Archive for November, 2010

The Raiders

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

So this week we go to Oakland without Brandon Marshall and a quarterback question.  Fortunately for us Oakland can be run on and if we are going to have a good run game all year this has to be it.  Henne is probably going to get the start which is scary because Oakland has a decent pass rush and Henne will be in a knee brace.  On the other hand if Thigpen starts he is 1-11 as a starter but his one win came at Oakland.  I really have no idea what to expect from the game but I just hope it is a lot more fun than last week.

I also wanted to thank everyone who came out last week, we raised over $500 for The Miami Dolphins Foundation. It was a big success despite the game. This week at Third & Long we aren’t doing a raffle or anything but we do still have Dolfans NYC shirts for sale (although we are out of Mediums). All of the money still goes to charity minus random club expenses.

Speaking of the shirts… did you guys see Dan Marino with his? It’s a pretty good look…


Next week I am going to be in Miami for the Cleveland game and then we have the big trip to the Meadowlands for the Jets game so I won’t be at the bar for a few weeks so I hope to see everyone at Third & Long this week. No matter how badly the Dolphins play everyone still has a good time until the fat lady sings.

Go Dolphins!

Thursday Night Photos

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I was having a Happy Thanksgiving until the Jets just scored in the Thursday night game against the Bengals…

Anyway, last Thursday the Dolphins played a game that I don’t think anyone wants to remember.  What I do want to remember is that Dolfans NYC threw a really fun party at Third & Long and raised over $500 for the Miami Dolphins Foundation. The bar was completely packed and up until the Dolphins actually took the field we were having a blast.  It sort of went down hill after that….

At least the week ended on a high note with us getting to meet Dan Marino

Enjoy the photos of the party below and click the gallery to open them in a new window if you want to save any of the shots.  Go Dolphins.

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DolfansNYC Meets Dan Marino

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Last Sunday is a day that DolfansNYC will never forget.

Through the help of Michelle’s coworker, we had the opportunity to attend a live taping of CBS’ “NFL Today.” We stood behind the set as James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason went through the highlights at halftime of the early afternoon games. Once the cameras were off, we walked onto the set and took a picture with the entire cast.

And then, we had the chance to meet our idol, the greatest quarterback in Miami Dolphins history.

It was a little intimidating when my fiancée, Michelle, introduced me to her first crush. I felt like I needed to challenge Dan Marino to a throwing contest to win over her affections. Luckily, I thought better of it and excitedly shook his hand. After all, the man looks like he could still hit open receivers 50 yards down the field with his cannon arm.

“Is this for me? Can I keep this?” asked Marino after we gave him a DolfansNYC t-shirt. He thanked us for the gift, posed for a picture, and autographed our football, jersey, and photo.

As Igor said afterwards, it was an epic day.

The Tyler Thigpen Era Begins

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

tyler-thigpenWith a short week and injuries to both Chad Pennigton and Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen is in line to make his first start as a Miami Dolphin.

It’s probably safe to assume that most Fins fans don’t know all that much about the team’s newest quarterback.  He’s been the third-stringer behind Pennington, Henne, and (sigh) Pat White ever since he was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in September 2009, and had throw only one touchdown and three interceptions for Miami prior to last week.  In his most extensive game action to date, he threw two costly picks in a winnable game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 of 2009.

A mistake-prone QB going up against the Chicago Bears’ fourth-ranked defense that’s tied for the NFL lead with 14 interceptions on the season isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but that doesn’t mean that Thigpen can’t get the job done.

In 2008, Thigpen wasn’t just good in his final ten games for the Chiefs (we’ll conveniently ignore his first career start) — he was one of the best QBs in the NFL.  No seriously, take a look at these numbers from Weeks 7 through 17 of that season.

Player Comp % Pass Yds Pass TD INT Total TD
Drew Brees 63.5% 3,396 25 11 25
Philip Rivers 67.1% 2,826 23 7 23
Aaron Rodgers 63.8% 2,764 19 9 21
Kurt Warner 66.0% 3,111 20 10 20
Peyton Manning 68.6% 2,700 19 7 20
Matt Cassel 62.8% 2,783 18 7 20
Tyler Thigpen 57.8% 2,292 16 8 20
Donovan McNabb 58.8% 2,620 17 9 19
Jay Cutler 60.9% 3,024 15 14 17
Tony Romo 59.7% 2,080 15 9 15
Chad Pennington 67.0% 2,552 14 5 15
Eli Manning 58.6% 2,010 14 6 14
Joe Flacco 58.8% 2,127 13 5 14
David Garrard 61.7% 2,637 12 9 13
Matt Ryan 64.0% 2,577 12 8 13

Only five perennial Pro-Bowlers and a QB playing with Randy Moss and Wes Welker at his disposal found the enzone more times.  The aggressive Thigpen threw the eighth-most TDs — three fewer than Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers — rushed for 386 yards and three more scores, and even caught a 37-yard TD pass.  Of course, the second-year player made his share of errors, and Kansas City lost 10 of the 11 games he started (though six of those contests were decided by seven points or less).  The spectacular numbers apparenty weren’t good enough for the Chiefs, who opted to trade for the marginally-better Matt Cassel and keep the legendary Brodie Croyle as the backup QB.

Last week, I speculated that Thigpen would get an extended look towards the end of the season to see if he can be the Dolphins latest QB of the future.  Miami hung on to him during the offseason despite getting plenty of offers, and instead cut ties with White, a 2009 second-round pick.  Don’t be surprised if the underrated Thigpen seizes the opportunity and establishes an immediate rapport with Brandon Marshall on Thursday night. 

At the very least, let’s hope he can make it through the game — I really don’t want to have to write anything positive about Patrick Ramsey.

Pictures From Sunday

Monday, November 15th, 2010

So last Sunday was a great win and I think we had a lot of fun at the club. We finally had a game we could enjoy because we actually got up on them and could relax for almost a quarter. Unforutunately the injury news was grim and watching the Jets steal an overtime victory made the taste of the win a little bitter. The Jets keep winning games they should not win and it is insanely frustrating.  Chad Pennington is done for the year and we are going to be sending a severely banged up team into battle against a pretty decent Chicago Bears. I have a ton of friends from Chicago so I am hoping we can win to shut these guys the fuck up. I have a feeling some of them are going to show up at Third and Long but I’ll make them sit by the door…

I will make the announcement tomorrow or Wednesday but we have some surprises in store for you guys on Thursday. It will be a big party and we will be raising money for charity and hooking you guys up in the process so get excited for Thursday night football.

And let the football gods shine on Tyler Thigpen. Enjoy the photos from Sunday and double click the slideshow below if you want to save any of the photos.

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Vs. The Titans

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

So what can I say? Last week was a disaster and I spent over $200 to attend the game in person. I watched it with a bunch of great DolfansNYC members that responded after I sent out a message last week so I am thankful for that, but being embarrassed at the game was not something I will soon forget. We got beaten in all three phases of the game and even the security guards were making fun of us. It was bad… but not as bad as the Dolphins.

Personally I cannot understand how we could not stop them from running running back dump off after running back dump off. At some point you would think Mike Nolan would have had someone mirror Rice after we got burned.  I have no idea what happened after we have been playing such good defense of late.
On special teams how could we possibly leave a gunner open and allow a punter to complete a damn pass? It was the only time all game we had forced them to punt and we blew it.

And our offense? Now that was something. After a fantastic drive to open the game we decided that we wouldn’t run the ball again. Dan Henning called one of the worst games of his career. We were empty back field half the game. We through something like 50 times and we didn’t start running play action until we were down by 16 with 2 minutes to go.

And the Dolphins solution to this? Bench Chad Henne. To me this is absurd. Henne missed an easy touchdown and he three 3 interceptions, but honestly two of those weren’t even his fault. Evidently he has 7 interceptions on the year that haven’t been his fault.  That is absurd. With the 8 would be INT’s that our defense has dropped we are talking about a -15 turnover margin caused by drops and miscues.  This team has a lot of problems but in my mind the answer is not benching Chad Henne.

That being said, I do think Chad Pennington can come in and lead this team. Henning’s horrible offense is built for Pennington and I think Marshall is going to love him.  Marshall and Bess are both the type of players you can dump short passes off to and Pennington is just the type of guy to throw to him. I think it will turn this team around.

Of course it will probably be the end of Henne in Miami and Pennington will get injured again or just get too old for this and we will have to start all over again trying to find a new guy when I wasn’t ready to give up on Henne.
And lastly the idea to bench Sean Smith for Jason Allen has turned out even worse than planned. Not only did we have some serious coverage issues with Allen in the game but after he got re demoted evidently he started complaining and asking to be released. So now he is playing for Houston and old man Al Harris is having to learn Mike Nolan’s defense.  I don’t exactly see a 35 year old man being a core four special teamer do you?

Anyway, I am going to stop bitching about this team. I love them and I really think they are going to win a bunch of games in a row starting with the Titans.  Yes, the Titans are coming off a bye but Vince Young is still banged up and Moss could just cause havoc in Tennessee. I really think we are due to win one at home and then our schedule gets a lot easier from here on out. If we can go 6 and 2 maybe we are back in this and I think Pennington if he stays healthy might just be the guy to take us back to the playoffs… but we are going to need some luck.

So, I hope to see everyone out at Third and Long this week. We need a big crowd to keep everyone in this. I don’t want to see the place start to thin out because we have lost a few games.  I know the die hards will be in the back with me, but we need to keep that place packed.

Next Thursday we are going to do some special event for the Thursday night game against the Bears… so put that on your calendar and get excited.

See you guys Sunday. Go Dolphins!

Dolphins Bench Henne for Pennington

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Like most Dolphins fans, I was surprised (somewhat pleasantly) by Coach Tony Sparano’s announcement that quarterback Chad Pennington will start over Chad Henne going forward.

chad-penningtonA little over a year ago, when Miami started 0-3 and Pennington averaged only 138 passing yards per contest while committing four turnovers, the fans wanted him benched in favor of the up-and-coming Henne.  21 games later, there’s a growing sense of excitement about Pennington’s return to the field as a 4-4 team clings to its fading Playoff hopes.

According to beat writer Omar Kelly, the coaching staff felt that “Henne had become extremely predictable,” leading to decreased confidence in locker room.  Henne made too many bad decisions and committed far too many costly turnovers, throwing four interceptions without a single touchdown pass in Miami’s last two games.  Whether he’s still the Dolphins QB of the future remains to be seen, but it’s certainly not inconceivable that Tyler Thigpen will get an extended look later this year or during the offseason.

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning’s play calling has certainly raised a lot of valid questions, since his system has been more tailored to Pennington’s “water pistol” arm all along.  Henne averaged 6.9 yards per pass attempt and 10.8 yards per completion his season, both of which are below Pennington’s career averages.  After three surgeries on his throwing shoulder, Pennington doesn’t have the arm strength to throw deep passes, but then again, Henne has only two completions of over 40 yards in eight games.

One factor that can’t be understated is Pennington’s accuracy, which is miles ahead of Henne’s.  Pennington holds the highest completion percentage (66.1%) in NFL history among players with at least 1,000 pass attempts, and led the NFL in that category during his last full season in 2008 (67.4%).  He has the 12th-best career Passer Rating (90.1), and ranked second in the league behind Phillip Rivers two years ago.  While Henne has thrown four more INTs than TDs, Pennington has nearly twice as many scores as picks over 11 years (though it should be noted that he threw four costly INTs against the Ravens in Miami’s last Playoff game).

It’ll be interesting to see how the 34-year-old fares against the Tennessee Titans defense, which has given up the 10th most passing yards but leads the league with 3.3 sacks per game.   If Pennington improbably leads Miami back into the postseason, he deserves to win an unprecedented third Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Questions For Dan Henning

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Normally I take today to post pictures from the last Dolfans NYC meet up, but since I was at the game in Baltimore getting embarrassed by my team I don’t have club pictures to post. Instead I am going to post some questions I have for Dan Henning. Tomorrow is his media availability day and I have some questions for the guy. The press loves Henning because he is so charming when he talks to them, but they rarely get to the bottom of what the fuck he is doing out there. Today I woke up to find out that Henne was benched, which I think is a terrible idea. The real culprit behind this mediocrity is Dan Henning. He is the guy who needs to be benched.

  • Why the hell do you go empty backfield on third and short all the time?
  • Why have you stopped giving Polite the ball on 3rd and 1? I know he missed ONE 3rd and 1, but thats one out of 25.
  • Why do you not keep handing the ball to the running back who is actually gaining yards?
  • Why did it take you twice as long as we did to realize the Wild Cat isn’t working anymore?
  • Why during the Baltimore game did you have a 10 play drive without handing off once?
  • Why down 16 points with 3 minutes to go did you start running play action?

Seriously, our offense is garbage not because of Henne, but because of Henning. He is putting our players in a position to fail. Pennington might fare better than Henne, but it won’t be because he is a better quarterback. It will be because he is experienced enough and smart enough to play within this horrible system that Henning has created.  Everyone gives Henning all this credit for the brilliance of the Wild Cat, but that was all David Lee.  Let’s put David Lee in charge and send Henning to the nursing home.

What questions would you have for Henne if you were at his press conference tomorrow?

Out For Ravens’ Blood

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Just a short post today. I have a busy weekend I have no idea how many of you actually read these things

I just wanted to say I like our chances against the Ravens this week and if we win we will put ourselves in a very good place in the AFC playoff picture. Winning again against the Titans would go a long way next week too. Let’s see if we can get a little winning streak going.

I was hoping the be in Baltimore for the game but unfortunately the people I was going with could not make it. If anyone is going to the game and has an extra ticket for sale, let me know I would love to make the trip but I don’t want to sit by myself.

If I am not at the game I will of course be at Third & Long. If anyone out there hasn’t been yet you really need to join us out there. This season has been so much fun win or lose. We even got the bartender to get rid of her Giants gear and put on a DolfansNYC t-shirt.

Speaking of the shirts, we got more in and Michelle will have them for sale even if I am not at the game.

Let’s get em this week guys! Go Dolphins!

Will Miami Regret Passing on Randy Moss?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Randy Moss is going to the Tennessee Titans, who claimed the enigmatic wide receiver off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings.  Since waiver priority is determined by the inverse order of the current standings, the 4-3 Miami Dolphins would have acquired Moss had they decided to put in a claim.  Did the team make a big mistake by passing up the chance to feature two 2009 Pro Bowlers in a revamped vertical game?

Tmoss-frohere were plenty of reasons for Miami to pass on Moss, who can be the best player on the field if he’s motivated, and a head-case who doesn’t respect his teammates or coaches and carries far more baggage than he’s worth if he’s disinterested. 

Despite playing for Bill Belichick, one of very few coaches who has earned Moss’s admiration, the wide receiver still found a ticket out of New England after questioning his role in the offense and getting into a spat about Tom Brady’s hair (I don’t actually think that last part is true, but it’s hilarious nonetheless). 

Through his career, Moss has been repeatedly chastised for his lack of effort, failure to finish routes and make blocks, and an alarming attitude in the locker room that largely contributed to his release from Minnesota.

But hate him or love him, Moss is one of the most talented WRs in NFL history, and players of his caliber are hardly ever so readily available.  He’s two and a half years removed from a season in which he recorded nearly 1,500 receiving yards and caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes.   For his career, he ranks second in league history in TDs (153), fourth in receiving yards per game (76.6), fifth in total receiving yards (14,778), and eight in catches (948).  Those skills didn’t suddenly diminish overnight.

Perhaps the Miami coaches didn’t think they could keep him happy in a run-first offense, or didn’t want to deal with the distractions and media circus that surrounds the outspoken and constantly unhappy Moss.  But his off-putting personality aside, the Dolphins sure could’ve used him on the field.

The team ranks 25th in the league in passing plays of over 20 yards (17) with an anemic average of 6.7 yards per pass attempt.  Miami hasn’t had a true deep threat (at least one who can catch the ball) in years, and Moss would’ve commanded double-teams and opened the field for Brandon Marshall — who publicly lobbied for the acquisition — and slot receiver Davone Bess.

It would’ve been a relatively low-risk and low-cost gamble for the Dolphins, since Moss is owed $3.388 million for the remainder of the season, the final year of his contract.  Even he has to realize that at this point, no team would hesitate to cut him if he continues to exhibit an oversized ego and a poor attitude, and that he could find himself out of a job in the offseason if he burns yet another bridge.  

The Dolphins could’ve gotten a playmaker whose talents could’ve single-handedly brought the division title back to South Beach.  Instead, they’ll have to settle for seeing Moss catch passes only once this year, when the visiting Titans come to Miami on November 14.


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