[09/28/15] -- The Return of the Lphins
If you watched yesterday's game - I feel for you. It was one of the worst games the Dolphins have played in a long time. But there is still some hope and today, Phins.com columnist Chris Shashaty tells us how the Lphins might be able to salvage the season in his latest column on Phins.com, "Turnaround Must Start on Defense, and Here’s How".
[09/27/15] -- The Return of the Lphins
The Dolphins were brutally pummeled into defeat in their home opener today, losing to the Buffalo Bills 41-14 in a game that was only close at the opening kickoff. The Lphins (no "D" and no "O") couldn't run the ball, couldn't protect Tannehill, couldn't hold on to the ball, couldn't take the ball away, couldn't pressure Tyrod Taylor, and couldn't stop the Bills' running game. In other words, they didn't do hardly anything right. The only bright spot for Miami was Rishard Matthews, who caught 6 passes for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a dismal loss.
Curt's Comments: I'm not normally a fan of throwing in the towel at this point in the season - and there are still 13 games left to fix the problems - but I'm afraid that this season is already over. This Lphins' team has only played about 3 decent quarters out of the 12 they've been involved with this season and they show no signs of recovering. Better get ready for a long, difficult season Phins' fans, because this team is doing almost nothing right and shows no signs of improving.
[09/20/15] -- Dolphins Lose 23-20 To Jaguars
The Dolphins got off to a slow start today and - unlike they did against the Redskins - didn't recover enough to win in the end. The team looked sluggish and uninspired for much of the game, unable to muster hardly any defense and very little offense in the first half. The defense picked it up in the second half, but when it counted most, they flopped at the end of the game, giving up a game winning drive to the Jaguars in the final 2 minutes. The offense, for their part, had absolutely no running game and while they managed to put up some decent stats, they didn't score after the opening drive of the second half.
At the individual level, Tannehill completed 30 of 44 for 359 yards and 2 TDs, with no picks for a 108.0 passer rating and completed long passes of 48, 36, and 26 yards to Rishard Matthews, Jarvis Landry, and Jordan Cameron respectively. Matthews had 6 catches for 115 yards while Landry had 8 catches for 110 yards, but Lamar Miller only picked up 14 yards rushing, so the offense was decidedly one-sided.
On defense, Jelani Jenkins lead with 12 tackles, while Reshad Jones had 11, but there were no interceptions and no sacks by the Dolphins. And they gave up a 66 yard drive in the 4th quarter that allowed the Jags to score the final field goal.
Curt's Comments: Last week I said that I was worried about Joe Philbin's ability to prepare the Dolphins to play their best football on a consistent basis. This week, the Dolphins came out flat again and while they recovered somewhat in the middle of the game, they gave up the game winning drive at the end of the 4th quarter, as they did twice last year. When they play their best football, they can beat anyone in the league. Unfortunately, they rarely do that and responsibility for this failure rests with the head coach.
[09/13/15] -- Dolphins Hang On to Beat Redsksins
The Dolphins managed to hang on, aided by 11 Redskin penalties and 2 dropped pick-6's by Redskins' defenders, to win their opening game 17-10 in Washington this afternoon. Ryan Tannehill completed 22 of 34 for 226 yards, 1 TD and no picks for a 93.5 passer rating, but was spared two interceptions when Redskins' defenders dropped footballs that hit them in the hands. The offensive line did a fair job for most of the game, but did allow 3 sacks and didn't open any holes for Lamar Miller until the second half. Jarvis Landry and Jordan Cameron were two bright spots on offense, with Landry catching 8 passes for 53 yards and Cameron adding 4 receptions for 73 years. And Lamar Miller did come on strong late in the game, allowing the Dolphins to run out the clock to win the game.
On defense, Ndamukong Suh did not contribute much other than stacking the line of scrimmage, but despite his presence, the run defense was poor for much of the game. In fact, the entire defensive line - which has been anticipated to be the strength of the defense this year - was merely average, contributing one sack and allowing 161 rushing yards at 4.4 ypc. The linebackers weren't much better, but the secondary shown today. Reshad Jones was a wrecking ball, while Brice McCain, and Brent Grimes both contributed extraordinary interceptions.
But the highlight play of the day was a 69 yard punt return for a touchdown by Jarvis Landry that gave the Dolphins the lead and put them over the top.
Curt's Comments: This was an ugly win for the Dolphins, especially given the expectations that preceeded the start of the season. I hope that what this means is that the Redskins are much better than we had thought and not that the Dolphins are going to be just like they were at the end of last season. The most troubling things to me about this game was that the team was poor against the run and that they were inconsistent as hell.
Still, any win is a good win and in January, no one will remember how the Dolphins played today. All that will be important is that Miami won. And there were some good takeaways today: the Dolphins won the turnover battle, Jarvis Landry is a beast, and the secondary came up with several big plays when it counted. So, we'll just put this one in the record books and look forward to the Jaguars next week. But I'm still worried about Joe Philbin's ability to consistently prepare this team to play consistently at the top of their ability.
[09/13/15] -- 1st Half Blues against the Redskins
The Dolphins opened the 2015 season today, but so far, they look just like the 2014 team. In the first half against the Redskins, the Dolphins have done exactly what they did against opponents at the end of last year. The defense has, so far, been unable to stop the run, despite the presence of Ndamukong Suh who hasn't done much. The Redskins already have 107 yards rushing on 25 carries for a 4.3 ypc average. It hasn't been all bad - Reshad Jones and Brent Grimes have put together several highlight-reel plays, but otherwise, the defense has been decidedly below average.
The offense has also been very lethargic, unable to generate any running game at all - they've managed just 2 yards rushing in the entire first half. And Ryan Tannehill, while sharp on their only scoring drive, has overthrown several deep passes and missed a wide-open Dion Sims in the endzone. The only real bright spot on the offense has been newcomer Jordan Cameron, who has caught 3 passes for 46 yards. The Dolphins did drive the length of the field at the end of the first half for their only touchdown, but otherwise they've looked completely asleep at the wheel.
I've said often that it's not how you start, it's how you finish and Miami could bounce back and crush the Redskins, like they did in last year's opener against the Patriots. But teams can't be continuously inconsistent if they want to make it to the post-season. Which brings me to a troublesome thought - that Joe Philbin doesn't seem to know how to mentally prepare his team to give their best, especially in big games. Last year and this year, the Dolphins came out horribly flat in the first half of their first game. And wilted at the end of the year in their most important games. This team has the talent to go far into the playoffs, but they just don't play well when it counts the most and that is no one's fault but the head coach's.
[09/03/15] -- 50th Anniversary All-Dolphins Team
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Miami Dolphins and the 22nd season of Phins.com, we proudly present the Phins.com 50th Anniversary Miami Dolphins Team. Myself, Chris Shashaty, and long time Dolphins' Blogger Bitchin' Dave Kennedy put together our choices for the best players ever to wear a Dolphins' uniform. Most of the time, the choices were pretty easy and the three of us agreed. A few, however, were very tough - each of us picked a different tight end for our roster.
And once you've read our choices, feel free to go to the Phins.com Phorum and discuss your choices on this thread: Phins.com Presents our 50th Anniversary Team!
[08/17/15] -- Roster Analysis
As training camp progresses, we are all watching to see which players will show enough promise to remain on the final roster. The veterans are well known, of course, but there are many promising young players that have shown some impressive abilities. But will these new players have enough talent to unseat some of the established veterans? This week, Phins.com reporter Chris Shashaty lets us know which players he thinks the Dolphins will keep around for the start of the regular season with his Roster Analysis.