Welcome to Ask Mike – Week 7




from Stanger


Q -After five games this is my biggest Q — Seems every halftime we bench our starting QB for pathetic play and trot out a much better one in the 2nd half…….but they both wear the same jersey.  What’s up with that?


With the exception of the Raiders game, Tannehill, and the offense in general has been poor.  In order to gather the stats for your question, I went to the play-by-play of every game.  I’m sure there must be a better way to gather such stats, but in a way, I’m glad I got them that way.  (BTW, if anyone has a heads up for me on a better way to get these stats, please let me know)  Back to my point about looking at the play by play.  Not only do you get the stats, but what I like about NFL.com is how accurately they portray the stats.  In other words, a 60 yard pass can be construed as a deep pass, but in the the play-by-play, they make it clear it was a short pass, and then obviously, there was a lot of run after the catch.  It’s shocking just how many passes, especially the completed ones were short passes.  Astonishing.


Let’s go game by game.  Against NE, first half, Tannehill was 9-14, 68 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.  Of course the paltry yardage tells you it was a short pass day, but only 2 of those passes were for double digit yardage, one for 11, and the other for 22.  We were only down 20-10, and then Tannehill cam back and led us to victory. Tannehill finished 18-32, 178 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT.  The very first sighting of our Jekyll/Hyde QB.




Against BUF, (Again, almost every pass short), Mr. Hyde was 7-10, 38 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT.  Against BUF, we were only down 9-0.  However, there was no sighting of Dr. Jekyll in this game as Tannehill finished 31-49, 241 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.  4.9 yards per attempt.  UGH!


Against the Chiefs, it was a little different.  There were a couple of deep passes, but to no avail.  It looked we threw the ball entirely too much against KC.  Tannehill was 11-20, 143 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT.  Again, no sighting of the good Dr. Jekyll, as Tannehill finished 21-43, 205 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.  


The we faced the NFL’s version of the BYE week that counts, the Oakland Raiders.  No Mr. Hyde here, I guess he prefers the US to London. (J/K UK!)  Tannehill feasted on the lowly Raiders in the 1st half, 17-22, 177 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT.


Week 5 was the BYE week that DIDN’T count.


Then came Fest week, so you’d think Tannehill wouldn’t drink that dreaded formula, and let the FME gang enjoy a bratwurst and cheese sammich against the Packers, but NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Against GB, Ryan drank that formula and drank it well.  I’d say the GB game was his worst 1st half this year.  Ryan was 8-16, 84 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT.  Dr. Jekyll was back stateside, and finished 21-30, 244 yards, 2 TD.2 INT.  Dr. Jekyll almost pulled out the win, if not for Glass Joe . . . 



Glass Joe decided it was much better to hand over the game to the little known GB QB, Aaron Rodgers.  It’s hard to expect Glass Joe to know who he is, because after all, he only “coached” there for 9 years, 7 of which Rodgers was there.  Understandable that we shouldn’t try and get 9 yards, when it’s much easier to wrap it up against Aaron Rodgers.  Who is that guy?  Well Glass Joe, because you didn’t know, I’ll tell you! Aaron Rodgers this year . . . 


12-189, 1419 yards, 64.6 comp %, 15 TD, 1 INT


Good idea Glass Joe, that guy couldn’t possibly engineer a 2 minute drive against our spring fresh defense.  The Packers only had the ball for 35 minutes prior to that drive, so it made total sense with that in mind, and Aaron Rodgers as the QB.


Did I just go off on a tangent?


Stanger, Tannehill, Lazor, and Glass Joe need to figure out how to fix this problem of first half ineptitude, or there could be another house cleaning here in MIA.  I don’t have the answer, but I do have a suggestion.  After reading all 5 games play-by-play, it’s obvious that we’re predictable.  I know if you execute, it probably doesn’t matter, but we’re not using the whole field, and we’re not getting Brian Hartline involved in our offense enough.  We need to go deep more than we have.  If Tannehill struggles with the deep ball, how can ever get comfortable throwing it deep, if he does it once a game.  We need to try to go deep more often.   The one thing that keeps gnawing at me is I blamed Mike Sherman for being a stubborn curmudgeon.  I loved the idea of bringing in a fresh mind like Lazor, but even with Lazor, we’re not really getting better play from Tannehill.  The blessing is, it’s only 5 games.  If this does continue, I think it’s only logical to think that it’s Ryan Tannehill, and not the 2 OC’s, that have failed.



from UK


Q -Hi again MikeE,


Throwing caution to the wind and running up my long-distance question quota again, here’s two more asks.


How are you feeling today …… not queasy I hope?


With all the talent we have on the defensive side, why do we so often seem to bend then break? (I’m not buying the standard answer many put forward that we lose TOP so we are always gassed and don’t have enough left at game end)






LMAO!  I’m queasy as long as Glass Joe is holding the reins for this team.


You know, I think we have talent, but by no means would I say we’re the SF 49ers, or the Seahawks.  Our best players on DEF are good, not great, with the exception of #91 Cam Wake.  I like Earl Mitchell, Randy Starks, Jared Odrick and Olivier Vernon, but none of them are dominant, or game changers.  Our LB’s go down quite a few notches, and I think that’s the main problem.  You need at least one of these guys to either be a tackling machine, a great blitzing LB, or a playmaking cover guy.  Nope, nope, and nope.  Misi is an average LB, Wheeler is OOC too often, and Jenkins may be the one guy that has potential to be all 3 of the above, but he’s not there yet.  I like him the most out of 3, and that tells you were we’re at at LB.  I love Grimes, but he’s a good player, not a great player (Sorry M).  Finnegan is uneven, and personally, I don’t think he belongs out on the perimeter anymore, and I’m so angry that neither Jamar Taylor nor Will Davis has ever challenged Finnegan for the starting spot.  Delams has shown he’s not a big hitting S that receivers fear over the middle, and he’s nothing to rave about in coverage either.  Reshad Jones is back, and he has potential, but we need to see consistency out of him.


So really, besides the DL, and the potential with Jordan and Anthony Johnson and Terence Fede, there’s not a lot to hang your hat about this defense.  It’s just OK, with a very good DL.


Oh, and we always lose the TOP battle, and our defense is gassed.  🙂


We’re allowing 24,8 PPG, 11th in the league.  3 INT’s.  That doesn’t cut it UK.  We’re not getting enough turnovers.  We’re tied for 13th in sacks with 14.  It’s just not a dominant unit.  I think Coyle is OK, I think we just need to find some talent in the draft.  Sonny wanted some LB’s, and so did others, and that’s precisely where I think we’ll be looking at in this draft.



from Bookman


Q – Mike,


The Packer loss hit me particularly hard being in Packer country. Is it appropriate that I have elevated the Packers ahead of the Jets as my most hated team, or am I just being petty because of my geographical location?


Seriously though, do you think with the recent comments Philbin made about being “queezy”, and the heat he took for them in the media cause him to change at all? In other words do you see him being more aggressive and taking more chances in hopes of going for the kill?


That’s a personal thing Bookman.  You live in Packer country, so it’s understandable why you hate them.  I live in NJ, so the jets will always be the most hated for me.  Pats come next, and then the bills, since they are all our division rivals.   I have to be honest, BUF is creeping up fast on the pats though.  they keep kicking our ass, I’m going to move them right past the patsies.


Now back to Glass Joe.  No, I don’t think Philbin will change, although I did state he’s evolving as a coach last week.  You’re either a confident, aggressive guy, or you’re not.  I don’t think Joe is that guy.  I do think, however, if Tannehill and the offense become more consistent, and play at a higher level, he may be more confident in the offense, and what they can accomplish, so in that regard, I think if later in the year the same type of scenario came up, and our offense was playing well, I think he would be different.  In other words, he’s not a risk taker, he’s a safe guy, who felt he was going with his best unit (DEFENSE), despite the fact that it was against the packers with Aaron Rodgers.  


I think in almost every way, Joe Philbin is a conservative man.  I think his personality is modest and conservative, and I think he coaches that way.  Not that every coach has to be insane and ready to explode like Jim Harbaugh, but maybe it doesn’t hurt to have a little aggression.





from DCoral


Q – Mike we have two teams, they show a lot of potential at times, other times not so much lol.

On paper this team has talent not sure why we have to start so slow, have wondered if it is a brand new OC that needs to understand a defense before we really get going,


Mike are we two years away from being two years away (play off caliber team)

and if we are two years…..

Is this the coaching staff that takes us to the promised land, or is it time to once again (gulp) cut bait ?


hope all finds you well !


Hey Darren, good to hear from you!  Like I said above, I think all of us here tend to overrate our team.  As I said to UK, our defense is good, good enough to win games, but is it like the Seahawks defense, or the Niners defense, where they just take over a game?  The answer to that is NO.  As good as we’ve been on defense, we’re not a championship caliber defense.  If our offense was like the Colts, or the Broncos, and we scored 30 PPG, then the deficiencies in our defense would be minimized.  Just like this past Sunday, when Philbin handed the game over to the defense.  Did we make the big play, and stop the Packers and win the game?  NO.  That’s part of the problem.  We have a better than average defense, but not a top 5 or top 3 unit.  We’re #7 in yards allowed.  #11 in points allowed.  #8 in passing yards allowed, and #13 in rushing yards allowed.  It’s a good unit, but not a great unit.


The offense, as we all know by now, if you’ve read the rest of this article has been Jekyll and Hyde, just like the QB who is running the offense, Ryan Tannehill.  As he goes, we go, that’s the way it is.  Part of the problem is the running game also struggles in the first half.  I think our offensive line has done a commendable job this season, especially in comparison to the last few years.  This O-line is head and shoulders better than those sad units.  It’s logical to put some of the blame on the OC, Bill Lazor.  On the other hand, if you listen to Joe Philbin and Bill lazor, they will tell you that the plays are there, guys are open, we’re just not either making the right reads, or throwing the ball to the right guy, or throwing it accurately to the open receiver.  


Is it possible Ryan Tannehill just isn’t avery good NFL QB?  Sure it is.  He’s unique, being a WR his first 2 years in college, and then switching to QB.  Not many, or any starting NFL QB’s can say that.  So it’s fair to say he’s a work in progress, and also, a work in progress that is trying to digest and employ a new offensive scheme this season.  Maybe we’re being unfairly harsh to Tannehill.  Is it possible that during halftime, they show Ryan film of plays he missed, and he then understands what he needs to do, and executes better in the second half?  It’s possible, but I’d love it if the 3 of them (Tanny, Lazor and Philbin) could get him on the right page to start a game, not just to finish.


As far as whether we’re a playoff team now or in 2 years, I just can’t say.  It doesn’t like we are now, unless all of a sudden the offense just finds a way to be more consistent.  Also, we need to find Brian Hartline some more.  Mike Wallace has 25 receptions, followed by part time slot receiver Jarvis Landry, with 18, then Charles Clay, who hasn’t been healthy all year with 17, then Hartline with 16.  Hartline is out there almost every snap, healthy, and he has less catches than Landry, who has only been a part time player behind Brandon Gibson, who is now injured.  That’s saying something, but I’m not sure what it’s saying.  Last year, Hartline had 76 catches, 74 the previous year.  He’s on pace for 50 catches this season.  


IF, Ryan Tannehill gets a better handle on the offense, and he performs more like the 2nd half QB, then it’s possible we can make the playoffs this year.  If he continues with this up and down thing, we may have to consider drafting his replacement, or at the very least, bringing some legitimate competition for him.  I don’t think our defense is good enough to carry him at his current 81.5 QBR.  If he can bring it up to 90, odds are we’ll be in the playoffs.  If we finish 8-8 or worse, it’s possible that we might be starting all over again with either a new GM and Head Coach, or just a new Head Coach, and that could set us back some.  That could also mean a new QB, new offensive and defensive system, and here we go again . . . 



from Manitoba


Q – Hello There: 

After seeing the heartbreaking ending to an otherwise competitive game against a Good team in Green Bay, How do you feel about our matchup against the Bears ??? 


Do you expect a huge day for our DL pressuring/sacking Cutler ??


Oops, that was two.. My bad..






We’re going to need our defense to be at it’s best.  I don’t think we can win a shootout against the Bears, so we’re going to have rattle and punish Jay Cutler.  If he has time, I don’t like our prospects.  He has 3 BIG receivers to throw to.  Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and TE Martellus Bennett.  Besides those 3, we have to contain RB Matt Forte.  He really excels and leads the team in receptions with 46, averaging a stellar 8.2 YPR.  Bennett is next with 36 catches, then Jeffery with 31 and Marshall with 25.  Our smaller secondary isn’t exactly a great match for 2 WR’s each 6’4”, and a TE that’s 6’7”.  


I hope that our game plan includes lots of running the ball.  I want to keep that offense off the field.  If we’re doing 3 and outs too often, that just puts against this multi faceted offense too much.  Forte can run very well too, but he does most of his damage in the pass game.He has a yard under 400 yards rushing,  and another 376 receiving.  He’s on pace to shatter his career stats at this pace.  His best season was last year, with 74 receptions and he’s on pace for 122 receptions! 


Do I like our LB’s prospects of having to cover both Forte and Bennett?  No I do not.  Wheeler can’t cover GB’s TE Anrew Quarless, can he cover the much more talented Martellus Bennett?  Our best chance is if our front seven get a lot of pressure on Cutler, and our LB’s stay disciplined, and cover the outlet to Forte, along with rushing effectively with Lamar Miller, Damien Williams and DT7.0, and Tannehill playing a solid complete game.  


So you ask if I expect a huge day for our DL, I say I HOPE SO, because we’re gonna need it!



from Wyoming


Q – Well here we are again with the mid-season hand wringing!

I know what my expectations for the Chicago game are!

I’m curious about yours?



Isn’t the mid season hand wringing getting tired?  Wouldn’t it be grand (Thanks M!) if we were 3-2, after a big win against GB, or even 4-1, or how about 5 and oh?  Well, w’d have to have beaten the Bills, which seems impossible these days, and we’d have to have beaten the Chiefs (without Jamaal Charles) and we’d have to have a head Coach other than Glass Joe to beat the packers, so at 2-3, let the hand wringing commence!  This team deserves it, and brings it upon themselves.  I’d love nothing more than to be able to rejoice at being in first place with the best record in the division, but we’re not there.


I think we have a real bad matchup against the Bears, except for our D-line vs their O-line.  Wake should have his way with RT Jordan Mills.  I also like the matchup of Olivier Vernon against Jermon Bushrod.  Cutler has been sacked 15 times this year, as compared to 10 for Ryan Tannehill and our rebuilt O-line.  The pass rush advantage is the most important one for us to take advantage of.  Roberta Garza, their regular C is back in the lineup, so that’s make them a little better on the O-line, but still, it’s best chance.  Slauson is a good G, we faced him a fair amount of times when he was with the Jets.  Howie Long’s son, (Chris Long’s brother) Kyle Long mans the other (RG) spot.


The Bears is defense is #16 in yardage allowed, and #12 in PPG.    They are #17 against the pass, and #10 against the run.  The Bears DEF has 15 sacks, and 8 INT’s.  Former Chiefs and Vikings DE Jared Allen is the RE, with former Raider Lamar Houston as the LE.  Jay Ratliff (Cowboys) and Stephen Paea is the NT.  Paea is a fireplug, at 6’1” 306, and he put up the most reps of 225 at the combine with 49.  Good thing we have Mike Pouncey back, but look for him to help Satele, who is outgunned against the stronger Paea.


I think it will be a close game, somewhat similar to the GB game.  I think we’ll have a chance to win the game in the 4th quarter, let’s hope we do what we have to do this time.  


I say MIA 31- CHI 30



And now for the car of the week . . . . 


This is O Rob’s car, he said a lot of you wanted to see it, so here it is in all it’s glory! Nice!


carpic4 carpic5 carpic6 carpic7 carpic1 carpic carpic3








And NOW, for the babe of the week!



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