriots.  The Bills could prove a lot of early season doubters (including me) wrong if they upset the Pats.  It won’t be easy because the Pats are coming off of 2 straight losses and have a bitter taste in their mouths from the Baltimore game on Sunday night.  Good luck Bills!  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Drinking Game: NFL Replacement Ref Style

The Miami Dolphins had an off day on Monday, so we decided to post something for the betterment of society this morning.  Since Dolphins news was relatively limited on Monday night, we decided to watch the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.  What we witnessed at the end of the game was one of the most controversial calls in sports history.

With the Packers up 12-7, the Seahawks had the ball for their final 2 drives.  There was a phantom pass interference call that helped move the ‘Hawks out of a huge 1st and 25 hole.  There was a roughing the passer penalty that didn’t look like roughing the passer.  Then, on the final play of the game, mass hysteria ensued when this happened:

Picture courtesy of empowernetwork.com

Unfortunately, this is not the first game that has seen harsh criticism for the Replacement Refs.  Sunday night’s game between the Ravens and Patriots was terrible….last Monday night’s game between the Broncos and Falcons was terrible…A majority of the NFL games have been slowed to a screeching halt because of replacement official indecision.  Frankly, I don’t blame them, I blame the NFL and the NFL Referees Association.  Get it together guys, you’re ruining the game we love. (click page 2 below to see the official Drinking Game Rules!)

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Did the Jets try to injure Dolphins running back Reggie Bush?

The Miami Dolphins did not play well yesterday.  The Dolphins had numerous opportunities to win the game, despite losing Reggie Bush at the end of the first half.  Reggie Bush was injured on the Dolphins final drive of the first half, when they were essentially trying to run out the clock.  The Dolphins probably should have just taken a knee and went to the locker room.  Instead, the Dolphins ran the ball with Reggie and he took a helmet to the knee, which ended his day.

The play itself looked innocent enough, but when you combine Bush’s injury with the comments made by Calvin Pace of the Jets, it raises suspicions.  Here’s what Pace said:

“I guess he was doing his thing for a quarter or two,”….. “We had to put him on out. We didn’t see him again.”

(continued on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins’ Coach and Kicker to blame for loss to Jets

The Miami Dolphins entered Sunday’s game with hopes of improve to 2-1 on the season.  For a portion of the game, the Dolphins outplayed the Jets.  BUT, crucial mistakes by the Dolphins coaching staff and former Pro Bowl kicker, ultimately cost the Dolphins that victory.  Watching the game on Sunday felt like a roller coaster…but it felt like a roller coaster I’d been on before.  The Dolphins once against managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  AND, like many other times, they did it to themselves.

Let’s start the festivities today, talking about Joe Philbin.  Philbin is a rookie head coach and quite frankly, he’s making decisions ‘in-game’ that are hurting the team, not helping them.  When Philbin was named Dolphins coach, Dolphins fans were excited because they knew that Philbin helped create the offensive powerhouse that was the Green Bay Packers.  We thought the Dolphins would be an attacking, aggressive offense.  Through 3 Dolphins games, do we still feel that way?  What I saw on Sunday was a coach that was scared and a coach that played not to lose instead of trying to win.

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Pitiful Picks: Dolphins prediction plus 3 other NFL games

The Miami Dolphins hope they are sitting at 2-1 following Sunday’s matchup with the Jets.  Like the Dolphins, we hope to build on my hot start to the season with PhinNation’s Pitiful Picks.  We went 1-0 in week 1 and 3-1 last week.  The only game we lost last week was the upset special of the Lions +7 against the 49ers (they lost by 8).  This week, we’ll select 4 games again and hope to give you some good selections:

Washington Redskins -3 over Cincinnati Bengals

The Redskins looked very good in week 1 against the Saints, but slipped a bit last week.  I think RG3 continues his impressive start, at home against the Bengals.  The Bengals defense is giving up an average of 35.5 points per game.  That’s not good considering the Redskins are averaging 34 points per game on offense.  I think the Redskins win this game by at least a touchdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 over Oakland Raiders

That’s right, I’m picking against the Raiders again (sorry Raider Nation).  The Raiders looked terrible against the Dolphins last week, particularly in the 2nd half of the game.  The Steelers, meanwhile, looked pretty impressive last week, dismantling the Jets.  The Dolphins exposed the Raiders rush defense and I think the Steelers will run the ball down their throats.  I don’t see how the Raiders are going to keep the Steelers under 25-30 points and I don’t see them scoring anywhere near that many.  Like the game above, I think the Steelers win this game by at least a touchdown. (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Gameplan: Run Reggie Run is key versus Jets

The Miami Dolphins welcome their hated AFC East rival to Sun Life Stadium on Sunday.  The Dolphins are coming off of an impressive win against the Raiders last week and hope to continue to build on that good play.  The  Dolphins showed improvement on both offense and defense from week 1 to week 2.  To beat the Jets this week, they’ll need to play turnover free football and run the ball as effectively as they did against the Raiders.  Here is a look at what the Dolphins must to on Sunday to improve to 2-1:

Run Reggie Run

Last week, the Dolphins rushed for 263 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry.  The Dolphins got a superb effort from Reggie Bush, who rushed for 172 yards and 2 TDs.  To beat the Jets, the Dolphins will need to run the ball just as effectively as they did against the Raiders.  Entering this game, the Dolphins have the #2 rushing offense in the entire NFL.  The Jets rush defense is vulnerable, as it ranks #21 in the NFL, allowing 130.5 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry.  The Jets know their rush defense has struggled, so I expect them to play 8 men in the box, leaving Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis in man coverage on the Dolphins receivers.

The Jets will want to shut down the Dolphins running game at all costs and force the Dolphins into obvious passing situations.  If the Jets get the Dolphins in those 3rd and long situations, they’ll unleash their exotic blitz packages to confuse Ryan Tannehill.  To counter the 8 in the box looks, the Dolphins could look to use multiple wide receiver sets to spread out the Jets defense and allow Reggie Bush to into space.  It will be interesting to watch the chess match between Joe Philbin’s offense and Rex Ryan’s defense.

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Dolphins Division: Upsets even division race after week 2

The Miami Dolphins didn’t win a game in 2011 until week 8.  The Dolphins quickly fell out of the AFC East race because the Patriots and Jets got off to fast starts and left the Dolphins and Bills in their dust.  This season, the Dolphins picked up their first win in week 2 AND, with a little help from the Patriots field goal kicker (and the underdog Cardinals), they pulled into a first place tie with the rest of the division.

New York Jets (1-1)

As good as the Jets and their Jekyl and Hyde offense looked against the Bills in week 1, they looked equally bad in week 2 against the Steelers.  The Jets offense put up 34 points against the Bills, but managed just 10 against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon.  Mark Sanchez had one of his worst games as a pro.  Sanchez’s passes were wild an inaccurate after the first Jets’ scoring drive.  If this keeps up, fans will be calling for Tebow to start.  In fact, Rex Ryan had to deal with a number of ‘why isn’t Tebow playing that much’ questions this week….and it annoyed him, which is great.

This week, the Jets come down to Miami for a big early season matchup with the Dolphins.  The winner is guaranteed at least a tie for the division lead.  This game is being billed as a must win for the Jets, as their next two opponents are the 49ers and Texans.  A loss to the Dolphins could mean a 1-4 start or at best a 2-3 start to the season for the Jets.

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