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2015 Free Agency Begins - Mar 10, 4 pm EST

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T-Rock's Phinfever FFL 2014

ESPN's James Walker

     It appears that Miami is doing it's own version of the Hunger Games "Catching Fire". Miami is indeed on fire. They've won 4 of their last 5 with their only loss in the last moment of the Greenbay Game. It has been an impressive stretch and it is no accident that it has coincided with Ryan Tannehill's improved performance. It was clear to me early on when I watched NFL.com's coaching film that RT's passes were off on timing from last season. Given his WRs had not changed, I could only surmise that this was due to the different routes in Bill Lazor's Offense. It lead to a misperception that he wasn't accurate with the throw. The issue wasn't accuracy as much as it was hitting the WR late out of the break.  That has changed and his timing has gotten better with each game. There's also the Marino factor. That throw between 3 defenders to Wallace in only a place where Wallace could catch it...that had Marino's signature all over it. RT would've never pulled the trigger on a throw like that a few weeks back. With that aside, he is now getting the ball out faster and it shows. His performance over the month of October was top 3. It couldn't have come at a better time because Miami is entering a very tough part of their schedule. 

     Over the next 6 weeks Miami will face 5 playoff contenders. It will determine their post-season fate. In order to have any shot at the playoffs, a 10-6 record is a must while 11-5 would make it a sure thing. That would mean that they have to beat two of the remaining 5 playoff teams (Lioins, Bills, Patriots, Ravens and Broncos). That is a pretty tough road. I've circled the Bills game as a must win since they lost to the Bills earlier in the season. There is a log jam of teams right now above .500 in the AFC. The entire Central North Division is currently above .500. So are the Bills, Chiefs and Chargers... Im purposely leaving out the division leaders. If you're counting that is currently 7 teams fighting for 2 playoff spots.

     So does the world fall apart if Miami loses to the Lions. Nope. Does it mean they won't make the playoffs...no. Let's put this in a better light..what happens if they win? Well a couple of things...for one it will light my fire again. I've seen this play out before with not-so-good results. So I'm cautiously optimistic they can get there. However, I now it won't be easy and I'm not completely sold yet. Every potential playoff team is starting to measure every win and every loss and place more importance on each game. Miami is no different. A win this weekend against Detroit would be very big. They just have to keep this game close going into the 4th and they can then win it there. My feeling is it will be a defensive struggle. Ball security needs to be at a premium because the offense that makes the fewest mistakes will likely be the winner. 

     STs - Not impressed this year and I'm still not sure why the ST coach still has his job. Given that, Sturgis is killing me. He is a missed FG waiting to happen. Miami needs him this week to hit every single opportunity. If he doesn't, it might get ugly. Fields has had an off year. Not sure why but he seems to be good for 1 shank a game now. We need shankapottamus to get through a game without one for a change. ST's play a big role in close games. It would be nice to see them all step up and give Miami a needed boost on Sunday. 

     It is no secret Miami has struggled against good DL's all season. Their OL is going to need to play the game of its life this weekend. It will start and end there. If RT gets protection Miami might win by double digits. If he's running for his life from a jail-break on every snap, it might be a double digit loss. Keep your eye on this unit early as I would hope Lazor would keep a TE in to block here on a regular basis. 

     There's also the CJ factor. If he's allowed to push off, hold down, mug the DB... it will be a long day for the Miami Dolphins. Our CBs are athletic and can hang with most WRs but CJ is a beast and it will be interesting to see what he's allowed to get away with on Sunday.

 

Go Tannehill,

GD2

DAVID BLAKE

Best Offensive Player: Ryan Tannehill
Best Defensive Player: Cameron Wake (obviously)
MVP: Cameron Wake
Most Disappointing Player: Brian Hartline, Dion Jordan (tie)
Best Rookie: Jarvis Landry
Grade: B

I have to curb my enthusiasm a little here because it is not easy to humiliate Phillip Rivers. He, in my opinion, is a top 5 QB. We have seen the Dolphins at their worst (Buffalo) and at their best (Chargers). Bad teams look bad all the time, so, we knew that this team can be special as we have seen sparks of a very good team. If the Dolphins can stay heathy and focused, I see a surprise team in the making here. I am not sure why Hartline is having problems this year. I do remember that he was a slow learner when he first was drafted, and he is learning a new offense which is challenging. A sure handed receiver just all of a sudden forgets how to catch tough passes. I like Dion Jordan's hard work but failing two drug tests back-to-back has me expecting more from him on the field. S Rashad Jones gets my "welcome back" award. He has sparked this defense to a new level. He can miss the first 4 games of any season that he plays as far as I am concerned. Mike Wallace? He looks much better this year, but he shouldn't complain about not getting deep passes if he drops balls that he should catch. Tannehill

 

 

RICH RODRIGUEZ

Best Offensive Player: Ryan Tannehill
Best Defensive Player: Cameron Wake
MVP: Cameron Wake
Most Disappointing Player: Brian Hartline
Best Rookie: Jarvis Landry
Grade: B

The Dolphins are a team that can put up points on offense and shut down opposing offenses with their defense. The problem for the Dolphins has been to put it all together on the field at the same time. We saw what can happen when both the offense and defense are clicking when they dismantled the Chargers in a 37-0 rout. The biggest factor on offense is the play of Ryan Tannehill. When he is right, the offense is right. Tannehill continues showing growth and is being used more to his strengths by Bill Lazor. He is also growing more comfortable with the system. If the trendline continues and Tannehill finishes with a 90+ rating and the defense continues playing dominant football, the Dolphins are in the playoffs.

 

 

TONY SIMMONS

Best Offensive Player - Mike Wallace

  • teams have to game plan for him and his speed. Been much more productive. Honorable Mention - Brandon Albert.

Best Defensive Player - Cameron Wake

  • Disruptive force.

MVP - Brandon Albert

  • While there are still problems on the OL, mainly the interior portion, Albert has come in and stabilized the blind side for Miami. HUGE.

Most Disappointing - Brian Hartline

  • Getting paid like a very good #2, while producing like a #3,4.

Best Rookie - Ju'Wuan James

  • While Jarvis Landry has come in and been a BIG spark, James has solidified the ORT spot for the Dolphins.

Grade - c+

Miami could easily be 6-2 right now, and while I think this team is better than last year and heading in the right direction, you still have to wonder about this coaching staff and their decision making process. A big key to further success is solving the interior OL issues, specifically the OLG position. The defense, even with all the injuries have been rock solid and will only get better. Offensively, QB Ryan Tannehill has gotten better, but still has work to do. The OL has improved over last year, but as mentioned, problems still exist. With the injury to RB Knowshon Moreno, Lamar Miller has stepped up and been solid along with Mike Wallace at WR. Rookie Jarvis Landry has been what I thought he would be, rock solid.

 

 

TRISTAN KEITH

Best Offensive Player - Mike Wallace
Best Defensive Player - Cam Wake
MVP -Samson Satele
Most Disappointing - Dion Jordan
Best Rookie - Jarvis Landry
Grade - C+

The Dolphins have been up and down this year but have improved overall, due in large part in my opinion to Bill Lazor, who I nearly listed as MVP. I am still waiting to see consistency in this team, they have the talent to make a playoff push, but do they have the fortitude to do it is the question. I have enjoyed some Dolphins games this year more than I have since 2008, when they have shined they have really shined, if they can pull it all together and maintain the high level of play they have shown they can produce, it can be a great run down the stretch.

 

 

GARY RAMEY

Best Offensive Player: Mike Wallace

  • proves he can be an all around number 1

Best Defensive Player: Cameron Wake

  • nothing else added.

MVP: LT Branden Albert
Most Disappointing Player: - Dallas Thomas
Grade: B+

Lazor and the unpredictable offense has been a big difference. It has taken awhile before RT has gotten on the same page and his timing down but it is starting to gel at the right time.

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