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Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins would have made playoffs if Colin Kaepernick was the QB

Ari Russell



(USA Today - Robert Hanishiro)

Obviously this is as about as much of a hypothetical construct could come up with, but the Miami Dolphins would have likely made the playoffs had Colin Kaepernick would have been their  QB.

Now, there is no way to obviously prove this, but we can look at a few items that would seemingly make this speculation within an alternative universe true.

When starting QB Ryan Tannehill suffered his second straight ACL injury keeping him out of football for the entire season, a lot of folks had thought that the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick would end abruptly with the Dolphins singing the man. Instead the organization decided to reach out to Jay Cutler who retired at the end of the 2016 season because he had played for coach Adam Gase when Gase was OC for the Bears.

Obviously this right away was accepted across most within the media because of the obvious Cutler/Gase connection. However, it missed some other key aspects. Sure, Cutler would pick up the offense fast, it doesn’t mean that he was best suited for the personnel.

Let’s remember that Tannehill is a QB that has a certain level of mobility. Though he wasn’t a guy that would light up the stat sheet, he was able to extend plays with his leg, move outside the pocket and extend drives. In fact we saw that several times last season and with Tannehill and it was one of the reasons why the Dolphins made the playoffs last season.

Jay Cutler on the other hand isn’t a mobile QB. He’s a quintessential pocket passer. The Dolphins had inconsistent offensive line issues throughout the year and having an immobile QB is the worst remedy for that issue. Several of the sacks that Cutler and back up Matt Moore took this year would have been evaded by Tannehill and certainly by Kaepernick, who could have ended up turning those plays into positive plays.

Last season Kapernick had 16 TDs and only 4 INTs with perhaps the thinnest group of skills position players in the league. Jay Cutler this season has 19 TDs and 14 INTs with some strong weapons.

Now, Jarvis Landry is going to get the ball regardless of who’s throwing the ball. The issue is yardage. He has 103 receptions for 895 yards. With a mobile QB who can extend the pocket you can get a dynamic player like Landry more in space which is going to give him more yardage and perhaps more TDs. Then you have Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, both very good receivers. In fact ,Parker likely would have seen his number go up a bit with a more mobile QB.

Let’s also not forget Jay Ajayi and Kenyon Drake, Drake especially who’s a dual threat.  Having him and Kaepernick in the backfield would have caused quite a bit of disruption to opposing defenses. They would have figured this out in training camp had they singed Kaepernick, however that never happened.

The reason why I am brining up this hypothetical is because I read a story in Friday’s Miami Herald about head coach maybe giving QB David Fales a shot at playing on Sunday.

That’s when coach Adam Gase might give backup David Fales some playing time. Fales, 27 and in his third NFL season, has thrown only five passes in the NFL — in Chicago during the 2015 season when Gase was the Bears offensive coordinator.

But he got first-team repetitions in practice this week and Gase is preparing Fales to play. The final decision whether to use Fales is apparently not yet made because, and ultimately, the game will dictate whether Fales sees the field because Gase still wants to win.

You literally can’t make this up. Anyways, this triggered me to write this piece. Now looking at the box scores you can’t take the final score as a measure. You have to realize the ability to execute drives, sustain drives, avoid sacks and turnovers will totally change the landscape of a game.

The Dolphins needed a veteran QB who has mobility and has won big time games in big time spots, not a skilled non mobile vet with sketchy skills in the clutch. By taking the conservative approach and taking Cutler and not having guts and signing Kaepernick, the stupid political stunt played by NFL owners backfired and probably cost the Dolphins and their fans a chance at the playoffs.

Sure this is 100% conjecture and speculation, but it’s obvious Cutler wasn’t the guy to get the job done. The only other veteran QB available was Kaepernick and he would have given the Dolphins a better shot, at least in my universe.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.



  1. crosseyedlemon

    December 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Almost as silly as saying the Browns would not end up winless if they had Jim Brown at running back.

  2. Mickman

    December 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Oh yes! Not one of the 32 NFL teams feel he could help them and you do? Come on Man! You are a fool!

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins lose DE William Hayes for season with torn ACL

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The news is not all good on Monday morning at for the Dolphins after their 28 – 20 triumph over the Raiders. This after head coach Adam Gase revealed at his day after the game news conference that defensive end William Hayes has suffered a torn ACL and will be going on injured reserve.

Hayes, who did not start the game, but did have a sack and two tackles, has been a reserve defensive end for the last two seasons in Miami. He was originally a member of the Titans for four seasons before playing for the Rams for five years and then coming as a free agent to Miami in 2017.

Hayes had also been playing with a cast on his hand with an injury suffered in the week 1 game with Tennessee.

Hayes was injured trying to sack quarterback Derek Carr late in the first half Sunday. Gase told the media that in reviewing the coaches tape, it’s obvious that Hayes was trying not to land on Carr, when he planted awkwardly on his knee tearing the ACL.

Joe Schad, Dolphins beat writer for the Palm Beach Post provided more visual insight here:

The new rules and point of emphasis on not driving quarterbacks, specifically, into the ground on hits is already creating fury among pass-rushers all over the league.

Green Bay’s Clay Matthews was flagged for it Sunday for the second consecutive week after he put a hit on the Redskins QB Alex Smith. He landed on him going to the ground drawing a 15-yard penalty. Mathews was very outspoken after the game about how the league and the officials were now going to hamper a pass-rusher is ability to do his job by having him account for not wrapping up or landing on a player that they are actually tackling.

Again, that goes to the point of how Hayes apparently injured himself and will be lost for the rest of the year

The Fins obviously have players like Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake and former first-round pick Charles Harris that can still rush the quarterback.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins hit big plays against Raiders to remain unbeaten

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another Sunday of big plays and another win for the Dolphins, who for the first time since 2013 are 3 – 0. This after dealing the Raiders their third straight loss in a 28-20 come-from-behind victory at Hard Rock Stadium.

After Oakland scored almost immediately, when quarterback Derek Carr hit Jordy Nelson on a long completion and then with a red zone touchdown pass, Miami found themselves trailing quickly 7 to nothing.

But from there on, the Fins began to hit the Raiders with one big play after another. That started with a 34-yard beautifully thrown touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a streaking Kenny Stills to tie the game 7-7.

The Raiders actually took a 10-7 lead into the locker room and then put together a lengthy drive capped with a Marshawn Lynch up and over touchdown in a 17-7 lead.

However, the Dolphins were not fazed and 2 minutes of clock time later had marched into Raiders scoring territory. That’s when Jakeem Grant took an inside flip hand off from Tannehill (above) and raced around the right end to cut the lead to 17 – 14.

Next, head coach Adam Gase went into the” bag of tricks” and after a double hand off, receiver Albert Wilson fired this long pass to Grant down the right sideline:

The 52-yard trick play touchdown, gave Miami the lead for the first time at 21-17.

The Raiders tried to mount a go ahead drive but Derek Carr’s the pass for Martavis Bryant was picked off by Xavien Howard ending their threat.

Next, Wilson caught another short pass from Tannehill and did the rest, racing around the left sideline for a 72-yard score at the 2-minute warning, which put the game away.

Tannehill finished 17-23 for 289 yards and the three TD passes. Carr had 345 yards and a TD in the losing effort, but also two costly interceptions.

The Dolphins are 3-0 for the first time since 2013. That team finished 8-8 and still missed the playoffs.

The Raiders fanfare of hiring Jon Gruden out of the Monday Night Football booth is over, as they are now 0-3 and already three games behind the Chiefs, who won Sunday.

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Miami Dolphins

Gameday- Dolphins host Raiders looking to remain unbeaten

Florida Football Insiders



Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Who:  Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Spread: Dolphins by 3 (Courtesy

Miami has opened by winning the first two games for the first time since 2013 and now has a golden opportunity to get to 3 – 0 today. Here’s what we’re watching

Progression of Ryan Tannehill

Coming off a solid start by spreading the ball around to numerous receivers, Ryan Tannehill will look to keep it up. The Raiders defense is obviously reeling after the trading of Khalil Mack on the eve of the season, and Tannehill may be able to take advantage of the Oakland secondary.

Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson as the deep threats could do significant damage later today. Look for coach Adam Gase and coordinator Dowell Loggains to test them early.

Does Derek Carr follow up last week’s performance?

Oakland’s 5th Year quarterback was tremendous for much of the Denver game a week ago, completing 23 of his first 24 passes. With the Raiders getting acclimated to Jon Gruden’s new offense and terminology, it’s still obvious they want to get the ball out of Carr’s hand quickly with short throws.

Another part of Oakland’s offensive success is the early running of Marshawn Lynch, who is questionable for this game with an injured shoulder. They would like to set up play action with Lynch or backup running back Jalen Richard. If Miami can stuff the run, it will help greatly in stopping the Raiders attack.

Dolphins defense continues its optimistic play?

Whether it was surviving the two lengthy weather delays two weeks ago against the Titans with key sacks and takeaways, or last week in New York with frustrating rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Miami has been able to make plays at times.

That needs to continue on Sunday. Safety Reshad Jones will be a game-time decision with his injured shoulder and that could affect their defensive scheme for coordinator Matt Burke.

If Miami’s pass rushers, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Etc can get to Carr it will make life easier at Hard Rock Stadium.

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