1) It is TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17. Click on Random Evidence for yesterday's latest Sunday notes-column package. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Collball Week 3 roundup, Nick Saban smiles, big day for (most) state teams & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird) and Vine (Greg Cote).
DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G2: 98.8%: Results are now certified in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show a robust 98.8 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 24-20 victory at Indianapolis making Miami's season record 2-0. That includes a stout 71.9% calling themselves "very" satisfied. The DSM, in its sixth season, is a continuous weekly gauge of how fans are feeling about the Dolphins and their direction. Right after each game I invite you to share your overall degree of satisfaction. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest fans consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, direction the club is heading and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Polls never close (you may still vote), but results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 9:30 a.m. today/Tuesday.
2013 DSM Results
G1: 86.5% satisfaction (20.3 very, 66.2 somewhat) following 23-10 victory at Cleveland.
G2: 98.8% satisfaction (71.9 very, 26.9 somewhat) following 24-20 victory at Indianapolis.
Next poll: Sept. 22 following game vs. Atlanta.
G2: DOLPHINS 24, INDIANAPOLIS 20: TANNEHILL LEADS BIG ROAD WIN: Final: MIA 2-0 after big road win today and the simplest way to put is that Ryan Tannehill outplayed Andrew Luck. Tanny went 23-for-34 for 319 yards with a TD and no picks, for a 107.4 rating. Dolphs limited Luck to a 79.7 rating, holding him in check in the second half including a big stop late in the game. Miami's defense bent all day (giving up 448 yards) but held when it counted. Good signs offensively beyond the QB, with Mike Wallace 9-for-115, Charles Clay 5-for-109, and RBs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas combining for 99 yards on 22 carries. Big day for Miami. ..... 4Q: Dolphins defense denies Luck on fourth down! Win at hand! ... Brent Grimes has position in front of Reggie Wayne for a big end-zone INT. Any such play at this point could be a game-saver. ... Miami gives ball over when first down on 4th-and-1 play is overturned on review. ..... 3Q: MIA back up 24-20 on 1-yard TD run by (huh?) TE Charles Clay, on his first career carry. Score set up by Wallace's 34-yard catch to the 1. ... Dolphins punt again. ... Bizzare sequence. Turnover by Miami on controversial ruling that makesa fumble of an apparent forward pass. Then a successful red-flag challenge by Joe Philbin negates a play to the 1. Then a Colts TD pass is negated by an illegal-shift penalty. Then Nags settle for 38-yard FG and 20-17 lead. ..... Half: The good news first: Tannehill an efficient 13-for-21 for 209 yards and a TD, including 96 yards on three passes to Charles Clay and Mike Wallace at 7-for-70. The bad news: Pass defense has given up 242 yards to Luck including 124 on six catches by FIU's Hilton. Also, running game still negligible for Miami, with Miller 6-for-34. Second half Rx: A lot more pressure on Luck. Miami has only one sack and no other QB hits so far. ..... 2Q: Ice this! Indy ices rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis, who calmly drills 54-yard tying FG on second try to end half. ... Indy up for first time 17-14 just before half on Ahmad Bradshaw 1-yard run. Killer play was T.Y. Hilton's 46-yard catch over Brent Grimes. ... Brian Hartline big 24-yard third-down catch, but series still ends in game's first punt. ... Indy within 14-10 on Coby Fleener 3-yard TD flip from Andrew Luck. Reshad Jones late on the coverge in corner of end zone. ..... 1Q: Audible number of Dolphins fans in Indy. ... At 14-3, MIA, this is the offense Dolfans have dreamed about. Charles Clay 67-yard pass play sets up 10-yard Lamar Miller scoring run. ... Indy within 7-3 on 30-yard FG, after Chris Clemons tips away pass into end zone. ... Miami 7-0 on Ryan Tannehill 18-yard TD pass to Mike wallace. Wallace, agter last week's complaint, catches 3 balls in row including the score. They're using Wallace out of the slot, not wide. Interesting ... Colts bonk a 52-yard FG try off left upright to end game's first drive. ..... Original post: When there are only 16 games every one of them changes the context in which a team and season is viewed. That is particularly true with the Dolphins, who have been mediocre for so long that any optimism on the part of Dolfans is naturally fragile. We have become the Show Me state. That's the framework for why today is so important. Beating the lowly Browns was nice; this is a bigger challenge. At 2-0 after another win, Dolfans would be moving closer to being genuinely, solidly excited about this team. But at 1-1 after a loss I think more of a "here we go again" pall would settle across the fandom. Am I wrong? An interesting subtext to every MIA-IND game henceforth will be Ryan Tannehill vs. Andrew Luck (they are pictured). Last year's draft made them natural, career-long rivals, with Luck cast as the star Tannehill must chase to catch. Colts a narrow favorite today but I have a hunch about this one. Unlike last week I think Miami remembered to pack its running game for this trip. Think the Dolphins pass rush will bother Luck. And I think Tannehill will make Mike Wallace happy this time (!). My pick was: Upset. Dolphins, 24-23.
Zach Thomas has an outside shot: Former Dolphins Zach Thomas, Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain are among 16 first-time eligibles under consideration for 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. The two cornerbacks have zero shot, realistically, but Zach could be interesting. No way for him on the first ballot and long odds to ever get in, but with time and lobbying, I give him a fighting chance.
Fun Fact (actually, not that much fun): This is only the 11th time in 48 franchise years that Miami has begun a season with consecutive road games. And only the second time (along with 2010) since 1988.
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