G4: Dolphins vs. Jets in London Sunday: Can Philbin save his job?; plus latest Hot Button Top 10, new Hot List & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3: Publishing this now rather than Sunday because the Dolphins game starts so doggone early and I didn't want to get up at 7 a.m. to write it! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Canes lose in Cincy and CSM poll, NFL Week 4 picks, locals teams in 'Ultimate Standings,' D.Wade on fashion, 'Marlins Man' motives & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Periscope.
Live Dolphins-Jets in-game blog, then latest DSM poll: We'll be blogging live here during the game Sunday morning. Then, the new Dolfan Satisfaction Meter postgame poll will magically appear right here soon after the game in London ends. Watch for it and vote. Estimated posttime: 1 p.m.
G4: DOLPHINS VS. JETS IN LONDON: You may recall that I wrote from the home loss to Buffalo last week that coaches already on the hot seat sometimes do not survive embarrassing defeats as bad as that one. Well, NFL.com first reported Friday night that -- with a bye week looming -- owner Stephen Ross might fire coach Joe Philbin if Sunday's 9:30 a.m. game vs. the Jets in London produced another dispiriting result. We don't know this to be true, of course. Nobody but Ross know at the moment. Reports citing anonymous sources must be treated as speculation. And in-season coaching changes rarely spark a dramatic turnaround. But it would make some sense. A loss would make the Dolphins, who expected a playoff season, 1-3 with a third straight defeat. A competitive loss might not cost Philbin his job, but a blowout very well could. Are those enough stakes for you, Dolfan? "Breakfast at Wembley" could completely reshape Philbin's life and this 50th Dolphins season. I don't see a blowout. But I do see a tough matchup for the Dolphins: a struggling offense facing a very stout Jets defense. My pick: Jets, 19-17. (Click on Week 4 Gems for all my latest NFL picks).m
HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (OCT. 4): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday feature -- in Saturday this week, with Sunday updates to come -- is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what's on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead:
1. DOLPHINS: Fibs, Philbin brace for Jets in crucial game in London: It’s Breakfast at Wembley as Dolphins “host” Jets in a game kicking off Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the East. Cannot confirm speculation that, if Miami falls to 1-3 with a third straight dispiriting loss, coach Joe Philbin may face deportation and be denied a return to the U.S. Or at least to Miami.
2. HURRICANES: UM tries to shake loss as FSU Week awaits: Thursday night’s 34-23 loss at Cincinnati turns up heat on UM coach Al Golden as Canes prepare now to visit No. 11 Florida State next Saturday. Few coaches need a positive result more than Golden needs to beat the Noles in Tallahassee – unless it’s Philbin in London, of course.
3. HEAT: Miami plays first preseason game Sunday: The Heat host Charlotte on Sunday and then Orlando Wednesday to open their NBA preseason schedule. Unfortunately center Hassan Whiteside hasn’t practiced yet because of a strained calf. Hmm. Wait. Didn’t Hassan have about six months to rest and be healthy and ready?
4. MARLINS: The good, the bad and the injured as Fish wrap season: Dee Gordon chasing an NL batting title and Justin Bour's emergence were highlights but can't sugarcoat a disappointing 90-loss season that ends for Miami Sunday in Philadelphia. A new manager might help. Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez healthy for a whole season will help more.
5. BASEBALL: MLB postseason begins on Tuesday: Baseball playoffs open with wild-card games Tuesday and Wednesday, followed immediately by the start of the two ALDS and NLDS series. This year the New York yankees and Mets both made it. So all of America has a rooting-against interest, at least.
6. PANTHERS: Cats one week from NHL season opener: Florida ends its preseason tonight and then commences real hockey at home vs. Philadelphia next Saturday. Many experts see a playoff team. Considering the Panthers have been one of those only once in past 15 years, count the law of averages in Cats’ favor, at least.
7. GATORS: Swamp seeks huge upset of No. 3 Ole Miss: Third-ranked Ole Miss and No. 25 Florida gives the Swamp its first Top 25 matchup since 2012 tonight. I don't wanna say Ole Miss' offense can't be stopped, but it's three hours from kickoff as I write this and they've already scored four touchdowns.
8. LIONEL MESSI: Barcelona star out seven-plus weeks: A knee injury will shelve the sublime Barca star almost two months. Although Messi's so good he could go out there in a full body cast and still average two goals a game.
9. NASCAR: Tony Stewart reveals retirement plans: Volatile NASCAR star announced that 2016 would be his final season of racing. Remember when star athletes retired after the fact rather than trumpeting their own year-long, " worship me" farewell tour.
10. JURISPRIDENCE: Court strikes down college-athlete payment plan: A federal appeals court struck down a plan that would have paid NCAA football and basketball players up to $5,000 a year. Thank God. That might have cut into those $12 million coaching salaries!
Missing the cut: WNBA Finals underway ... Jordan Spieth tops golf's richest year ... FIU at Massachusetts ... Pro beach volleyball in Fort Lauderdale ... UM starts basketball practice ... Derrick Rose's latest surgery ... Miami's Ernst "Nono" Jean-Baptiste running for FIFA president ... Miami High vs. Coral Gables, 50 years later.
THE HOT LIST: COLD DOLPHINS STARTS: Say what you will about Ndamukong Suh's low impact or the run defense, but Miami's biggest fundamental, bottom-line issue after three games is a lack of scoring. Its 51 total points rank 27th in the NFL, and only 11 times in the franchise's 50 seasons has Miami scored fewer through three games. Dolphins' worst point totals after three games:
Points Year Record Coach/QB
23 2004 4-12 Wannstedt/Feeley
34 1968 5-8-1 Wilson/Griese
36 2006 6-10 Saban/Culpepper
37 1988 6-10 Shula/Marino
42 1967 4-10 Wilson/Griese
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