Dolphins Desperate for Relevancy

Jason Cole couldn’t have nailed it better.

If news of Miami Dolphins fans’ chants for Kyle Orton(notes) and the media running wild with rumors about Brett Favre(notes) didn’t make it clear that these are desperate times in Miami, here’s one tidbit that should seal the issue.

This week, Dolphins management hired a “third-party” company to chase down a couple of hundred season ticketholders who have failed to make payments on their high-end tickets. As Adam Grossman, the team’s vice president of public affairs, was clear to point out, this third party is not a collection agency. However, it’s only a step removed.

Getting away from the argument over whether it’s OK for a sports team to chase people down for ticket money, here’s the deeper issue: The Dolphins, who were once the undisputed kings of South Florida sports, are so desperate these days to sell tickets that they have to go after everyone they possibly can.

They have gone 7-9 each of the past two years with coach Tony Sparano’s close-to-the-vest play-calling and lack of offensive weapons. Dan Marino’s former team is playing plodder football. It’s dreary and lifeless, sapping the energy from fans faster than South Florida’s brutal August weather. That’s one of the reasons the Dolphins have had to put a nightclub at one end of the stadium and sell off shares of the team to the likes of Fergie and Marc Anthony. The product on the field is simply not good enough.

Hence the cheers for Orton earlier in camp (which have thankfully changed to pleas for Chad Henne(notes) to emerge from his two-year malaise) and the frenzy over Favre when Sparano declined to shoot it down directly on Thursday.

Perhaps that little bit of excitement will help drive interest in the meantime. Perhaps the NBA’s labor issues will allow the Dolphins some time to get fans excited this fall.

Either that, or the Dolphins may have to scare up interest some other way.

This perfectly sums up the Dolphins and their motives.  This franchise is clearly more focused on selling tickets than putting a winning product on the field.  The Dolphins are a pathetic franchise with a pathetic owner in Stephen Ross.

Guys like Bush, Barber, and Favre would all make a very little impact for the Dolphins this season.  Despite this, the franchise seems set on going after these high-profile guys instead of finding solid role players to help this team take the next level.  I’m thrilled that the Jets get to play this team two times a year.

It’s going to be fun sweeping these losers this season.  Barring a major move, I doubt the Dolphins win more than six games in 2011.  I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

 

First Round NFL Draft Talking Points

– There were big winners, moderate winner, moderate losers, and big losers in last night’s draft.

– One big winner was the New York Giants, selecting Prince Amukamara 19th overall.  Another big winner were the Lions, snatching up Nick Fairley.  A Avril/Fairley/Suh/Vanden-Bosch defensive line may just be the best in football.  My third big winner comes from the city of New Orleans.  In Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram, the Saints got two quality players in late round picks.

– There were also some moderate winners.  Among these were the New York Jets, the Bills, the Ravens, the Colts, and the Bears.  They all got quality players who could have been taken much earlier in the draft.  If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know how I feel about Wilkerson.  But I want to specifically talk about the Bills.  They need a quarterback badly.  If Andy Dalton is there when they pick next, take him.

– The moderate losers were the Patriots, Eagles, Dolphins, and Cowboys.  The Patriots lost two years of Richard Seymour to draft an offensive tackle?  C’mon.  And the Eagles could have gotten a star defender, yet they went with an offensive guard who isn’t much more talented than the ones in later rounds.  As far as the Dolphins go, I like Pouncey, I really do.  But you need a quarterback.  Chad Henne isn’t the answer.  As for the Cowboys, Tyron Smith projects to be a great tackle, but is he going to make an impact as much as someone as Watt or Fairley?

– Then there were the big losers.  The Broncos passed up on Marcell Dareus to go strictly for need in Von Miller.  Miller fits the need, but Dareus was the much better player.  The Falcons gave up way to much to move up and select Julio Jones.  He better be the next Larry Fitzgerald.  Then there was the 49ers who needed a quarterback, but passed up on one to reach for Aldon Smith.  A pick later, the Titans passed on Blaine Gabbert for Jake Locker.  Are you kidding me?  At 12 overall, the Vikings took Christian Ponder, who projected to be taken much later.  They could have easily traded down if they really wanted him.  Then came the Chargers who passed on a plethora of great defensive prospects to fill a need at defensive tackle.  Last but not least came the Seahawks, who took a guard projected to be taken much later in the draft.  They could have taken a really good defensive player, yet they passed up on all of them.

– One team you really could put anywhere is the Panthers.  The Cam Newton debate is a crazy one.  I think he, along with Tim Tebow, will be one hell of a player to watch and follow throughout the next few years.

– Overall, it was a crazy first round.  There are still many great players left such as Akeem Ayers, Da’quan Bowers, and Andy Dalton.  Anything can happen in rounds two and three, therefore it will be a great watch tonight.

A Look Back at My NFL Predictions

Original article

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)*
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
4. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

I was wrong here.  I thought the Steelers wouldn’t be able to rebound from losing Big Ben at the beginning of the season.  I got the Ravens’ record correct though.

AFC East

1. New York Jets (12-4)
2. New England Patriots (10-6)*
3. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
4. Buffalo Bills (2-14)

I got the bottom of the division right, but the Patriots ended up beating the Jets out for the division.  The Jets got their revenge in the postseason.  I got the Dolphins’ record right as well.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
2. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
3. Houston Texans (9-7)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

The Jags were a lot better than I thought, as they nearly won the division.  It was a really strange year for the AFC South, but once again Indy won.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (10-6)
2. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
3. Denver Broncos (6-10)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)

Maybe the shocker of the year, the Chiefs came out of nowhere to win the division.

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
2. Green Bay Packers (11-5)*
3. Chicago Bears (8-8)
4. Detroit Lions (4-12)

Completely wrong.  The Vikings collapsed, and the Bears ended up winning the division.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2. New York Giants (10-6)*
3. Washington Redskins (7-9)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

The Cowboys collapsed, the Giants collapsed, and Michael Vick’s Eagles won the division.  Who would have thought that would happen?

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
3. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

Wrong here again.  The Falcons won the division.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
4. St. Louis Rams (3-13)

The Seahawks won the division.  Yeah, it was a crazy year for the NFL.

AFC

Ravens > Bengals
Pats > Chargers

Colts > Pats
Jets > Ravens

Jets > Colts

The Steelers (who I had out) beat the Jets in the AFC title game.

NFC

Cowboys > Giants
Packers > 49ers

Packers > Saints
Cowboys > Vikings

Packers > Cowboys

I was right about the Packers winning the NFC Championship Game.

Super Bowl 45

Jets > Packers

Packers > Steelers, but I came close.  Overall, I did pretty poorly.  But in reality, no one’s predictions were close.  It was an insane year for football.  Let’s hope next season, if there will be one, will be just as exciting.

Jets Postgame: Week 3

Put it in the books.  There is now a three-way tie at the top of the AFC East.  The Jets are now 2-1 after a huge 31-23 win over the Dolphins.

Everyone played a good game today and the offense fought until the end.  The defense was a bit weak, but that’s what happens when your best two defensive players are out.  Overall it was a real solid win.

Mark Sanchez is beginning to show that he is a high-quality NFL quarterback.  Through three games, he has not thrown an interception.  If he continues this type of play, the Jets will be unbeatable.  All the Jets need is for Sanchez to be a game manager.  Right now, Sanchez is doing that and more.  The ironic part?  Santino Holmes isn’t even back yet.

Jets
Sanchez: 15/28, 256 yards, 3 TD
Tomlinson:  15 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD
Keller: 6 catches, 98 yards, 2 TD

Dolphins
Henne: 26/44, 363 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Brown: 11 catches, 54 yards
Marshall: 10 catches, 166 yards, 1 TD

I can go on and on about this game, but I think this video sums it up.

Sunday Night Football Preview

It’s that time of year again.  Rival vs rival.  1-1 vs 2-0.  Jets vs Dolphins.  Is it Sunday night yet?

This is a huge game for both the Jets and the Dolphins.  With the competitive AFC East, both teams need as many divisional wins as possible.  The Jets must win this game if they want to win the division, and the Dolphins will have a tough time keeping pace with the Jets and Patriots if they lose this one.

Of course the big news of this week was concerning Braylon Edwards.  Edwards will not start, but he will play tomorrow night.  We don’t know how long he’ll play for, but he will dress for the game.

So what are the keys to this game?  I honestly believe this game will come down to who controls the line of scrimmage.  The passing game for both teams is probably a wash, so this game will come down to ground and pound.  If the Dolphins can use their wildcat effectively, they will win this game.  If the Jets can stop it and form their own running attack, they will win this game.

I personally think the Jets have enough on defense to stop the wildcat.  It’s just about excecuting their gameplan and making smart decisions on the field.  If you know what is coming, the wildcat is no threat.  If you are unaware of what is being thrown at you, the wildcat will eat you alive.  Hopefully Rex Ryan has figured out how to stop the wildcat, and will beat the Dolphins in his third attempt as a head coach.

With Darrelle Revis out, the Jets will use Antonio Cromartie to cover Brandon Marshall.  Cromartie will likely have help from a safety in coverage.  Kyle Wilson will cover the other side of the field.  In other injury news, Calvin Pace is out, Jason Taylor is probable, and Nick Mangold is probable.

Final Score Prediction:  24-14 Jets

Week 2 Football Wrap Up

The football day started with a win for the Miami Dolphins, putting pressure on the Jets to win their division game against New England.  Tom Brady and the Patriots are never easy foes, especially when the Jets play them at the Meadowlands.  Luckily, today we saw the evolution of the Jets from a sloppy team to a Super Bowwl contender.

Down 14-10 at the half, Darrelle Revis’s return was called questionable.  While many fans thought this to be the end of the game, the Jets battled back with a quick touchdown and two-point conversion.  After an interception, the Jets put another touchdown on the board to extend their lead to 28-14.  On the next drive, Jason Taylor sealed the deal with a strip sack that was recovered by Gang Green.  An L.T. fourth down conversion on the next drive put the nail in the coffin.

Jets
Sanchez: 21/30, 220 yds, 3 TD
Tomlinson: 11 carries, 76 yards (102 APY)
Greene:  15 carried, 52 yards
Keller:  7 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD
Edwards: 5 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

Patriots
Brady: 20/36, 248 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Moss:  2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Welker: 6 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Hernandez:  6 catches, 101 yards

Maybe the best game of Sanchez’s career. A huge win for Gang Green today. How about that for a Jets victory?

Final Score:  Jets 28, Patriots 14

The Giants didn’t have as much luck as the Jets had. The Manning Bowl turned out to be a blowout in Peyton’s favor. The Colts manhandled the Giants en route to an easy victory. While the Giants have many issues to address, it is important to remember that the Colts are an elite team. The Giants need a good game next week at home against the Titans to get back on track.

Giants
Eli Manning: 13/24, 161 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Ahmad Bradshaw:  12 carries, 89 yards
Steve Smith:  4 catches, 35 yards
Mario Manningham:  4 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Hakeem Nicks: 2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD

Colts
Peyton Manning: 20/26, 225 yds, 3 TD
Joseph Addai: 20 carries, 92 yards
Reggie Wayne: 7 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD
Austin Collie: 4 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD
Dallas Clark: 5 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD

An overall pathetic performance by the G-Men. No real positives to come out of this game besides Matt Dodge. An interesting storyline to this game was Brandon Jacobs throwing his helmet into the stands. We’ll keep you updated on any fines or suspensions given out. It’s been a fun day, see you next week.

Final Score: Colts 38, Giants 14

Week 3
Jets @ Dolphins, Sunday, 8:00 PM
Titans @ Giants, Sunday, 1:00 PM

Week 2 NFL Predictions

Week 2

1. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
2. Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings
3. Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
4. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
5. Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
6. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
7. Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
8. Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
10. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos
11. St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders
12. Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
13. New England Patriots at NY Jets
14. Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers
15. NY Giants at Indianapolis Colts
16. New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

Nick

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints

Zach

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints