Remember when this was supposed to be the breakthrough year for Joe Philbin & the Dolphins? Or how confident we were about our chances of making the playoffs? Oops. Seasons that once felt so promising for both teams are feeling far less so coming off the bye week.
I was asked to and failed to write a recap after that Jaguars game because… well… sometimes I don’t feel like extrapolating some buried meaning from a giant pile of shit. And really, how much could have possibly wanted to read about that mess? After that awful stench in the second quarter when the Bills surrendered 20 points in a matter of minutes, I’m fairly certain I wasn’t the only person thinking of different ways to spend my Sundays for the next couple months.
But of course, the Bills being the Bills, rather than letting me cut the Yahoo feed and be done with it, E.J. & Co. rattled off 21 unanswered points, the defense grabbed a pick-6 to take the lead, and suddenly the postseason was back on!
For about 1 minute until Blake (F*%$KING!) Bortles rammed the ball right down our defense’s throat. I don’t care if we got flagged for one bad call or twenty. If the Jaguars drive 84 yards on you, it’s not the ref’s fault, it’s yours.
So here we are. 3-4. Not good, but not out of it. And here come the god damn Dolphins. And they don’t even have the decency to still be as shitty as they were when we faced them in Week 3! WHY CAN’T YOU JUST SUCK LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!!
So, no playoff talk can be taken seriously unless we take care of business this Sunday at the Ralph.
1) The Return of Tyrod Taylor
Of course, this being a league where guys like Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck go from ballers to bums seemingly overnight, who really knows how long this can last. But after watching E.J. struggle through two games, it’ll be good to see #5 back under center this Sunday.
2) Williams & McCoy
While this may sound like an over-the-hill Western starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, you know I mean the running tandem of Karlos & LeSean. The last time the Dolphins saw ‘Los he torched them for 110 yards and a touchdown on 12 (TWELVE!) carries. Assuming that his head is clear and LeSean’s hamstring is feeling limber, these two could be in for a huge day.
The plan was always supposed to be to grind out games with these two, but this might be the first time we actually get to see it full throttle. Eight different Dolphin defenders showed up on the injury report this week, not including Cameron Wake who’s gone for the season. Add in that Roman will presumably want to ease Tyrod back into things and these two should have more than a enough opportunities to show why the Bills coveted both of them so much in the first place.
3) Ryan Tannehill
Among the reasons why people thought this could be the breakthrough season for the Dolphins was the assumption that Ryan Tannehill would continue to develop and finally break into the conversation of “elite quarterbacks.” Now you have to wonder if they’re starting the search for his replacement.
Besides, here are Tannehill’s average numbers against us in his career... 20/36, 189 yds, 1.6 TD, 1.1 int. Of the many things I’m worried about, Ryan having a big day is not one of them.
THREE THINGS TO BE TERRIFIED OF:
“I always felt when I went to Seattle a lot of the receivers took me as a threat rather than accepting me as a teammate." - Percy Harvin
“(Chip Kelly) wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest.” - LeSean McCoy
“Most of you just wish to be in this position so continue working y’all little jobs for the rest of y’all lives…" - Sammy Watkins
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who’s sick and tired of hearing these guys run their mouths. I know this is part of the package when Rex Ryan becomes your coach, but enough already. When you win, you can say whatever the heck you want (see: Richard Sherman, 2013). When you lose, no one gives a shit what you have to say (see: Richard Sherman, 2014).
Here’s Stephon Gilmore talking about “average” receiver Allen Robinson after the Jaguars game:
“He caught, I don't know how many passes. He wasn't tough to guard.”
Oh really, Stephon? You don’t know? I’ll tell you then. He caught 9 balls for 98 yards and a touchdown. Two of those catches and a third of the yards on the game-winning drive. One of those two, that was, hmmm, let me see, oh yeah, YOU who was covering him. If that’s not tough, then I hate to see what happens this week against above average receivers. Just shut up and play, please.
2) Landry & Matthews
The only way you recognize either of these names is if you write for a blog or are obsessed with fantasy football. In the three games since Philbin was let go, Rishard Matthews has caught 16 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown, while Jarvis Landry has hauled in 14 passes for 196 yards and two scores. Not crazy numbers, but nothing to scoff at either.
Now I know I just said I’m excited to see Tannehill gets his head kicked in, but I find myself more worried about our top two corners than anyone else seems to be. Leading the league in pass deflections is certainly praiseworthy, but it also means that quarterbacks have no problem throwing at you again and again and again.
The Jaguars certainly weren’t. With a little over five minutes on the clock and T.J. Yeldon already having chewed up 100+ yards on the ground, this was their play selection: Pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass. With Blake Bortles. And it worked. So… yeah… I’m a little worried about these two doing just enough to make me hate myself for laughing at #TannehillFace.
3) Lamar Miller
Statistically the run defense has been one of the bright spots for this unit so far. On the year, they’ve only given up 100 yards rushing three times. But two of those times were our last two games. The third time? Week 3 against Miami in a 27-point blowout.
Again, I’m not saying anyone is going to tell their kids about the position players of this terrible Dolphins squad. But we’re not taking the long view right now. Like Landry & Matthews, Miller’s numbers took a big jump after Campbell took over coaching duties, including a monster day against Houston when he touched the ball 17 times for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, including 145 yards rushing. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of molehill, but I hope Rex knows this guy’s name.
WHY YOU’VE ALWAYS HATED THEM
AND YOU ALWAYS WILL:
But I don’t really need a new reason when they've given enough to live off of already. This is a team whose former players celebrate when they remain the only undefeated team in football. (I don’t care what Don Shula says, they definitely still do this. Every former athlete thinks about the glory days. I hope they’re all on suicide watch seeing four different teams at 7-0.) Mind you, this celebration includes rejoicing in the failure of their former team! Can you imagine if Jim Kelly celebrated every time a current Bills QB didn’t beat one of his records? Oh, wait. He’d be Dan Marino.
Fuck Dan Marino, Dave Wannstedt, Mark Clayton, Jay Fiedler, Mercury Morris, O.J. McDuffie, Bryan Cox, Jason Taylor… All of them. Just all of them, now and forever.
Except Ricky Williams. I will always love Ricky for running through a brick wall week after week and then walking out on them when he was all they had. Well played, Ricky. Miss you.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH & FUGAZIS
@Tha_Scizz – So no “Bang Bang Chicken and shrimp” huh? And the first time you actually used one of my diamonds yourself –sorry bro. Darren McFadden looked good and will continue to be the lead in Dallas, and nobody was giddy over Amari or Lacy’s production. Let’s see what happens this week.
Diamond 1 – Stevie Johnson. The Chargers don’t really run the ball, everything is predicated on Rivers slinging it around, and he has to lead the league in passing with over 300 more yards than Tom Brady and others. Now with the disturbing injury to Keenan Allen (Praying for you Bro) and both TE’s banged up SPEEDZ says Stevie Johnson will pick up the slack. Malcom Floyd will stay as the deep threat and it’ll be Stevie taking the targets along with true RB1 Danny Woodhead. It’s a good spot for San Diego at home on Monday Night against the Bears who are 29th in the League giving up 28.9 points/game. Gruden and Tirico will hype this up with a cool piece on him too!
8 Rec, 90+ Yards, TD
Diamond 2 – Garrett Celek. It’s a dumpster fire in San Francisco. Running backs room is so injured they just had to sign Pierre Thomas off the street. Backup and notoriously horrible QB Blaine Gabbert takes over due to contractual fears, and an opponent who has an explosive offense and something to prove scoring on the road on grass with something on the line in the Falcons. Gabbert will see only one familiar face in fellow backup turned starter Garrett Celek. This combined with garbage time and dump down potential means a security blanket and looks in a historically bad offense. It won’t be pretty, but this is a FFstyle value special.
6 Rec, 80+ Yards, TD
Fugazi 1 – T.Y. Hilton. I can’t believe it’s gotten this bad in Indy, Jim Irsay may need some more painkillers! Luck looks injured and in bad weather against an ascending CB Hilton managed 7 targets but only 1 catch. You would think that would change and he’d bounce back. But Luck isn’t getting any healthier, the O-Line isn’t getting any better, and the Colts welcome the #1 Defense in the league with a great secondary who just shut down Aaron Rodgers. T.Y. has not proven himself to be matchup and QB-proof and has only gone over 100 yards once against a much worse defense (Rob Ryan?) and so I expect little more regardless of the weather control in the dome.
5 Rec, <60 Yards
Fugazi 2 – DeMarco Murray. There’s not much the Eagles can do differently after the bye. In Chip they trust, in Sam Bradford the rely, and the fact remains Ryan Mathews is a better fit for the system in Philly. The former Cowboy will be eager to prove a point and may get an early drive, but it will be the Dallas defense that celebrates the return to Jerry’s world, especially with a suspect O-Line that hopes Jason Peters is actually “fine” like he claims. Murray got 2 yards on 13 carries against Dallas in week 2, and while it won’t be that bad it won’t be worth it. Look elsewhere.
<65 Combined Yards
Oh, Lord. Honestly, we could lose this game but make the playoffs, and I'd still feel cheated. But coming off a bye week in a must-win situation...
Dolphins 13, Bills 24
Gotta have it. Go Bills.