Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 4 Preview: Dolphins @ Cardinals

After coming off a devastating loss against the Jets on week 3, the Dolphins head out 3,000 miles west to face the undefeated Arizona Cardinals, add to that the fact that their star player Reggie Bush is lised as questionable and you now have Tannehill facing the toughest challenge of his professional career thus far. I don't know about you, but I am excited to see just how this game plays out because I do believe we can take this one.
It all comes down to the defense, both teams have a solid defense (Arizona is currently ranked at #2), and have had average play at the QB position. I expect our front seven to shut down their running game, something they've been doing all season long and which should be an easier task this week given the injuries that the Cardinals have in the backfield (B. Wells is in IR and they have injuries at TE and FB) this would make the Cardinals offense one-dimensional and put it all in the hands of Kolb who is a backup and whom I expect our secondary to shut down. I want to see how far Sean Smith has come when he's covering a true #1  receiver such as Larry Fitzgerald.
With Bush out, the load of the carries would go to Thomas with Miller playing a complimentary role, which means the pressure really would all be on Tannehill who would likely have to rely on his passing game more heavily. This is the same exact situation he found himsle fin last week after Bush went out and despite that one INT early in the third quarter, he found a way to bounce back. This week however he goes into the game with a gameplan, and Bush finds himself listed as questionable. If Bush was to suit up, this would increase the rookie QBs options and may just give him the confidence he needs to beat this Cardinals team even if Bush only had a small number of carries. 

I'm excited to see this one play out... It's a reach but I'm saying Dolohins 17 Cardinals 13 in a game that's close until late in the fourth quarter.
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 3 Dolphins v Jets

Well call me a coach and put me on the sidelines since my game plan for last week was executed completely and to perfection. This Sunday’s game, which is suspected to be a wet one, will be against a much tougher opponent but the rewards for pulling off a win are significantly bigger. First of all, the winner will be at the top of the AFC East, and who really predicted the Dolphins would ever find themselves there? Talk about a confident booster for a young team from whom people around the league have little to no expectations at all.
Most importantly however, a victory this Sunday gives all loyal dolfans the chance to walk up to any obnoxious Jets fan and tell them to suck it, and I can’t think of anything better than that. The fans wouldn’t be the only ones walking away with bragging rights though, the players also get to walk away from a game in which they beat their former coach, and while Sparano may have been loved in the locker room prior to departing, you know the players he coached would love to walk up to him at the end knowing that they were the better ones on Sunday.
The keys to winning the game this Sunday are simple really, run the ball on offense with enough passing to open up lanes for Reggie and Miller, and make them one dimensional on defense forcing them to throw the ball in uncomfortable situations. The tricky part in defense this week will be defending the so called “Tebow package” which is really just a fancy name for we’re going to run the wildcat on the team that re-introduced it to the league! I mean we should be able to defend something we have been practicing longer than anyone else and a gimmick which we perfected before the clown who mocked us tried to make it his own. I think Sparano prepared the Tebow package just for this game but I also think the Dolphins are prepared for Tebow, after the number he ran on us last year when he came in to town and singlehandedly won a game in the fourth quarter. I also believe that after Rex’s outburst this week when confronted about his starting QB situation, his pride may get the better of him and put him in a position where Sanchez, once again plays longer than he should just to prove a point.
Regardless of what the situation with that dysfunctional team that’s coming into town is, it’s important to remember that we win this game by playing our game and having them adjust theirs, stop their gimmicky plays once or twice and limit their third down conversions like we did last week and surely they will implode but that’s not enough, we also have to be sharp on offense and make our own QB mobile and comfortable, don’t force him to pay visits to Revis island but don’t discourage him from it if he feels he gets a good look. We need to trust our QB and our QB needs to trust his line and playmakers so the chemistry that we are seeing continues to develop, this will be a true test to the team’s ability and cohesiveness and I really do believe that we will be the ones that come out on top this weekend.
Score predictions: Dolphins 17 Jets 9 (I mean it is field goal Sparano, lol)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 2 Dolphins v Raiders Preview

In this Sunday's home opening game against the Raiders the Dolphins will pay homage to the 1972 team in honor of the 40 year anniversary of their still unmatched undefeated season. Fans attending the game will receive a throwback hat commemorating the event, but as big of an honor as attending this event is, there are other things us fans expect to see this Sunday from what is the first real test of where this team stands in term of of competitiveness in the league this year.
The Raiders are traveling 3000+ miles, changing time zones and missing key components in their offense so loosing is definitely not an option for them, not only do they have the better match up going into the game but starting the season at 0-2 heading into the Jets game next week is just not an option.
Here are some of the things I look forward to seeing this game: first of all I expect to see Reggie Bush carrying the load off the back field with both rushing and receiving yards, I'm also hoping Miller can step up and fill the void left by Thomas who has been ruled out for the game (he's a third round pick and thus I'm expecting him to perform at a high level, otherwise, Ireland opposers will have some more ammunition to attack his character going forward). 
I also expect to see more mobility from Tannehill, after throwing 3 INTs in last weeks game against the Texans, I would think adjustments have been made; introducing a 5-7 step drop would be helpful in terms of buying him time, as it was that short 3 step drop that allowed the Texans to get to him several times last game.
The offensive line also needs to step up their protection, I am not interested in playing the blame game, tipped passes are both the QBs and o-lines fault, it's not like the o-line doesn't realize they have a rookie under center, he might make some mistakes but we need to be more aggressive in coverage when he does, we can't allow all tipped passes, regardless of culpability to all go the other way.
I'm also looking forward to Brian Hartline being put more to use during the game, he came into play several times late into the last game and seemed to be pretty effective despite having had missed most of the offseason's mini camps and training camp. If he's to be our # 1 WR going forward then we need to start exploring and building that bond between him and the QB.
On the defensive side of the ball I expect to see more of what I saw last week, we were very effective stoppingt he run, which will be important considering most of the Raiders offense will likely come from McFadden since the team has injuries at the WR position. The secondary needs to remain tight however, we need them to step up their coverages little bit more, something that should be considerably easier to do this week.
Finally, I expect to see more stamina from the team as a whole, we can't go into the 4th quarter with the tank running close to empty, the weather conditions in South Florida should make it so that we can outlast every other team so I hope conditioning played an important role during practice this week; I mean we all know how long a football game is, and I expect to see the same level of play from start to finish.

Game score prediction: Dolphins 24 - Raiders 10
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 6: Dolphins at Packers Preview

The Dolphins are set to kick off in Green Bay at 1 pm today and after a bye week I am ready for some Dolphins football. I have to admit that I still have a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth following our last loss to the Patriots, but with it being two weeks behind I’m fairly confident that the team has put enough time in to correct their mistakes and bounce back. Sure two divisional losses going into the bye week are not ideal, but with a 2-2 record and knowing that we get the opportunity to play them again at the end of the season, there is no reason to count our boys out, we are still in it and where we end up this season is still pretty much in our hands.

A win at Lambeau would be exactly what we need to get ourselves right back on track and it is something that we have the tools to accomplish. This is what I’m looking forward to seeing this game, my predictions if you will:

Offense: After a disappointing performance following what was the best game of his career, Henne will bounce back and deliver a new personal best, being benched after throwing three interceptions has a way of building up the fire in you and I think that will come out today. I am also hoping that Henne will take the time to look down the field before throwing some questionable passes, Hartline was open after all for most of the game last week and was overlooked every time, something that I am sure the team reviewed while watching tape.

Defense: Aaron Rodgers might be one of the best QBs in the league but his O-line is not the best so I think we will see Wake explode in this game, the Packers should be worried about how a hit on their QB could affect him after coming off a concussion.

Special Teams: I’d be happy if the special teams unit makes no mistakes… Baby steps people, if they can manage to get the job done then our offense and defense can do the rest.

And finally my score prediction is Dolphins come out with a 21-17 win… What do you think???
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sundays Are Not the Same Without the Dolphins

Prior to the start of the season I can admit I was worried about the fact that our bye week came by so early on; but now that it's here I have to admit I am thankful. The Dolphins started this season stronger than they have in the past few years by going 2-0 with road victories only to come home and fall to two division rivals, and while their performance against the Jets is not something to be embarrassed about, the game against the Patriots was an ultimate disgrace!

At 2-2 the Dolphins sit third in the division, and although working their way out of that hole will be difficult, it's not an impossible task. As of right now, the team needs to remain focused on the fact that although it doesn't seem like it, their destiny is indeed still in their hands, we do after all play both of the teams that beat us and a split will leave us even with them when it comes to the division.

Another unlikely small advantage also materialized last week when Randy Moss got traded to the Vikings; this trade benefits the Dolphins two-fold. On one side, the Patriots have given up one of the better wide receivers in the league, making them a slightly weaker team, and on the other hand, it made the Vikings stronger. The benefit for us lies in the fact that while we already beat the Vikings, the Jets and the Patriots still have to play them and the addition of Moss adds to the possibility of the Vikings pulling those wins, thus giving the Dolphins the little bit of the edge they might need come the end of the season if they pull the wins they need to pull themselves.

There has been a lot of talk about pressing the panic button last week, and I'll admit I was close to considering it as well, but now that I've had a couple of days to regroup I have decided to wait and see what kind of a performance we can put up in Green Bay coming of a bye, against a Packers team that was beat by a not so strong Bears team a week ago. I have faith in the boys, and I will stand by them til the last game of the season... I'll miss you out on the field this week, but I know you will make it up to me the next =)
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dolphins v Jets Week 3 Preview

The day has finally come when we get to see our Miami Dolphins take on the field in front of their home crowd and it couldn't be against a better opponent than the New York Jets. Just to make it clear, I don't think the Jets are the best opponent we could face in our home opener because they are a good team, but rather because there isn't a single team I get more pleasure out of beating than the Jets, and I am confident we will beat them.

I could try to write a never-ending post on how bad we are going to beat the Jets tonight, but this week only, I have decided that I will let my team do the talking, and I'm just going to stand up and scream while it happens. See you all at the stadium, it's going to be a great night in South Florida
Friday, September 24, 2010

Super Fan Series: PhinAddicts

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines addiction as the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. If you’re one of those people who go through the week counting down the minutes until kick-off because nothing brings you greater joy than watching the Dolphins take the field, and the idea of a having to fill your Sundays with some other form of entertainment during a bye week is unbearable, then you my friend are a PhinAddict.

Jeff Smith and Jeff Rudman were the first to coin the term "PhinAddicts". Smith who resides in Fort Myers and drives hours to and from each game has been a Dolfan for decades. Rudman is a 26 year season ticket holder who grew up attending Dolphins games at the Orange Bowl during the glory days. The two met only a couple of years ago when near the end of the 2006 season Smith bought West Endzone Field Club tickets from Rudman and was so overwhelmed by the experience that the two decided to attend games together in the Field Club during the 2007 season.

Solely attending games was not enough though, so in 2007 Fro and Stripe were born. Fro and Stripe more than being characters are a true representation of Smith and Rudman’s identity as Dolfans and are so named because of the outfit , or more specifically the headware each of them sport on gameday; Smith an orange afro wig and Rudman a teal mohawk with an orange stripe down the middle.

While at the stadium doing their thing one day their phones began to buzz with texts and phone calls from friends and relatives who had just seen them not only in the jumbotron but also on network TV. Shortly thereafter their true moment of realization would come when they had people coming up to them around the stadium asking them to keep up the good work, it was then that they felt the need to adopt an identity that all Dolfans could relate to, hence the PhinAddicts.

Essentially the PhinAddicts are a byproduct of the 2007 character building one win season. They saw this as a chance to show everyone that they would support any team that wears the dolphins uniform, even if the product on the field is not as productive as it should be. As they expressed to me, they were and continue to be just a couple of passionate fans in the stands who enjoy expressing their “Phintensity” and are looking to raise the bar of “Phinaddicism” reenergizing the Dolphins fan base while bringing back the home field advantage we as a team used to have!

Spreading the word about the PhinAddicts proved to be an easy task thanks to Facebook, where a page with the PhinAddicts name was created as a place for them to easily talk to their fans. The PhinAddicts page might not be the most informative of all Dolfan pages or even the one with the biggest following but that was never their intention upon creating it; what they really wanted was to establish relationships with true Dolphins fans and that is something they feel like they have truly done. “There are days during the work week that we are up most of the night just chatting with other Dolfans from around the world and we love every minute of it.”

Today, they’re not alone in their goal; the PhinAddicts, along with other groups and individuals like the Dolfan Bandits, Fins Chix, FINtastic Four, Papa Pump & Co., Roger Avila & Jr., Finman Finhead, Mike Smoller and his precious girls, Venus Utegg and many others understand that the sports culture in Miami lends itself to bandwagon jumping and together they have set out to change this mindset and they truly believe that they can spread the Phinaddicism not just on a local or national level, but on a global one. “It is gut check time for true Dofans to be accountable as are their players for their play on the field and give it all they have through both the great and challenging times.”

This group of fans has become so tight knit that when one of the members was called out in a local sports talk radio show for choosing to spend much of his available personal time painting his body and pumping up the crowd in practice they decided to use Facebook as a platform to voice their opinion and spearheaded a movement to demand an apology which they received not only on the air but off the air as well.

It is this sense of camaraderie that has made the PhinAddict movement worthwhile for Smith and Rudman, whom I got a chance to interview for this article. It has been almost impossible for me to replicate the passion they showed when talking about what they do which is why I have chosen to share a little bit of that session with you so you can see for yourselves.

Q.- What game are you looking forward to the most this season and why?
A.- Without question the Jets Sunday night home opener. This intense rivalry game on its own would be circled on our calendar but the fact that it represents the return of J.T. in a Jets uniform makes the plot line all the more interesting. Nothing would make us more excited than to pound them in our Home stadium and be able to watch Rex “Cryan” over and over again during the post game press conference. ;)

Q.- What is the best thing that has come from this?
A.- Easy answer; undoubtedly, the camaraderie with fellow PhinAddicts such as Erwin Ridwan, Cynthia Rubio & Mark Tiapkov! The networking has allowed us to meet some amazing soldiers fighting over seas as well as some wonderful veterans. We are so appreciative for what they have done and continue to do keeping America safe and out of harm’s way allowing us to enjoy our liberties. Being asked to participate as a judge for the Miami Dolphins Cheerleading Selection Committee was quite an honor and an amazing experience. We have the most talented and beautiful group of girls in the entire NFL!
Dolphin games give us a sense of community, a familiarity among ordinary strangers joined by one common bond MIAMI DOLPHINS FOOTBALL. We recognize how fortunate we are to attend all home games and the occasional road game. There are so many Dolfans out there who we have come into contact with whose dream it is to simply attend one Home game. It’s an amazing feeling to get recognized whether it is on the jumbotron or by someone walking by you with a high five. Each time we express ourselves on the field we do so knowing full well we are representing those who wish they could be there! If we have our voice left after a game; shame on us!

Q.- Do you have a favorite memory?
A.- There are so many to choose from like reminding Ravens DB Terrell Suggs he picked the wrong endzone to celebrate his INT-TD “NOT IN OUR HOUSE” but we would have to say Camarillo’s TD to prevent our proud franchise from going winless and the ensuing celebration thereafter with the entire team in our Field Club section. That was what we call a “PHINGASMIC” moment. Phingasm – Euphoria following a climactic, game defining moment leading to a Dolphins victory. Look out Wikipedia – here we come!

Q.- Is there anything you look forward to doing in the future?
A.- Raising more money for the Miami Dolphins Foundation. We look forward to meeting new Dolfans and celebrating Super Bowl Victories with our Fan base! Also, we are currently in the process of creating the “ULTIMATE DOLFANS GLOBAL ALBUM”. The Purpose of the album is to bring about the unification of all Dolfans worldwide. We are asking everyone to submit their favorite Dolphins picture of all time for all to enjoy. We currently have hundreds of pictures submitted and are hopeful to have it completed by the 1st quarter of the 2010 season. You really have to see these! Right now we have them in one of our many Facebook albums called; you guessed it, ULTIMATE DOLFANS GLOBAL ALBUM.

As much as they feel have taken from the Dolfan community, the PhinAddicts have also made sure to contribute back in many ways. They collaborated on a project to produce Phinaddicts’ “PHINFANS4LIFE” original art T-Shirts for “$19.72” while donating a portion of the proceeds to the MDF - Miami Dolphins Foundation. Thus far, they have had a very favorable reaction and are very grateful for all the support. Their second print titled “Logo” will be priced at “$20.10” and has just been released so please look out for it! The MDF is devoted to providing and supporting signature Education, Health, Youth Athletic Programs and Volunteer Activities that inspire and engage communities throughout Florida.

They have also made sure to find a way to give something back to the fans that make everything they do possible; so, as a way to reward their Facebook friends, their journey has enabled them to partner up with www.Gold, a successful internet based retail store who is an authorized Hook & Tackle® dealer specializing in innovative technical fishing wear and the casual fisherman lifestyle. Gold Marlin has graciously become a sponsor of their Facebook Score Prediction Contest for all Dolphin road games. The objective of this contest is to be the closest to predict the final score of a Dolphins victory and the winner will receive an authentic Hook & Tackle® garment/s. The contest is usually announced on their FB page a few hours before kickoff and the first person to submit the most accurate score after their submission request post wins.

Ultimately, the PhinAddicts are about one thing, and that is interacting with other fans who share their “addiction” for Dolphins football and so before I go I will share this request with you:

“We love to tailgate at E-12 - Blue Lot in front of Gate D and would hope that everyone reading this knows we encourage all to come by and say hello or just hang with us. We’ve got good food, good vibes and nothing but good times. A tailgate would not be complete without a competitive game of corn hole so if you have not heard of it and are willing to try something new come on over.

We would love nothing more than to travel to each road game and find front row seats to represent our team but unfortunately our obligations to our families prevent us from having the time and resources to make this happen. We do our best to make it to at least one road game a year and we have yet to decide which one it will be for this season. In the meantime, we do the next best thing; hold Dolphin Road Rallys at different sports bars. We usually announce the location a few days before the game on Facebook so everyone can make their plans, so please join us.”

The PhinAddicts were featured as the fan of the week the very first week of the season on ESPNs Facebook page, show them your support by heading over and reading that article as well, and let's do them proud by heading out to support our team each and every Sunday. We know the Dolphins have the best fans in the NFL, let's go out there and prove it.


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