1) It is FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14. I'm up at Random Evidence Laboratories today coaxing the Sunday notes-column package. 2) The Heat, in Wednesday's dreadful home loss to awful Indiana, were cautioning us, "OK, chill on the early excitement. This is the stink we're capable of." 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Hurricanes vs. Seminoles poll, why NASCAR finale at Homestead is lacking, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, SOPY rankings & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
MEGA-WEEKEND FOR SPORTS IN MIAMI!: Celebrate, South Florida. Enjoy. If you are a fan of local sports, this is your dream weekend. Check your pulse if you can't find something that excites you. We kicked it off last night with Dolphins hosting (and beating) Bills. Today, UM basketball is home to open its season, and Panthers host New York Islanders. Saturday night, of course, Hurricanes are here vs. Florida State. Then Sunday, Heat hosts Milwaukee and Homestead-Miami Speedway has NASCAR season finale. Scintillating smorgasbord. Let's bleepin' go!
Click on Rescuing Playoff Hope for our column from last night's Dolphins win. Find our gameblog and postgame thoughts directly below the new DSM poll, and our NFL Week 11 picks below that.
DOLFAN SATISFACTION METER: G10: Results are certified in the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll, and they show 93.3 percent overall satisfaction in the wake of Thursday night's 22-9 victory over visiting Buffalo putting Miami's season record at 6-4. 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 certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that was around 8:15 a.m. today/Saturday.
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)
Next poll: Nov. 23 (following game at Denver)
G10: DOLPHINS 22, BUFFALO 9: THIS WAS ABOUT CONTROL: Final: Huge win for Miami in the playoff chase, and another reminder that very good defense and a plenty-good-enough Ryan Tannehill is a combination you can with with. I like that Miami, trailing 9-3 mid-third quarter and doing little offensively, roared to life, seized the game, turned a loss into a win. ..... Fourth quarter: MIA now up 22-9 on another short FG. Game time. ... Miami with its first safe-ish lead, 19-9, on Tannehill 8-yard TD to Landry with 11:35 to play. ... Bills' Carpenter wide-left on 47-yard FG try to tie. Lucky break for Fins. ..... Third quarter: Oy! Landry loses fumble on return of Bills free kick following safety, giving Buffs ball at MIA 39. That's 2-0 on turnovers, Dolphs on the wrong end. ... Fins now up 12-9, adding a safety when Bills QB Orton is called for intentional grounding while in his own end zone. ... MIA up 10-9 late in quarter on Tannehill 7-yard TD strike to a wide-open Brandon Gibson in end zone. ... Buffs up 9-3 on another FG (this from 48 yards) by the ex-Dolph Carpenter. It's a bad sign when your offense is such six points feels like a sizable hole. ... Miami punt begins second half. ..... Halftime: Even, uneventful game at 6-3 Bills. Tannehill playing well (14-18, 136 yards), but the difference thus far has been his costly fumble loss on a run. First touchdown wins? How about it! ..... Second quarter: Tannehill completes a pass to himself on a deflection for a loss of 4 yards. ... Bison 6-3 on a 21-yard FG, getting to a first and goal at the 6 and then settling after an 85-yard drive. These teams cannot close the deal in the red zone. ... A turnover and a red-zone fizzle all in one. Miami has a first on the Bills 14, gives it away on a Tannehill fu,ble loss on a run. A 33-yard Miller run is wasted. ..... First quarter: Buffs knot it 3-3 on 33-yard kick. Each team's long drive ate up entire first Q. ... Miami 3-0 on 38-yard Sturgis FG after another red-zone fizzle. Had a first down at 15; holding penalty hurt. Promising, though: Tannehill 8-for-9 on drive. ..... Original post: Miami must parlay its home-field advantage on a national stage tonight and take back control of this AFC East rivalry ... or see the loss of control in the playoff chase. NFL Week 11 unfurls with urgency draping Dolphins’ first prime-time appearance of the season. When you are 5-4 -- presently tied for ninth in the hunt for six AFC playoff spots -- your margin of error has grown very small. When you have just lost a heartbreaker at Detroit and Peyton Manning is on deck awaiting you in Denver, you had damned well better beat the Bills at home. It’s an interesting matchup even beyond the two fandoms -- the first time since 2000 these divisionmates have met this late in a season both with winning records. I am surprised Miami is favored by more than three points, considering Fins are 1-4 vs. Bills including three straight losses in the Joe Philbin/Ryan Tannehill era. I think Miami will win tonight, but that may rely on getting the ground game going to take heat off Tannehill. There is an opportunity there; Buffs have given up 460 run yards the past three games. Miami also must protect its QB -- a load of a task, with LT Branden Albert out injured, and Bison defense leading the NFL with 34 sacks. A running game will deter the blitz and buy Tannehill extra time in the pocket. These are two big-time defenses and two offenses that both tend to struggle in the red zone, so I’d imagine a low-scoring game. That’s one more reason why the 5-point betting line feels a bit plump. My pick: Dolphins, 23-20.
NFL WEEK 11 PIX: KING SPORT STRUTS, PREENS: The Dolphins already have played, and yet the week goes on. And what a week. For the first time in NFL history this late in a season, there are four games between teams with winning percentges of .667 or better, led by my game of the week: Tom Brady at Andrew Luck, also doing business as Patriots at Colts. Click on Week 11 Gems for our latest NFL predictions. (Break-even start to our week last night; correctly had Dolphins winning, but not covering). Also, click on Too Much Division In Playoff Math for our Friday Page NFL column. It leads with a suggestion the NFL start picking the best six teams in each conference, regardless of division.
Poll result: It's Canes over Noles Saturday night: We asked in the previous blogpost who'll win (you may still vote), and 68.2 percent voted Miami over Florida State. Naturally a blog hosted by MiamiHerald.com is predisposed to have more readers/voters who are fans of UM than of FSU. So what. It's just a blog poll!
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