Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 4 Preview: Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals

Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)
Paul Brown Stadium
Kickoff 8:25PM (NFL Network)

Coming off their first win of the 2016 season, the Miami Dolphins take on their third 2015 playoff team in their first four games, as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals.  Not only their third playoff team but taking all those teams on the road is a very daunting task.  Are the Dolphins up for it?

Coming into this short week, Miami narrowly escaped the Browns at home Sunday, thanks to Cody Parkey missing 3 out of his 6 field goal attempts, the last miss as time expired.  Miami sent the fans home happy with an overtime TD from Jay Ajayi.  That victory came with a cost.  The Dolphins are banged up in very important positions coming into this game.  Let's start with who is out:

- Koa Misi is out (Neck)
- Jelani Jenkins is doubtful (Groin)
- Jordan Cameron (Concussion)
- Mike Pouncey (Hip)
-Arian Foster (Hamstring)
-Anthony Steen (Ankle)

Not only that, the list of players that are questionable has become increasingly alarming over the last few days:

- Jarvis Landry                                     - Kiko Alonso
- DeVante Parker                                 - Reshad Jones
- Brandon Albert                                  - Jermon Bushrod
- Xavien Howard                                  - Jason Jones

While I expect many of these guys to play, the depth of this team will be challenged immediately by Jeremy Hill and A.J Green.  Here are the keys to the game to hopefully achieve victory on the road for the first time this season:

1)  Stop the run-  Vance Joseph was with the Bengals for many years, he has an understanding of what they like to do.  Run early to set up AJ Green deep.  The Dolphins are currently 31st against the run this year, and will likely need a big game from their LB'ers to keep this one close.

2)  Run the ball-  Miami is near dead last in the league with time of possession per game.  Yes, Miami runs a fast paced offense, but if you cannot get a single first down on any of your opening possessions in your first 3 games, you will struggle to hold on to the ball.  I expect Gase to open it up with short passes and screens to Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams.  This can help get some lanes opened up for the run game.  This may keep the Bengals honest in the pass game if the run game can get established early.  All it takes is points on the opening drive.

3)  Limit mistakes early-  It has been a tale of 2 different halves for Ryan Tannehill.  He is 30 for 51, 311 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT.  In the second half, he is 48 for 58, 531 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT.  If Tannehill can get a jump early and establish points, this will make the Bengals one dimensional and our pass rush will be able to tee off.

4)  Cam is back-  Wake has been limited so far this season, but according to PFF, he was last weeks best pass rusher with 2 strip sacks (one was called back due to penalty).  Miami gave him 36 snaps last week, I expect to see a major increase in this game tonight with potentially a big play.

Miami is a major underdog tonight.  The injuries have increased and need to get through tonight to have the next 10 days to heal up before the Titans come to Hard Rock Stadium.  Before the season, I had the Bengals taking this in a close game, and with the way the Dolphins have been in the second half of games so far this season, I still expect it close.  But, I fear that the defense will not be able to keep us in it.

Bengals 27   Dolphins 24

Season Record (2-1)



My red hot streak with the college picks continued last week. Another 3-0 week, 6-0 the final two weeks, 8-1 for the season. If you aren't paying attention to my college picks and making money then that's your loss. Time to sit up and pay attention folks and make money with me every Saturday! Now with the NFL picks I have been terrible this year, no nice way to spin it. I will turn it around this week though, no more messing around.

Here are my Week 4 picks.

COLLEGE GAMES                                      (HOME team in CAPS)

Miami -7 over GEORGIA TECH
The Canes are for real this year and will probably be playing for the ACC Championship in Orlando at the end of the season. Georgia Tech is miserable this season and they have had extra rest for this game but they can't keep up with a team like Miami. Once Miami gets up on them early then GT will be forced to pass the ball (and they flat out can't in that style of offense) and Miami's lead will grow and grow and grow over the course of the game. Take Miami laying a touchdown.

Michigan St -6.5 over INDIANA
Another road favorite here I love. Michigan St coming off a horrible loss to Wisconsin will be looking to bounce back in a big way here. Mark Dantonio is a great coach and he will have his team ready to go after a tough loss. Indiana lost at home to Wake Forest last week, they were probably looking ahead to this game. Either way Indiana isn't very good. Give me Michigan St laying only 6.5 here.

MICHIGAN -10.5 over Wisconsin
Wisconsin has two huge wins this year already vs LSU and Michigan St. I think their luck runs out though with their third tough test vs Michigan. Michigan has steam rolled every opponent so far this year. They have more talent and are more athletic. I just think its too much for any team to ask to go on the road and beat Michigan St last week then to now go play at Michigan this week. Laying 10.5 is no small number in a match-up of Top 10 teams but I just think Michigan wins easy here.



WASHINGTON -8 over Cleveland
Yes the Browns blew a huge lead vs Baltimore and they had the win last week vs Miami and they blew that as well. Their luck runs out this week. Washington has improved week after week. It's back to back road games for a rookie 3rd string QB in Kessler. I think the Redskins lay it on the Browns in a big way and win by a lot here. A real lot. Take Washington

Dallas -3 over SAN FRANCISCO
Dallas has been the only NFL team that has been good to me this year so I am gonna pick them again here. Talent level they are much better than San Fran. Again, I think Dallas can just run up and down the field on SF and I am not sure SF will be able to stop them. I also think SF will struggle to score. Give me Dallas laying only a field goal.

Oakland +3.5 over BALTIMORE
I'm not sure the Ravens are any good. They struggled last week vs a horrible Jacksonville team and they got lucky the week before when Cleveland spit it up and gave them a gift. The Raiders have played well this year. Really well. I think this is a field goal game either way, so give me the 3.5 thank you very much.

ARIZONA -8.5 over Los Angeles Rams
I think the Rams blow and have been lucky this year. Arizona was so bad last week, I mean so so bad that they are due to bounce back at home. It's a big number but Arizona has too much talent to play another bad game two weeks in a row. Arizona might lay it to the Rams this week.

PITTSBURGH -3 over Kansas City
That's right I'm going 5 picks deep this week because I like a lot of these NFL lines. Pitt is coming off an embarrassing loss and they return home to get a KC team that was gifted 6 INT's this week. Only laying a FG I like Pitt at home. Big Ben > Alex Smith. Bell > Ware. Easy call here as Pitt has more firepower on offense. Give me Pitt


Points spread curtesy of the Wynn Casino and Sportsbook

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dolphins Beat Browns in Overtime

It wasn't pretty for sure but a win is a win and in this league you don't apologize when you win a football game. The Dolphins will have a short week to go on the road against a very tough opponent in Cincinnati now to try to get back to .500. Here are some things that stood out about today's game.

1) Adam Gase has been bad through 3 games. I know he is a first time head coach but there is no nice way to say it, Gase has been bad. Started week 1 when Gase went for it on 4th down and didn't take a field goal and today the play calling (which he does on offense) was atrocious. The Dolphins best weapons on offense are our wide receivers and to boot our offensive line is very good at pass blocking. So playing against a team who's #1 CB, Joe Haden, is out why wouldn't you just air it out all day long? When Miami did air it out and pass they had success, lots of it to be honest. But Gase stuck with the running game, which wasn't working, far too long. It got to the point where Miami was predictable and was running on 1st and 2nd down and then was facing 3rd and long. And yes, Tannehill has to protect the ball better, but when a QB is in 3rd and long all day it is tough to have success. We played right into the Browns hand today for about half the game.

When Miami did air it out DeVante Parker was open for most of the day and had a nice game. Jarvis Landry had a huge game and was running wide open through the Browns secondary as well. The Dolphins have elite WR's who can get open vs anyone and Tannehill has time this year, and he will find these guys for big plays in the passing game. I know Gase wants to run the ball but he has to realize Miami can't run. The o-line is soft in run blocking and our running backs are less than stellar.

2) Speaking of running backs this group leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, the o-line's strength isn't run blocking but the running backs don't help at all. Kenyan Drake led in carries with 9 but he did next to nothing on the ground. Jay Ajai had a nice run in overtime for the touchdown, probably the highlight of the day for all the backs. He had 7 carries for the game and was the guy the coaching staff went to in crunch time which does tell you something. Isiah Pead did nothing. Damien Williams got 15 yards on his one carry but they never went back to him. I still think Jay Ajai has the most upside and out of this bad bunch and he looked the best today, but nobody stood out.

3) I am just going to lump the entire defense all together here. They were horrible today, and that is being kind. They let a 3rd string rookie QB in his first start look capable and they also let a WR line up under center and run all over them. The run defense is as bad as it was last year if not worse. The linebackers just aren't good at all. And after Xavien Howard I am not sure there is a CB on this team I want on the roster next year.  Cam Wake looked good (but had some offsides penalties and still is a situational player only and also on a snap count) but the rest of the d-line was ok at best.

As I said, the Fins are 1-2 and tied for second in the division as silly as it sounds. They also have the same record as the Panthers, Redskins, Bengals, and Cardinals. Those are all playoff teams last year. As uninspired we Fin Fans feel today, if they find a way to sneak out a road win Thursday vs Cincy and we are 2-2 we all will have a different outlook on this team. As I said to open, a win is a win and style points mean nothing. Just take the win and move on. On to Cincinnati.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

DVP vs Omar Kelly

There seems to be a little "heat" as they say between Dolphins Wide Receiver DeVante Parker and Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly. It has even spilled over onto twitter in recent weeks and from sources I have inside the organization DVP is hot and not happy with what Omar has been saying about him in the press these days.

This isn't the first time Omar has irked players on the Dolphins roster. After a 2011 Dolphins game at Oakland a Dolphins player allegedly physically attacked Omar in the locker-room (player allegedly being linebacker Kevin Burnett) for things Omar was saying about him publically that Burnett claimed were untrue. Then last year when Jamar Taylor was rehabbing on the sidelines during Dolphins training camp, Taylor walked inside with the trainers to just use the hot tub and get a rub down as part of his rehab. Omar tweeted that Jamar was going inside to get looked at as he re-injured himself. Jamar actually responded on twitter and shot Omar Kelly's tweet down stating he just walked inside to use the hot-tub and he wasn't re-injured.

Omar has also tarnished his name in recent years as well mainly for his unwavering support of Miko Grimes. When Miko came out earlier this year and said racist and anti-semitic remarks about Mike Tannenabum and Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, Omar wouldn't come out against Miko and say what she said was in poor taste and her comments were in fact racist when the rest of the world was. In fact Omar said in multiple tweets what she said is true and he sided with her comments. When you side with a known racist it paints you out to be a racist as well.

It will be interesting to see where this DeVante v. Omar feud goes in the coming weeks. Maybe it fizzles out and nothing more comes of it. But from what people are telling me inside the organization Parker was irked with what Kelly has been saying about him and Omar's standing among the players on this years roster isn't good at the moment.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Week 3 Preview: Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins

Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins (-9.5)
Hard Rock Stadium
Kickoff 1PM

Announcers: Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots

With the rough start to the schedule now complete, the Miami Dolphins finally come home in 2016, to their home opener at Hard Rock Stadium.  The newly renovated stadium that cost north of $500M is set to host the Cleveland Browns. 

While the Dolphins (0-2) had two tough defeats against perennial Super Bowl contenders, the Browns (0-2) have dealt with their own heart break in the first two weeks.  After signing Robert Griffin III, he injured his shoulder in week 1 against the Eagles.  In week 2 against the Ravens, Josh McCown was injured which leaves rookie quarterback Cody Kessler from USC to take the helm.  This seems like an extreme match up problem for Cleveland, but Miami's defense hasn't looked the part.  The Dolphins struggled (that is an understatement) against Jimmy Garapolo and Jacoby Brisett last week, allowing a season high 485 yards of offense, almost 300 in the first half.  The same issues that has occurred last season, continues through two weeks.  To win this game, Miami needs to FINALLY put a full game together, offense, defense and special teams.  What better week to start than now, against an overmatched team on paper.  Here are the keys to an extremely important Dolphins win:

1.  Get off the blocks, for once:  If you read back to my first 2 previews, I specifically wrote about establishing their identity.  Unfortunately they have, which is inconsistency on offense, with 13 three and outs in the first half in the first 2 games.  Instead of electing to defer if they win the toss, Miami needs to take the ball and get some points up right away.  This will allow the front 4 to tee off on a young, inexperienced quarterback, allowing this 9-wide approach to finally show some worth.  Get the ground game going on the opening drive, run nothing but no huddle and get this team breathing heavy on the sideline in the South Florida Heat.

2.  Let Tannehill do his thing-  The offense goes when Tannehill is in hurry up mode.  This should be the base offense every week at home.  There is no better advantage than that 90 degree heat, specifically in a stadium designed to have that sun beating on the opposing sideline.  Tannehill was extremely efficient in the second half with proper adjustements.  That offense needs to attack as it did against NE, versus a Browns defense that is having its own struggles.

3.  Sack the QB-  Nothing will rattle a rookie QB more than getting hit.  Suh is great at this.  Even if he doesn't hit the QB, he will put a hand on him after the ball is thrown to get them thinking.  And for goodness sakes, get Cameron Wake on the field more than 16 snaps.  The lack of pressure continues to be concerning.  Dial up exotic blitz' and force Kessler to make poor decisions.

4.  Be loud-  It's the home opener, in a brand new stadium.  The Dolphins fans need to come in droves, be loud while the defense is on the field and keep up the energy until the final whistle.  With 4 home games in the next 5, this is a time to get the record back to .500, if not better, with some favorable match ups. 

This game has the making of a big win for the Dolphins.  Call me skeptical, but I see this being closer than what most believe.  This is absolutely, 110% a must win and a game to get some confidence building.  If you recall, the Dolphins fired Philbin, opened their next game off the bye week against the Titans and laid them to waste.  The following week destroyed the Houston Texans at home.  This is the type of game Miami needs before a short week against the Bengals.  Give me the Dolphins at home.

Miami 27  Cleveland 20

Season record 1-1


FACE OFF: Should Kenyan Drake Be the #1 RB on the Miami Dolphins Right Now


Opening Shot (Tom)-  So I put out an article regarding the running back situation earlier this week  and to no surprise, here comes Mike knocking my idea down as usual.  First off, let me start off by saying anything that Mike has to offer in this conversation should end up on Comedy Central.  What we will be reading will be flat out LAUGHABLE.  Let me guess Mike, you are sitting in your chair, salivating over the idea of Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams or even Isiah Pead starting this week for the often injured Arian Foster.  Those three guys bring what to the table?  Ajayi has flat out been awful and will never live up to his potential.  Speaking of potential, Damien Williams was supposed to be the back up last year to Lamar Miller and he went into a black hole himself, with inconsistent play that has now earned him a third string spot.  Pead isn't even healthy, so where does that leave us?  That's right, Kenyan Drake.  Why not hand him the keys while Foster is down and out?  He can't be any worse than ANY of these backs, and by the way, RYAN FREAKIN TANNEHILL IS THE LEADING RUSHER.  Stop living with mediocrity and give someone else a chance, the hell with the depth chart!

Counter Argument (Mike)- So Tom you aren't totally off base with wanting to put some young blood in at running back, I like that idea. You are just going about it all wrong as usual. Kenyan Drake should get some more work at RB but he shouldn't be the #1 Running Back, the lead Running Back, the Bell Cow back, and the workhorse running back for the Dolphins. Kenyan Drake wasn't even a starting running back at his college, Alabama, and now you want him to be a starting running back on one of the 32 NFL teams only 2 games into his NFL career? Are you nuts? Kenyan Drake has a long history of injuries and hell, before he stepped foot into an NFL mini-camp this year he was injured and missed 99% of camp and the first 3 preseason games. Drake cannot hold up to the pounding of being an every down lead running back in the NFL. Hell, I'm not sure he can hold up being a 3rd down back who plays 30% of the time or so in specialty down and distance situations. Drake is a nice role player and in a year or two when he gets bigger and puts on more muscle he might be a guy who can do a 50/50 backfield with where he shares the workload. But as of today in September 2016 he is far from that type of player. If you make Drake the every down lead #1 running back then keep his spot on IR warm because he will be there by Columbus Day!

Rebuttal (Tom)- How short your memory is.  Miami took a chance in 2005 on some back that was second fiddle in college and had a pretty decent career with Miami.  Remember Ronnie Brown?  Second fiddle to Cadillac Williams before his injury cost him spots in the draft (still top 10 if I remember correct, could've been #1 overall if he wasn't injured).  Ronnie Brown went on and produced 1,128 carries (even with injuries), 4,815 yards and 36(!) rushing touchdowns.  Just because Drake played behind some solid RB in college, doesn't mean he can't produce.  He has never been given the chance.  He also isn't a between the tackles back which is what this team needs!  They need a running back who can make plays in space, be solid in passing game and create opportunities for the WR by causing major match up problems.  Who is going to do that?  Mr. Fumblitis Ajayi?  Damien Williams who hasn't amounted to anything?  Come on man.  If Drake continues to sit on the pine or be used sparingly, we may as well rehire Joe Philbin and Dan Campbell since they let Parker rot on the bench last season even when he was healthy!  Drake can be our CJ Anderson in this offense, let him go do it!

Cross Examination (Mike)- Oh Tom, the NFL is like Dog Years. 2005 is like 35 years ago in the NFL world. And Ronnie Brown was a marginal RB at best, a nice RB, not elite. He was very average and he is only known for the "wildcat" and little else (but that is another debate for another day on Mr. Brown.) And just an FYI, Kenyan Drake isn't even Ronnie Brown, not even close when it comes to talent level.  The reason Drake has never been given the chance is because he is a fragile piece of fine china. His college coaches and now his NFL coaches know if you use him too much he will get hurt and break down. There are workhorses and there are show horses, Kenyan Drake is a show horse that you can't overwork. The other reason why Drake isn't ready to be the #1 back right now is because he can't pass block to save his life. Like it or not Ryan Tannehill is this Dolphins team. And we finally got an offensive line who can pass block so Tannehill isn't getting beaten up each week, we should not, we can not, we won't risk Tannehill's health by giving an increase work load to a rookie RB who has never carried a full time workload in his life and struggles pass blocking. It is a recipe for disaster and you are putting Tannehill's health at risk. I like Kenyan Drake, I like him a lot and in this modern era of NFL where its a wide open offense you need to create mismatches. And Drake is a mismatch nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. But that's all he is at this point in time. Throw to him out of the backfield, put him in motion to get a LB on him in coverage, use him here and there on sweeps and running plays. But if you think Drake as of today is a guy you can hand off to 20+ times a game and have him running between the tackles then you have lost your god for saken mind. He would be injured in less than a half if Gase and Co. tried that. Maybe in time after an offseason or two if Drake bulks up some and can stay healthy he could be an every down #1 RB someday, but not now. If you over work this kid now and he gets hurt you will ruin his whole NFL career.

It sounds like Arian Foster won't be out long, but IF he were out for an extended period, Isiah Pead and Jay Ajai are built to run between the tackles, they can take that pounding, have done it in the past whether in college or prior to this season. Those are the guys you use. Drake has a special role with this team and a bright future, he just cannot be the every down #1 RB for the Miami Dolphins in 2016. I will give you the last word.

The Last Word (Tom)- Mike while I agree with most of what you said, I still believe that the team needs a change of pace.  Ajayi cannot be trusted and Pead is as fragile as any running back on the roster, hence being inactive for the first 2 games.  If the Dolphins will loosen up (remember, Philbin is no longer here) and do some out of the box thinking, we may have this explosive offense.  I am not asking Drake to do anything between the tackles, rather be on the field for outside runs, screens and wheel routes.  He causes a defense more headaches then any of the other backs not named Foster.  A glimpse is what we need, and we will get that Sunday. 

Every Ryan Tannehill Dropback from Week 2 vs New England

Thursday, September 22, 2016


It was the tale of two days last weekend. A perfect 3-0 with the college picks with 3 very easy wins. Bringing up my year to date total with the college picks to 5-1. If you aren't listening to my college picks and making money; SHAME ON YOU! Now if you are ignoring my NFL picks then you are brilliant as I have been bad with my pro picks through 2 weeks. In a bit of a slump with the pro's but I will look to bounce back this week.

Let's get right to this weeks picks.


Clemson -10 over GEORGIA TECH
Clemson has been sleep walking a bit this year up until last week when they played a horrible team and just destroyed them. This is their last game before they get Louisville so Clemson will want to play well here and beat a good team. GT looked horrible the first game of the year vs Boston College and while they won easily last week over Vandy....Clemson ain't Vandy. Clemson with a big statement win here on Thursday night vs GT. I like Clemson big.

Florida St -5 over SOUTH FLORIDA
This might be the lock of the year. You have Florida St coming off an embarrassing loss to Louisville and you have South Florida who is coming off a nice win vs Syracuse but was also down 17-0 to Syracuse and had a slow start. If South Florida has a slow start here they will lose 60-0 and won't be climbing back into this game like they did last week. Take Florida St and lay the 5.

VIRGINIA TECH -12.5 over East Carolina
The number is big here but VT was very good to me last week. A TD favorite that won 49-0, so I am gonna ride the hot hand. East Carolina is a decent team, just not sure if they can hang within two touchdowns on the road vs a good ACC school. Give me VT.



CINCINNATI -3.5 over Denver
The Bengals opened up with road games against the Jets and Steelers. That is no easy task and they looked good in both games. Denver is 2-0 but I want to see Trevor Siemian do something on the road and play a road game. I don't trust him yet. The Bengals are without Demarcus Ware and they have a young QB in his first real road test. The Bengals are a legit defense and a solid NFL team. I don't expect a lot of points to be scored in this game and if it comes down to a field goal I am screwed as I am giving up the hook, but I am taking my chances and taking the Bengals in their home opener.

New York Jets +3 over KANSAS CITY
I haven't been overly impressed with KC this year. They got lucky week 1 and then lost week 2. The Jets almost beat Cincy week 1 then destroyed Buffalo last week and have the mini-bye with the extra days rest. The Jets have the better offense (by far) and the better defense (by far). The wrong team is favored here, I think the Jets win outright so the +3 is a gift.

DALLAS -7 over Chicago
The Bears suck. Like really really suck and now they have a back-up QB to boot. Dallas will run right, run left, run up the middle....and repeat. They will run up and down the field on a horrible Bears defense and win this game easily. 7 points is too low a point spread. Take the boys at home.

BONUS PICK: That's right I'm in a slump with my NFL picks so a special bonus 4th NFL game this week to bust the slump. I said week one that you bet against Belichick at your own risk. I did, I lost, I got burned. I said last week I would never do it again. And I wouldn't, but then their QB went down and they are on their 3rd string QB vs a great defense. In order for me to bust this slump I need to go big. Give me Houston EVEN over NEW ENGLAND


Points spread curtesy of the Wynn Casino and Sportsbook

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Future is Now- Running Back edition

Image result for kenyan drake

After an 0-2 start, in arguably the two toughest stadiums for a young team to start at, the Miami Dolphins return home this week to play the Browns.  This is like every other game in the NFL.  It doesn't matter how much better you are talent wise, any given Sunday you can lose.  But after the first 2 games, one thing needs to happen.  Kenyan Drake needs to be the Dolphins starting tailback.

Now before you jump at me, hear me out on this:  Drake is a dynamic player if used properly.  The struggles of the first two weeks on offense can be pointed to one thing, no running game.  When your Quarterback is your leading rusher, you have a problem.  Miami has gone three and out consistently in the first half for both games.  Establishing a ground game is key to success.  It begins this week.  I implore Adam Gase and his staff to shove Ajayi to the side, skip Damien Williams and give the show to Drake. 

Drake can provide the spark to this offense.  He showed flashes in the final preseason game with a 50 yard catch, lined up as a receiver.  He had 2 carries on Sunday, one for 5 yards and the other a 7 yard touchdown run.  Things need to change and the opponent coming in is a perfect test for Drake.  Foster is on the sideline (surprise) with an injury, Ajayi continues to fall apart and Williams has become an after thought. 

Drake can be dynamic with the first string offense, the question:  Is Adam Gase ready to take a chance to get his offense going quicker?  Let me know your thoughts!  Tweet me @ternisse13 and @dolphinstalk

Monday, September 19, 2016

Step off the Ledge Dolphins Fans

Xavien Howard will be a future star
I know, I know, it's painful at times to be a fan of this team. The first two weeks have been very painful to watch. Week 1 Miami had Seattle beaten and of course they let Seattle score the winning touchdown with seconds left and the Fins grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory. Then this past Sunday the Fins let a virtual unknown QB who has 1 real game under his belt go up and down the field and look like Joe Montana in his prime. If that wasn't bad enough the Dolphins come crawling back into this game to make it a one score game with the ball and under a minute to go to only fall short of tying the game in the final seconds. Kicked in the gut once again.

Now, I know many Dolphins fans are (for lack of a better word) pissed off. They are pissed off from the last 15 years, they are pissed off from how the team lost Week 1, and they at really pissed off from how the Fins looked in the first half of the game this past weekend. I get it, and nothing I say here is going to make that anger go away. But a couple things to remember; 1) If anybody expected Miami to start the year 2-0 with road games vs Seattle and New England you were living in fantasy land to begin with. 2) If you thought this team was going to make the playoffs this year, again you were living in a fantasy world.

Everyone needs to take a step back and take a big deep breath and put things into perspective. The Dolphins are at 0-2 where many level headed fans thought they would be. And honestly the Fins have looked good for 6 out of the 8 quarters they have played this year. This team is very young in many key spots and that youth shows up at times. The Dolphins secondary is very young with a first year CB and a 2nd year CB as the nickel back. With Arian Foster out the Dolphins are very young and inexperienced at running back. At defensive tackle with no Earl Mitchell the Fins are rotating in and giving Jordan Phillips and Julius Warmsley significant snaps. These aren't excuses these are facts. This team is playing a lot of young players in key positions.

Every couple games this year I am going to take a "snapshot" as to where we are in time as a team and make a couple observations. Here are a few things that stand out after the first two games of the year.

-Xavien Howard is going to be a stud CB. This kid missed all of training camp and played only a few plays in the final meaningless preseason game. And through two games he has looked outstanding. If this kid continues to grow as a player and keeps this level of play up he is going to be a solid CB in the NFL for many years to come and come January I wouldn't be shocked if he is this teams #1 CB heading into 2017.

-On the flip side; Bobby McCain can't play in this league. He is too small and overmatched. I'm sure he is a nice person and a good guy, but much like Tony Lippett; McCain just can't play. A lot of the Dolphins problems in the secondary come from teams are able to spread us out and take advantage of our lackluster corners. Howard is playing well, Maxwell is playing ok too....after that the Fins don't have a CB on their roster who can cover anyone.

-This offensive line needs Billy Turner. As I mentioned prior to the season, the Fins o-line can pass block with the best of them. Tannehill isn't getting hit as often as years past. But this unit can't run block to save their life. Billy Turner, who can run block but is so-so in pass protection, needs to see the field when Pouncey gets back. I am hesitant to make this move now because I don't want Turner and Steen next to each other in meaningful games. But when Pouncey gets back Turner has to start and Bushrod needs to find the pine. The Dolphins running game needs a boost and Turner can provide it.

-Jay Ajai can just go away. He is fumbling away the ball a lot, he can't pass block to save his life, he is a bit injury prone, and oh yeah after he was told he wasn't the starter he pouted and was left behind for Week 1. Enough.....just enough. Even with Foster out I don't want to see Jay Ajai anymore. Damien Williams needs to be the starter, Kenyan Drake you use in certain packages, and if Pead is healthy he is the 3rd RB until Foster returns. The Jay Ajai era is over before it started in Miami. He must go!

-DeVante Parker can be a superstar. Like top 3 WR's in the game level superstar. But he needs to take care of himself and ensure he is on the field each week. Parker was magnificent vs New England this past week and he ended last year on fire as well. IF Parker can stay healthy (huge IF with him) he and Landry at as good a 1-2 WR punch as there is in this league.

-Everyone needs to get off Ryan Tannehill for like 5 minutes and just let the season play out. I know the Tannehill haters get some sick joy out of just bashing him endlessly day after day and week after week. Hell there is one simple minded beat reporter for the Dolphins who get's his jolly's off bashing the kid for some reason.  I get it, many of you don't like him. Your voices have been heard, the rest of us who either support him or don't have a strong feeling either way on him get it. We hear you.

With that said, I could make a list of problems on this Dolphins roster right now and Tannehill wouldn't crack the Top 10. Ryan Tannehill has played 2 games for Adam Gase under this new offense, both on the road vs teams that have won Super Bowls in the last 3 years. Let Tannehill play 1 full season under Gase. Let him have some games to get his feet wet in this offense that are at home vs non Super Bowl caliber teams to see if he is making progress. And come the final whistle of Week 17 and the 2016 season if there is regression or not enough improvement, then fine maybe it is time to move on. But this constant never ending bashing of the kid is old and tired.

We get it, no matter what Tannehill does some of you, a large group of you will never like him....EVER!  Fine, you don't have too and you are entitled to hold that opinion. But give this kid a chance behind an o-line that is somewhat competent (something he has never had till now,) with a full group of healthy and talented WR's (something he has never had till now,) and a head coach who has a clue about modern football (again, something he has never had till now.)  Just give him 14 more games without the constant bitching and moaning each week about every little thing he does. Some of you fans want perfection, hate to break it to ya, no QB is perfect and you are not going to replace Tannehill with a perfect QB. Tannehill is good. He doesn't suck but he isn't great. Some of you think "good" sucks and want perfection. Just because you don't have "perfection" you want to throw "good" to the curb.  If after this season plays out Tannehill doesn't get better or isn't playing good enough...then spread your hate loud and proud for the world to hear. Until then, sit down and shut up!

So those are some observations I have 2 games into the season. This week Miami should have a win vs Cleveland and their 3rd string QB. Won't get too excited over that but also its a game the team should win easily. Then it's a short week to Cincinnati and that will be no easy task. The Fins first part of the schedule is tough, we knew that in April. The team isn't quitting and they are playing hard for Gase which is a good sign. They just now need to translate that into some wins. Podcast for September 19th w/Former Dolphins Safety Shawn Wooden

A tough loss to the Patriots this week and the boys are back with a full re-cap of the game. They also have a game preview of the upcoming match-up vs Cleveland. And we have a special interview with former Dolphins safety Shawn Wooden.

All of that and so much more in this weeks Podcast.

Make sure you Like, Subscribe and come back next week as we do a weekly Miami Dolphins podcast. Please contact us at @rjclifestyle @ternisse13 and @dolphinstalk and use the hashtag #dolphinstalk





Sunday, September 18, 2016


1. Start fast and furious
    The Fins must play from in front and they must not take their foot off the gas.
2. Get the tight ends involved in the passing game.
    I'm filing for a missing persons report if Jordan Cameron doesn't show up in today's game.
3. Play a clean game
    Eliminate the mental errors that plagued MIA in last weeks loss to SEA.
4. Changing of the guard at QB.
    RT must be the best player on the field today and prove he's taking the baton from Brady as the
    best QB in the division!
5. Gase must out coach Belicheck.
     Point blank.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Week 2 preview: Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
Foxboro Stadium- 78 Degrees
Kickoff 1:00PM
Announcers: Greg Gumble and Trent Green

After a GUT WRENCHING defeat last week in Seattle, the Miami Dolphins stiff test continues as they travel to New England to battle the Patriots.  Like many teams that head to New England, success is extremely difficult.  In fact, New England has beaten Miami at home in every game since 2009, and is 20-1 against the division over the last 7 years.  The one loss in a meaningless game against Buffalo a few years back. 

There were many promising things last week, from the defense.  They held Seattle out of the end zone until the final 30 seconds of the game.  They beat and battered Russell Wilson all game.  The offense on the other hand, had the same issues that plagued them last season.  21% third down conversions, 10 total points and no sustained drives until late.  They also had a field goal chip shot blocked and a 71 yard easy TD pass dropped by Kenny Stills.  Many of those mistakes led to losses, which was the case last week.  Here is another game where the offense needs to pick up the slack.  Here are my keys to success going into New England:

1.  Hit Jimmy early and often- Arizona failed to do this last week and Jimmy Garopolo was very efficient in their victory last week.  Miami beat up Russell Wilson last week.  Effectively apply pressure to force the issue and make plays on defense.  I truly believe if they can win the turnover battle on the road this week, good things can come from it.

2.  Sustain drives- teams lose to New England because they cannot sustain long drives and keep their offense on the sideline.  21% third down conversions last week needs to improve this week to avoid an 0-2 start.  Manageable third downs will also help.

3.  Minimize mental errors- The Dolphins were tortured last week for mental errors.  Kenny Stills dropped an easy 71 yard TD dime from Tannehill, a chip shot field goal was blocked due to lack of blocking up front and last but not least, could not convert 4th and inches with a poor play call in my opinion.  Take points when you can get them and execute with minimal drops.

4.  Stop Edelman- He is the key to success for this offense if Gronkowski is out.  He is Wes Welker 2.0.  He catches everything and McDaniel will exploit every weakness on defense in getting him the football in space.  Bobby McCain will have his hands full in this game and it is going to take a great game from the LB to keep him in check.

5.  Run the football- you will see this as a running theme from me until they actually succeed.  Foster had an overall great game but 2.9 yards per carry will not get it done.  With Ajayi back in the line up this week (maybe), will provide a little more punch in the ground game.  I would also like to see more play calls for Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake.

If you read my article for game by game predictions, you will remember I had the Dolphins winning this game in an upset.  After last week's defensive performance, and lack thereof offensively, I am unsure where I want to go.  Lets take a look at match ups:

Miami OL vs Pats DL  (advantage NE)
Miami DL vs Pats OL (advantage MIA)
Coaching (advantage NE)
QB (push)
RB (push)
WR (advantage MIA)

I truly believe this game will be tight.  I will still give the nod to the Dolphins based on match up.  As long as they can get after Jimmy G and force him to make mistakes, Dolphins edge it out and come home 1-1

Miami 23   NE 21

Season Record (1-0)

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I said last week bet against Belichick and the Patriots at your own risk; well I got burned. A lesson I learned the hard way and a mistake I won't make again. Still went 2-1 with my NFL picks so some money was made. I gave you the Giants as a road dog winning outright and they did and I had Houston beating Chicago at home which was another easy win. With my college picks my luck wasn't so great. I did have Pitt as a home dog winning outright and that was an easy win. But the Duke kicker killed me and Virginia with a late score and a back-door cover hurt. 1-2 there and a 3-3 overall weekend.

It's still early in the season and we are still getting our feet wet for the 2016. Here is who I like in Week 2.


Miami -3.5 over APPALACHIAN ST
This line is so low because of how Appalachian St played (and lost) 2 weeks ago vs Tennessee. Don't get me wrong, App St looked outstanding at Tennessee and should have won the game. But anyone who watched that game knows that Tennessee was sleep walking and had some early season jitters. Miami has more talent across the board. Miami the first two games has looked dominate. Miami won't be sleeping on App St or taking them lightly as they saw how App St almost beat Tennessee. Take Miami here and lay the field goal and the hook.

VIRGINIA TECH -6 over Boston College
Boston College didn't win a conference game in the ACC in Football and Men's basketball last year. Not one conference win in either sport. That's almost impossible to do. Oh, and BC opened up this year with a loss in the conference to Georgia Tech. Guess what, BC isn't getting that first conference win this week either. On the road vs Virginia Tech. A VT team that is coming off a loss to Tennessee and they can just overwhelm BC with talent. I am laying the 6 here with confidence. Take VT.

NEVADA -11 over Buffalo
Not exactly a marquee match-up but it's about making money at the end of the day. Buffalo lost their first game at home vs Albany by a TD. That's right, they lost at home vs Albany. WHO THE HELL KNEW ALBANY EVEN HAD A FOOTBALL TEAM!!  Nevada had a tough loss last week vs Notre Dame, but at least that is a real football program. Nevada has been decent in recent years, they are at home coming off a loss, a cross country trip for's a big number but take Nevada. I mean Albany...they lost to Albany!!



OAKLAND -4.5 over Atlanta
The Raiders went from playing one horrible defensive team last week (New Orleans) to now getting another in the Falcons. Atlanta is brutal on defense, Julio Jones is always limping on the field it seems like and is never healthy. The Raiders showed me something last week and that is they can score serious points and in their home opener vs a bad defense I think they just outscore Atlanta easily. Take Oakland

Dallas +2.5 over WASHINGTON
I really didn't like what I saw out of the Redskins last week. They couldn't stop Pittsburgh at all especially on the ground. And on a short week you have the best offensive line in the league coming to town with 2 legit high level running backs in Elliott and Morris. I think Dallas wins the game outright so the 2.5 points are a gift. And I think they just run up and down the field on Washington all day long with ease.

NY GIANTS -4.5 over New Orleans
Giants made me money last week so I am going back to them this week. They are at home vs a god awful defense. Both teams will score and score a lot but I have faith that the Giants defense will get a couple stops vs Brees and Co. Give me the Giants laying less than a TD at home.


Points spread curtesy of the Wynn Casino and Sportsbook

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas eligable for the 2017 Hall of Fame

The NFL released the list  the 2017 modern-era nominees for the Hall of Fame. The list includes 94 players and coaches and it will be reduced to only 25 come this November. Two former Dolphins players are on the list; Zach Thomas and for the very first time Jason Taylor is eligible.

First let's break down Jason Taylor. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Jason Taylor will get in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it just won't be next year. Taylor retired with 139.5 sacks and there were many men (Chris Doleman and Kevin Greene come to mind) who retired with more sacks and who had to wait many many years before getting voted in. Taylor is Hall of Fame worthy and he will get in someday, but it won't be on the first ballot and next year.

Zach Thomas had a nice little NFL career but he unfortunately isn't a Hall of Fame linebacker in my opinion. If you look at the numbers Thomas has the stats to back up getting in, but there is more to it than that. Thomas wasn't the dominate middle linebacker of his era (he was at best 4th,) behind Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, and Junior Seau. Zach never won a Defensive Player of the Year award and he was the second best player on his teams defense. Zach Thomas was a very good player and if it was the Hall of Very Good then by all means he would get in. But not being the dominate middle linebacker of his era (or even second) and being overshadowed in his era by more than a few better middle linebackers who could do more on the field will hurt Zach's chances. And if you think I am in the minority with this opinion, back in 2010 shortly after Zach retired ESPN spoke with 3 Hall of Fame voters and they all said at the time as they didn't think Zach would get into the Hall of Fame. CLICK HERE to see what they said. 

I think with Zach it is close though and the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been watered down over the years. A lot of "very good" players have gotten in when in all honesty they shouldn't have. Andre Reed comes to mind as his stats are ordinary at best and he isn't Hall of Fame worthy, yet he got in. Jerome Bettis is another who doesn't belong in. Bettis is the epitome of a "compiler" and was someone who hung around forever and just padded his stats long after he was productive and an asset on the field. His last 4 years in the league were a joke and his stats are embarrassing those last 4 years. Art Monk being another who got in within recent years. A guy who ran button hooks his whole career, was never the best WR on his own team, and a guy who never caused a defense coordinator to stay up late at night and worry, yet he got in the Hall. So, it is not impossible for Zach to get in. In my opinion though, and in the opinion of many others, he just isn't a Hall of Fame linebacker.

Former Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson is also a finalist for the 2017 Hall of Fame and in all honesty he should be in already. Marv Levy got in, and he went 0-4 in Super Bowls. So how on god's green earth can you leave Jimmy Johnson out who beat Levy twice in the big game? And Jimmy has the same number of rings as Bill Parcells who just recently got in as well. To me Jimmy is an easy selection and it's a crime he isn't in yet. And if Bill Cowher another guy on this years list get's in before Jimmy that is a crime! Cowher is a guy who never saw a big game he couldn't hand away with terrible coaching decisions. He has one super bowl ring by the grace of god and some bad referee calls.

Dolphins Bring Back DT Chris Jones

With Earl Mitchell going on IR the Dolphins today signed DT Chris Jones. Jones was one of the final cuts the Dolphins made prior to the season. Many were surprised the Dolphins let Jones go as they felt he was good enough to make the roster and play significant snaps this season.

In my opinion I am not sure there is much of a drop-off between Jones and Mitchell. Earl Mitchell has been a bad football player since joining the Dolphins and I think with Julius Warmsley and Chris Jones the Dolphins will be more than fine at the DT position. Also remember DE Jason Jones can slide inside to DT on passing downs as well so the Dolphins don't lack depth at this position.

To make room to sign Jones the Dolphins cut QB Brandon Doughty. If Doughty clears waivers expect Miami to add him to the practice squad.

In other news today at practice Devante Parker was a full participant and should play Sunday. RB Jay Ajai also returned to practice and if he is active this week will be something we will monitor as we get closer to Sunday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Miami Dolphins sign Linebacker Donald Butler

The Dolphins today worked out 3 linebackers; AJ Hawk, Donald Butler, and Nate Irving. When all was said and done they signed Donald Butler to a contract. To me this is Miami adding linebacker depth and a special teams contributor and nothing more. One also has to wonder that if/when Dion Jordan becomes healthy if they don't then cut Butler at that time.

In other news the Dolphins placed DT Earl Mitchell on Injured Reserve. Mitchell must sit out until November but if he gets healthy the Dolphins can bring him back for the end of the season. Earl's health and the Dolphins record in the standings will play a factor if the Dolphins bring him back at that time.

In other roster moves the Dolphins released LB James Burgess from the practice squad.

Tuesday Morning Notes

-The Dolphins working out AJ Hawk tells you they have a few players on a short lesh with this roster. Vance Joseph knows Hawk from his Cincinnati days and I am sure he would love to add a veteran linebacker to this group. Adding a veteran player who is on the market AFTER Week 1 is something a lot of teams do. Due to the fact the contract isn't guaranteed for the remainder of the season and that player can be cut at any time with no financial loss to the organization. If I am Spencer Paysinger I would invest in some cardboard boxes as your time in Miami may be over in the next day or two. If the Dolphins are looking to add linebacker depth and not replace the last linebacker on the roster then recently added WR Justin Hunter should be the one who might be on the way out as the WR depth is deep.

-Another Dolphins player on the hot-seat due to a poor showing Sunday is kicker Andrew Franks.He makes little to no money and is another guy who can be easily let go.  Kickers are a dime a dozen in this league and it is a position Miami could easily change/upgrade without being on the hook for a lot of money. Yes, Robbie Gould is the first name that comes to mind but there are other kickers on the market as well. Kai Forbith and Cody Parkey are two other kickers with experience on the market who could be signed easily. I think Franks gets 1 more week to prove himself but another shaky week and he could be shown the door.

-Jay Ajai is back at practice and in team meetings per head coach Adam Gase. I am not sure he is even the #2 back anymore though. Damien Williams looked very good on the field Sunday and had a big play on the late touchdown drive that put Miami in front. Ajai has a lot of work to do to get out of the doghouse. It will be interesting to see if he is active Sunday and if so how much (or little) he plays. 

-For those of you into uniforms it is official now. When Miami travels to Cincinnati Week 4 on a Thursday night the Dolphins will be wearing all Orange and the Bengals will be wearing all white. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

AJ Hawk working out for Dolphins

In news this evening, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach post reported from NFL sources, that the Dolphins will be bringing in AJ Hawk for a visit. Hawk, 32, is currently a free agent. He most recently played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015. AJ Hawk has 932 career tackles, 20 sacks and 9 INT. While this is not a sure thing, Hawk will provide a veteran depth presence behind Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi. We will bring you updates on this news as it occurs. Keep checking back here on and follow us @dolphinstalk


Results from my Fab Five Keys to MIA defeating SEA

5. Control time of possession
    My first key to victory I wrote about pregame was MIA controlling the clock by   
    pounding the rock. Both teams had 14 possessions but Seattle held the ball for 34:32
    compared to Miami 25:28 Furthermore Seattle double the fins in first downs (21-11)
    and in rushing yards (112-64).
    Winner: Seattle
4. 4th qtr pass rush
     This could have very well been my #1 key due to the fact I was on the side that this
     game would be close in the 4th qtr. With MIA clinging on to a 4pt lead, a sack, QB
     pressure could have ended the game. But with Mario Williams and CAM WAKE
     out on the final drive due to injuries and play calling MIA couldn't get to Wilson
     when they needed it the most.
     Winner: Seattle

3. Keep Wilson in pocket
    MIA did a solid job of controlling the trenches and not allowing Wilson to
    scramble for big yards. He was harassed all game until the final drive.
    Winner: MIA

2. Getting turnovers
     Surprising the Fins won the turnover battle 2-0 but wasn't able to convert those into
     TD's which could gave them a healthy lead. But it's good to see Miami Players ball
     hawk by newcomers Quddus and Alonso.
    Winner: MIA

1. Protecting Ryan
     Even though RT was sacked fives times (some coming on the final drive) the O-line
    sometimes gave RT all day to through. The pocket was clean and this was the most
     comfortable I've seen RT look running the offense his way.
     Winner: MIA

POST GAME: Podcast for September 12th

The boys are back with the latest episode of the Podcast as Randy and Tom break down the heartbreaking loss to Seattle. They cover every aspect of the game from top to bottom. They let us know who played good, who didn't step up and played poorly, and also break down all of the coaching decisions that had an effect on the game.

To end the show we also have an EXCLUSIVE interview with the band BadBruno who did a cover version of the Miami Dolphins Fight Song. Be sure to follow Bad Bruno on twitter. CLICK HERE

Make sure you Like, Subscribe and come back next week as we do a weekly Miami Dolphins podcast. Please contact us at @rjclifestyle @ternisse13 and @dolphinstalk and use the hashtag #dolphinstalk





Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dolphins-Seahawks Prediction

I'm a Dolphins fan first and foremost, but this isn't a time for blind faith. I've got Seattle 28-16 today.

Game Predictions: The loss of Pouncey and Parker affects the offense big time. Rookie Center starting his first game ever in that enviornment in Seattle does not bode well. Stills and Landry become really the only reliable pass catchers for Tannehill unless Jordan Cameron shockingly impresses.

Two positives for the Dolphins: 1) Seattle OL is banged up and not great to begin with. If Mario Williams, Suh, and Wake can get after Russell Wilson, then maybe this one can stay close longer than people expect. 2) I also don't think the seahawks receivers are good enough or deep enough to expose our glaring weakness at corner. Nor do I think Jimmy Graham is healthy enough to expose our LB.

It sounds obvious but if the stars show up for Miami, maybe there's a chance. Reshad Jones creating a big turnover, the DL getting sacks, Landry going over 100 yards, etc. If the stars are all playing like stars, it could come down to a final possession.

Overall, I'm not sure more than a handful of teams are good enough to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Losing today is not something to hang your head about if you're a Dolphins fan or player. I feel like next week in NE we'll still be heavy underdogs but have a better chance than today.

Go Dolphins. Shock the world today. #finsup

Sunday Morning Update

We are a few hours away from game time of the first Dolphins game of the 2016 season. Here are some up to the minute news and notes.

-Being reported by ESPN and NFL Network that DeVante Parker will NOT play today vs Seattle. Miami wants to bring him along slowly. They aren't rushing him back.

-The Seahawks have announced they will not do any form of protest during the National Anthem and will all stand in unity. Hopefully Miami follows suit and doesn't do anything stupid today to cause a distraction and make headlines off the field. I have no problem with a protest of kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, but save it for next week and after. It's 9/11, show some respect and just stand for the National Anthem. Don't create an unnecessary distraction. This will be something to keep an eye on prior to kick-off.

-With Jay Ajai left behind I expect Damian Williams to get a lot of playing time as the #2 RB today. A very big opportunity for Williams to lock that spot up going forward. I also would not be shocked to see Ajai cut later this week as well. If he threw a temper tantrum to the effect that the coach left him 3 time-zones away and told him not to fly with the team, there has to be some serious damage with the relationship between Ajai and the coaches. Sounds like damage that cannot be fixed as well.

Keep coming back throughout the day for more news as it breaks leading up to kickoff.

My Fab Five keys for Miami defeating Seattle

5. Control time of possession
     Foster doesn't need to run for 150 yards but he must be effective enough to allow 
     Mia to run on 1st downs. Mia must keep the run pass ratio about even and not get
     too pass happy against the LOB.

4. 4th qtr pass rush
     It's easier for teams to mount a comeback when down at home. Mia must not take  
     their foot off the defensive pressure in 4th qtr. We will see how many sacks/qb
     pressures they will have.

3. Keep Wilson in pocket
     When Wilson feels the heat he will most definitely get out the kitchen so MIA must
     keep him fro, running for 1st downs on 3 and longs.

2. Getting turnovers
     If the defense gives the offensive a short field to work with this could lead to
     victory. Last year the LB core gave MIA almost nothing in turnovers. I'm
     suggesting Kiki Alonso will turn that around.

1. Protecting Ryan
     Does anything more need to be said here. Give him a clean pocket and RT can
     deliver. 1st round pick Laremy Tunsil makes his starting debut along with Bushrod
     at OG. This is the best O line RT has ever had in front if him. Protect the HILL.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Game Preview: Week 1- Dolphins @ Seahawks

Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)
Century Link Field, Seattle, WA
Announcers:  Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
Kickoff 4:05PM

The Miami Dolphins begin their 2016 journey under Adam Gase, in arguably the hardest place to play football, Seattle.  The Seahawks boast a ridiculous 27-5 record in their last 4 years at home.  The battle of two 2012 Quarterbacks will also take place, where one has risen to the cream of the crop of the NFL, while the other still has many question marks.  This game has blowout written all over it on paper, BUT, it's week one.  Anything can happen, here is my take on what needs to happen to potentially pull off an amazing upset:

1.  Show your identity early-  The identity of this team has been labeled soft under the Joe Philbin Era.  Adam Gase has brought a new fire to this team.  The team was not lacking confidence throughout the preseason and believe they can win on the road.  If you want to get an understanding why this team isn't soft?  There is a report that surfaced that Jay Ajayi didn't take the demotion very well at all, in fact, he reportedly was sulking over the demotion.  Adam Gase left him at home this weekend.  They need to get out on the field and not back down from a fight.  Show your fight early and often and force your will on the Seahawks.  You come out soft, this game will be a blowout.

2.  Run your offense-   Miami has shown the kind of offense they will be running.  Fast pace, quick hitting, wear your opposing defense down.  Miami needs to open the game with a nice drive, put some points on the board.  Three and outs were the theme last season.  If you go into Seattle and continue to do that, Miami will be playing from behind.  They CANNOT let Seattle dictate the pace of this game. This team isn't built to play from behind. 

3.  Will the real Running Backs Please Stand Up- Ajayi sulking (benched).  Arian Foster is coming off a torn Achilles and will be forced to handle the load tomorrow versus a vaunted Seahawks defense.  Behind Foster, Damien Williams and rookie Kenyan Drake.  If we believe in Adam Gase, one of these other backs not named Foster need to step up.  Gase will set up mismatches and exploit a potential weakness in the Seahawks defense.  Drake has shown flashes in his only preseason game of the headache he can be to opposing defenses. 

4.  Win the battle up front- This is going to be a huge test for our new look OL.  While we will be missing Pouncey, Steen performed admirably in short time and the staff is high on his potential.  The Dolphins OL must keep Tannehill upright, create running lanes and keep the sticks moving.  If Albert, Tunsil, Steen, Bushrod and James can produce well, there will be some strong success.

5. That means the Defense too- The Seahawks  OL took a huge hit with the loss of Ifedi.  After cutting Jahri Evans as well, and the play upfront in the preseason, this is a huge advantage on paper for the Dolphins DL.  Why on paper?  We haven't seen this group produce.  Wake will be a situational pass rusher this season which means Andre Branch and Jason Jones need to step up big, Mario Williams needs to play with a drive and Suh just needs to be Suh.  Contain Russell Wilson, stop the run and produce turnovers.  The keys to victory!

This game has the biggest point spread in the NFL @ 10.5.  Miami is viewed as a bottom dweller team coming into the season.  Go into Seattle with swagger and play hard.  You earn respect by winning games and being very competitive, but the winning part may be difficult this week on the road.

Seattle 27  Miami 20


This is a column I ran many years ago on a previous website I wrote for and owned and it was very popular. So I am bringing it back now in 2016. Every week (usually on Thursday evenings) I will release my top plays for the weekend in College and Pro.

Now, I know what you are asking what makes you an expert? Well, I am no expert but I have made a very handsome amount of money over the years betting on football. I follow the game closely and have written for many publications over the years when it comes to football; college and pro. Granted everyone has their bad weeks and their dry spells for a few weeks, so don't go betting your kid's college fund on my picks. Each week I get my lines from the USA Today and use the line from the WYNN Casino and Sportsbook in Las Vegas.  Lines change over the course of the week so the line I use is what the number is when I type my weekly column (as if I were placing a real bet at a window.)

So, with that said, let's get to this weeks picks...


DUKE -6.5 over Wake Forest
Wake Forest is an awful football program. They have been miserable for years and they barley hung on at home last week with a 7-3 win over Tulane. Duke has been an up and coming program for years and giving up less than a touchdown to a team that can't win a road conference game. It's is an easy pick. Easy money here.

OREGON -24 over Virginia
It's a big number here but Virginia is another brutal football team this year.  Virginia lost last week at home, yes at home, to Richmond 37-20. Now they have to travel across the country and face a college football power in Oregon and that spread offense. This game has 55-10 written all over it. Lay the 24 and don't worry about it.

PITT +2 over Penn St
This game means more to Pitt, it has always meant more to Pitt. Penn St and that rotten human being Joe Pa ended this yearly series many years ago for no good reason. And now they are renewing this rivalry as these two teams should play every year. Pitt is sneaky good and being a home dog here I like getting points at home. I am not sure how good Penn St is and I think this will be an ugly low scoring game. Take the points at home with Pitt



HOUSTON -6 over Chicago
I think the Bears might be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. Houston has added a lot of fire power on offense and has improved the QB position. The defense is solid. Bill O'Brien is a good head coach and very smart. At home, giving up only 6, I think Houston wins this easily.

NY Giants +1 over DALLAS
I don't like taking road dogs early in the year but the Giants are the better team. Better pass rush, better secondary, better WR's, better QB. Until Dak Prescott does it in a "real game" I am not buying him just yet. Give me the experience of Eli over the inexperience of Dak.

ARIZONA -7 over New England
I always say bet against Belichick at your own risk. But this isn't the same Patriots team and Arizona might be the best team in the NFL. No Brady, No Gronk, No Solider, No Ninkovich, No  Cooper....NO CHANCE IN HELL for the Pats. Arizona is loaded, yes loaded. Week 1 at home, at night, Chandler Jones will have the defense ready to go against his old team. The Pats will bounce back and win their double digit games this year, but week 1 they are gonna get slaughtered. I will risk betting against Belichick this week.