Author: John

Week 15: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills – Winner Takes All…of 3rd Place…Kinda.

So…last week ey…what a week, am I right? Had high hopes, got blown-out, Sparano got fired, but now it’s on to Buffalo.  This Sunday at 1pm, our (4-9) Dolphins head north to New York to meet up with the Toronto…err… (5-8) Buffalo Bills. This preview is going to be pretty short considering the last time we faced the Bills we won by 27; then again we also still had a “permanent” head coach.

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

There’s really not much to mention about the Bill’s offense at this point.  Their best offensive player, Fred Jackson, has been shut down for the remainder of the season and their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has plummeted back to earth after his blazing start to the year.  The Bills offense still finds themselves ranked 11th in the rush game, but good luck against the Dolphins’ 3rd best rush defense that held LeSean McCoy, whom many consider to be an elite RB, to 38 yards last week.  I must say this about the Dolphin defense last week.  They played a hell of a game and had extremely little to do with why the Dolphins lost.  Holding McCoy to 38 yards and Vick to a 69.9 passer rating should win you a game the majority of the time.  The defense really only had one slip-up; on the Jackson blown coverage.  This week against the Bills, they will continue to dominate, much like a few weeks ago when they only allowed the Bills to score 2FGs.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

Wow, last weak (yes weak) was worse than pathetic, BUT what they hell do you expect when you lose two starting linemen, one being a pro-bowler, and have to throw in a third stringer that just got on the team a few weeks ago?  No S*&+ you are going to lose.  We had no threat of a pass and, even though Reggie is laying some lumber, he’s not going to make his own holes against a stacked box.  Sorry if I’m being harsh to Buffalo, but do not think that this matchup has anything to do with what they are going to do and is all about how the Phins bounce back.  After a pitiful performance, a changing of coach, and the season officially being scraped, do they continue to play hard and get the ship straightened?  I have to think so.  Nothing has shown me that they wouldn’t and what a perfect matchup to do so.  The only thing that would prevent this would be health issues.  Will Matt Moore play and, moore (love it) importantly, can we keep him in the upright throwing position?  Ehhh?

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameCircle the Wagons.  Get back to what was working before last week.  We obviously aren’t ready to play with good teams, but still should blow-out the bad ones.

Bills’ Key to the GameLet it Snow. Really the only thing I can see helping the Bills end their 6 game losing streak.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchKarlos Dansby. I had expressed my disappointment with him for weeks, but he has been coming to play recently so I have to give props where props are due.

Bills’ Player to WatchSteve Johnson. The Dolphin secondary obviously can still get burnt and a slumping Bills team may try to break it with some big plays down the field. Why not?

How it plays out:  Not as bad as last time.  I can’t see it being as bad as it was in week 11 for a few reasons.  1. In Buffalo. 2. Its late December. 3. The week the Phins are coming off of. 4. Phins are banged up.

Prediction20-10 Miami.  A very cold and irrelevant game.  Playing for 3rd in the AFC East, really the only thing that can be won here is bragging rights…and a worse draft pick.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 14: Philadelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins – The Tale of Two Teams

This Sunday at 1pm, the (4-8) Eagles from the city of “Brotherly Love” head to South Beach to face our (4-8) Miami Dolphins.  It’s shocking to think that these two teams have the same record.  The Eagles had some high hopes after acting like Dave Hester from Storage Wars during the offseason.  Nnamdi Asomugha: YUUUP, Vince Young: YUUUP, Steve Smith: YUUUP.  But they have seen like profit in the W/L columns.  I can honestly say that their records are the only similarity between these two teams, well maybe that they will both be looking for new head coaches come the offseason.  Being from PA, I would like to really like to point out how disappointing the Eagles have been after deeming themselves the “Dream Team,” setting themselves up for the Super Bowl, but have come up lame and are seemingly quitting, BUT as much as I would like to point this out…I won’t…whoops.  But, Vick is back and that may bring back a second wind for the Eagles that could turn it on any week.

What to Watch For:

Eagles’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

What another dominating performance again this past Sunday against the Raiders.  They played some passionate defense and it was easy to see that they were having fun.  During a commercial break heading into the 4th quarter, the entire defense began to dance to the music that was being played at the stadium.  They held the Raiders to only 46 rushing yards; which will be important to do against one of the league’s best rushers this week in LeSean McCoy.  Add Vick to the mix and their rush game because even more scary.  Vick being back may make the world of difference for this team, not only on the field, but just for their mental state.  They have been playing uninspired football and DeSean Jackson has all, but shut himself down due to contract issues (I think somebody needs to get DeSean a drink…NO NOT YOU VONTAE!).  There’s no doubt that the Eagle offense has the potential to be one of the best in the league, but have not lived up to it yet.  Our Miami D must continue their success again this week and try to extend their 4 game pick streak.  It will be vital for Dansby and Burnett to stop the run and contain Vick as much as possible.

Dolphin Offense vs. Eagles’ Defense:

The Eagles’ defense is easily their weak point, though the stats would not say so.  They enter Sunday ranked 13th against the pass, 17th against the rush, but 22nd in pts/g.  They have only held their opponents under 20pts 4 times this season.  I do project that they will not be holding our offense to under 20 this week.  Our offense has played lights out the past few weeks and I think the credit has to be spread around to the entire offense, just like Matt Moore has spread the ball.  I have been saying it the past few weeks, but I love how many different players are getting involved in the offense.  We are no longer a hand the ball off and try to run no matter what team, but rather becoming more and more dynamic each week.  They are even finding a nice balance between Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush, who is really answering his critics, in the backfield.  If you look at the best offensive teams in the league, Pats and Packers, you never know who is going to have the big game week-to-week and that’s what the Dolphins are starting to do.  The Eagles have great players in the defensive back and makes this spreading around even more important.  Should expect to see a lot of crossing routes by Bess and exploited matchups by Fasano.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameEfficiency.  It will be important to cash in when we are able to.  I’m not saying the Eagles have a great D, because they don’t, but they will have a good enough D and O that makes it important to take advantage when the opportunity presents itself.  Also, Linebacker play must be huge this week.

Eagles’ Key to the GameDon’t Be Fancy.  The Eagles do have some great big play weapons, but they have tried to rely on them far too much this season.  They are sleeping (eh, “dream team,” see what I did there) on their best offensive player; LeSean McCoyy or “Shady?”  I think the Eagles would be far more successful sticking with runs and short passes; which would open the possibilities for big plays.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchDavone Bess.  He has quietly broken of his mini-slump he was in at the beginning of the year.  With the majority of the defense’s focus going to be on Bush and Marshall, he may be able to slip through the cracks for a decent game again this week.

Eagles’ Player to WatchMike Vick.  I think that Vick is the player to watch not necessarily based on how he will perform, but rather what his presence could do on two fronts: 1. Whether hurt or 100% you have to game plan differently for Vick.  That always adds to the difficulty of the week and can get you out of your comfort zone in the game. 2. This may be the emotional boost the “dreaming” Eagles.  Vick is just something to keep a spy on.

How it plays out:  Hard to Predict.  Determining how this game will actually play out is very difficult because you do not know what Eagle team will show-up.  If they actually play like they want to be there, they are hard to stop, but it seems that they are at the brink of total shutdown mode (if not there already).  I think Miami rides our momentum, gets a few early stops, and a first quarter FG and TD to set the tone.

Prediction24-17 Miami.  The record of these two teams may be the only thing that they have in common.  One had high hopes, sputtered, and, let’s be honest, are in the process of quitting.  The other, had no expectations at all, had major struggles to start, but fought, clawed, and scraped themselves together and have never quit.  I’ll take that second team all day and twice on Sunday.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 13 Preview: Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins – California Love

This Sunday, at 1pm, our (3-8) Miami Dolphins look to rebound against the (7-4) Oakland Raiders.  Once again, the Dolphins will face off against a first place team, but once again they seem to match-up well against them.  The Raiders seem to be in first place in the AFC West by default/lack of a team that seems to want to win.  The Dolphins head home and will have at least one fan to in attendance as I will be at this game, but will I be expecting a win?

What to Watch For:

Raiders’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Dolphin defense continued its success on Thanksgiving despite coming away with the loss.  They only gave up 20 points and I would put 7 those squarely on Matt Moore/Mike Pouncy for blowing a snap at our own 5.  They were also able to break Romo’s INTless streak and held Demarco Murray to only 87 yards on 22 carries.  I feel that the Dolphin defense will continue their success this week against a shaken Raider offense.  The Raiders have established the NFL’s 4th best rush game, but that was with Darren McFadden at the helm, but has been ruled out for Sunday.  Michael Bush has taken over in his place, but is nowhere near Mcfadden’s level and will be facing the NFL’s 7th best rush defense.  This will force the Raiders to rely on their pass game.  Last week, against a solid Bears’ defense, Carson Palmer threw for 301 yards, but no TDs and 1 INT.  I still think our secondary has work to do, but have been pick happy over the past three games.  It won’t help Carson that, along with Darren McFadden, WRs Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford have been ruled out for Sunday.

Dolphin Offense vs. Raiders’ Defense:

The Thanksgiving game goes to show that this Dolphins’ offense needs every player to play well to have a chance and the three previous games shows what can happen when they do.  I honestly think that the offense played a pretty good game against good Dallas defense.  BUT, did anybody notice how Jake Long and Marc Colombo switched jerseys…and tattoos.  Jake easily had the worst game of his very good career.  I’m not stating him as a terrible player because he’s nowhere near bad, but you can’t have THAT bad of a game.  Yes, Dallas has great rushers, but how many false starts did he have?  No way it happens to him again, but it’s things like that that can ruin your chances.  They will by no stretch be facing a powerful defense when the Raiders come to town.  The Raiders enter Sunday with the NFL’s 20th overall pass defense and the 27th ranked rush defense.  They have also have only held their opponent under 20 points once this entire season.  Despite these poor stats, they were able to pick the Bears’ replacement Hanie 3 times last week, but also let him throw for 2 TDs.  I’m excited to see this matchup in person.

Continue Reading

Week 12 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys – Thanksgiving Feast or Famine?

In a special Thanksgiving day addition of NFL football, the (3-7) Miami Dolphins will head to Dallas to take on the (6-4) Cowboys.  Despite being on opposite ends of the standings in their respective divisions, these two teams have some distinct similarities.  Both have, wins over the Redskins and the Bills, losses to the Jets and Pats, and are riding 3 game win streaks.  The Cowboys are barely clinging to their first place lead in the NFC East, but Tony Romo is lights out in November (18-2), but the last time the Dolphins beat the Cowboys was on Thanksgiving 2003.

What to Watch For:

Cowboy Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

It is safe to say that the Cowboy offense goes as Tony Romo goes and lately, Romo has been going extremely well.  In his last three games/wins, he has had 8 TDs to 0 INTs.  That is outstanding for Romo who is know for his Brett Favre, high-risk – high-reward type play.  For the Dolphins to be successful, it may be necessary to force Romo to make those mistakes and turnovers that he is prone to.  This may not be too difficult as the Dolphins D has had 4 INTs the past two weeks (2 each week).  With Cowboys WR Miles Austin still out, it will be imperative for the Dolphins to finally cover a TE.  Jason Witten, the Cowboys TE (Romo’s favorite target), has the 3rd most rec. yards (670) and 5th most TDs (5) amongst the leagues’ TEs and both are near the tops of all receivers.  Our D has struggled all year covering TEs; including last week when Bills’ TE Scott Chandler led their receiving with 5rec. for 71 yards.  Witten is a much better TE then Chandler; which may prove to be a big factor in the game tomorrow.

When it comes to the running game, the Dolphins D has played absolutely lights out.  They have climbed up to having the NFL’s 7th rush defense and have given up the 6th, the SIXTH, least amount of points (186).  That absolutely baffles me and makes me think of all the blown opportunities we had this season.  Sigh, well back to tomorrow (back to the future if you will).  It will be interesting to see what the Cowboys’ run game looks like tomorrow.  Demarco Murray had been outstanding, until last week, filling in for the injured Felix Jones, but Jones is expected to play tomorrow.  What roll will each have?  Will it effect their productivity for the better or worse?  It might keep them fresh and it’s another factor the Dolphins had to prepare for on a short week.

Dolphin Offense vs. Cowboy Defense:

The Dolphins’ offense averaged 28.7 ppg, Reggie Bush had 4 TDs, and they won the in the last three games.  If you would have told me that would happen before week 9, I would have absolutely laughed in your face.  But this is what they have done.  In last weeks preview, I thought Brandon Marshall would have a big day…well not so much huh, but they did continue to do something I said they should: that is to use the TEs.  Last week, both Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay had touchdowns; with Clay and Moore being nominated for offensive players of the week.  A few weeks back, I talked about how I liked what I saw so far from Clay and I wanted to see him progress.  That is what he is doing.  By no means is he a Pro-Bowler yet, but I think he can be a big piece of an offense.  Having multiple weapons like Bess, Hartline, Fasano, Clay, Bush, etc., to compliment “BM” really benefits a QB like Matt Moore.  I’ll admit, Moore, has played better than I thought he would.  I do not think he’s a guy that will go out and win a game for you, but he has done a very good job getting the ball to our play makers.  That being said, he will finally play an established defense this week.  The Cowboy defense enters the game ranked 13th in pass defense and 11th in rush defense, but much like their QB, have had ups-and-downs.

I think this may be the week that Reggie Bush’s success will be really be tested.  Will he be able to continue to run between the tackles, especially on short rest?  I would like to say we may be seeing more touches for Daniel Thomas, but his production has really been down and has fallen into the shadow of Bush.  This game may call for a more powerful running style; that Bush may not be able to provide on a short week.  Dallas’ D also has a +6 mark when it comes to turnovers.  It may be very important for the Dolphins to establish their game plan early and be successful.  Whether its to run the ball, use multiple targets, or hit some big plays, they need to get it rolling early.  Partially, to not get behind, but also to keep Matt Moore in his rhythem.  With this Dallas pass rush and defense, its not going to be pretty if we have to go out of our game plan comfort-zone.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: A Little Bit of Everything on your Plate:  I really like how things have been going for the Dolphins’ offense.  For too long, they tried to be a run first offense and everyone knew it.  That’s fine, IF your excellent at it, but we weren’t.  Last week, 4 different players scored on offense.  This makes the defense consider all options and not just focus on stopping the run.

Cowboys’ Key to the Game: Get into the Kitchen: You know how your Mother or Grandmother always want you out of the kitchen when they are cooking?  Well, that’s kind of what a QB’s passing pocket is like.  Except the Dolphins’ cook(offensive line) let’s everyone into the kitchen.  Matt Moore will make mistakes if you put pressure on him and I think this Cowboys’ defense can disrupt all of the Dolphins’ “cooking” tomorrow.

Dolphin’ Player to Watch:  Matt Moore. Why not? Let’s see if he can continue his success.

Cowboys’ Player to Watch: DeMarcus Ware.  Ware is a grown man and can can wreak havoc on an offensive line, a QB, and an entire offense.

How it plays out: Thanksgiving Treat. If you eat a early or late Thanksgiving feast then this may be your appetizer or dessert.  Despite being a touchdown underdogs, I think the Dolphins make this one interesting.  As is the case with the majority of Dolphin game (except for the past few weeks) this game will be decided in the 4th quarter.

Prediction: 20-17 Cowboys. I think that Dolphins do play well, but the Dallas defense is able to provide more of a challenge then have have seen lately.  Romo has 2 TDs and 1 INT; which is enough to get the job done…unfortunately.

Regardless of the result, I hope you have a fun, tasty, and safe Thanksgiving!

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 11 Preview: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins – Nobody Circles the Wagons Like the…Dolphins?

This Sunday at 1pm, our Miami Dolphins look for their 3rd win (yes, WIN) in a row against the reeling Buffalo Bills.  Yes people, this is what other teams call a “winning streak” or the Packers call “normal.” On the other hand, the Bills are riding a 2 game losing streak, or as the “Suck for Luckers” call it, “the good ole days.”  This game is important for both teams if they want to consider…playoffs (*suppresses inner Jim Mora).

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

I must say, I feel that the Dolphin defense has been playing better and better each week. Now, is this because of the lack of quality offenses they went against, they have gotten more help from our own offense, or does winning really cure all?  Whatever the reason may be and despite the fact they are still ranked 25th against the pass, the Dolphin D is looking good.  After all, they are ranked 8th in the one defensive stat that truly matters; points-per-game with 19.8.  They also have only given up 20+ points once this year (week 1 against the Pats).

With the Dolphin defense’s success noted, the Bill’s offense started off the season blazing, scoring 20+ points every week, but the past two weeks, it has struggled.  In their last two games, the Bills had below 300 total yards and 7 total turnovers.  That being said, those performances came against tough Jets and Cowboy defenses.  Despite their lack of success last week, Fred Jackson was still able to surpass the century mark, gaining 114 yards on 13 carries.  The Dolphins D has done a better job at stopping the run recently, but haven’t faced a RB like Jackson in a few weeks.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

20+ points two weeks in a row? 2 Reggie Bush TDs? What is going on? By no means is the Miami Dolphin offense high powered, but they are finally finding ways to put the ball in the endzone.  I equate this success to a few things.  First, they are having success when they throw the ball on first down.  They seem to start off throwing on first, then when they have the lead, stop.  Its baffling.  It works to open up the defense, but once we have the lead, they seemingly try to run the clock out in the third quarter.  The second thing I think that has led to offensive success is the use of Brandon Marshall and the TE…that happens to be Anthony Fasano.  Targeting Marshall should be obvious…you would think…but the Dolphins have finally been getting him the ball more and more.  I am also a big support of using your TE; they often can cause mismatches against LBs(right Dansby. don’t be fooled, that INT was luck)  and create short yardage situations.  I hope these success points continue for the Dolphins.  They should have a favorable match-up against a poor Bill defense that has given up 20+ points in all but two games this season. Despite, their poor run/pass stopping and points-per-game, they have been able to rack up impressive 20 takeaways.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Foot on the Gas. As I mentioned before, the Dolphins have a tendency to play what I call “prevent offense” once they have the ball.  If they get a lead, they need to continue to throw the ball on non-passing downs.  Everyone knows we wanna run so your not surprising them when you try to.

Bills’ Key to the Game: Run before you Throw.  The Bills obvious strong suit and the should be possible against our defense.  If they get Jackson going, they may be able to ride him to victory; which may be necessary with Steve Johnson’s health in question.

Dolphin’ Player to WatchBrandon Marshall.  I do not think that the Bills will have anyone that can stop him and with Moore targeting him more-and-more (see what I did there?) he should have a big day.

Bills’ Player to Watch: Fred Jackson.  This guy has a great story and is a great runner.  I still think our defense will have trouble with a strong runner; which Jackson is.

How it plays out: More Competitive…than the past two weeks.  I think the Dolphins short run of easily won games will come to an end here.  As I have stated, I do think the Dolphins will struggle stopping the run; which will open the pass somewhat.  That being said, I see no reason, other than a self-destruction, the offense should be shutdown by the Bills.

Prediction: 24-17 … Dolphins. 24, yes, that means 3 TDs.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 10 Preview: Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins – We’re Going Streaking?!?

This Sunday, at 1pm, our Miami Dolphins look to capture their first winning streak since…weeks 1 & 2 last season.  Can this “streak” actually happen? The Good news: the Dolphins are playing the Washington Redskins; whom are in an absolute downward spiral, losing their last four.  The Bad news: it is a “home” game, but the win in KC may bring some more fans out to actually see the game.

What to Watch For:

Redskins’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Dolphin defense has been getting better and better each week; again, they couldn’t get any worse, but it’s a little refreshing.  The defense has another great opportunity to continue their success this week.  The Redskin team is falling apart after starting off semi-well.  Much of their struggles come from their offense.  The most obvious issue the team has is at the QB position.  Rex Grossman started the year for the Skins, but was yanked after tossing 4 picks against the Eagles in week 6.  Grossman was replaced by none other than John Beck.  Yes, that John Beck.  With Beck at the helm, the Redskins have lost the past four; in which they have averaged 11 points.  While the QB position has been an issue, the Redskin backfield has also acted like a revolving door.  Time in the Redskin in the Redskin backfield has been split between Tim Hightower (now on IR), Roy Helu, and Ryan Torain.  None of these RBs scare me out of the backfield, but Helu has been heavily featured in the pass game; which the Dolphins struggle with.  A positive for the Dolphins, just about everyone is getting healthy; currently Vontae Davis is listed as probable…as long as he’s sober.

Continue Reading

Week 9 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs – Opposite Directions

This Sunday’s 1pm game between the Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) and Miami Dolphins (0-7) will see a matchup between two teams heading in opposite directions.  The Chiefs come into Sunday riding a four game winning streak; including a big overtime win against their division foe San Diego.  On the other hand, the Dolphins are riding…yeah never mind, you get it.

What to Watch For:

Chiefs’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

First off, I’ll say that the Dolphin Defense has played better the past few weeks.  Though, it’s not like they could get much worse.  They have keep games close, but can’t finish a game.  With that being said, the defense is going to face a Chiefs’ offense that is hard to figure out.  They enter the game ranked 28th in passing and 9th in rushing.  In their last four games/wins, they did not gain more than 355 yards, but had averaged 25.25 points/game.  The majority of the Chiefs’ offense comes on the ground.  If they are able to establish the run early, it will open up the Dolphin secondary more than it already is.  Once again, Vontae Davis will be sidelined for the game; might as well shut him down for the remainder of the season.  The Chief offense is not the most potent or consistent, but neither is the Dolphin defense.  Should make for a nice, boring, and ugly game.

Continue Reading

Week 8 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants – Trick-or-Treat

This Sunday’s 1pm match-up between the New York Giants (4-2) and Miami Dolphins (0-6) will feature two teams at opposite ends of the standings.  The Giants enter into Sunday’s matchup leading the NFC East division; while the Dolphins remain in AFC East’s basement.  The Giants are also coming off their bye week, thus giving them plenty of time to prepare (not that they really need to).  With their second trip to the New Meadowlands this year, will the Dolphins get a nice W treat or more tricks?

What to Watch For:

Giants’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Giants offense has been generally off-balanced between their ability to rush and pass.  They enter the game being ranked 6th in passing and 30th in rushing.  Regardless of this imbalance, the Giants have been able to put up points on the scoreboard; they are ranked 9th in pts/game with 25.7.  I find their success through the air to be a bit surprising, based on Eli Manning’s history of varying play.  Eli has had INTs this season, but has found a way to limit them.  Eli currently has more than double the amount of TDs then he does INTs with 11TDs to 5INTs.  This success may have come with his ability to spread the ball around.  The Giants currently have 5 receivers with  15+ receptions; with Hakeem Nicks leading all with 32rec., 508yards, and 3TDs.  The Dolphins’ secondary is no longer at the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to pass defense being ranked 21st (Thanks Tebow!).  I still foresee the Dolphins struggling against Eli and his WRs; as Vontae Davis is listed as doubtful for the game.

As previously mentioned, the Giant running has been struggling as of late.  This may be due to the inquiry of Brandon Jacobs.  This has left the majority of the workload to be carried by Ahmad Bradshaw.  Bradshaw is only averaging 65yards/game, but has racked up 5 rushing TDs and 1 through the air.  The Dolphins’ gave up 104yards on 25 carries to Bronco running backs last week.  That was without having, at least shouldn’t have had to, worry about a passing game.  The Dolphins were finally able to put pressure on a QB last week, but I think that was a product of a poor Bronco O-line.  The defense has played better the past few weeks, but I do not foresee that continuing this week.

Continue Reading

Week 7 Preview: Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins – Tebow-A-Thon

This Sunday’s 1pm matchup between the Denver Broncos (1-4) and Miami Dolphins (0-5) will be the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins all year.  Because cause it might be there best chance at winning a game this season? No.  Because a loss might spell the end to Tony Sparano’s tenure as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach? No. Then why is it the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins?  Three syllables: Tim Tebow.

What to Watch For:

Broncos’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Denver Bronco’s offense trots into Miami being near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to offense. They are ranked 22th in rushing and 27th in passing. This has led the Broncos to finally succumb to the fan’s cries (and billboards) to let Tebow play.  How great did that play out for the Dolphin owners?  To setup, what I’m calling, “Gator Day” and have Tebow make his first start.  I wonder how many high-fives went around the office when the announcement of Tebow starting was delivered.  I feel that you have to throw out the Broncos’ previous offensive performances with this change of QB.  I like the variables that Tebow adds to this offense, with extending plays and running.  A bad team can benefit from this type of QB and the Dolphins do have trouble stopping running QBs (Sanchez TD last week).  He might have to do this with his best WR, Brandon Lloyd, being traded to the Rams this week.  Then again, this Dolphins D has not pressured a soul all year.  This Dolphin D and the supporting crowd should provide Timmy a chance to get off on the right foot.

As previously mentioned, the Broncos run game is nothing special as Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee have struggled.  In their last game, week 5 against the Chargers, McGahee received all of the Broncos’ RB carries (16 for 125 yards).  That performance compiled with the addition of Tebow’s rushes and their bye week leads me to believe their rush game will improve.  Although, the Dolphins are coming off a good, at least for us, defensive performance against the Jets.  On Monday, the Dolphins held the Jets to under 300 total yards and only 104 total rushing yards.  Is this the return of the strong Miami Dolphins D or the struggles of a weak Jet offense?  I’m not sure, but I would bet on the ladder of the two.

Dolphin Offense vs. Broncos’ Defense:

The Bronco defense enters with numbers just as bad as their offense.  They are rated 22nd against the pass and 23rd against the run.  This should be good news for the Dolphins, but there have been reports that Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall have been limited in practice.  I’m not sure, no matter how bad the defense, this offense will do anything.  I was at the game this past Monday and it was hard to watch (it didn’t help having all the Jets fans there).  Thomas had a poor game, but I have to credit that to the garbage play calling.  They are so predictable, once a play works once, they think they can run it over-and-over again.  The phins have no chance in the redzone and should just consider kneeling down three time and kick the FG.  Matt Moore was bad, as expected.  Marshall DID have a good game (6rec for 109 yards), but then fades in the redzone.  O yeah, WTF was he doing on the play he ran out-of-bounds?!  I almost lost my mind in the stands.  I could not believe what I witnessed.  I can’t talk about them anymore.  The Broncos D is bad, SHOULD be a chance for the Dolphin offense to score, but they probably won’t.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameFill the Stadium. Let’s be honest, the only thing the organization cares about this week is filling the seats.  So a win for the Dolphins came with having no blackout of the game this weekend.  Want an actual key to the game?  Score a TD.

Broncos’ Key to the GameFeed the Tebow.  Broncos need to use the great atmosphere for Tebow’s benefit.  Get him going with some high percentage passes and give him the option to run.  Establish confidence, then build off of it.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchUmm? Karlos Dansby.  Not because I think he’s going to break out, but see if he can quite those Suck for Luckers.  SPOILER ALERT: He won’t

Broncos’ Player to WatchLeft Guard Zane Beadles.  You buy that?  Didn’t think so.  Obviously it’s Tebow.  I think he plays well (not great).  Throws for a buck-eighty a Td and runs for one.

How it plays out:  Same old, same old.  This game could be a horrid game to watch with two bad teams going at it.  Both teams struggle to do much of anything, but the Bronco’s bye week, “Gator Day,” and the Tebow boost the Broncos to make a few big plays against this Dolphin D.

Prediction24-16 Broncos.  I can’t believe I’m saying the Dolphins will score 16 points, but I feel the poor Bronco defense will allow them an opportunity to at least put on TD on the board, by accident.  Regardless, this game is a toss-up and one of the Dolphins very few opportunities to win.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

My Karlos Dansby Reaction/Vent: Fair-Weather? What? Where?

We all know about “Suck for Luck.”  You can promote it, hate it, or be indifferent, but you have to acknowledge it.  I do not care if you hate the idea or love it.  I’m not even sure where I fall, but one thing I will not do is accuse “suck for Luck” Dolphin fans, who want the team to be great, as being fair-weather fans.  To me fair-weather fans are those people that when a team sucks, like the Dolphins now, they kind of just stop paying attention and do chores on Sundays, but when they are good, they toss on their “player who is no longer on the team” jersey.  A fair-weather fan is not someone who continues to watch and suffer through the Dolphins’ horrid performance week-after-week and want them to be good at whatever cost (sucking this year).  This is why I have to respond to how Dolphin LB Karlos Dansby reacted when asked about the “Suck for Luck” campaign.

The following quotes from Dansby were initially reported by the Sun-Sentinel here.

Continue Reading