1) It is MONDAY, DECEMBER 23. Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes-column package, leading with the good-old-days feel of the Dolphins and Canes both being relevant in December again. 2) To the e-mailers 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): NFL Week 16 predictions, Heat's statement, Duck Dynasty fracas, Free the Nipple movement & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
"What do you get Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union for a wedding gift? Home Depot gift card? Fondue pot?" --Greg Cote
UPDATED DOLPHINS PLAYOFF PICTURE: Miami must win next week AND hope at least one of two things happens: 1) Ravens lose at Bengals, OR 2) Chargers win vs. Chiefs. (Game blog below poll).
DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G15: Results are in on the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 13.4 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Sunday's 19-0 loss at Buffalo putting the Dolphins' season record at 8-7. That is the lowest approval rating since Game 11. 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, but results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. 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.
G15: 13.4% (4.3-v, 9.1-s) following 19-0 loss at Buffalo.
Next poll: Dec. 29 following game vs. N.Y. Jets
G15: DOLPHINS @ BUFFALO: PLAYOFFS ARE SO CLOSE MIAMI CAN TOUCH 'EM: Final: The Dolphins' worst performance of the season came at the worst possible time, a 19-0 loss at Buffalo seriously damaging Miami's playoff hopes. Tannehill had a nightmare, going 10-for-27 for 82 yards. The running game was all but non-existent. And the defense wasn't very good, either, gouged for more than 200 yards rushing. The playoff picture now? MIA no longer is in charge. Dolphins would be eliminated later today if Ravens win and if Chargers lose. Barring that, Miami would need as win next week and help -- a Ravens loss -- to advance. ..... 4Q: Moore throws second INT. ... Miami finishing game with Moore over Tannehill as precaution. ... Buffs up 19-0 now, late. Done. Awful, ill-timed loss by Dolphins. ... Tannehill back in game after missing a few plays. ... Moore intercepted one play after 49-yard completion to Hartline. ... Tannehill leaves field limping after a sack. Matt Moore in. ... Bison add 21-yard FG for 13-0 lead. Miami's non-existent offense will wake up now, and in a major way, or Dolphins' playoff hopes will take a major hit. ..... 3Q: Nightmare for Hartline. Seven times targeted, 0 catches, two drops -- at least. ... Bills' WR Woods ejected from game for throwing a punch. Miami needs Bills defenders to be ejected the way things are going. ... Terrible offense continues for Miami. It's now eight punts, five sacks allowed. ..... Half: Awful first half for Miami's offense, with 57 net yards, negligible rushing (9 carries, 9 yards) and seven punts. Is Miami fighting for a playoff spot or what? WAKE UP, MIAMI! ..... 2Q: Tannehill takes huge 3rd-down sack on blitz, wasting the Carroll INT. ... Nolan Carroll picks off Thad Lewis. Finally something good happens for Dolphins! ... Another sack allowed, another punt for Dolphins. ... MIA in 10-0 hole after 9-yard Fred Jackson scoring run. A little offense, please? ..... 1Q: Miami in first quarter: Four possessions, 15 net yards, four punts. Awful. ... Sure-handed Brian Hartline with a big miss. ... Rookie Bills WR Robert Woods torches Nolan Carroll for 57-yard pass play; Bills settle for 45-yard FG and 3-0 lead. Joe Philbin lost his first red-flag challenge in series; he's now 6-for-7. ... Two series, two sacks allowed for MIA. Not good. ... Dolphins punt on first series because of sack a bad sign. ..... Original post: Alarming! Alarming? Fire alarm at Dolphins' team hotel in Buffalo went off at 3:30 this morning. Sounds like shenanigans! OK back to football. The Dolphins' recent snowy win in Pittsburgh makes today's frigid, maybe sleety elements in Buffalo seem somewhat less scary, but make no mistake: Winning in upstate New York in December always has been a chore for Miami. Two other factors give me an uneasy feeling about an upset by the Bills this afternoon. One is that the Bison have an NFL-leading sack attack that, combined with the weather, I think could make it a rough day for Ryan Tannehill. The other factor is just a gut feeling that Miami -- after three straight emotional wins over the hated Jets, at Pittsburgh, and over nemesis New England -- could be simply due a letdown/stumble. Having said all that, Dolphins catch a big break with Buffs starting QB E.J. Manuel and top receiver Stevie Johnson both out. Miami also should enjoy the incentive edge, fighting for that No. 6 AFC playoff seed while all Buffalo is fighting for (as usual) is its draft position. Miami can clinch a playoff spot today if it wins and if the Ravens and Bengals also lose. In any case, Miami is in if it wins today and next week vs. the Stinkin' Jets. So Miami's first playoff berth since 2008 is thisclose ... meaning the failure to get it will be that much more painful. I like Miami's chances of not failing, even as today's playdate makes me nervous. My pick: Dolphins, 23-20.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...