Q – Dear Axe Mike,
What match up will you be watching the most Thur Nite? ..and what match up concerns you the most?
Also, who do you think will play/coach the best for Miami and help get us the Win, and who will coach/play badly nearly costing us the game?
To me, at least at the moment, the matchup that concerns me most is LE Mario Williams going up against our new RT, Dallas Thomas. As we all know, RT has haunted us the last few years, especially against the Bills. Unfortunately, now with Branden Albert injured, and out for the year, 2nd year OL Dallas Thomas will be moving from LG to RT. He played T in the preseason, and at Tennessee as well. It’s a tall order to have a week of practice to face one of the toughest DE matchups in the NFL. Mario Williams has 7 sacks, and 1 FF so far this year. Let’s hope he fares better than the last 2 guys we had at RT (besides Ja’Wuan James) Colombo and Clabo. I’m almost relieved that Thomas doesn’t start with a “C” and end with and “O”.
The other matchup that concerns me is on the other side, where Ja’Wuan James, the new LT squares off against DE Jerry Hughes. Hughes is cat quick, and very fast, and it’s important to keep in perspective that James played only RT at Tennessee, all 4 years. He mentioned that he takes a few reps a week at LT in practice, but that’s a lot different than playing it week in and week out. Hughes has 7.5 sacks, so James will have his hands full keeping Hughes off of Tanny.
One more matchup concern. Jamar Taylor is IN, and Cortland Finnegan (injured) is OUT. That means #22 is going to have a big target on his back, and it’s time that Taylor makes a statement, why he should be a starting CB in the NFL. Taylor will likely be matched up against poissession WR Robert Woods, and he’s pretty good. Occasionally, he may be matched up against Watkins. It’s time for him to have a coming out game, and make a positive impact for this team
I worry about Tannehill’s health. He got beat up last game, and you can’t expect him not to get hit a lot in this game. We’d all like to see him run, but not run for his life. Even if he’s not sacked, we all know he’s going to take hits, and his right shoulder hurts, and yes, that is his throwing arm. I just hope he avoids taking any nasty hits, and that his shoulder doesn’t negatively impact his play.
I think Brent Grimes is going to have a big game. Orton, even though he’s a veteran, will be looking to Watkins to make plays, and I think this time around, Grimes is going to get the best of Watkins/Orton. I expect a big play (INT) or two from Brent Grimes.
Q – Mike, Thanks to you and the whole admin crew for stepping up. You made a comment that triggered a question:
“Son is going to be very said. No more Darkwa side in MIA.”
I wish we still had Darkwa too. How’d we let him get away? Was it before Moreno went out for the season? What’s your assessment of our RB corps for the stretch run. Also Go Phins! 41+% playoff odds…lets get on a roll!!!
I’m guessing we didn’t think Darkwa was ready to make significant contribution, and the fact that we picked up former SF RB LaMichael James was kind of the writing on the wall. Unfortunately, Darkwa may be too similar to Damien Williams in running style, and I think we were looking for a guy with more speed and more ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, especially with Moreno gone, and Miller hurting. I think most of us have thought that Marcus Thigpen could be that guy, but I think it’s obvious now that he’s not.
As far as our RB corps the rest of the way, we need Miller healthy. I know some here like GDP think Damien Williams is ready for prime time, and I admit, I like his effort and determination running the ball, but we need that breakaway speed Miller has badly. It fits what we do here. It’s nice to have a RB like Williams to spell Miller, but I think if Miller is out for a substantial period of time, we’re in trouble.
Despite the fact that Miller may not play, and We have 2 new tackles, and Tanny is banged up, that’s no excuse to not kicking the bills asses tonight! They beat us with Thad Lewis, and without CJ Spiller. We have to do what we have to do, and the coaches have to get the guys who ARE playing prepared for what they need to do. We need to get the best effort from our coaches, and our players. We need to BEAT THE BILLS!!
BTW, although I’m on the Admin group, I haven’t really done a thing, but I’m going to try and learn a little more, and start contributing. Your thanks, at least for now should go to Gigi, who you know is always working on the site for us, and to Herd, who seems much more fearless pushing buttons in an Admin capacity. I’m afraid I may blow the whole site up! 🙂
Q – Hi again Mike E
Nice short one this week – will we squeak into the play-offs?
If we beat BUF, I think our chances are decent, but we can’t keep alternating wins and losses the rest of the way. 9-7 isn’t going to get it done, and it’s certainly possible that 10-6 doesn’t either. A lot will depend on our conference and division records. If we beat BUF, our record will be 6-4, and just as important, our Conference record will be 5-2, which will be as good as just about every team in the AFC, except for the winner of the NE vs IND game. So either IND or NE will have the best conference record at 6-2, followed by us at 5-2. No other AFC team at this point will have a better conference record if we beat the Bills. Also, IND and NE are both likely to win their divisions, which mean we likely won’t be competing with them for Wild Card playoff spots. Other good conference records include Denver at 5-1, Kansas City (Who has the edge on us due to head to head) at 5-2, Pittsburgh at 5-3, CLE, CIN and SD at 4-3.
To say this game is huge is an understatement. If we have any intentions of wining the division, this would be a huge win for us, especially if NE loses to the Colts. The Patriots would still have one game up on us in the standings, but we’d have the same conference record, and we already beat them head to head. We’d be a game up on BUF, and have a much better division record (BUF would be 2-5), so a race with NE, since we play them again is a real possibility. This week will tell us a lot. A win for us and a loss by the Patriots shoots us right back into a division title race.
So my answer to your short question is, if we win against the Bills, I like our chances a lot. We just can’t fall apart with6 games remaining. I really like the direction our team is heading, despite the tough loss to DET. I think we’re as close to being a legit contender as we’ve been in quite some time. I think the O-line will be OK. I hope Tanny stays healthy, and I hope Miller gets back quickly, and of course, I hope we keep winning!
from O Rob
Q – Hi Mike
What happened to the Read Option in Detroit?
Will they use it against Buffalo?
Is it wise to expose Tannehill like that?
I wish I had the answer to that question Rob. I was as perplexed by the fact that we completely threw it out as you. maybe it’s more effective with lamar Miller in there, and they didn’t feel confident enough to do it with Damien Williams or Daniel Thomas. I would have thought it would have been an equalizer for us against the tough D-line DET has, but it didn’t happen, and possibly for the reason I mentioned.
As far as whether we do it against Buffalo, I think it depends on how much Tannehill’s shoulder is bothering him, The thought of him getting knocked out of the game because he got hit running is something I don’t even want to consider. I can complain about Tannehill’s deep ball from today until tomorrow, and even if I’m right, don’t think I don’t realize for a second that Ryan Tannehill gives us the best chance to win games in the NFL. I’m thinking unless Tanny has tons of room, he won’t be running, and even if he does, he will be sliding to avoid taking punishment.
In other words, I really don’t know if we will or not, but I think at this point, I’d me more surprised if we did run the read option than if we didn’t, in order to preserve the health of #17.
Q – With Albert down, we will all be watching what happens at Left Tackle. But what about RT? James has shown he can hold his own, seems the bigger worry is the other side. Should we get ready for Colombo Redux?
As I mentioned above to GDP, I am worried about Dallas Thomas playing RT. Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think he’s going to be as bad as either Colombo or Clabo, and I think John Benton will have him ready. I think it says something about their confidence in Thomas that he’s starting at RT and not Nate garner. Thomas moves pretty well, and he’ll need to against Mario Williams. Hopefully, he’s not always moving backwards!
James is also going to have his hands full with Jerry Hughes. Hushes has .5 sack more than Williams at 7.5, and he is very quick and fast. James has been great at RT, but now playing on the left side is the complete opposite mechanically, so I expect a hiccup or two or three. Also, keep in mind that James was a 4YR starter at RT at Tennessee, so he’s not experienced at that position at all, despite taking a few reps each week in practice at LT, and of course ALL week this week (4 days) to get ready. What I do like is that James is a very intelligent young man, and I think he will digest everything properly, and hopefully be able to put his learning into action successfully.
Q – WHEN we beat Da-Bills that puts us @ 6-4 with
Game 11 – 11/23 – MIA @ DEN
Game 12 – 12/1 – MIA @NYJ
Game 13 – 12/7 – BAL @ MIA (NE Fest Day)
Game 14 – 12/14 – MIA @ NE
Game 15 – 12/21 – MIN @ MIA
Game 16 – 12/28 – NYJ @ MIA
Look into your Chrystal Balls!
That is 9-7
Is that good enough to get into the post season?
Unfortunately, as I said to UK, that’s a big fat NO! We’re going to have to win a game or 2 that the experts think we have no business winning, like the DEN game, BAL or NE games. We just have to. If you want to belong in the playoffs, you have to knock off the big boys too. Beating Denver in Denver is a tall order, especially if Peyton Manning is healthy and playing. They will have Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman back at that point, and Denver is excellent at home, and the weather could also be a factor if it’s very cold. In Denver, it’s possible.
Baltimore is tough, but they come into our house, so that’s a game we better win. Beating NE in their house will also be a tough task, and this time, they will have Rob Gronkowski. I think we’re capable, of winning that game along with the Minnesota and at least 1 of the 2 Jets games. Say we lose to DEN, we’re 6-5. We lose to the Jets and now 6-6. We beat Baltimore, and we’re 7-6. We beat NE and we go to 8-6, and then like a snowball barreling down a mountain that turns into a boulder, we beat Minnesota and the Jets at home, 3 days after Christmas as a swell holiday gift to all Dolphins fans as we go 10-6, and make the playoffs for the 1st time!
I believe it can happen, and not necessarily that way, but I do think we finish 10-6. First step is tonight, beating Buffalo. If that doesn’t happen, It ain’t looking so good my friend. Not impossible, but not likely.
And now for the cheerleader of the week . . .