Alright Dolphins fans and football fans everywhere, the NFL is officially back. Well, back in the sense that you can turn on the TV and you can find highlights and actual games (meaningless as they are) on television. BUT, preseason games can be a bit boring, can’t they? After all, with the exception of the 3rd preseason game, the starting units usually play a few series or MAYBE a quarter or two. We’ve come up with a way to make ANY NFL preseason game a little bit more exciting.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
If you’re like us, you are already hyped up about your favorite NFL team. After all, training camp is when every team thinks they have a chance (unless you’re a Jets fan and you have a buttfumbler as your starting quarterback). But in reality, most of these preseason games consist of players that are fighting for their football lives, trying to be the last guy NOT to get cut.
That calm quiet you hear Dolphins fans, is actually a good thing. The Miami Dolphins are currently on hiatus, as we inch closer and closer to the start of training camp. The Dolphins have been very quiet recently, primarily because this is the quiet time in the NFL offseason. The only minor bit of news is that the Dolphins are still hopeful they’ll be able to agree to a new contract with FB Vontae Leach, in the coming days. Leach likes the Dolphins and the Dolphins like him, but the two sides have yet to come to an agreement on a deal. News on this should be coming after the 4th of July holiday, as Jeff Ireland just returned from his vacation. Here’s where I make a joke about him being on vacation during the last 4 offseasons, right?
Anyway, aside from the prospect of signing a new fullback, the Dolphins players have mostly gone their separate ways and will be meeting up again on July 20th when they are required to report to South Florida for the start of training camp. As I mentioned, this is usually the quiet time in the NFL offseason. Well, it’s quiet if everything is going according to plan. We’ve seen a number of examples from other NFL teams that demonstrate that things don’t always go according to plan.
Take Mark Sanchez for example. This guy is a complete buffoon. Not only is he a below average quarterback in the NFL, but he has the common sense of fruit fly. Sanchez was at a party recently and let’s just say he showed the other party go’ers everything he had to offer. If you really want to see the video, click here. Sanchez was frolicking around with 2 women and apparently he forgot to get dressed for the party.
#1 You are an NFL QB, you should know better than to do something like this, especially when you see someone take out their phone/camera and start pointing it at you, #2 You are not a good enough NFL player to get yourself into these PR situations, for the team to look the other way, #3 You are on VERY thin ice with the Jets as it is…I mean, they just drafted a kid in the 2nd round that is hungry and wants to take your job more than anything else in the world, #4 You’re a tool. Grow up Mark. (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)
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.
The Miami Dolphins didn’t win a game in 2011 until week 8. The Dolphins quickly fell out of the AFC East race because the Patriots and Jets got off to fast starts and left the Dolphins and Bills in their dust. This season, the Dolphins picked up their first win in week 2 AND, with a little help from the Patriots field goal kicker (and the underdog Cardinals), they pulled into a first place tie with the rest of the division.
New York Jets (1-1)
As good as the Jets and their Jekyl and Hyde offense looked against the Bills in week 1, they looked equally bad in week 2 against the Steelers. The Jets offense put up 34 points against the Bills, but managed just 10 against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon. Mark Sanchez had one of his worst games as a pro. Sanchez’s passes were wild an inaccurate after the first Jets’ scoring drive. If this keeps up, fans will be calling for Tebow to start. In fact, Rex Ryan had to deal with a number of ‘why isn’t Tebow playing that much’ questions this week….and it annoyed him, which is great.
This week, the Jets come down to Miami for a big early season matchup with the Dolphins. The winner is guaranteed at least a tie for the division lead. This game is being billed as a must win for the Jets, as their next two opponents are the 49ers and Texans. A loss to the Dolphins could mean a 1-4 start or at best a 2-3 start to the season for the Jets.
RB Daniel Thomas – This weeks matchup for the Dolphins favors their running backs as the New York Giants are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs in the last four weeks. Thomas hasn’t been 100% all year and still is the Dolphins leading rusher. He’s good for 20+ touches a game and going forward should be leaned on as he’s the only running back doing anything on this team. I have Daniel Thomas ranked 15th out of running backs ahead of DeMarco Murray and Jonathan Stewart.
Projection : 21 Attempts – 89 yards – 1 TD
2 Catches – 12 yards
WR Brandon Marshall – Brandon Marshall and Daniel Thomas have been the only fantasy relevant players all year for this team and week 8 is no different. Marshall is still getting a ton of targets with 62 total on the season making him the 6th most targeted receiver in the NFL. The targets are a good sign, but in fantasy we need touchdowns for points and that has been the crutch of Marshall’s tenure in Miami, with only 4 total touchdowns in one and a half seasons. This week if he continues to play the way he did vs Darelle Revis and Champ Bailey, then he should go off against a depleted New York Giants secondary. I’d rank Brandon Marshall as the 13th best wide receiver play this week ahead of guys like DeSean Jackson and Anquan Boldin.
Projection : 8 Catches – 111 yards – 1 TD
My Sleeper Picks for Week 8
QB Matt Cassel - Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs are at home in prime time Monday night against the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs receiving corp is really starting to make plays with the likes of Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. They have caught 516 yards and 5 touchdowns from Cassel in the Chiefs last three games. The Chargers defense just gave up 3 touchdown passes from Mark Sanchez so they aren’t playing well right now. The Chiefs will likely be down and he’ll have to sling it for them to have a shot at getting their fourth straight win. I have Matt Cassel ranked as the 13th quarterback play this week.
Projection : 21 for 32 – 240 yard – 3 TD’s / 1 INT
Whats up PhinNation readers! I’m back this week with a preview of the Miami Dolphins week 6 matchup and the matchups for the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and the New England Patriots.
First a recap of all the previous weeks games.
The Miami Dolphins had a bye week so in other news Jon Gruden may be our next coach! Fingers crossed.
The Bills ran over the Philadelphia Eagles in a final score of 31 – 24. Freddie Jackson maintained his pro bowl season rushing for 111 yards and a score. The Bills 3rd ranked defense had four interceptions off of Michael Vick and returned one for a touchdown. The defining play of the game came on a 4th and 1 with under two minutes to go when Bills quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was able to draw the Eagles defense offside to end the game.
In the afternoon game the New England Patriots defeated the Jets by a score of 31 – 20. Mark Sanchez was only able to throw for 166 yards against the leagues worst passing defense showing exactly why the he is a top quarterback prospect in the NFL… Shonne Greene woke up a little going over 50 rushing yards for the first time this season with 83 yards on 21 carries and a score. The real scary aspect of this game was that the Patriots didn’t win this game through their number one ranked passing offense, but instead on the back of running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis who had the best rushing day of his career. He blasted the Jets normally tough defense for 136 yards and a touchdown keying the Pats to a win.
Hey PhinNation readers, before I get into my football analysis I figured I would write a few brief sentences about who I am. To start I am a 17 year-old student in Massachusetts. I may be younger than most, but my knowledge is extensive. I have been a Miami Dolphins fan for my entire life and have researched almost all of the important happenings that occurred before my birth with the team. I am a huge fantasy football junkie and also love the Boston Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins. If there is anything else you want to know don’t hesitate to leave me some comments after the post or hit me up on twitter @ PhinNationBK.
Week 4 was a bad week for the AFC East as the New England Patriots were the only team to win in a 31 – 19 victory @ Oakland. The Dolphins were beaten as most expected by the San Diego Chargers, in a game in which Dolphins quarterback, Chad Henne, was knocked out in the first quarter with a separated shoulder. Matt Moore relieved him and wasn’t awful statistically, going 17 for 26 and 167 yards with one interception. The New York Jets were destroyed on Sunday night football by the Baltimore Ravens and a defense that forced 4 turnovers with three going back for six points. Lastly, the Buffalo Bills were handed their first loss by the Cincinnati Bengals with a last minute field goal. That is what happened in week 4, lets preview whats going to happen in week 5 starting with the first place team in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills…I know, still shocking.
Phin Nation, you have no idea how hard that title was to type…This post is one that we’ve been putting off for some time because…Well, as we’re writing, the taste of bile is seeping up into our throats. But, looking at both quarterbacks objectively, it’s time to declare a winner in the Mark Sanchez/Chad Henne debate. Sanchez is clearly ahead of where Henne is at this point and his New York Jets team is better off at this point with him as their QB than the Miami Dolphins are with Henne.
Before this season started, there was a lot of debate between NY Jets fans and Dolphins fans, between analysts and experts all over. Well it appears that those who thought Sanchez would be the better pro had it right. Just as a refresher, here are a few of the stories that were out earlier this year:
1. I guess Dilfer had it right?! Connolly, stick to being funny on Entourage!
1. He’s won more games than Henne, period. Sanchez is 20-12 in the regular season, while Henne is 13-14 in games that he has started. Henne was benched following a 4-4 start in 2010 in favor of Chad Pennington. Sanchez, meanwhile, has led his team to the playoffs each of his first 2 years.
2. Playoffs? Playoffs? Sanchez has not only led his team to the playoffs in 2 straight years, but he has a 3-1 record thus far in the playoffs. He’s gone on the road and beaten the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and San Diego Chargers. His only loss was in the AFC Championship game last year. Henne hasn’t had a chance to be in the playoffs, in large part to his own play. Yes, last year the NY Jets were luck to make the playoffs, but they won 2 road games after qualifying.
3. Clutch Player. If you look at their career numbers, they are eerily similar:
Chad Henne – 582-953, 61.1 completion %, 6,246 yards (6.6 avg), 27 TDs, 33 INTs, 75.3 QB Rating
However, when you actually watch both quarterbacks play, you can see a difference. In the most clutch time of a game, the fourth quarter, Sanchez is more likely to lead his team down the field for a score, while Henne will more likely throw a costly INT. Honestly, which one would you rather have leading your team in the 2 minute drill?
Again, this was not an easy post to write, but to be fair, Sanchez looks like he’s going to be the better pro. He’ll be the New York Jets quarterback for years to come. Chad Henne? He will be lucky if he’s the backup for the Dolphins next year, as he has clearly fallen out of favor with the coaching staff.