1) It is SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15. Click on Random Evidence for yesterday's latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with Heat-Pacers II. 2) To the several e-mailers who are asking: I have bunch of back-loaded vacation days I need to use before end of year. That's why I have had fewer columns lately. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Winston and Heisman, Dolphins/NFL Week 15 pix, breaking fantasy hearts, Heat three-peat result & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
Incognito update: The Dolphins and guard Richie Incognito mutually agreed today to extend his suspension through the NFL Bullygate investigation. The significance: It continues to suggest there is a possibility Miami will reinstate Incognito IF the league investigation is not overly damning to him.
Click on Statement for my column from yesterday's Dolphins win.
DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G14: Results are in on the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 96.3 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 24-20 victory vs. New England putting the Dolphins' season record at 8-6. That is the team's best approval rating since Game 3. 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 a.m. today/Tuesday.
2013 DSM Results
G1: 86.5% (20.3-v, 66.2-s) following 23-10 victory at Cleveland.
G2: 98.8% (71.9-v, 26.9-s) following 24-20 victory at Indianapolis.
G3: 99.0% (78.2-v, 20.8-s) following 27-23 victory vs. Atlanta.
G4: 58.2% (18.8-v, 39.4-s) following 38-17 loss at New Orleans.
G5: 33.5% (4.3-v, 29.2-s) following 26-23 loss vs. Baltimore.
G6: 6.5% (3.8-v, 2.7-s) following 23-21 loss to Buffalo.
G7: 4.7% (3.0-v, 1.7-s) following 27-17 loss at New England.
G8: 50.3% (8.2-v, 42.1-s) following 22-20 OT victory vs. Cincinnati.
G9: 4.7% (3.6-v, 1.1-s) following 22-19 loss at Tampa Bay.
G10: 42.4% (7.2-v, 35.2-s) following 20-16 victory vs. San Diego.
G11: 7.8% (4.0-v, 3.8-s) following 20-16 loss vs. Carolina.
G12: 61.9% (12.3-v, 49.6-s) following 23-3 victory at N.Y. Jets.
G13: 84.9% (28.3-v, 56.6-s) following 34-28 victory at Pittsburgh.
G14: 96.3% (65.-v, 31.0-s) following 24-20 victory vs. New England.
Next poll: Dec. 22 following game at Buffalo.
G14: NEW ENGLAND @ DOLPHINS: STADIUM, FULL. HOPES, HIGH. VICTORY, HUGE: Final: Tannehill outduels Brady and Dolphins (at least temporarily) own the No. 6 AFC playoff seed. ..... 4Q: Michael Thomas, signed this week, seals it with an end-zine INT of Brady. ... Tannehill 14-yard TD pass to Marcus Thigpen and 24-20 MIA lead with 1:15 left. Clutch! What a day by Tanny. ... Brilliant drive by Brady ends with 24-yard TD pass to Julian Edelman, abetted by bad Dolphin tackling, and Pats back up 20-17 with 4:07 left. ... Pats within 17-13 on 23-yard FG, mid-quarter. Not bad for MIA. NE had 1st and 10 at 13 but were forced to settle. ... Miami up 17-10, first lead of game, on Tannehill 2-yard TD flip to Daniel Thomas. ..... 3Q: MIA threatening to take first lead -- 2nd and goal at 2 -- as quarter ends. ... Good news? Dolphins tie it 10-10 on 32-yard FG. Bad news? Had a 1st-and-10 at 20 and fizzled/settled. ... Pats open second half by missing a 48-yard FG try wide left. ..... Half: Odd game. Felt like Patriots dominated, but that late Tanny-Wallace scoring play made it a whole new game. QBs going toe to toe. Brady 14-18 for 130 yards, 115.3 rating; Tannehill 12-19, 171, 109.8; both with a TD pass. ..... 2Q: Whole new game! Tannehill-to-Wallace 39-yard TD pass makes it 10-7 32 seconds before halftime. ... Miami in a 10-0 hole after 13-yard Brady scoring pass to one "Michael Hoomanawanui." ... Dolphins botch 42-yard FG try when snap catches holder Brandon Fields unprepared to catch it. On 4th-and-1 from 24, gloing for it might have been the play. ..... 1Q: Pats drive 16 plays, 83 yards, 7-plus minutes but settle for 22-yard FG and 3-0 lead. ... Guesstimate based on visual evidence is maybe 15-20 percent of fans here are Patriots backers. ..... Original post: Every game and result are defining when you're in a playoff chase like Miami is, and so today's test is magnified well beyond just it being a division
rivalry. The stadium figures to be uncommonly full. It will sound and feel like a playoff game, and should. Dolphins and Baltimore both are 7-6 and tied for that No. 6 AFC seed, though the Ravens enjoy the tiebreaker edge. But Baltimore faces a game it is favored to lose Monday night at Detroit, so Miami would be in great shape to likely take over control of its own fortunes with a victory over New England today. I think it will happen. Tom Brady missing Rob Gronkowski (again) is big. Miami's resilient O-line has been protecting Ryan Tannehill much better lately. And all three of the Pats' losses have been on the road. Make it four. My pick: Dolphins, 27-23.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...