By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)
I visited my local fair yesterday and was lured in by the chance of coming away with a big prize for a small price in their carnival games.
I came away feeling scammed and it reminded me of the NFL Draft.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
I did a numbers analysis of the past five drafts and discovered that 80 Pro Bowlers were selected out of 1272 selections, for a 6.3 percent early success rate.
15 were selected in the 2009 draft, 30 in 2010, 20 in 2011, 11 in 2012 and 4 in 2013.
Obviously, the last two drafts have not had as much time to develop and more Pro Bowlers are surely to sprout, but they have been included as they give a realistic picture of what this Dolphins regime can expect in their win or go home season.
By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus)
Marlon Moore has re-signed with the Miami Dolphins after appearing in six games for the San Francisco 49ers.
He will assume Ryan Spadola’s spot as the fourth receiver. Spadola could be re-signed to the practice squad if he clears waivers, but he may opt to return to the Jets as he claimed that he was unaware of Jets interest in him when he opted for the Dolphins practice squad after he was released off of their 53 man roster.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
Moore, 26, has a strong reputation on special teams and earned two starts at wide receiver as a Dolphin last season, when he contributed six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. He had similar production as a rookie in 2010. This season he has made one catch for six yards and rushed once for nine yards.
The worst kept secret in the NFL right now is that the Dolphins would like to complete a trade for Branden Albert before the start of the draft on Thursday. The Dolphins would like to cross the need for a left tackle off of their list, before entering the 2013 draft. However, it appears that trade talks between the Chiefs and Dolphins have stalled due to the contract demands of Albert.
Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Beall via Wikipedia.org
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Dolphins are balking at the current contract demands from Albert’s camp. Albert is said to be asking for upwards of $8-9 million per season, which is too rich for the Dolphins. Albert was given the franchise tag by the Chiefs, which guarantees him $9.8 million for the 2013 season. However, if the Dolphins trade a 2nd round pick to the Chiefs, they will want contract certainty beyond the 2013 season.
The Miami Dolphins did not show up on Sunday against the Titans. Quite simply, the Dolphins came out flat and stayed that way throughout the game. Where was the Dolphins dominant rushing defense? Where was the efficient quarterback play? Where was the turnover free football that has helped the Dolphins of late? None of it was present on Sunday. I’ll apologize now, as I’m still on vacation, so this will be an abbreviated recap. But here is what I liked and what I didn’t in the Dolphins 37-3 loss to the Titans.
What I liked
Lamar Miller – I know, I know, he only got playing time because Reggie Bush was benched. However, you can’t help but get a little excited every time this guy touches the football. He ran 3 times for 12 yards and caught 2 balls for 13, so his action was limited. But, you can see the home run potential in this kid.
Brian Hartline – Hartline showed up again catching 8 balls for 79 yards. He didn’t catch a touchdown, but he caught balls in traffic and also showed the ability to get open. He’s proving people wrong, but must have more production in the touchdown department.
Ryan Tannehill’s hustle – On his 3rd interception of the day, Tannehill didn’t give up and tackled the Titans’ defender before he could get into the endzone, in a game that was already a blowout. I’m sure that part of it was frustration, but it was nice to see Tannehill hustling down the field to make a touchdown saving tackle.
Sadly, that’s all I could salvage as far as ‘likes’ goes for Sunday’s game. The Dolphins came out flat and played flat the entire game. I was in attendance and I know that people are down on the South Floirda faithful. However, people were just looking for something to cheer for; But the team didn’t give us ANYTHING to cheer for on Sunday. (cont’d on page 2, click below)
The Miami Dolphins have a chance to even their record at 3-3 on Sunday, and keep pace (although it’s early) in both the AFC East and Wild Card races. The Dolphins have played better than most people expected before the year started. They’ve been rushing the ball effectively, getting solid play out of their rookie quarterback, and playing very good defense.
On the Sunday, the Dolphins welcome in the St. Louis Rams who are also surprising people this year. The Rams are 3-0 at home this season, but 0-2 on the road. The Dolphins hope to get back to the .500 mark before their bye comes next week. The Dolphins are not taking the Rams lightly and will need to give a solid effort to pick up another win. Here is a look at the Dolphins gameplan for this week (at least, what we think it should be):
Pressure Sam Bradford
The Rams passing offense ranks 30th in the NFL, averaging just 183 yards per game through the air. Sam Bradford has struggled at times this year, mostly because his offensive line is among the leagues worst. The Rams have allowed 15 sacks, which is tied for 3rd worst in the NFL. The Rams offensive line is so bad that they are starting Wayne Hunter. You remember Wayne Hunter, right? He’s the former Jets right tackle that makes Marc Colombo look like Richmond Webb. The worst part is that the other Rams linemen aren’t much better. Cameron Wake, Jared Odrick, and Olivier Vernon should have a field day teeing off on this line.
The Miami Dolphins have lost 2 straight overtime games, in which they clearly outplayed their opponent for a majority of the game. The Dolphins will need to put those 2 losses behind them, as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Sunday at 1pm. The Dolphins must play well early, as they have the last 2 weeks, but they need to do a better job of finishing the game. Their opponent this week is an opponent that is flying under everyone’s radar. Did you know the Bengals are 3-1??? Did you know that they are currently on a 3 game winning streak, beating their opponents by an average of 10 points?
The Dolphins will have their work cut out for them this weekend in Cincinnati. But, this is a winnable game because of a few of the matchups we’ll get into a little later on. The key is for the Dolphins is to limit their own mistakes and force mistakes by the Bengals. We’ve all heard (and said) that the Dolphins could be 3-1 if not for a few poorly timed mishaps. The Dolphins can stand up on Sunday and make a statement that they aren’t a doormat anymore, despite their 1-3 record. It’s time for the Dolphins to play up to their potential and beat a quality opponent on the road. Here’s how they can do it:
Force the Bengals to run
This might sound crazy, but hear me out. The Dolphins defense has given up the least amount of rushing yards in the NFL so far this season. The Dolphins defense against the run has allowed just 56.8 yards per game, while holding opposing running backs to just a 2.4 yards per carry average. The Dolphins front 7 has been ferocious. I think the Dolphins need to make Benjarvus Green-Ellis beat them and not WR AJ Green who’s caught 27 balls for 428 yards and 3 TDs. I think the Dolphins might bait the Bengals into running more, playing more nickel than they normal would. Especially with Richard Marshall out, the Dolphins will need extra help defending the pass.
I know this is a backwards way of thinking. Teams usually try to stop the run to make a team one dimensional. But that doesn’t necessarily work, if you’re thin at cornerback. Why force an opponent to attack your greatest weakness? I wouldn’t suggest this, if I didn’t think 4 DL and 2 LB’s could stop the running game. The Bengals average 3.8 yards per carry, which is in the bottom half of the NFL in that statistic. The Dolphins defensive line is great and will win the line of scrimmage. It will be Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett’s job to fill the holes the running backs are trying to hit. (cont’d on page 2, click below)
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.
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.