Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

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Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by Degarmo on Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:46 am

Since the traditional thread was not up yet, I figured I'd write one up until JMP could get his posted:

So here we go.

And let's take it back a bit to the older days of the Game Thoughts.

Drink of the evening:  Canadian Club and water, like a god-damn man.

Players of the Game:  Ryan Tannehill, Kiko Alonso, Tony Lippett, Cam Wake

Coach of the Game:  Vance Joseph

Non-Dolphin Hero of the Game:  Phillip Rivers

Nearly the Goat:  Jakeem Grant

The Dolphins stepped into the "believable playoff contender" category today after their fourth consecutive win, on the road, against a tough opponent in San Diego.  As much discredit as I heaped on Adam Gase, he has me believing that he has figured this out, and his system of accountability-or-gone has much to do with that in my opinion.  It has been a long time since we've seen a coach that will be tough when he needs to around here, and for that reason a lot of us have shied away from buying into him.  It's a good thing the players have bought in though.  This now is a demonstrably tougher team, and one that may actually make some noise.

We should temper that enthusiasm though, because it is his first year, and depth and talent are still needed in this team for it to become champion quality, and that is what we all want.

Now, onto the game.

The Chargers had a game plan of "make Tannehill beat us" and loaded up on the run.  It was effective in the beginning as the Dolphins tried to push their newfound balanced offense with Ajayi, and it was stuffed early.  Then, however, something  happened, Tannehill made them pay with a deep throw to Stills for a TD.  It was under duress, and quite frankly, fucking beautiful.  It was at that point that San Diego moved out of the box a bit and in the 3rd, Ajayi started to be able to get some ground game going.  San Diego decided that they couldn't allow this any longer and went back to their original plan, and they pounded Tannehill pretty well, but to his credit the kid stood in there and delivered some throws when it mattered, particularly the late-game throw downfield to Devante Parker where he got tomahawked to the neck and still converted.

The defense ran some good looks today, and Vance Joseph has converted me to a believer.  I think a lot of their success is due to scheme because they have some pretty glaring weaknesses, but they're doing a lot of disguising of coverage right now, and it's how they have to operate, deception and trickery, sleight of hand, because the raw talent is too thin, particularly in the secondary.  They managed to confuse the hell out of Rivers, and in the second half turned him into a turnover machine.  Rivers, threw 4 picks, including one for a TD today.  Hence, he gets a game ball from me.  Thanks Octodad Smile.

Cam Wake is still in full MVP mode on defense, and Kiko Alonso is playing very, very well at MLB, even though it's glaringly obvious that he is not suited for that position.  His pick-6 today was a very nicely designed peel-off fake blitz dropping into a medium hook zone, and he made a hell of a play on the ball and then took it to the house, even though towards the 20 yard line he appeared to have a rather large deposit of lead in his ass.  Another thing I will say for Kiko Alonso, something changed in his head, and I'm not sure when it kicked in, but he's shooting gaps now with abandon.  When he hits a crease on the line, he's flying in there.  Before, earlier in the season, he was holding back, watching the play unfold.  That's different now, and it's made a demonstrable difference.

Back to Phillip Rivers, an almost assured HoF QB, who I believe went to 8th all-time for TDs today, passing John Elway.  He had some amazing throws, and some really dismal ones.  He was confused by coverage on nearly every interception, save the last one to Lippett where he just shit the bed.  Speaking of Tony Lippett, he has done a great job getting up to speed as a CB, and it looks like he may actually be a position-conversion success story.  He's still got a ways to go, but the kid covers pretty damn well and is around the ball, evidenced by his two picks today.

Granted, there were some issues today.  The offensive line gave up a lot of key pressures, but fortunately Tannehill was able to make enough plays to cover for that.  Jakeem Grant made a terrible decision to field a punt inside the 10, and then muffed it, essentially handing the Chargers a key opportunity.  Tony Lippett ended this opportunity with a key interception in the back of the endzone on another ill-advised Rivers throw where the coverage confused him.

Jakeem Grant could have easily been the goat on this day as he made four serious special teams gaffs.  The one everyone will remember is the fumble, but he nearly turned over two others and attempted a run back from 6-yards deep in his end zone.  He had a poor day, but he'll learn.  He could have cost the team, but in the end, he didn't.

Looking at this Dolphins team right now, I'm hopeful, and that scares me, because I've been hopeful before.  The thing that solidifies that feeling, however, is that Adam Gase seems to have gotten everyone to buy in, and although I'm not expecting this team to win out and tear it up in the playoffs (because of talent/depth reasons), I do feel that a 4-game win streak at a point in the season when it all still matters is significant.  

I feel like we're moving forward for the first time in 200,000 years, or some other more realistic time period.

Okay JMP, take it from here.  I love your write-ups, my man.
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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:45 am

Degarmo wrote:As much discredit as I heaped on Adam Gase, he has me believing that he has figured this out, and his system of accountability-or-gone has much to do with that in my opinion.  It has been a long time since we've seen a coach that will be tough when he needs to around here, and for that reason a lot of us have shied away from buying into him.

Well, that and the whole "taking two months to figure out blatantly obvious things" bit.

We should temper that enthusiasm though, because it is his first year, and depth and talent are still needed in this team for it to become champion quality, and that is what we all want.

Screw tempering, I'm feeling happy full force cheers Because for one thing, I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I can always go back to feeling bad tomorrow, right?

The Chargers had a game plan of "make Tannehill beat us" and loaded up on the run.  It was effective in the beginning as the Dolphins tried to push their newfound balanced offense with Ajayi, and it was stuffed early.  Then, however, something  happened, Tannehill made them pay with a deep throw to Stills for a TD.  It was under duress, and quite frankly, fucking beautiful.

If you hadn't typed it I never would've believed it Shocked Tannehill actually completing deep passes and making opponents back out of the box?!?! Even now it seems like something out of a fantasy. Not a dream, but a full-blown fantasy.

It was at that point that San Diego moved out of the box a bit and in the 3rd, Ajayi started to be able to get some ground game going.  San Diego decided that they couldn't allow this any longer and went back to their original plan, and they pounded Tannehill pretty well, but to his credit the kid stood in there and delivered some throws when it mattered, particularly the late-game throw downfield to Devante Parker where he got tomahawked to the neck and still converted.

And from what I've heard about how one-sided the officiaiting was, I'll bet that wasn't called. Amirite?

The defense ran some good looks today, and Vance Joseph has converted me to a believer.  I think a lot of their success is due to scheme because they have some pretty glaring weaknesses, but they're doing a lot of disguising of coverage right now, and it's how they have to operate, deception and trickery, sleight of hand, because the raw talent is too thin, particularly in the secondary.  They managed to confuse the hell out of Rivers, and in the second half turned him into a turnover machine.  Rivers, threw 4 picks, including one for a TD today.  Hence, he gets a game ball from me.  Thanks Octodad Smile.

I figured for sure this D would be giving up 30 a game and instead they're giving up about a TD less than that so yeah, dude's apparently turning water into wine. Or in this case sewer juice into champagne.

Cam Wake is still in full MVP mode on defense, and Kiko Alonso is playing very, very well at MLB, even though it's glaringly obvious that he is not suited for that position.  His pick-6 today was a very nicely designed peel-off fake blitz dropping into a medium hook zone, and he made a hell of a play on the ball and then took it to the house, even though towards the 20 yard line he appeared to have a rather large deposit of lead in his ass.  Another thing I will say for Kiko Alonso, something changed in his head, and I'm not sure when it kicked in, but he's shooting gaps now with abandon.  When he hits a crease on the line, he's flying in there.  Before, earlier in the season, he was holding back, watching the play unfold.  That's different now, and it's made a demonstrable difference.

Wake has me convinced he's one of the top 10 Fins ever. maybe just #10 but still, he makes the list. I saw the Alonso pick six and yes, it was a thing of briliance how first he peels back, then he makes Rivers think he's covering one man while duping him into throwing to the man Alonso wanted him to all along. cheers

Back to Phillip Rivers, an almost assured HoF QB, who I believe went to 8th all-time for TDs today, passing John Elway.  He had some amazing throws, and some really dismal ones.  He was confused by coverage on nearly every interception, save the last one to Lippett where he just shit the bed.  Speaking of Tony Lippett, he has done a great job getting up to speed as a CB, and it looks like he may actually be a position-conversion success story.  He's still got a ways to go, but the kid covers pretty damn well and is around the ball, evidenced by his two picks today.

Rivers in the HOF??? I really don't see it. In the current hierarchy he's behind Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and likely Roethlisberger as well. Not to mention Peyton when he played. Can you really put the 5th-6th best QB (and maybe even the 7th when that Romo guy was in his prime) in the league when he played in the HOF? Well I suppose you *could* but it would make the whole thing an even bigger joke than it already is.

BTW remember when everyone just assumed Lippett was trash? Laughing

Looking at this Dolphins team right now, I'm hopeful, and that scares me, because I've been hopeful before.  The thing that solidifies that feeling, however, is that Adam Gase seems to have gotten everyone to buy in, and although I'm not expecting this team to win out and tear it up in the playoffs (because of talent/depth reasons), I do feel that a 4-game win streak at a point in the season when it all still matters is significant.  

I feel like we're moving forward for the first time in 200,000 years, or some other more realistic time period.

Even before this game this season just felt different to me, but I didn't want to say anything. Now I'm saying it. 12-4 would be absolutely absurd, but i am telling you right now, there isn't a single team remaining on the schedule the Fins can't beat. And how many times have we EVER been able to say that?

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by white1 on Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:16 am

Great write up Degarmo!

Agree with all that you said. Let's not forget to throw some props to Devante Parker. The kid grew up a little bit yesterday, making some clutch plays. Seeing Stills, Landry and Parker all catching passes was encouraging. No help coming, they have to evolve into a more threatening unit so teams have to respect the pass and can't just load up against our running game.

Damien Williams also had a great game, scoring two touchdowns the last of which was a beautiful catch. I never thought he would amount to anything, but he's running with power and has come up huge making plays in big situations. I can now see why the coaches love him.

And from what I've heard about how one-sided the officiaiting was, I'll bet that wasn't called. Amirite?

I lost track of how many first downs we gave the Chargers by penalty. We also had a penalty I had never seen before, a facemask tacked on to the END of a pass interference call. It was like 30 yards.

I stand by my post last week. Part of what's killing the NFL is officiating. Fans are getting tired of the deflating feeling following a big play when yellow is on the field. I don't care how they do it, they have to reduce the significance and frequency of penalties. Especially knowing that the officials are going to get it wrong sometimes, and they do.



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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:34 am

white1 wrote:I stand by my post last week.  Part of what's killing the NFL is officiating.  Fans are getting tired of the deflating feeling following a big play when yellow is on the field.  I don't care how they do it, they have to reduce the significance and frequency of penalties. Especially knowing that the officials are going to get it wrong sometimes, and they do.

Seems to me like the real problem is that at some point officials realized they actually have more power to influence the outcome of games than the coaches and players, and they've decided to abuse it.

That's the only explanation I can think of as to why calls are so increasingly one-sided against certain teams and individuals. A penalty on Player A from Team B is somehow not a penalty on Player C from Team D. And this seems to be happening more now than at any other time in the history of football, at all levels.

Case in point, Memphis lost when at the end of the game down by 7 in the red zone a defender deliberately yanked a receiver's arm with both hands in full view of at least one official, not even trying to hide it. It's actually a smart play because getting flagged there is better than giving up the TD since the D still gets one more chance at making the stop. In that situation the defender just assumes he's getting flagged, but it's worth it. Naturally, there was no call Evil or Very Mad

(I didn't do anything silly like actually watch the game, I just saw the incriminating photo afterwards. You be the judge.)

http://csnbbs.com/thread-798226.html

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by JMP on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:32 am

Thanks, Degarmo - I haven't had time to post my thoughts and I'm not sure I'll be able to do a "full repoprt" - busy week.  Some quick hits here:

--That was one of Tannehill's best games ever.  Hung in the pocket despite heavy pressure, accurate deep passes, clutch first downs - he did it all.  Outstanding.
--Nice to see Parker wake the fuck up and make some plays.
--OL was terrible in pass protection...Tannehill got hammered numerous times.
--Kudos to Gase for sticking with the run even when it wasn't working.  Ajayi had some great runs and Damien Williams continued his excellent season.
--Jakeem Grant should not be returning punts - period.  Absolutely brutal yesterday.
--Initially I planned to talk about how bad Lippett, Maxwell and Alonso were in coverage - and then they all came up with huge INTs late in the game.  Great to see those guys piut the mistakes behind them and step up when they needed to.
--The pass rush from the DL was really the story of the game.  Wake was dominant, and Suh, Branch and Williams all had numerous pressures.  Earl Mitchell was excellent in his return to action - really a strong effort from him.
--Once again - way too many penalties.  Almost lost the game because of it.  Unacceptable.  I can't blame the officials...the penlaties I'm seeing the Dolphins commit are legit, and most are a result of poor play and lack of discipline.

Overall, I am very impressed with the way the coaching staff has turned this team around - they have found a way to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.  The current roster blows, but the coaches have developed solid schemes and have these guys playing as a team.  Never thought I'd say this, but the future is finally starting to look bright.

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:40 am

WHEW!!! I was seriously starting to get worried about you. Especially with all this news about Stanfill dying and the Pead car crash. Glad to see you're alive after all Very Happy cheers

I *knew* you'd talk about penalties again Razz I am telling you and everyone else right now, the game where the Fins hardly get any is the game that breaks this win streak.

That having been said, the Rams seem to be cheap shot artists so maybe next time the other team will have more for a change.

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:53 am

Also, Grant seems to have this mentality of "I'm returning every single kick even if it makes absolutely no sense to do so, dammit!" We saw it in preseason when he kept bringing kickoffs out of the end zone even knowing that teams now start on the 25 on a touchback. IMO it's a classic case of Little Man Syndrome. Dude's clearly got a chip on his shoulder bigger than he is. And sometimes that can be a good thing (just ask Steve Smith). But not on kick and punt returns.

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by Birdmond on Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:50 am

I don't have as much of a problem with penalties called against the Dolphins as I do the ones not called against the Chargers. Rivers had at least two intentional groundings not calied, Parker nearly had his shoulder pads removed on one play and Wake was held at least 4 times. He should have had six sacks.

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Re: Surrogate JMP Game Thoughts

Post by JMP on Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:38 pm

That one Rivers pass that was thrown to an offensive lineman definitely should have been intentional grounding, and the Parker play was definitely pass interference. 

But, I can't complain too much about the Wake holds because I saw the Phins OL and DBs get away with a few holds too.  I thought it evened out overall.

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