Archive for: November 2012

Dolphins Gameplan: Attack on defense and RUN THE FOOTBALL!

The Miami Dolphins playoff hopes are on life support and in a coma right now, but their heart is still beating….they’re still breathing.  Sticking with that analogy, the Dolphins will need to have a medical miracle happen and wake up from their coma on Sunday.  The Dolphins welcome in the Patriots on Sunday, a team that is playing better than any team in the NFL right now.  The Dolphins are 9 point underdogs, at home, so we know that most in the football world don’t think they have a shot in this game.  I certainly can’t say I’m confident, however I do think the Dolphins have a chance, albeit a small one.

For the Dolphins to win, they need to find a way to slow down the Patriots offense and find a way to get their own offense to perform efficiently.  The Dolphins coaching staff certainly has their work cut out for them this week, but the key will be for the Dolphins players to execute the plays that are called and minimize their mistakes.  Here’s our gameplan for the Dolphins on Sunday, please feel free to leave us a comment if you have any additions.

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Miami Musings: Creative Playcalling, Big Papa Pump dissing Fireman Ed, and the Dolphins sign Coe

The Miami Dolphins are treating their game on Sunday against the Patriots as if it were a playoff game…..they should be, because that’s exactly what it is.  If the Dolphins lose, not only will their record fall to 5-7, but their record in conference will fall to 3-6.  Even if the Dolphins managed to win out, they would finish 9-7 BUT would only be 6-6 in conference, which probably won’t be enough to win any tiebreakers.  The Dolphins are taking the game seriously, but it’s going to take a near-perfect effort to beat the Pats on Sunday.

Today, we wanted to share our Miami Musings with you.  We found a few Dolphins blogs that had stories that we wanted to share with you and give our thoughts on.  These stories include a closer look at the Dolphins playcalling against the Seahawks, Big Papa Pump taking shots at the Jets’ Fireman Ed, an awesome Forum site, and the Dolphins signing a new cornerback.

Creative PlaycallingThePhinsider.com

Earlier this week, we told you that we liked some of the playcalling by Mike Sherman against the Seahawks.  We didn’t love all of it, but we specifically liked the ‘end around’ action.  In the above article ThePhinsider.com did a great job of breaking down the plays we were referring to.  Mike Sherman lined up the offense in a similar formation, using similar motions, but calling different plays out of it.  This playcalling confused the Seahawks defense and allowed the Dolphins to pick up some big plays.  This is exactly the type of creativity we need to see more of as it makes the Dolphins offense less predictable.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Dolphins hope to stay alive versus Patriots

The Miami Dolphins kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a win on Sunday.  Now, after losing winnable games against the Titans and Bills, the Dolphins face an uphill climb to stay relevant in playoff talk.  That won’t be easy, considering the Dolphins still have to play the 49ers and the Patriots twice.  It all starts on Sunday, with the Patriots coming to town, the Dolphins should be treating this as a playoff game.

Realistically, the Dolphins will probably need to go 4-1 to finish at 9-7, to have a shot at making the playoffs.  Why?  Because the Steelers and Bengals are already a game up for the 6th wild card spot.  Just to tie one of those 2 teams, the Dolphins would need help and would need them to go 3-2.  There are scenarios for the Dolphins to make the playoffs at 8-8, but it’s too early to have a clear picture.  If you have time on your hands, check out the ESPN playoff machine.  If the Dolphins can pull off an upset against the Patriots, we can talk more seriously about the playoffs.  With a loss, the Dolphins would probably need to win out and get a lot of help.

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Ryan Tannehill nominated for Rookie of the Week!

The Miami Dolphins fourth quarter comeback against the Seattle Seahawks has earned Ryan Tannehill a nomination for this week’s Pepsi Rookie of the Week award.  Tannehill completed 18 of 26 passes for 253 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.  Tannehill has some tough competition for the award this week, going up against RG3 and his 4 touchdowns in the Redskins win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.  Please head over to NFL.com and cast your vote for #17!

photo courtesy of Dolphins.com

Tannehill’s play during the first 3 quarters were nothing to write home about.  However, in the fourth quarter, when the Dolphins needed him the most, he put on a show.  He completed 7 of 9 passes for 153 yards and 1 TD.  Those numbers were good for a perfect QB rating in the 4th quarter.  One of those incompletions was a spike to stop the clock.  Tannehill led the Dolphins on 2 touchdown drives of 80+ yards in the fourth quarter and the final drive that set up Dan Carpenter’s game-winning field goal.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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PhinNation has a new look, what do you think?

The Miami Dolphins are in the process of rebuilding this season….and so is PhinNation! As you can tell, PhinNation has undergone a few changes. First, we spoke with our sponsors and they have removed all of the auto-play ads. If you get them, please email us at phinnationblog@gmail.com. Second, we have redesigned the site to make it more interactive and user friendly for you, our fellow Dolphins fans and loyal readers!  For the next couple of days we’ll be modifying some things, but we wanted to switch over to the new design as quickly as possible!  Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. It is your feedback that will help us make PhinNation the best site for you to visit for your Dolphins news and opinion.

We are also working on a few new post topics. From our survey last month, we had quite a few readers say that they would like to write guest posts. WE LOVE THIS IDEA! If you are passionate about a Dolphins related topic, please write it up and send it in an email to phinnationblog@gmail.com. We will review submissions and select the best ones to post on the site. As you know, PhinNation is read by thousands of Dolphins fans everyday and is regularly published on the Dolphins page of FoxSports.com. You might be the next featured writer!!

We are also going to incorporate some Fantasy Football news into PhinNation….Why? Because our readers asked for it! We met a fantasy football expert, James Morris, who writes for a number of professional sports teams. James has agreed to share his fantasy tips and tricks with our readers. We’ll be posting fantasy stories starting this week.

If you have any suggestions, please shoot us an email at phinnationblog@gmail.com. You are the best, most loyal Dolphins fans on the planet and we would love to hear any suggestions you might have. We are really excited about the new features of PhinNation and hope you are too! Again, please leave us a comment below to let us know what you think of the new site design, we’re anxious to hear what you think! LET’S GO DOLPHINS!!!!!

Tannehill impressive in Dolphins comeback win over Seahawks

The Miami Dolphins have looked terrible the last 2 weeks, most notably on offense.  Unfortunately, the Dolphins offense continued their poor play on through the first half of the game on Sunday.  The Dolphins struggled to score only 7 points through 3 quarters against the stingy Seahawks defense in large part because they were pinned deep in their own territory for most of the game.

The Dolphins running game showed some signs of life before the 4th quarter, but Ryan Tannehill was running for his life and failed to make big plays downfield.  I was screaming at my TV for most of the 1st half, imploring Mike Sherman to run the football and stick with it.  On one drive in particular, in the first half, the Dolphins rushed on 1st down for 11 yards, then attempted 3 straight passes.  On those passing plays the Dolphins gave up a sack, an incompletion, and a short completion, which failed to pick up the first down.  At that point I wrote ‘RUN THE DAMN FOOTBALL!!’.  Maybe Mike Sherman was reading my twitter feed?  After that, the Dolphins ran the ball and ran the ball effectively and eventually wore out the Seahawks defense in the 4th quarter.

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Dolphins sprinkler already in Buffalo Wild Wings commercial

You never know what you’re going to see when you watch an NFL game, right?  On Sunday, through 3 quarters, the Dolphins offense seemed like it was sleepwalking and needed to be woken up….badly.  Well, the grounds crew decided to throw some cold water on the Dolphins to help wake them up.   With the Miami Dolphins trailing the Seahawks 14-7 in the 3rd quarter, the sprinkler system on the field decided it would be a good time to water down the field!

The sprinkler ‘malfunction’ caused a short delay in the game, after which the Dolphins offense went on to outscore the Seahawks 17 to 7…..conspiracy theory anyone?  Of course not, but the water did wake up the Dolphins offense.  Ryan Tannehill had a nearly perfect 4th quarter, leading the Dolphins to his first 4th quarter comeback victory.  Apparently the sprinklers were on a timer, but no one realized that the timer was set to go off in the middle of the football game!  Maybe the ‘malfunction’ can happen next week when Tom Brady drops back to pass?

By now, we’ve all seen the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial, where the bartender flips a switch and causes something to happen in the football game everyone is watching, which forces overtime.  This allows all of the patrons to stay at Buffalo Wild Wings longer.  Well, the internet being what it is, the Dolphins sprinkler malfunction has already be edited into a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial.  Check it out:

Did you notice that the ‘irrigation’ department guy looks a lot like Pete Carroll?  Coincidence?  Good job of editing, the video is pretty funny.  Buffalo Wild Wings is getting some free publicity from the sprinklers going off at Sun Life Stadium.  I will say that I like their wings and they might be my favorite chain restaurant.  Keep those spicy garlic wings coming boys!

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Pitiful Picks: Can the Dolphins turn it around?

The Miami Dolphins enter Sunday’s matchup against the Seahawks with one thing on their mind….winning.  After losing 3 straight games in ugly fashion, the Dolphins hope to get back on the winning track.  The Dolphins were once talking about the playoffs, but right now, they must focus on winning one game and inching back towards the .500 mark.

Just like the Dolphins, we need to turn things around after a 1-1 (and a push) on Thanksgiving.  Our Pitiful Picks record for the season is now 25-19, which simply isn’t good enough!  So here we go, with this week’s edition of the Pitiful Picks:

Green Bay Packers +3 over New York Giants

The Packers are rolling and the Giants are reeling, having lost their last 2 games.  However, for the last 3 seasons, the Giants have been 6-4 after 10 games, so this is nothing new to them.  The Giants have a brutal second half of their schedule and will probably get pushed by the Redskins or Cowboys for the division, especially if they lose this game.  They draw a tough opponent, as they welcome in Aaron Rodgers and the Packers tonight.  The Giants secondary is pretty bad, but so is the Packers.  I expect this game to be a shootout, even though Eli Manning has struggled of late.  Eli usually plays his best when his team’s back is against the wall.  Having said that, I just don’t think the Giants will be able to slow down the streaking Packers.  Packers 34 Giants 31

Cleveland Browns +2 over Pittsburgh Steelers

Here’s your upset special.  The Steelers have Charlie Batch at quarterback this week and their offensive line is atrocious.  Meanwhile, the Browns defensive front abused the Cowboys last week and hit Tony Romo on seemingly every play.  I think the Browns, at home will pull off the upset over the injury rattle Steelers, relying heavily on their running game and Trent Richardson.  Browns 19 Steelers 17  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Dolphins Gameplan: Protecting the football is key to Dolphins victory

The Miami Dolphins have done something very well during their 3 game losing streak….they’ve turned the ball over.  The Dolphins have turned the ball over 7 times in the last 3 games and not created a turnover on defense.  That, if you’re scoring at home, is the perfect recipe to losing football games.  Every coach in the NFL will tell you that winning the turnover battle is their primary focus each and every week.

If you turn the ball over, you’re going to lose.  This is especially true when you are a young team like the Dolphins.  The Dolphins offense does not have enough playmakers and weapons to turn the ball over and comeback.  Guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers can turn the ball over, but they usually end up making up for it in the end.  Right now, Ryan Tannehill is not experienced enough, nor does he have enough help to overcome costly turnovers.   Here are our keys to the Dolphins gameplan for Sunday and after that introduction, it shouldn’t be a surprise what number 1 on the list is!

Protect the football

Protecting the football is especially important against the Seahawks on Sunday, a team that is +1 in the turnover category, while the Dolphins are -9 on the season.  As we said, the Dolphins are simply not good enough to lose the turnover battle and win the game.  This falls on Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush, the other Dolphins ball carriers.  The Dolphins must do a good job of holding onto the ball and limiting the short field opportunities for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense.  This will be a challenge because the Seahawks are a physical defense which ranks #3 overall in the NFL in yards against.

RUN THE FOOTBALL!

I feel like I’ve been writing this for weeks now, but it’s especially true on Sunday.  In order to limit the turnovers, the Dolphins must run the football effectively.  They must keep Ryan Tannehill out of 3rd and long situations.  This falls on the Dolphins offensive line and the running backs.  The line hasn’t been creating holes big enough for a chihuahua to run through.  This must change and it can only happen if the Dolphins get physical up front and push the Seahawks around.

The other advantage to running the football is that it will wear the Seahawks defense out.  The Seahawks are flying the longest distance any NFL team will travel for a road game this season….and it’s for an ‘early’ 1 o’clock game, no less.  The Dolphins would be wise to run the ball early and often in hopes of controlling the clock and tiring our the Seahawks.  Moreover, if the Dolphins can run effectively, they will take advantage of the better matchup on the offensive side of the ball.  You see, the Seahawks secondary is the biggest in the NFL, so they will be physical with the Dolphins receivers.  The Dolphins don’t have a big, physical receiver (Calvin Johnson or even Brandon Marshall) to beat jamming, press coverage.  Running the football will be the Dolphins best chance of moving the football, so they must do it effectively.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Pitiful Picks: Thanksgiving Day Style!

The Miami Dolphins coaching staff rearranged the Dolphins practice schedule this week to give the players off for Thanksgiving.  The Dolphins practiced on Tuesday, a day that they are usually off, so that they could spend Thanksgiving with their families.  Hopefully, the Dolphins coaches ‘family’ approach will pay off as they continue preparations for the Seahawks tomorrow.

We have 3 games on Thanksgiving today and will do our best to give you some winners!  We went 3-1 this past weekend, bringing our record up to 24-18.  Now we have to build on that momentum!  Here are our picks for the Thanksgiving games:

Houston Texans -3 over Detroit Lions

The Texans got a scare from the Jaguars last week, but were still able to improve to 9-1 on the season.   The Lions, meanwhile, are treading water at 4-6 and don’t look like the playoff team we thought they would be before the season.  I think the scare from the Jags last week will serve as a wake up call for the Texans.  I think they’ll come out today, in front of a national audience and make a statement. I think the Texans win this game handily and improve to 10-1 and in control of the top spot in the AFC playoff picture.  Texans 30 Lions 21  (cont’d on page 2, click below)