By Bill (@PhinNation on Twitter, PhinNation on Facebook)
The Miami Dolphins haven’t played a game in over a month. Since then they’ve hired a new offensive coordinator and a new general manager. They’ve also been made aware, at least to some extent, of the findings of NFL investigator Ted Wells in the Bullying Incident. While the Dolphins are in full offseason mode, 2 NFL teams are still alive and will battle on Sunday for the right to be called “Champions”.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
It seems like the Dolphins are so far away from this point, doesn’t it? So many questions surround this offseason that it’s hard for any fan to have a good feeling that the Dolphins could be playing in this game next year. We can only hope that Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin can work together to bring some talent to this team….and get better production out of the players in uniform.
The Miami Dolphins took a nice step forward last week with their second straight road victory. The Dolphins kept pace with the Patriots in what has been an interesting AFC East over the first 2 weeks. There are no teams under .500 at this point in the season. The AFC West and NFC West are the only other divisions in which this is the case. By contrast, the AFC North and NFC East do not have a team over .500. It’s early, but these early games can lead to big consequences later this season when tie breakers are in play.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
One thing that I took away from the Thursday night game between the Jets and the Pats is that the Pats might not be the offensive juggernaut that they have been in recent years. Tom Brady’s receivers are just not reliable at this point. Combine that, with the fact that the Dolphins just beat the Colts on the road and Dolphins fans have a reason to be excited. The next 3 games against the Falcons, Saints, and Ravens will tell us a LOT about this Dolphins team.
It’s week 8 in the NFL and Pitiful Picks, but only game #7 for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are currently in 2nd place in the AFC East and hope to continue their 2 game winning streak to keep pace with the Patriots. Hurricane Sandy is expected to impact a few NFL games on Sunday, including the Dolphins matchup with the Jets. We’ll take some of that into consideration for this week’s Pitiful Picks. Last week we went 2-2 to bring our season record to 14-11. Like the Dolphins, we need to put some distance between us and the .500 mark.
Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Atlanta Falcons
I know what you’re thinking: How can you pick a 3-3 team, that’s favored, to beat an undefeated team. A couple of reasons: #1 Andy Reid is 13-0 following a bye week, #2 The Falcons are good, but they are due for a loss, #3 The Eagles are desperate and have done some soul searching during the bye week- they need a good performance, at home, #4 The rainy weather will force the Eagles to run the ball more than usual and Shaddy McCoy will run all over the Falcons defense. Eagles 24 Falcons 20
New York Giants -2.5 over Dallas Cowboys
The Giants are a better team than the Cowboys, period. The Cowboys just lost Sean Lee, who is a key component of their defense. The Giants also want to exact some revenge on the Cowboys for their opening night loss, at home. You remember, Kevin Ogletree went off on the Giants secondary. I’m surprised the game is a 2.5 spread because I think the Giants are at least a touchdown better than the Cowboys. Eli Manning will outplay Tony Romo this time and the Giants secondary is better than it was in week 1. Giants 27 Cowboys 20 (Picks cont’d on page 2, click below)
The Miami Dolphins welcomed in a new head coach and two new coordinators this offseason. The Dolphins spent most of training camp and the preseason learning the new systems brought in by Kevin Coyle and Mike Sherman. Only one player on the Dolphins roster had familiarity with the new system being installed; Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill knew Mike Sherman’s offense inside and out at Texas A&M. With the Dolphins, Joe Philbin and Sherman installed a more lengthy and complex version of the A&M offense. BUT, Tannehill had a huge head start given his familiarity with the system. This familiarity has greatly helped ease Tannehill’s transition to the NFL.
Another big factor that has helped accelerate Tannehill’s progress is the Dolphins use of the no huddle offense. According to Stats Inc., the Dolphins run the no huddle offense 58.6% of the time. Sometimes the Dolphins run a classic no huddle, but more often they run what they call a ‘sugar’ huddle. Both are classified as no huddle offensive snaps. A sugar huddle, as Ben Volin points out, is when Tannehill has a half huddle with his linemen and running backs. The wide receivers stay outside and get their assignments from hand signals or calls from Tannehill at the line.
The Dolphins actually run the no huddle more than any team in the NFL. The no huddle is effective when the offense is picking up first downs, controlling the clock, keeping the defense in disarray, tiring out the defense and limiting substitutions. However, if the Dolphins offense goes 3 and out, the Dolphins defense has to go right back onto the field, which is counterproductive. (cont’d on page 2, click below)
The Miami Dolphins are looking to keep pace with the field in the AFC today, before they head into the bye week. Like the Dolphins, we want to keep pace with the imaginary field in Pitiful Picks. Last week we went 2-2, giving us an overall record on the season of 10-7. The Dolphins need to be consistent and so do we. We’ve had 4-0 weeks and we’v had 0-4 weeks. Hopefully both the Dolphins and PhinNation can put together a solid effort this week!
New York Jets -3 over Indianapolis Colts
I really, really, really hate picking the Jets, but I think the line is too low and the Jets will give a good effort with their season on the line today. The Jets have lost 2 straight and their season could spiral out of control with a loss at home to the Colts. Mark Sanchez answers more questions each week about Tim Tebow and I think he’ll give a good effort today. The Colts are coming off of a very emotional win on Sunday at home against the Packers. So call this a bit of a let down game. Add to this that the Colts are pretty banged up, injury-wise, and I think the Jets take this game by more than the 3 points. Jets 24 Colts 17
Arizona Cardinals -4 over Buffalo Bills
Staying in the AFC East, but this time we’re picking against a division rival. The Cardinals are not THAT good, but at home, I think they’ll be able to put up some points on the Bills. I know, Arizona’s offensive line is terrible, but so is the Bills defense. The Bills traveled to San Francisco last week and lost by 40 points. They have to travel all the way across the country again to play a solid opponent. I don’t necessarily think this is a blow out, but I think the Cardinals cover the 4 points. Cardinals 30 Bills 24 (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.
Their performances in the Miami Dolphins blowout win on Sunday might just get 2 offensive players their first NFL awards of the 2012 season. Ryan Tannehill and Reggie Bush have both been nominated for the NFL.com awards for week 2. Tannehill is one of 5 nominees for the Pepsi rookie of the week award. Bush is one of 3 nominees for the FedEx Ground player of the week.
Ryan Tannehill rebounded after a tough outing against the Texans, leading the Dolphins to victory Sunday while posting a 91.0 QB rating. The Dolphins rookie completed 18 of 30 passes for 200 yards and 1 touchdown (and zero interceptions). Tannehill had a great first drive, but seemed to fall into the lull the rest of the offense did for the rest of the 1st half. Tannehill came out firing in the second half, helped in large part, but the Dolphins rushing attack. Tannehill made good, quick decisions, and delivered the ball accurately and on-time. To vote for Ryan, go here (you can vote multiple times).
The Miami Dolphins are off today and while many fans are still smiling from Sunday’s win, some fans are once again unhappy with Dolphins’ GM, Jeff Ireland. It’s no secret that Jeff Ireland has more haters than supporters within the Dolphins fan community. Many fans blame Ireland for poor drafts, disappointing free agent acquisitions, bad trades, etc. Heck, a portion of Dolphins fans flew a banner last year, asking Stephen Ross to fire Ireland.
Ireland has stayed out of the limelight for the most part, at least since he was publicly scolded repeatedly for asking Dez Bryant, during the draft process, if his mother was a prostitute. But earlier today, word got out that Ireland had a choice word to say to a Dolphins fan named ‘Sean’. Ireland was visiting his family’s luxury box at halftime of the Dolphins/Raiders game, when he met a few fans, signed some autographs, etc. Then, ‘Sean’ approached Ireland and let him know that he was unhappy with Ireland’s job performance (probably a little more vulgar than that). Sean proceeded to tell Ireland that he should fire himself. After that, Ireland, simply turned around and walked away, but said ‘A**hole’ loud enough for Sean to hear.
Dolphins’ fans, we are proud to announce that we have finally launched the Phins Forum!!! We love blogging about the Miami Dolphins, giving you the latest news about the team we all know and love. But the best part of this blog is interacting with other Dolphins fans! We love talking about the Dolphins with you all and reading the comments that each of you leave in our comment section.
Well, that wasn’t enough for us….we wanted to make the site better and we hope the Phins Forum will be a place for open discussions among Dolphins fans!! Please check out the Phins Forum and start a new discussion or reply to one that’s already been started. There is a link in the navigation bar and a quick link on the left hand side of this page for easy access.
Frustrated by the Dolphins? Start a topic. Think Jeff Ireland should be held accountable for the state of the Dolphins? Start a topic. Think the Dolphins have the heir apparent to Dan Marino? Start a topic. Let’s get this forum growing!!! Thanks for reading and for being a part of the best Dolphins community in cyberspace!!
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The Miami Dolphins’ rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill has a problem with passes getting tipped at the line of scrimmage. In Sunday’s 30-10 beat down by the Texans, Tannehill had six passes batted down, according to Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Tipped pass are not good. But they are exponentially worse when they are batted into the air like a volleyball set. When the ball bounces that high in the air, it can be intercepted, which we witnessed twice on Sunday.
If the batted passes were just a result of the Texans defense, it would be one thing. The problem is that young Mr. Tannehill has had issues with balls getting batted at the line of scrimmage before. Mrs. Tannehill does not approve. In college, Tannehill had 19 balls batted at the line. According to the Sherman (who happened to have been Tannehill’s college coach):
“There were only three of them that we thought were his fault. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. It was in the game the other day, no question, but the gentleman, (Texans Defensive End J.J.) Watt, has a history of knocking balls down. He’s pretty good at it; I think he had four. And a couple of them were on twists coming down, so the quarterback wouldn’t have seen them anyways. It’s definitely something we’re looking at hard, and checking where he’s putting his eyes. He’ll be better this week with that.”