Where are the Dolphins headed?

It is hard to determine where the Miami Dolphins are headed without first looking at where the team has been and where they are based.  Therefore, as we try to look into the future of the franchise we also need to consider where it has been and where it is now.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

South Florida, a place for ocean front hotels and cafes, models and celebrities, and residents always ready to party. It is also the land of Everglades, turbulent summer weather, and football. Football is a huge part of South Florida, which boasts about having 3 of the top high school football teams among the top 5 schools in the nation, and the only professional team to have ever finished its season with a perfect record. South Floridians obviously know their football and take it very seriously.

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Ryan Tannehill is ‘The Answer’ for the Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill’s turnovers cost the Miami Dolphins what was supposed to be the easiest game on the 2013 schedule.  He threw a pick six on the game’s opening possession, an interception in the end zone down 14-0 in the first quarter and then fumbled with the team up a point on a sack that gave the Buffalo Bills possession in field goal range with under three minutes to go.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Eliminate one of those three turnovers and the Miami Dolphins are likely 4-2 and heading up to New England with a chance to take over the division lead.  Yet, I am not mad at him or at the Dolphins coaches.  They have put the ball in his hands and he has shined even when things have not gone his way.

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Trade for McKinnie shows the Dolphins are all in for 2013

The Miami Dolphins have traded for a 34 year old offensive tackle whose value is at an all-time low……And I could not be happier about it.   The Dolphins are said to have given up a late, conditional draft pick to acquire him.  The fact of the matter is that Bryant McKinnie is a beast of an offensive tackle, standing at 6 foot 8 and 360 pounds, with a pro bowl selection (2009) and a Super Bowl title (2013) to his name.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

He played every snap in last year’s playoffs for the Baltimore Ravens, which earned him a two year deal.  However, he came into camp out of shape and the Ravens decided to trade for Eugene Monroe and replace him in the starting lineup.

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Blame goes all around in Dolphins embarrassing loss to the Bills 23-21

The Miami Dolphins had 2 weeks to prepare for the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins coaches talked at length about making adjustments, changing things schematically, and getting their players healed up during the bye week. That’s right, the Dolphins had 2 full weeks to prepare to face the 2-4 Bills. The Dolphins had 2 weeks to sit at home and figure out how to pass protect and run the football more effectively. The Dolphins talked a lot about how they couldn’t wait to play a division rival. And yet, with 2 weeks to prepare for a sub-par opponent, at home, the Dolphins still managed to play down to the Bills level. And the sad part is, the Dolphins might not have played down to the Bills level….it might just be the Dolphins level.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins fell into a 14-0 hole after Ryan Tannehill threw a pick-6 on the Dolphins opening drive and then the Bills walked down the field and scored a follow up touchdown. The Dolphins would battle back though, limiting the halftime deficit to 17-14. It was 17-7, but Tannehill and the boys marched down the field and put the ball in the end zone when they needed it badly. After the half, the Dolphins defense stepped up and would limit the Bills to only 2 field goals. The offense, however shied away from the running game that had been working all day (4.8 yards per carry).

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Pitiful Picks: Can the Dolphins get back to winning?

The Miami Dolphins have had 2 weeks to prepare for their game this afternoon against the Bills.  The Dolphins have had 2 weeks to learn from their mistakes and make adjustments after losing 2 straight games.  Coach Philbin has talked about trusting the guys he has on the team and making adjustments to sure up the pass protection, running game, and secondary.  We’ll find out this afternoon if those adjustments worked.   On a side note, we’re having a great time at Web Weekend. We’ve toured Sun Life Stadium, the Training Facility, met a few players, Coach Philbin, Jeff Ireland, and the new CEO.  We’ll give you a full recap of Web Weekend this week!

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Our pitiful picks could use some adjustments.  We went 1-2 last week, coming within a Saints meltdown of being 2-2.  That brings our record on the season to 10-14.  Let’s see if we can’t do a little bit better this week, with the Dolphins returning to action and finally getting a crack at an AFC East opponent.

Bengals +3 over Lions

As much as I want the Lions to win this game because it would help the Dolphins down the road, I just can’t see them giving up 3 points to the Bengals.  The Bengals have been playing well of late and are all alone atop the AFC North.  The Lions are coming off of a come from behind win against the Browns and the Bengals are on the road for the second week in a row.  BUT, I think the Bengals physical defense will limit the Lions offense and specifically, Reggie Bush.  Prediction:  Bengals 24 Lions 20

Jaguars +9 over Chargers

If you’ve paid any attention to the Chargers over the last few years, you know that this is exactly the type of game that they stumble in.  The Jaguars aren’t going to go 0-16 and last week they fought hard for their rookie head coach.  Call it a hunch, I just think the Jags will keep this game closer than the 9 point spread.  Prediction:  Chargers 27 Jaguars 21

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Pro-activeness the key to Dolphins success

Proficiency, pro-activeness and adaptivity: these three concepts from the business world could determine how far the Miami Dolphins go this season.  Proficiency is the fulfillment of predictable requirements of one’s job, pro-activeness is when you take control and make things happen and adaptivity is the successful coping of change initiated by others.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The 3-2 Miami Dolphins have been highly adaptive but neither proficient or proactive enough to be a title contender.

The Miami Dolphins have been impressive in overcoming second half deficits in the first three weeks of the season and even showed great adaptivity in the Ravens game, scoring their first touchdown in the two minute drill right before half-time and was a Caleb Sturgis’ 57 yard field goal away from forcing overtime after falling behind 23-13 in the fourth quarter.  A great sign for a team that is currently in wild card position and can still challenge for a division championship and a first round bye.

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Dolphins can gain ground on 2 rivals this week with a win

The Miami Dolphins were able to sit at home on Sunday and watch 2 out of the other 3 teams in the AFC East lose.  The Jets and Bills both lost and the Patriots came within one Saints first down of losing.  Do even with a week off, the Dolphins gained some ground.  Also, a number of their out-of-division playoff competition lost as well.  The Jets, Titans, Browns, Ravens, Texans, and Colts all lost last week.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

I know some people are reading this and saying that it’s too early to even think about the playoffs.  While I agree that it’s early, it’s never too early to keep an eye on (and root against) potential competition for playoff spots.  I promise, if the Dolphins lose this week to the Bills, there will be no playoff talk until they prove themselves.  Actually, if they lose to the Bills this week, I may go into hibernation.

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Dolphins hope to start crucial stretch with win against the Bills

The Miami Dolphins have had plenty of time to rest and recover from the first 5 games of their season.  NOW, the real challenge begins.  The Dolphins will play 3 games in a 12 day stretch, a stretch of games that could likely decide whether their season is a success or a failure.   The Dolphins currently sit at 3-2 and a win against the Bills on Sunday would not only get them to 4-2, but it would also give them some confidence after losing 2 straight games.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

I’ve read a lot about this being a must win game.  BUT, the truth is that there are no ‘must win’ games in October.  Would it make their lives easier the rest of the season?  Sure, but a loss on Sunday to Buffalo does not eliminate the Dolphins from the playoffs or clinch them a playoff birth.  It is not a must win.  Well, in my survivor pool, it’s a must win because I actually picked them this week….but in the grand scheme of their season, it is not.

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Pitiful Picks: No Dolphins, no problem; Still a lot to watch on Sunday

The Miami Dolphins may not be playing football today, but that doesn’t mean that our Pitiful Picks take the day off.  Last week we had a nice bounce back effort, going 3-1.  That brings us to 9-12 on the season, which isn’t good, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the 6-11 mark we were at last week!

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

While the Dolphins are at home relaxing and healing up for the rest of the season, I’ll be planted in front of my TV, watching the NFL Sunday Ticket and rooting against anyone that is close to the Dolphins in the standings!  Rooting and picking games are two different animals.  So let’s see if we can pull off a 4-0 week and get our heads above the .500 mark.

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While Dolphins sit home, they could gain some ground in AFC East

The Miami Dolphins players were given 5 days off by Coach Philbin during the bye week.  The players practiced on Tuesday, but won’t return to work until Monday.  Philbin believed that giving the players off during the bye would allow them to recharge their batteries and allow the injured players to heal.  I’m hoping that the offensive linemen did some Google searching to find out how to block opponents.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Dolphins will likely enjoy this Sunday with their families, relaxing in front of the TV, much like many of us do every Sunday.  BUT, the Dolphins (and Dolfans) would be wise to break out the pom poms and do some serious rooting.  I know it’s only week 6 of the season, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead.  So why not root like crazy against the rest of the possible AFC playoff contenders and the rest of the AFC East.

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