Tag: New England Patriots

AFC East is up for grabs, Dolphins begin Jets week (take 2)

The Miami Dolphins kicked up their feet and watched the craziness that is the AFC East, unravel a bit on Sunday.  The Dolphins were on their bye week and the new CBA says that the team had to have 4 consecutive days without practice.  That stretch for the Dolphins went from Thursday through Sunday.  So the Dolphins had plenty of time Sunday to sit back and watch the madness of the AFC East from a fans perspective.  Entering Sunday, all 4 teams were tied with 3-3 records. Only the Dolphins would end the weekend with that record.

First, the Bills and Titans played a game that saw very little defense.  Titans and Bills exchanged punches, with the Bills eventually jumping out to a 34-28 lead in the 4th quarter.  Their defense would allow the Titans to score a touchdown on 4th down to take a 35-34 lead in the game’s final minutes.  The Titans would hold on to win, dropping the Bills to 3-4.

Then, we watched a crazy game between the Jets and Patriots.  The Patriots led 23-13 at one point in the 4th quarter, only to blow that lead and allow the Jets to tie the game.  After a fumble on the kickoff directly following the tying field goal, the Jets actually took a 26-23 lead.  Tom Brady, of course, lead the Patriots down the field for the tying field goal to force overtime.  In overtime, the Patriots kicked a field goal on the opening possession and the Mark Sanchez fumbled the game away.  Literally, a game ending fumble.  So this morning the Patriots sit atop the AFC East at 4-3, while the Dolphins are in second at 3-3, with the Bills and Jets tied for last at 3-4.

What Sunday showed was that the AFC is relatively even. The Jets went to Foxboro, without Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes and gave the Patriots all they could handle.  The Bills were one defensive stop away from being 4-3.  Immediately after the Jets game ended, Dolphins left guard, Richie Incognito tweeted “It’s officially Jets Week #TurnUp”.  That’s right Richie, it is Jets week.  And this week’s game is big for the Dolphins…..very big.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Pitiful Picks: Dolphins may be resting, but not us!

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins players will be enjoying their last official day before their bye week fun comes to an end.  The Dolphins players have been off since Wednesday afternoon and have been making the most of their much deserved time away from football.  Reggie Bush and Sean Smith headed back home to California. Anthony Fasano was on the sidelines of the Notre Dame game yesterday. Hopefully when all of the Dolphins players return, they’re healthy and focused on winning football games.

For us here at PhinNation, there are no bye weeks,especially for our Pitiful Picks.  Last week we went 2-2, making us 12-9 on the season so far.  this week, we’ll pick 4 games as usgh (Les Brown vocab), but won’t have a Dolphins game to pick.  Instead, we’ll pick the 2 other games featuring AFC East contenders.  Here we go:

Green Bay Packers -5 over St. Louis Rams

I don’t think anyone thought the Packers would be 3-3 right now. Let’s face it, they could be 5-1 if not for a crazy comeback by the Colts and the most controversial replacement refs call of all time against the Seahawks.  The Packers got their groove back last week, crushing the previously unbeaten Texans, in Houston. Aaron Rodgers threw for 5 touchdowns and the Packers looked like the Packers. After watching the Rams up close last week against the Dolphins, I don’t think they are in the same league. Yes, their defense looked good, but their offense is not going to keep pace with the Pack.  Packers 27 Rams 17  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: What will the AFC East look like after this weekend?

The Miami Dolphins are currently tied with 3 other teams for first (and last) place in the AFC East.  It’s amazing(ly mediocre) that all 4 AFC East teams are tied at 3-3.  According to most experts, the Patriots are still the odds on favorites to win the AFC East, but their early struggles in close games have kept the door open for the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills.  In reality, if any of those 3 teams can get their act together, the AFC is wide open so a wild card could come out of the AFC East.  Entering week 7 only 2 teams have a better record than 3-3 (Ravens and Texans are 5-1).  Every team except for the Ravens and Texans is a 3-3 or worse.

New England Patriots (3-3 overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots were in Seattle on Sunday and had a 13 point lead on the Seahawks in the 4th quarter.  The Patriots were well on their way to a 4-2 record and sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East.  Then, the Patriots secondary decided to give up a ton of yards and 14 points to a 5’11” rookie quarterback.  The Patriots lost by 1 point.  They’ve now lost 3 games by a TOTAL of 4 points.  This week, the Patriots will probably take out their anger on the Jets, as they welcome into Foxboro.  I think the Pats will put a hurting on the Jets on Sunday, moving them to 4-3 and most likely all alone in 1st place.

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Dolphins Division: 1 game separates 1st and last place in AFC East

The Miami Dolphins were all alone in the AFC East basement last Sunday with a record of 1-3.  The Dolphins entered Sunday 1 game behind the Jets, Bills, and Patriots (2-2) for first place in the AFC East.  After Sunday and Monday’s games, the Dolphins have some company in the basement….which also happens to be 2nd place.  The Dolphins victory, combined with the Jets and Bills losses, moved them into a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the AFC East, 1 game behind the Patriots.  This week, the Dolphins will hope to even their record at 3-3 and begin to put distance between themselves and the Jets/Bills, while keeping pace with the Patriots.

New England Patriots (3-2 overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots made it look easy on Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  The Patriots ran the ball as well as they threw it, which is scary.  The Patriots offense is hitting on all cylinders and their defense is playing good enough to win.  This week, the Patriots head to Seattle to play the Seahawks (3-2).  The Seahawks have surprised some people and could pull off an upset this weekend.  The Patriots are traveling across the country and will be playing in a stadium where the Seahawks have a very good, loud 12th man (the crowd).  If you think of this matchup as Tom Brady versus Russell Wilson, you’d have to give the Patriots the advantage.  But I wouldn’t completely discount the Seahawks in this game.  If the Seahawks could find a way to win, combined with a Dolphins win over the Rams, the Dolphins would own a share of first place.

New York Jets (2-3 overall, 2-0 division)

The Jets didn’t embarrass themselves on Monday Night Football like many of us had hoped.  They did lose to the Texans, but they weren’t run out of Met Life Stadium.  The Jets now sit at 2-3 and are missing their best wide receiver (Holmes) and best defensive player (Revis).  The Jets offense looks the way you’d think a Tony Sparano/Mark Sanchez offense would look: terribly ineffective.  It’s only a matter of time before Tim Tebow takes over. With every game that Mark Sanchez can’t eclipse 50% completions, the crowd chanting for Tebow will only get louder.  Rex Ryan will be forced to make a change sooner rather than later.

This week, the Jets head to Indianapolis to take on the ‘better than we thought’ Colts (2-2).  The Colts are coming off of their emotional win over the Green Bay Packers.  I’m sure the Colts and their fans will again be charged up for this game.  Last week, the Colts learned that their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  I think the nation was rooting for them last week, to get a win for their coach.  If they can keep riding that wave of emotion, playing for their coach, they could send the Jets to a 2-4 record.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Breaking down the logjam in the AFC East

The Miami Dolphins are only 1 game out of the AFC East lead after 4 weeks of play.  Despite their shabby 1-3 record, the Dolphins trail the Jets, Bills, and Patriots by only 1 game, which is surprising.  Also surprising, is that the Dolphins could be the second best team in the division, even though they have the worst record in the division and have already been beaten by the Jets.  The Bills defense has not lived up to it’s offseason hype and the Jets offense works as well as Dan Carpenter’s right leg.  Anyway, here we go with the Week 4 edition of the Dolphins Division Recap:

New England Patriots (2-2, overall, 1-0 division)

The Patriots fell behind against the Bills and then decided they had seen enough.  They blasted the Bills in the second half, finishing the game with 52 points.  Still think  Mario Williams was worth all that money, Bills fans?  The Patriots defense is still a work in progress, but their offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Bills.  The Patriots would be 3-1 if their kicker had hit the game winner against the Cardinals in week 2.  This week, the Patriots host Peyton Manning and the Broncos (2-2), who put up 37 points last week.  Many think the Patriots will roll in this game, but I’m sure Peyton will try to put his best effort forward against Mr. Brady.

New York Jets (2-2 overall, 2-0 division)

The Jets have a nice shiny record, which is all that really matters in the NFL.  However, they’ve lost their best defensive player and best offensive weapon in back to back weeks.  The Jets also have one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL who is leading a feeble offensive unit that just got worse.  As you can tell, the Jets had a rough week.  There were crushed by the 49ers at home last week 34-0.  This week, they welcome in the Houston Texans (4-0) on Monday Night Football.  Good luck Rexy and Fist Pumper!  Maybe it’s time to dust ole’ Tebow off and let him give it a shot.  I would be shocked if the Jets don’t fall to 2-3 after this week and fade in the AFC East race, very quickly.  I see them having a 6-10 or 7-9 season at best.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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Dolphins Division: Upsets even division race after week 2

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.

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The Week Ahead for Miami Dolphins and Division Foes Week 6 Edition

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.

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The Week Ahead for the Miami Dolphins and Division Foes Week 5 Edition

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.

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Dolphins embarrass themselves, Sparano in 38-7 loss to Pats

Embarrassing….Deflating….Ugly….Atrocious….Lethargic….All of those words can be used to describe the Miami Dolphins pitiful display on Sunday against the New England Patriots.  The Dolphins came into the game at 7-8 and needed a win to finish at .500.  Amid rampant speculation regarding his future with the team, Tony Sparano’s players didn’t exactly do much to save his job.   The Dolphins were dominated from the opening kickoff.  The Defense couldn’t stop the Patriots.  The Offense, qb switching and all, couldn’t move the ball against the Patriots defense.  Heck, the Special Teams even contributed, allowing a punt return for TD.  Horrendous play by what appeared to be a Dolphins team that was more concerned about vacation plans than playing the Patriots.

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The Patriots jumped out early and seemed to score at will.  The Dolphins had Chad Henne at QB, then Tyler Thigpen, then Henne, then Thigpen, then Henne…It truly looked like the qb’s were asked to pick a number between 1 and 100 before each series, with the winner getting to play.  Ridiculous.  Both were ineffective, but Thigpen ended with a TD at least.  Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins only bright spot for the most part, seemed extremely upset during the game.  At one point, Thigpen threw a ball up for grabs and Marshall came down with it and motioned to the sideline (at Henne apparently) as if to say “throw it up and let me make a play”.  However, as the season has gone, the very next ball went to Marshall…and he dropped an easy reception.  He ended the day with 5 catches for 97 yards, which put him over 1,000 yards for the season.

It speaks volumes for a ‘running team’ to have their backup QB as their leading rusher for the game.  Thigpen finished with 3 carries for 21 yards.  Ricky and Ronnie combined for 12 carries and 19 yards.  Unacceptable.

The defense, which had been the strong suit of the team, allowed Tom Brady to move the ball at will, even without Wes Welker and Deion Branch in the lineup.  The Patriots totaled 502 total yards, with 321 through the air and 181 on the ground.  Pitiful defensive performance.

Coming into this game I was thinking of writing a post this week endorsing Tony Sparano.  I thought he did a great job of motivating the team and that he deserved one more year to see if he could make the team into a contender.  However, after seeing the team play on Sunday, I’m seriously reconsidering.

We’ll have full coverage of all coaching news at PhinNation.com and on Twitter (@phinnation) .  As of Sunday night, Tom Coughlin is staying in New York and Gary Kubiak is staying in Houston.  That crosses two teams off the list of Bill Cowher’s reported wish list.  This could mean he’s destined for Miami or it could mean nothing at all.  One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks for the Miami Dolphins; Only not for the reasons they wanted (playoffs).

AFC East Preview: The Week Ahead 12/15

Before I get to the weekly preview, please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @phinnation.  Now, it’s onto week 15 in the NFL season.  Week 14 saw 3 of the 4 teams in the AFC East come out victorious.  Here’s a recap of week 14 and a look at what’s on tap for week 15:

New England Patriots (11-2)

The Patriots have all but clinched the AFC East and are closing in on wrapping up the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.  Last week they steamrolled the Chicago Bears in a game played in near blizzard like conditions.  This week, they host the Green Bay Packers in a game that probably won’t feature the Brady vs. Rodgers matchup we had hoped for.  The Pats are on a roll and should continue rolling this week.

New York Jets (9-4)

The Jets are in a tailspin.  Their fans are questioning how good the team is.  The ‘Same Old Jets’ verse has been repeated constantly this week.  The Jets played terribly on Sunday against the Dolphins (whom didn’t play much better!).  This week, they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.  The Jets offense has scored 9 points in the last 2 games, combined.  Now they head to Pittsburgh to play the defensive minded Steelers.

Miami Dolphins (7-6)

The Dolphins offense was atrocious on Sunday against the Jets.  But their Defense and Punter won the game for them 10-6.  The Dolphins pretty much need to win out and hope for some help to make the playoffs this year.  They need to win games at home, where they are only 1-5 so far this year.  They also need to get out of this pattern of win one, lose one, win one, lose one.  This week, they host the 3-10 Buffalo Bills in a must win game.  BUT, if they can finish 9-7 or 10-6, this season should be looked at as a success.  The biggest question facing the Dolphins for the rest of 2010 and 2011 is at QB.  Can Chad Henne be that guy?  We’ll see what the organization thinks in the offseason.

Buffalo Bills (3-10)

The Bills beat a previously impressive Cleveland Browns team.  The Bills themselves are 3-10, but have played some teams very tough.  They should’ve beaten the Steelers earlier this year in OT.  This week they head to Miami to take on our beloved Dolphins.

Other Notable Games:

Jacksonville @ Indy – The Dolphins should be rooting for Jacksonville to win to give Indy their 7th loss of the season.

New Orleans @ Baltimore – Phin Nation is proudly behind Who Dat nation this week.  The Phins need to win out and the Ravens to lose out to take their playoff spot.

San Francisco @ San Diego – As we mentioned in our post yesterday, the Dolphins need to win out and for the Chargers to lose one of their remaining games.  The 9ers could help the Dolphins hopes stay alive.