It’s that time of year folks, the time of the NFL football season where you start doing mad calculations as to what your team’s playoff chances are. Think about it, really think about it. It’s crazy that we’re even in position to be thinking about such things. This season was going the way of blowing it up, and that means GM, Coach and starting all over again at 1-7. When you consider that this was the feeling here and now that an unlikely 6 game win streak which included some “gimmes” but also included a game I figured we had no business winning against the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens. That was a game I expected to be thrashed as per usghe, especially considering the the Ravens had pulverized our Dolphins in the last 4 meetings to the tune of 137-16. Yes, we beat the Jets twice, the Watsonless Texans, the Panthers who were flying high because their “Superman” Cam Newton was back at QB, and the other NY Football team, the Daniel Jonesless Giants. Whatever the level of competition you play in the NFL, it’s remarkable to run off 6 straight wins. So now our Dolphins sit at 7-7 and enable us to banter back and forth and argue about which teams we should root for in which matchups. Gotta love it!
We travel to play the New Orleans Saints, led by one of the better NFL Head Coaches around, Sean Payton. He’s hamstrung somewhat because he has to rely on a guy that he used to draw up a number of offensive packages for and pull then QB Drew Brees and let the gadget guy Taysom Hill go out and use his athletic ability, a nice change of pace from the heavy passing offense of Drew Brees. However, COVID-19 has struck the Saints and both starter Taysom Hill and backup Trevor Siemian are both out with COVID so they will be forced to start rookie QB Ian Book. Ian Book was the Saints 4th RD Pick (#133) this year. When you face this current Saints team, you no longer worry about WR Michael Thomas, it’s basically the Alvin Kamara show. For perspective, Kamara leads the team in rush attempts (184), receptions (38) and total yards with 1016, 668 yards rushing, 348 yards receiving. He’s basically their offense, and if you can limit Kamara, you’re probably going to beat the Saints. The Saints are also 7-7, but unlike the surging Dolphins, the Saints were 5-2 and now have lost 5 of 7. The Saints have one of the better NFL defensive units, currently 6th in points allowed at 20.4 PPG. The Dolphins slipped a bit and are now worse than midpack at 22.3 PPG. Offensively, the Saints are 17th (22.4 PPG) and the Dolphins are 21st at (20.4 PPG). With QB Ian Book in, you really are playing against The Kamaras this week.
The Dolphins managed to slip past the Jets last week and although we didn’t look great doing so, we did enough to win, and that’s what it’s all about now. Just win baby. I know some of you people are all on board “The Duke Train” but I’m of the opinion that he had a really nice day in front of a crowd he was eager to be in front of and seized the opportunity. Does he end up being another Lamar Smith type story, we’ll find out. For the record, I hope Duke is even better than Lamar Smith, but I’m not expecting as much as others from The Duke. I do like the physical style and effort he brings so maybe that rubs off on the other guys. Tua had an uneven game against the Jets, we’ll need a better effort from him. The good thing is the O-line play is trending upwards, a great sign. They have quite the challenge in the Saints front 7, Cam Jordan is one of the best DE’s in football. Marcus Davenport excels as well and benefits from the extra attention teams usually slide towards Jordan. Kwon Alexander is a fine LB along with former Jet Demario Davis. LB Kaden Ellis is on the COVID list so not sure if he plays. The Saints secondary isn’t too shabby either with CB’s Marcus Lattimore and Bradley Roby. SS Malcolm Jenkins is a wily veteran and is joined by FS Marcus Williams. The trio of Davis, Jenkins and Williams are the Saints leading tacklers.
As you are all aware, our friend Jon (Stanger) is still fighting the good fight. At times it looks like he’s turned a corner only to fall back a few steps. This is going to be a tough battle for him so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. At this time, I want to wish all of you here Happy Holidays, and also hoping for all of you to stay safe and healthy.