Tag:Miami Dolphins
Posted on: December 24, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Dolphins surprise punchless Pats, up 17-0 at half

Miami is having no problems with New England so far today (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

It has not been a good day for the Patriots. First, they lost left tackle Matt Light to an ankle injury in warm-ups (!) and then, his replacement, Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins, injured his knee in the first quarter.

The Dolphins have not been very forgiving.

With New England having the ability to clinch a first-round playoff bye with a win vs. Miami, the Dolphins are the only ones who seem to care about winning today, taking a 17-0 lead into halftime.

Reggie Bush, in going over the 1,000-yard mark on the season, has 16 carries for 81 yards, while quarterback Matt Moore has thrown for 179 yards and two touchdown passes. Meanwhile, the Patriots rush game has been anemic (33 yards), and Tom Brady has been less than mediocre, completing 7 of 19 passes for 87 yards.

While the Dolphins began playing better earlier this season once it was clear former coach Tony Sparano would not return, they’ve obviously saved their best for interim coach Todd Bowles against perhaps the best team in the AFC (though I’m not sure a “best team” in that conference even exists).

 “I don’t have any expectations, really,” Bowles said earlier this week. “I’m just trying to get the guys to play hard and play better and play fast and try to come out with wins.”

His team is halfway there.


Follow all the Week 16 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
CLE-BAL | DEN-BUF | TB-CAR | ARI-CIN | OAK-KC | MIA-NE | NYG-NYJ | STL-PIT | JAC-TEN | MIN-WAS

4 p.m. ET games:
SD-DET | PHI-DAL | SF-SEA




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Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: December 19, 2011 10:33 am
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 15: Good losses?

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action, figures out the winners and losers and asks the big questions. New format! Same old sorting! Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 15 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

Are Good Losses Good?

You're not ever going to hear Aaron Rodgers or Tim Tebow admit this, but losing isn't always a bad thing. In the case of each, a loss on Sunday actually means significantly less pressure in the public eye over the next few weeks.

For Rodgers, there's no more chatter about whether or not the Packers can run the table. Granted, that was a side story to Tebow for most of the past few weeks but if Green Bay had beat Kansas City, the heat was about to be turned up with questions about resting players, playing stars, Mercury Morris' plethora of media appearances and much more.

The loss stinks, clearly. But now the week will be filled with questions like "Are the Packers in trouble?" and "Are the Saints the best team in the NFC?" (See: below). So a team that hadn't lost in nearly a year is suddenly going to get a free chip put on its shoulder? That seems smart for the rest of everyone.

As for Tebow, we all needed this. I love Tim Tebow's story. I love that my cousins' neighbors have a dog named Tebow. I love that my grandfather sends me newspaper clippings about Tebow's awesomeness. But my, um, God, that last week leading up to the Patriots game was just too much, you guys. We had media wars, Tebrews, preachers recanting TMZ quotes on Twitter and just generally all the other things you'd associate with the Apocalypse.

But now the Broncos lost and the Tebowagon gets a chance to tap the brakes, all while not giving up any ground on the playoffs (except to the Chargers who propped their playoff window open a little wider).

We (me, you, Tim) just need some time apart from Tebowmania. Hopefully we get at least a week.

Winners

It's a good thing Romeo Crennel didn't wear the traditional white shirt on Sunday. (US Presswire)

Romeo Crennel: We've been giving Crennel credit for his defensive schemes for a few weeks now, but Sunday's performance by the Chiefs -- a stunning 19-14 win over previously unbeaten Green Bay -- was absolutely worthy of the Gatorade bath he got after his first game as interim coach in Kansas City. The Chiefs shut down the Packers high-powered offense and Crennel parlayed the "you'd think it's obvious!" decision to bench Tyler Palko for Kyle Orton into a serious résumé builder for the offseason.

Reggie Bush: Look, I've ripped Reggie Bush left and right, especially considering his lack of success as an actual running back over the course of his career. But the dude is going HAMbone down in South Beach and Sunday's 203-yard effort makes him just the 40th running back since 1970 to rush for more than 200 yards on 25 or less carries. If you said you predicted Chiefs over Packers I might give it to you. If you predicted Bush rolling for 200 yards? You're a liar.

Skittles: Marshawn Lynch might've only averaged 2.1 yards per carry against the Bears, but he found the end zone twice and crossed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. The game was in Chicago which means it didn't rain rainbows all over Beast Mode when he dashed in the end zone. But has a candy ever gotten a bigger accidental brand boost from an athlete than what Lynch is giving those little sugar bombs during Seattle's sneaky playoff run?

Kyle Orton: Or, as I like to call him, "Senor Spoiler." Orton ripped the heart out of the Packers chance at an undefeated season and over the next two weeks, he's going to get a pair of shots to ruin some seasons. First there's Oakland in Week 16; a win in KC then and the Raiders are likely done. And then the ultimate revenge game against the Broncos, in Denver, on the final week of the season, against the guy, Tim Tebow, that de-seated him. There might be some major egg on John Elway's face if Orton pulls that "W" out.

Norv Turner: It seems impossible that Turner could save his gig, but that's mainly because the Chargers are dead-man walking when it comes to the playoffs ... or are they? After pummeling the Ravens on Sunday night, they've won their last three games and with losses by the Jets, Broncos, Titans, and Raiders they're suddenly one game back of a playoff spot.

Losers

Tom Coughlin: Just a week removed from taking over the NFC East with an impressive performance against the Cowboys, the target's back on Coughlin's back and it's bigger than ever. You can't watch Dallas dominate the Bucs on Saturday night and then lay a freaking ostrich egg at home against a division rival with four wins. Not if you want to make the playoffs anyway.

Our Souls: Bad news, you guys, because Tim Tebow lost. Naturally, that means that salvation will escape even the most penitent man (or woman). Or, alternately, it's a reflection of the fact that when the Broncos turn the ball over a bunch and hand Tom Brady short fields, the Patriots are really tough to beat. I'm going with the latter.

Santonio Holmes: Really Santonio? You're going to catch a touchdown pass, put the ball on the ground, stand on it and then do a dance mocking the Eagles who are in the middle of pantsing you right out of the playoffs? Really? It's kind of ironic that Charley Casserly compared Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson to Holmes on Sunday morning, considering they've both picked up embarrassing unsportsmanlike penalties now.

Oakland Raiders
: Take a look at the playoff picture. (Now back to me.) You realize that the Raiders, who choked to the Lions with a 99-yard drive to close things out, would be tied with the Broncos and Jets at 8-6 if they'd held off Detroit? Because they would be, and they hold the tiebreaker against the Jets and they're just one game back of the Broncos in conference record (5-5 to 6-4). Just close baby.

Ben Roethlisberger's Ankle
: No one's tougher than Roethlisberger, but did you see what happened to him against Cleveland? He probably doesn't have any business stepping on a football field for another week or so, especially without starting center Maurkice Pouncey. But with the Ravens getting paddled on Sunday, the Steelers are in the hunt for the top seed in the AFC and a division title, so Ben almost has to play. Poor ankle.

These Questions Go To 11

Who's protecting Aaron Rodgers? Excellent question.(Getty Images)

1. Should the Packers be worried?
Yes -- but not in the sense about caring over an undefeated season. They should be worried because even though they're still going to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, there's concern about how the offense performed without Greg Jennings and bigger concern about the performance of the offensive line and defense. A bad game from Aaron Rodgers and they can be sent home by anyone.

2. Is Johnny Knox OK?
That's the word on the street. The Bears wide receiver was taken to the hospital after a backbending hit that required him to be carted off the field. Fortunately, he's expected to have surgery to stabilize his vertebrae and according to reports his prognosis is good for a solid recovery.

3. Can the Eagles really still make the playoffs?
Somehow, yes. A lot of things need to happen, but it's not that crazy. 1) Philly wins out (duh), beating. 2) Dallas loses out, against Philly and at the Giants. The Giants go 1-1, losing to the Jets and beating Dallas. If those things happen, the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants will all finish 8-8 and Philly will win the NFC East through tiebreakers. *cues up Gary Wright*

4. What about the Chargers?
YES, THEM TOO. And they have two options -- either the Chargers can win out and the Broncos can lose out and the Bolts win the division. That's the "easy" way. Alternately, if the Jets lose out (against the Giants and Dolphins) and the Bengals can go 1-1 (losing to the Ravens) and the Chargers win out, they can make the playoffs as a wild card. Hope springs eternal in December and whatnot.

5. Should the Bears have called someone?
Yeah, and I'll go so far as to say Brett Favre could've been that guy. Marc Bulger might've made more sense from a perspective of knowing Mike Martz offense, but maybe he wasn't interested. Whatever, Caleb Hanie isn't getting it done.

6. Are the Texans cool with T.J. Yates?
Cool's a relative word, because there's really no excuse for a grizzled veteran of a rookie like Yates to get baffled by a Panthers defense that's running on fumes. Carolina's D showed up big time in Houston, but Yates made some pretty critical mistakes in the 28-13 loss and if Yates ends up with more passing attempts than Arian Foster and Ben Tate have rushing attempts combined, Houston probably lost the game.

7. Why did the Raiders use single coverage on Calvin Johnson?
Honestly, I have no idea. Johnson's the best wide receiver in the NFL and he walked out of a 28-27 win with 214 receiving yards a pair of teeters. It's one thing to trust your cornerback in coverage late in the game. It's another thing entirely to just throw caution to the wind and give the Lions an easy opportunity at going 98 yards for the win, which is what Oakland did Sunday. On the other hand, Darrius Heyward-Bey is starting to look like he could actually be a No. 1 receiver at times. That doesn't help the defensive scheming but it's something, right?

8. Should the Ravens be worried about their road record?
Hell yes they should. Baltimore's been unstoppable at home, rolling to a 7-0 record. On the road they've rolled over for lesser teams like the Jaguars, Seahawks and Titans. And now the Chargers. If Pittsburgh wins on Monday night, it's going to be really tough for the Ravens to land anywhere other than the fifth seed in the AFC, which means they're going on the road throughout the playoffs. And that probably means that the Ravens will be sitting at home in February.

9. Did Jim Caldwell save his job on Sunday?
I know Bill Polian reportedly said all Caldwell had to do was win one game, and the Colts did that by beating Tennessee 27-13 for their first victory on the season. But come on -- this team's going to draft their new franchise quarterback in April in Andrew Luck and Caldwell's not the guy that's going to train him to be Peyton Manning 2.0. Polian can pay lip service all he wants but having Manning/Luck on your roster is like sitting on pocket aces in the hold 'em game of finding a coach who wants to work somewhere with a franchise quarterback.

10. Are the Saints the best team in the NFC now?
If Greg Jennings is guaranteed to be out, if Aaron Rodgers offensive line is completely shredded, and if the game's in a dome ... then maybe, yeah. Drew Brees is as hot as it gets right now (and it's the right time to be hot) and he's going to crush Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season -- he needs just 305 to break it. And that's in two games, so it's broken. But if (when?) the Saints have to go to Lambeau for the NFC Championship Game, it's a whole different ballgame and the Packers will have a couple weeks to get healthy too. If the Niners can stay afloat, the Saints don't have those luxuries.

11. Should you jump off the Tebow bandwagon?
No you shouldn't have. As mentioned above, the Broncos made some critical mistakes that put the Patriots in a good position to win. The hype was so out of control that it was easy to freak out when New England started rolling. This is a game that Denver should've been more competitive in, but turnovers and a strong defensive performance from the Pats doomed them. They won't see the same sort of challenges against a tepid Bills team that gave up 200 rushing yards to Bush Sunday.

Worth 1,000 Words


GIF O' THE WEEK

This contest was over as of about 6:00 p.m. ET when dog-riding monkeys started herding sheep in Denver.


Award Watch Worth Watching

I'm tempted to open up the MVP race here, but let's get real: it's still Rodgers, despite Brees going ape smell. But how about Offensive Player of the Year instead? Typically speaking, this awards goes to "the most productive person on the team without the best record" or something like that, but I think Brees, if he breaks Marino's record -- and holds it -- is starting to lock it down. But you could make a great case for Calvin Johnson (gobs of touchdowns), Tom Brady and Rodgers too.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 5:16 pm
 

Video recap: Dolphins 30, Bills 23


Reggie Bush had a career-best 203 yards rushing in a 30-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday that made interim head coach Todd Bowles' debut a success. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots recap all the action from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Added bonus: Reggie Bush ran for a 76-yard score late in the fourth quarter to put the Dolphins up 30-13 over the Bills.


Follow all the Week 15 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games: MIA-BUF | SEA-CHI | CAR-HOU | TEN-IND | GB-KC | NO-MIN | WAS-NYG | CIN-STL
4 p.m. ET games: DET-OAK | CLE-ARI | NE-DEN | NYJ-PHI



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Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 5:28 pm
 

For the gambler in you, week 15

Potential Miami coachs

By Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will the Miami Dolphins hire one of these high profile coaches (Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Brian Billick, Tony Dungy)?       
  
Yes -200

No +150

No, they’re going to go with a “young Don Shula” and none of the aforementioned qualify. Billick might have some interest, but I think the Dolphins might go with a top-notch assistant.

Who will be the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for Game 1 of the 2012 regular season?

Romeo Crennel 2/1       

Josh McDaniels 5/2       

Kirk Ferentz 3/1       

Jeff Fisher 7/2       

Bill Cowher 7/1      
 
My brain wants to say Josh McDaniels, but my heart says Crennel. Actually, I think McDaniels wouldn’t be a good choice, and I think Crennel could become of the league’s better coaches if he gets another opportunity. I’d go with Crennel, because Ferentz never goes anywhere and Fisher and Cowher won’t want a personality like general manager Scott Pioli hanging over them.

Who will have more turnovers in the game Week 15?

Tom Brady (NE) QB +145    

Tim Tebow (DEN) QB -175    

Unless you’re a pirouetting ballerina like Chicago’s Charles Tillman on his amazing interception of Tebow last week, Tebow rarely turns over the ball. Neither does Brady, but Denver’s defense is better than New England’s unit. I’ll go with Brady on this bet.

Tim Tebow -- completion percentage Week 15?          

Over/Under 49%     

On the season, Tebow is at 48.5 percent, but the Patriots defense is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 63.7 percent of their passes. I’d go with over, especially if the Broncos are close in the second half.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Fins fans raise $1.5K for 'Fire Ireland' banner

By Will Brinson

(US PRESSWIRE)

You might recall earlier in the season when the guys who run Finsnation.com, a Dolphins blog, got real amped up about the "Suck for Luck" campaign in Miami. The Dolphins resurgence derailed that, but undeterred, blog proprietors Chris Joseph and Roger Paul are taking their anger out elsewhere: GM Jeff Ireland.

Joseph and Paul raised $1,500 to fly a banner over Sun Life Stadium during the Dolphins final home game of the season that will read, "Mr. Ross, save our Dolphins. Fire Jeff Ireland."

The money for the banner was raised by readers of the site and Twitter followers which is, well, kind of amazing.

"We just put it out there on Twitter, and the next thing you know it snowballed like crazy," Joseph told Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. "This afternoon we put up a Paypal link, and within four hours we met our goal, just purely on donations. We're just overwhelmed by people's anger."


It's really all so touching isn't it? Unfortunately (for drama's sake anyway), the plane won't be able to fly over Sun Life during the game. There's a air space restriction that only allows the banner to fly up to an hour before the game.

But that's not slowing Joseph and Paul down -- they're having an "airplane watch party" while tailgating.

Unfortunately for the duo it looks like, based on Stephen Ross' actions, they're also going to have a "watch Jeff Ireland draft" party in the next couple of months too.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Brian Billick expresses interest in Dolphins gig

By Will Brinson

Brian Billick sounds interested in taking the rock from Stephen Ross.  (Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins coaching search won't be completed until after the season ends, but as expected, the Dolphins will contact all "the big names" before the season ends. At least one of those big names -- Brian Billick -- expressed interest in the position.

NFL Coaching Rumors

Billick, currently an analyst with FOX and the NFL Network, was asked directly on Thursday if he was interested in the job.

"Yeah," Billick said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "The Dolphins are a marquee franchise. But at the end of the day, it’s the structure of what they put together. It has to be a partnership between the head coach, general manager and ownership with a very specific vision.

"The Dolphins are probably a long way from formulating their plans."

Billick also made a couple of interesting points, perhaps as analyst. Or perhaps not. For one, he said it's "a GM's league," stating that in order to be successful in the NFL, you have to have a "marriage" between coach and general manager. Obviously Jeff Ireland is still GM in Miami.

This job, frankly, makes a lot of sense for Billick if he can get along with Ireland.

He's a big enough name to satisfy Stephen Ross' hunger for making news, he's won a Super Bowl before so he's clearly had success and he's an offensive-minded coach, which is what the Dolphins need right now.

There's the presence of Mike Nolan, once Billick's defensive coordinator in Baltimore, on the staff already. Then there's the quarterback situation -- Billick had success with mediocre quarterbacks (Trent Dilfer anyone?) with the Ravens, so it's not inconceivable that either Chad Henne or Matt Moore could be successful under Billick.


But given the likelihood of the Dolphins high pick, Billick could actually get a shot at redemption through developing a quarterbacks of his own. The Kyle Boller experiment made the Hindenburg look like a perfectly executed landing and surely that eats at Billick in terms of how it reflects on his legacy as a coach.

Going to Miami would give him a shot at (potentially) grooming someone like Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin, III.

But he'll have to beat out other candidates to get there, first. Jackson also reports that the Dolphins are contacting or have contacted both CBS Sports analyst Bill Cowher and former Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

Billick said on NFL Network's Total Access Thursday, however, that he has not been contacted. But if he keeps making nice statements about Miami, and the Dolphins don't receive mutual interest from Fisher and Cowher (Fisher said he'll "listen to anyone," while Cowher has repeatedly said he's not returning to coaching), there's a pretty good chance he'll hear from Ross at some point.

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:08 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 1:28 am
 

USC OL Matt Kalil to enter NFL Draft, sign agent

By Will Brinson

We've seen a recent surge of top prospects entering the 2012 NFL Draft (the top wideout, Justin Blackmon, and top quarterback, Andrew Luck, on Rob Rang's big board are already in) and now top offensive line prospect Matt Kalil will leave USC and enter the draft.

Kalil, the third-best prospect according to NFL Draft Scout, will leave the Trojans program and make the leap into tue NFL.

"It was definitely a tough decision because I love SC," Kalil told the LA Times. "But itís a special opportunity. Itís time to move on."

Kalil's brother, Ryan Kalil, currently plays center for the Carolina Panthers, and there's been talk of joining the brothers in a tandem on the line there.

Of course, the younger Kalil would need to fall to the Panthers first, and in Rang's latest mock draft that didn't happen. Rang has Kalil going to the Vikings (currently slated to have the third pick).

It's also possible the Rams could consider Kalil with their pick (currently No. 2), depending on how they grade Justin Blackmon and/or if no teams are willing to trade up to a higher spot.

2012 NFL Draft

Ultimately, Kalil will probably end up being a top-five pick.

Premiere offensive lineman come at a high cost for teams looking to shore up their offensive lines, and even though we've seen the value of quarterbacks in the first round spike significantly over the past year or so (thanks, ridiculous 2011 NFL Draft class!), the value of a left tackle who can step in and perform well from day one can't be overstated.

Kalil's decision could also influence quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley hasn't made a decision about the draft yet, but losing the guy who protects his blind side (coupled with a high draft rating) could potentially push him closer to making a decision and turning pro.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Agent: Jeff Fisher 'will listen to anyone'

By Will Brinson

One of the biggest names in coaching searches -- three, at least, by my count -- this offseason will be former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who's been connected with just about every possible opening and/or potential opening thus far.

Here's some good news for those would-be suitors: Fisher's agent Marvin Demoff says the coach is interested.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald asked Demoff about the opening with the Dolphins (Tony Sparano was canned on Monday) and Demoff said he hadn't spoken to Fisher about the Miami job specifically but said Fisher "will listen to anyone."

Thus far, Fisher's been connected to the Dolphins and Chiefs jobs, and it's entirely possible that Stephen Ross sped up the timeline for dumping Sparano in order to stay abreast of the Chiefs, who fired Todd Haley earlier Monday.

Not that it matters -- teams that appoint an interim coach aren't allowed to hire their full-time coach until the season ends and only after complying with the necessary interviewing guidelines.

Coaching Carousel

"Once the season is concluded, the head coaching position must be considered open and the club must fill the position in accordance with the interviewing guidelines,” NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello told Jackson.

There was some rumbling on Tuesday that hiring minority interim coaches (Romeo Crennel, Todd Bowles and Mel Tucker are all African-American) would allow the teams in question to circumvent the Rooney Rule. It does not.

But the Jaguars, Chiefs and Dolphins can all talk to potential head-coaching candidates before the end of the season, which means that Fisher will absolutely get a chance to listen over the next couple of weeks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com