Dolfan Satisfaction Meter: 58.2%; plus Miami falls to 3-1 at Saints, 38-17; Heat media day, Lebby goes natty & more
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DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G4: 58.2%: Results are certified in the latest of our Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls, and they show 58.2 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Monday night's 38-17 loss at New Orleans putting Miami's season record at 3-1. This actually is a fairly high overall number following a loss, and includes a plurality of 39.4% calling themselves "somewhat" 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 9:15 a.m. today/Wednesday.
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.
G3: 99.0% satisfaction (78.2 very, 20.8 somewhat) following 27-23 victory vs. Atlanta.
G4: 58.2% satisfaction (18.8 very, 58.2 somewhat) following 38-17 loss at New Orleans.
Next poll: Oct. 6 following game vs. Baltimore.
G4: DOLPHINS @ NEW ORLEANS: ARE THEY READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME PLAYERS?: Final: Big pic? Can't get too down. Miami is 3-1 at the quarter turn after a road loss to a very good team. Defensive injuries hurt Dolphins tonight, though not as much as four turnovers hurt -- all by Ryan Tannehill. Problem areas beyond the turnovers: Brees made the MIA pass D look just awful. Mike Wallace had his third quiet game in four. And the Dolphins O-line/pass protection continues in serious need of major, immediate improvement. ..... 4Q: Tanny arm hit at release, causing 3rd INT, 4th tunover. Done. ... Too little too late but MIA finally gets a defensive takeaway inside own 10 when Jimmy Wilson strips Sproles of ball. ... Tannehill suffers 2nd INT, 3rd turnover. Fork time. ... Fleur de Lis up 38-17 after a 29-yard FG. Time for Dandy Don Meredith to start singing from the grave. (How creepy would that be!?) ... MIA within 35-17 on Charles Clay 3-yard TD pass from Tannhill. Still need a miracle. ..... 3Q: Cajuns miss FG try! Something goes right for Dolphins! ... OK this is getting embarrassing. Brees' 4th TD pass is 43-yarder to Graham. Chris Clemons didn't have a chance. ... Brees' 3rd TD pass is a 4-yard flip to Ben Watson and Cajuns are in charge at 28-10. Miami needs some deep shots on O and sudden answers on pass-D or this one is done. ..... Half: Two things are killing Miami at the half: Turnovers, both by Tannehill, each have led to Saints points. And Darren Sproles' 7 catches for 114 yards have victimized Miami's defense. Tanny's numbers are fine -- 9-for-13 for 128 yards -- but his INT and lost fumble are the difference. ..... 2Q: NO up 21-10 in final minute of half on Sproles 13-yard scoring catch on 3rd-and-11, thanks to a Nolan Carroll failed gamble on D. More points off turnovers. ... Tanny picked off late in half, his second turnover of game. That's the difference so far. ... Dolphs within 14-10 on Lamar Miller 5-yard scoring jaunt. Marcus Thigpen 50-yard catch and run sets it up. ... N'Awlins up 14-3 on 27-yard Brees strike to ex-Cane Jimmy Graham. Rookie Jamar Taylor with decent coverage, but Graham too tall and the pass too perfect. That's points off a turnover, which Miami absolutely cannot afford tonight. (Also can't give up first down on a 3rd-and-20). ... Tannehill fumbles, turns ball over on run, ending drive into Saints territory. ...... 1Q: I must say, a fairly encouraging first Q. ... Might have liked to have seen MIA go for there on 4th-and-1 from own 45. Like Jon Gruden said, you're probably going to need to score 30 to be in this game. ... Miami within 7-3 on 34-yard Caleb Sturgis FG but disappointing because Dolphs eschewed a QB sneak on 3rd and inches. You don't hand off six yards deep in that situation. ... Impressive Saints opening drive for 7-0 lead on 4-yard Darren Sprol draw-play TD run. That was the series you worried about if you worried Drew Brees might have a big night. ..... Original post: Miami 3-0 for the first time since 2002 and aiming for its first 4-0 breakout since '95. Drew Brees' Saints also 3-0. The Monday night stage and the nation watching. Oh my. Easy theme in the Big Easy: Are the Dolphins ready? Are the Dolphins ready at long last to fit this stage and be national players again? We'll see. For now, oh yes, I believe we are ready for some football, thank you! Excitement aside, I'm afraid Dolfans should perhaps be worried tonight. Brees is awfully tough to beat at home and tougher to hold under 300 yards, and Jimmy Graham has the skills to exploit Miami's tendency to struggle against top tight ends. It isn't that I doubt the Dolphins; I think they're a playoff team. It's that Brees at home on a Monday night is a tall, tall order. My pick: Saints, 34-20.
DAN MARINO'S LEGS: To my attention came this story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about this, the 35th anniversary of Dan Marino's senior season at the city's Central Catholic High. The point of the piece is what a great runner Marino was in high-school, surprising since he never was with the Dolphins during his Hall of Fame career. Marino fans may enjoy the story. Here is a photo of the prep Marino on a TD run -- all the more remarkable because he appears to be missing a foot.
IT WAS A MAJOR, MANIC, MONSTROUS, MARVELOUS MONDAY IN MIAMI!: (Man, I love alliteration!) It wasn't just the Dolphins last night. Two pretty big South Florida events happened earlier in the day...
The Heat's road to a three-peat begins now: The double-champion Miami Heat reconvened in the bayside arena for the first time since the place still had the sweet stink of champagne and confetti on the floor. It was Media Day as the team ceremonially christened the 2013-14 season before jetting off to the Bahamas for a four-day training camp. The highlight: "I want to be the greatest of all-time," said LeBron James -- more directly than ever. Click on Defeating Doubt for my column off Media Day.
Le Batard goes national: The Dan Le Batard Show on 790 and 104.3 The Ticket went national on ESPN Radio starting yesterday at 4 p.m. The show was canceled at 5:45. OH I'M JUST KIDDING, RELAX! The show was not canceled and will be a big hit despite my occasional on-air involvement. If you heard the national debut, what'd y'all think? Congrats to our buddy Dan!
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