1) It is SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21. No Random Evidence today; the Sunday notes-column package in print, and its Hot Button Top 10 blog version, are off for the holidays. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins/NFL Week 16 pix, Fleetwood Mac, bowl season, Marlins trade, Heat/Panthers morphing, NBA-on-Christmas verdict & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Click on Sticking With Philbin the Right Choice for my column off today's Dolphins game. Do you agree? Vote in our Philbin poll. And find the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll directly below the Philbin poll.
DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G15: Time again for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, this one in the wake of Sunday afternoon's 37-35 victory over visiting MInnesota Vikings putting Miami's season record at 8-7. The DSM, in its seventh 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. Results are usually certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
2014 DSM results
G1: 96.4% (following 33-20 victory vs. New England)
G2: 12.2% (following 29-10 loss at Buffalo)
G3: 2.0% (following 34-15 loss vs. Kansas City)
G4: 62.3% (following 38-14 victory vs. Oakland in London)
G5: 14.2% (following 27-24 loss vs. Green Bay)
G6: 80.7% (following 27-14 victory at Chicago)
G7: 63.2% (following 27-13 victory at Jacksonville)
G8: 97.4% (following 37-0 victory vs. San Diego)
G9: 40.3% (following 20-16 loss at Detroit)
G10: 93.3% (following 22-9 victory vs. Buffalo)
G11: 38.9% (following 39-36 loss at Denver)
G12: 69.6% (following 16-13 victory at N.Y. Jets)
G13: 6.1% (following 28-13 loss vs. Baltimore)
G14: 5.1% (following 41-13 loss at New England)
G15: Voting now underway (following 37-35 victory vs. Minnesota)
G15: DOLPHINS 37, MINNESOTA 35: MIAMI WINS A WILD ONE: Final: Wow. Thrilling game, even on a day when Miami was formally eliminated from playoff contention. Blocked-punt safety in closing minute decides it, but Ryan Tannehill the sdtar of day with 396 yards passing a career-best four TDpasses. Miami now 8-7. Joe Philbin's future still in limbo. ..... Fourth quarter: Unreal! Miami up 37-35 with 41 seconds left on blocked punt out of end zone by Terrence Fede resulting in safety. ... Cam Wake sack helps Miami get ball back with under a minute left. ... Miami ties it 35-35 with 1:11 left on 3-yard TD pass to Damien Williams -- Tannehill's fourth of game. ... Nightmare! Vikes up 35-28 on 5-yard Asiata scoring rplay immediately after Jarvis Landry fumbles kick-return and five MIN ball at Dolphins' 5. ... MIN ties it 28-28 with 4:46 left on 8-yasrd scoring pass and then Asiata's 2-point conversion run. Fins had stopped earlier attewmpt, buyt Came Wake offsides penalty give Vikes another shot. ... Jarius Wright 8-yard TD pass had Vikes within 28-26. ... Tannehill's third TD passs of game and second to Wallace, from 7 yards out,l has MIA up 28-20 with 6L:39 to play. A fairly entertaining game, after all. ... Vikes within 21-20 on 33-yard FG with 9:52 to play. Well-timed Randy Starks sack on the series. ... MIA leads 21-17, its first lead of game, on Miller's 1-yasrd run ending 64-yard drive. ..... ThIrd quarter: Miami knocking on MIN's goal as quarter ends. ... Bridgewater pass deflected and interceted by Derrick Shelby in MIA territory. But Jared Odrick injured on play. ... Dion Jordan first sack of season! Christmas miracle! ... MIA within 17-14 on Wallace 16-yard pass play from Tannehill, ended with an effort-reach across goalline. ..... Halftime: The great '70s defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, old No. 75, joins the Dolphins Honor Roll in a halftime ceremony. The field is filled with the club's all-time greats, contrasting as always the franchise's present-day struggles. ... Dolphins lead in yards and time of possession but not where it counts. The scoreboard. ..... Second quarter: MIN 17-7 on 18-yard FG with 2 secodns left in half. ... Owner Stephen Ross has been on sideline near Dolphins bench the entire game, not usual. Could be because Manny Fernandez being inducted to team's Honor Roll at halftime. Could be because he's hands-on with his coaching decision. Likely some of both. ... Miami within 14-7 on Tannehill 14-yard strike to Dion Sims capping an impressive 92-yard drive. There's life in here! ... Vikes 14-0 on 21-yard Bridgewater-to-Jennings pass set up by Tannehill INT when ball slipped from his hand. Awful start for Dolphinsd. ..... First quarter: Not feeling much energy from Fins or from fans. ... MIN up 7-0 on Asiata 1-yard scoring run to cap 54-yard yard drive. Fins defense pushed around at the scrimmage line. ... Typical MIA drive to open game, ending in missed 56-yard FG try after Tannehill takes sask to make kick longer. ..... Original post: Minnesota is eliminated from postseason contention but dangerous. Miami is all but mathematically out with a playoff likelihood estimated at 0.7 percent, according to the computer projections of makenflplayoffs.com. That constututes the low hopes. So what are the high stakes? The immediate future of the franchise, embodied in coach Joe Philbin's job status. The Dolphins are unlikely to luck into the playoffs, even if they win out. But their performance these last two games -- the fight left in them -- may either save Philbin's job or confirm his doom. He is 22-24 with no playoffs in not quite three seasons. Not good enough, But winning out to finish 9-7 would constitute improvement on the bottom line, at least. Despite that motivating factor for Miami the Vikings' upset shot is sizable here. Purples bring a stout defense to face a struggling Miami team that has been outscored 69-26 the past two weeks in a December swoon that has put that thin ice under Philbin. Miami-born Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater rates 103.3 across his past three starts. Visitors aren’t great on road (2-5), so we’ll stick with Fins, although Miami hasn’t done much to impress ever since blowing that game at Denver a month ago. I do wonder how much fight the demoralized Fins have left in them. Maybe we'll find out today. Meantime how’s this for strange: Outbound 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh might have his choice of the Dolphins or U-Michigan jobs, and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a prominent Michigan alum and major donor. The bright side, then: At least one of Ross’ two favorite teams might get the man it wants. My pick: Dolphins, 23-20.
A Dolfans' (pre) Christmas wish list: Miami's faint playoff hopes were further damaged last night by San Diego's comeback win at San Francisco. The Fins also are hurt by the fact the Baltimore-Houston and Kansas City-Pittsburgh games today mean at least two of the teams Miami is chasing for a final wild-card spot are sure to win. Dolfans should hope Buffalo loses at Oakland today. Cincinnati losing vs. Denver Monday is not a big deal because Bengals are assured of finishing with a better record than Miami. In the best case scenario, no matter this weekend's results, Miami would enter the final week needing an unlikely confluence of other results to all fall just right.
THE LIST: DOLPHIN HIGH GAMES VS. VIKINGS: Today will mark only the 12th all-time meeting between the Vikings and Miami. Dolphins major individual records vs. this opponent:
Category Number Record setter
Passing yards 431 Dan Marino, 9-25-94
Receiving yards 160 Irving Fryar, 9-25-94
Rushing yards 145 Larry Csonka, 1-13-74*
Team points 35 In 38-35 loss, 9-25-94
*-Csonka's performance was in Super Bowl.
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