We are in the playoffs. A lot of football still to be played, but at least the first goal is over with,

I think the Dolphins showed great resolve today. The defense gave two touchdowns and our offense only scored one. But thanks to a career day from Jason Sanders, we got that W.

50-yard field goals are not too uncommon nowadays, but 3 of them in a row? In the rain and/or slippery field? Clearly he was our MVP today.

I’m extremely concerned about our offense having ONE touchdown in the last 6 quarters of football, dating back to last week’s Jets game when they kept us out of the endzone starting in the second quarter.

I’m still baffled by Mike McDaniel’s refusal to run more often. It’s insane to start a drive with Achane gashing them for 8 easy yards…and then turn around and call two low-percentage passes in a row. Why does he refuse to call two runs in a row when the run is working? Why does he ever—EVER–call a fade route? 22 points is not enough to beat the better teams we have coming up, and McDaniel–again–needs to look in the mirror and get this straightened out.

And FINALLY, we got the ball back at the end needing a drive. Just like the Titans game. And the Chiefs & Eagles. This time we came through. It was a thing of beauty to get those last few first downs to keep that clock running.

35 Comments

  1. BEST win of the Year
    Fist Bump!
    Merry Christmas Phin Fans!

    1. Author

      Yes, this was a hard-fought team win. The offense needed to take 3 minutes off the clock AND score at the end. We did both for once!

  2. Yes it was a grueling hard fought win- but I’ll take it. Special Teams gave us the W. The final drive I think shows the team’s determination to find paths to victory.
    I thought for sure we’d see our old pal- Noah Igbenoghene but he has largely been silent this season.

    Anyway blessings and love to the Dolphins for a great win. A special thanks to Admin who always provides us with insightful and articulate articles!

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    1. Author

      Yah, I saw that Noah I was inactive for the game, and I wondered what if he played?

  3. Can anyone explain McDaniel’s boneheaded decision to not go for the field goal on 4th and goal from the 5? And then call the almost always fails fade pass? Almost cost the Dolphins the game.

    1. Yeah that shit is getting old. McDaniel is still pretending that he’s coaching the defense from last year or before Ramsey came into the lineup earlier this year. If it’s the old defense, I would understand trying to maximize the points and taking risks…thinking we are going to need to score 35+ points a game to win.

      Someone needs to tell McDaniel that with our current defense, you take the 3 points EVERY time and let them win the game for you by holding teams under 20 points and forcing turnovers. With our defense, you don’t need to chase points anymore and take stupid chances on offense. Just stack the points on top of each other at every Opportunity and let the D play from out front. It’s not that complicated.

      1. Author

        All true. The challenges are even more tough the next two weeks. Dak Prescott is a fighter, and I respect him. He’s almost superhuman when it comes to escaping pressure, ducking under a tackle, and then running for a first down. How many times did we have him all wrapped up, only for him to escape? The scary part is that Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are next. Jackson is 50 times better than Prescott at escaping pressure, and Allen is 100 times better. Our D must contain.

      2. There is never a reason that early in the game or when the score is close to not lick the field goal. Those points matter and is gets the other team into a chasing mode. Miami won by 2 pts. That’s a loss by a filed goal if possible. With the 3 pts left on the field, that could have been a loss in the same manner that we won.

        1. Author

          Agree. Points are premium. As good as the D plays in spurts, in all honesty, they let Dallas score on their last two drives of the 4th Q (for 10 points), and they let the Titans score on their last two drives of the 4th Q (15 points). Fatigue counts. Exhaustion is real. 3 points is crucial.

    2. Author

      During the week after the Titans loss, McDaniel acknowledged that the fade route is bad and he took the blame for calling such a garbage play. So what does he do on 4th and 5? Same exact play call of the same exact garbage play. Taking the 3 points is correct there. Being cocky and assuming you will easily get a touchdown with a fade route? Just a stupid decision. No other way to put it.
      McD’s over-reliance on passing the ball has to be corrected.

  4. Author

    I’m giving a special Merry Christmas to our ragtag backup offensive linemen. Especially Kendall Lamm. Playing for Austin Jackson on Tua’s blind side, Lamm was absolutely phenomenal. I was terrified of Micah Parsons coming into this game. During our live chat, I kept saying “Parsons is overdue.” But it never happened, thanks to Kendall Lamm containing him all day long. I would seriously give him the game ball if it weren’t for Sanders and his three separate 50-yard kicks. Liam Eichenberg continue to play well at center. He has his faults when he comes in off the bench. But as a starter when he practices all week, he gets the job done. Robert Jones? Another lesser-known and unheralded guy who stepped up and handled a ferocious group of D linemen all day long. I can’t tell you how great these guys were against a formidable defense.

    1. Whoever is our O-line coach, he deserves an extension and raise. This is the best o-line Miami has had since Marino.

      1. Author

        Butch Berry is fantastic. I just can’t say enough about Kendall Lamm standing up to Micah Parsons. And Armstead too when they moved Micah. Keep your eyes on our two tackles when you watch highlights of the Dallas game.

        1. I’ve said many times oline is the key to the Fins victory. Give Tua time and allow the run game to succeed are the two biggest factors in a win. Of course it helps if the D is stout but overall they’ve been very good of late.

  5. Author

    Also, the Dolphins’ fumble recovery at the one yardline was our first red zone turnover since 2021. Every other opponent red zone appearance has ended in either a score for the opponent, or switched possession on downs. A very odd stat. Thank God the Cowboys fumbled the exchange. Our defense did nothing to cause that fumble, but we were there to scoop it up!

  6. Fangio should have allowed Ramsey to cover the best WR the boys have (Lamb). Even the announcers were saying that Ramsey was begging (all week) to do that. Why not neutralize their best WR – and make Someone Else (anyone else) beat you. When the opposing team has a clear # 1 WR (and not much else) – you should tailor your gameplan to counter that, and NOT stick to your usual bread and butter – bend but not break, style of D.

  7. I think we all felt that JR should have covered CD but we can’t argue with the end result. Take away the one long TD and he was pretty much held in check. Overall D was great.

    I agree with most of this Admin. Although MM has this team winning imagine if he’d take what’s there. Run the ball a little more. He becomes stubborn at times. I believe he said he called the screen to Hill because he knew everyone would criticize him if it failed. Almost like a game but we don’t care about games we just want to see success with what works best! If it’s 2nd and 2 I don’t mind the odd bomb but why call an out pattern that isn’t Tuas strength?

    Anyway we’re just nitpicking overall we should be happy they are getting close to their goal. Would love to have that titans game back imagine how great their position would be.

    1. After watching Baltimore play tonight I don’t think you’re nitpicking. We better get this stuff ironed out or Baltimore is going to destroy us. We may not have much of a chance to start with but bad playing calling will make us start with a handicap

      1. Author

        Yeah, the Ravens were pumped up all week, so i figured they would win easily. Especially since we wanted them to lose. Brock Purdy was exposed badly. 4 picks against a decent defense is what happens when you get to feast on the NFC bottom dwellers all year long and then have to face better competition.

        1. Thing about those interceptions is that they were not forced, they were bad throws. Reminds me of arrogant throws, like he expects to have those contested balls complete. You have to be patient against good teams and take what is given. IF a field goal is all that available, then get it.

          1. Author

            Kyle Shanhan at his finest. Ignore MVP candidate and NFL rushing leader Christian McCaffrey all night long, and instead let your flustered QB throw the ball to the wrong team all night long.

            1. I just hope MM learned a lesson last night by watching his buddies team self destruct. Don’t do the same to Tua and fall into that trap. Take what’s there and run the damn ball if it’s working. Even if it isn’t working still keep them guessing.

              Same on D stop the run and keep Lamar in the pocket. If he can beat JR and X all night passing then so be it. Also take every point that you can get as it normally comes down to a few points. If they didn’t kick all of those FGs Fins would have lost. Almost did by going for it from 4th and 5.

              1. Author

                Exactly. Great points. As I mentioned, we have Dak, Lamar, and Allen 3 weeks in a row. Three QBs who are impossible to sack. Even when you wrap them up, their escapability is absolutely astounding. There has to be a mental toughness. If Lamar escapes a sack or two, just let it go. Stick with the game plan. He’s gonna get loose at times. We’d be AFC Champs right now if only Bradley Chubb had “let it go” and not took off his damn helmet.

    2. Author

      I watched Dak Prescott’s press conference, and he admitted that Fangio confused him. Ramsey was lining up in different spots to make Dak think that Ramsey was on Lamb, but they would switch it up and vice versa. Prescott is no slouch, so when he admits that our defense fooled him, I gotta give Fangio credit. I mean, it’s not like fooling Zak Wilson.

  8. Author

    I think McDaniel will grow with experience and get more plays into our arsenal that we need. Case in point: Dallas had 4th and goal and needed a TD badly. They ran a play that had no chance of being caught. But…the play wasn’t designed to be caught. It was designed to draw a PI, and it worked perfectly. Their WR ran right to left, and then suddenly made a 180 and ran right into DeShon Elliott as Dak threw the ball harmlessly in the vicinity. I am 99% certain that an experienced coach like Mike McCarthy had that play in his back pocket for when you most needed a PI. It worked perfectly. Meanwhile, our own head coach in the same exact situation, calls a fade route to our 4th-string WR. Experience is the difference.

  9. yes, last drive was beautiful!

    Another key to dolphins offense is staying out of the 3rd and long situations, where Tua gets sacked often because of his shortcomings that we are all familiar with.

    Hopefully going forward, that last drive was very instructional and inspirational to McD and the Dolphins offense. it does not have to be fancy- get a few yards here, a few yards there, 3rd and short here, 3rd and short there, keeps our defense off the field and consumes the clock

    1. Author

      One shortcoming I see isn’t really his fault. But when the pocket collapses on him, you know it’s a sack. When you lose sight of him in a crowd of rushers and blockers, it’s a sack. With some of the bigger QBs, you see them fight their way out of it. As I’ve said a dozen times already, we face 3 of the best in a row. Prescott is one of them, and we got by. Next up is Jackson and Allen. Gotta beat one of those guys to win the AFC East, Beating both is even better

      1. Tua isn’t a big scrambler to avoid sacks but we have to give him credit for getting rid of the ball so fast which in the end avoids more sacks especially with a backup oline. Even scramblers take more sacks when their oline is banged up. A lot of people seems to forget about this trait of his.

        Really bottom line is how many sacks or turnovers do you take when the smoke clears. Tom Lady was very good at that as well you couldn’t hit him because ball was out fast or a quick slide one way or another but when his oline was bad he took sacks as well. Sometimes nothing you can do.

  10. For the next 2 games, I’m hoping to see spies on our D – specifically assigned to Lamar and Josh, on most every down. I hate it when they simply step up in their pocket, and see tons of green ahead of them, because our rushers ALL go to the outside, and easily get pushed further back by their OL’s – and their QB runs Wild on us, all day long, without enough adjustments by our D to counter that. Containment up the middle will be very crucial, these next 2 games ….

    1. Either that or the dline can’t run past the QB they just need to slowly squeeze the pocket as a group. The only option should be to pass it. I’ll take my chances on our DB’s holding up against both of them.

      1. Author

        Putting a spy on the opposing quarterback always SOUNDS good, but so hard to implement it. Jerome Baker does a decent job of that, so without him, I imagine that role will to A-Number-One Duke Riley. Offenses can spot the spot and exploit it, so that ‘s why it’s never a foolproof system, easier said than done. Remember in last year’s game, Lamar Jackson had an 80-yard rushing touchdown, even with a spy. Two years ago, we zero-blitzed the hell out of Lamar and won the game. Different team now and different DC in charge. I think the Ravens will hit some big plays that will be demoralizing, but our boys just have to get right back up and go get ’em on the next series. I keep coming back to Dak Prescott admitting that Fangio confused him last Sunday. We can do the same to Lamar.

        1. Agreed I think you have to mix it up keep him guessing. Make sure dline keeps him compressed in the pocket as often as you can. I’d take the Fins secondary over ravens WRs. Flowers is also banged up and Andrews out. They lost another RB. Sure would be nice to have Holland back but I’d take a healthier oline for this game so the O can control that side of the ball.

          1. Author

            Yes, our secondary vs. their WRs should benefit us over the course of the game. OBJ can make plays still, and he also draws coverage to him and frees up other guys. But he doesn’t do that consistently enough. If we quickly take away Jackson’s first read, he will tuck the ball and run, and we gotta be ready. He’s not one to tuck and buy time like Mahomes. When Jackson tucks, he’s coming at you!

  11. Hey Admin can’t log into chat its says not athenticated?

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