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Miami Dolphins

Here’s how Dolphins slim playoff hope can stay alive this weekend

Roy Cummings



Photo by Icon Sportswire

The late great Yogi Berra is still right all these many years later that it truly “ain’t over until it’s over.” And right now, for the Dolphins, it ain’t over.

At 6-8 their playoff hopes are on life support, but they are still alive headed into this weekend.

As you would expect, coach Adam Gase answered the way that a coach should, when asked about his team’s postseason chances Wednesday afternoon, “We’re still in this season….Win this one (in Kansas City) and go from there and see what happens.”

The question is: will winning that one game Sunday still matter?

So, buckle up get out your pencil with an eraser and here we go with what keeps the Dolphins alive for this week and gives them hope that next week they can get in on a tiebreaker at 8-8 for an AFC Wildard.

First, the Ravens did no favors for the Dolphins on Saturday, as they defeated the Colts 23-16. That win means the Ravens are 9-6 and control their own destiny to defeat the Bengals at home next week and clinch a Wildcard Spot. Obviously, the Dolphins will not be able to tie the Ravens, now.

So, onto Sunday, and Miami must help themselves by beating Kansas City early Sunday afternoon, because a ninth loss will eliminate them. The Chiefs also have to win this game, as they are trying to win the AFC West and make the playoffs. Also, by beating K.C., Miami would own a potential head to head tiebreaker over the Chiefs, if needed, for the Wildcard after next weekend.

The next two things that need to happen also on Sunday are: the Patriots winning their rematch with the Bills in New England and the Rams defeating Tennessee in Nashville.

Neither of those are too far-fetched. The Pats have to keep winning to be the #1 seed in the AFC and have home-field advantage. So their motives are high.

The Rams are coming to Tennessee, and they have to keep winning to not only win the West and guarantee a home playoff game, but they are battling with the Saints and the Vikings for the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs and a bye.

Those losses would make the Bills and the Titans 8-7 headed into the final weekend.

Still with us?

Then, on Monday night the Eagles, who also need to keep winning for #1 seed status in the NFC playoffs host the Raiders. Miami, would still need at least more Oakland loss to help them headed into the final weekend of the season. The Raiders have the head to head win over Miami last month.

So the bottom line is the Dolphins need a victory in K.C., but also help in four other games.

Not dead, but in serious jeopardy.

Then again, the NFL is crazy with upsets, and as we have laid out above, if they take care of business against the Chiefs, everything else is realistic to fall into place for Gase and the Dolphins this weekend.

Now, you have to let it play out.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. B Wimmer

    December 21, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Miami doesn’t ‘have to’ have IND beat BAL to stay alive although that would be a huge boon for them. If the other more likely things happen (NE over BUF, LAR over TEN, PHI over OAK) then Miami would need to beat BUF and have JAX over TEN and -either- DEN over KC -or- OAK over LAC. To me, that’s the most realistic shot they have since it eliminates any upsets with the exception of Miami’s two games. My thinking is, if the Fins go about it like they control their own destiny (by winning out), the other things very well may fall into place. But they hafta get W’s first and foremost.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins new policy threatens to suspend players for anthem protests

Florida Football Insiders



Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We already know that the NFL has enacted a new national anthem policy being left up to teams to enforce and it has caused controversy. Well, now the Dolphins have taken that to a new level by threatening to suspend players next season for protesting on the field during the anthem.

The story was broken by the Associated Press late Thursday afternoon, where they obtained the new nine-page policy that the Dolphins have set out for their players.

In a section titled “Proper Anthem Conduct,” there is a sentence dealing with anthem protests under a large list of “conduct detrimental to the club” acts.  All of which, could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension or both. This is according to an anonymous team source familiar, who provided the policy to the AP.

The new NFL policy voted in by the owners in May allows teams to discipline players for anthem protesting, while on the field. The policy does allow for players who are objecting to the anthem to remain in the locker room, if they so choose.

The NFL declined comment, when the Associated Press reached them about the leaking of the Dolphins team policy. Dolphins officials also had no comment to the Associated Press on Thursday afternoon

Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, and former safety Michael Thomas and former tight end Julius Thomas are shown above kneeling during the anthem in a game in November of last season.

Thursday’s leaking of the policy is the latest in the national anthem Saga for Miami, where owner Stephen Ross defended players protesting the anthem, previously.

However, earlier this year, Ross made comments at a New York event where he was being honored, suggesting he wanted the anthem protests to be over with, and even hinted then that there could be punishment down the road.

Ross quickly backpedaled and clarified those comments the next day after a firestorm of controversy that started.

ESPN NFL reporter Jeff Darlington, who is formerly a Dolphins media member, reported Thursday evening that the policy submitted to the league and to be given to the players isn’t a “this for that” definite suspension threat:

However, the Fins clearly have anthem protests spelled out as a punishable offense, according the AP, which has seen it.

The interesting dynamic is that the teams themselves are being left to impose penalties, as they see fit and not the league doing so with a black and white policy that lays out specific punishment.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins cornerstone player for 2018?

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a pivotal year for the Dolphins, their head coach Adam Gase, their front office of Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier, and most importantly, QB Ryan Tannehill.

Miami is certainly taking a risk bringing back Tannehill off of missing all of 2017 with re-injury to his ACL. A risk, because they didn’t elect to make a play for a “quarterback of the future” in this year’s draft. This despite flirting heavily with the likes of Baker Mayfiled, and a player like Lamar Jackson being readily available for them, when they drafted at #11.

And, the Fins dealt away Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry for not much in return, because they didn’t want to pay him huge dollars. And then, with getting rid of fellow Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to save on the salary cap, the clear star or leader remaining is Tannehill.

And Tannenbaum, Grier and Gase are banking that he will be back to his 2016 pre-injury play of 2016 that put the Dolphins in position to make the playoffs.

Gase has made it no secret that they have made their decision and have built around Tannehill. As we wrote about early last month, the third year coach has repeatedly backed his QB, who’s about to play for his sixth season. Gase saying to’s Albert Breer last month:

“Just being around him (Tannehill), this being my third year, the guy competes as hard as anyone I’ve been around, especially at that position. And it’s a good feeling as a coach when we’ve got him back out there.”

And they hope to have at the level where he was, when he injured the knee in the week 14 home game with Arizona two years ago. Through 13 games, he had his highest completion percentage (67.5%), yards per attempt (7.7) and quarterback rating (93.5).

There are new veteran faces on offense like RB Frank Gore, and WR Danny Amendola, who both have years of winning and post season experience to bring to the huddle.

Still, in most NFL locker rooms, the QB is the “face of the franchise,” the leader and the one most scrutinized.

And Ryan Tannehill will be that for this fall.

He’s the foundation, for at least the start of this year, that Miami will try to build their fortunes.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins moving eventually to new facility near Hard Rock Stadium?

Florida Football Insiders



Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not as earth shattering as a huge free agent signing or hosting a playoff game, but the fact that the Dolphins are close to moving locations from their current training complex in Davie to a more convenient one next to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens is a big deal.

The Miami Herald had the  details on Saturday:

From the Herald’s item, there is definitely some competitive interest in luring the Dolphins away:

Miami Gardens might defray the cost of security in and around Hard Rock Stadium to help seal the deal, and Miami-Dade County could amend the existing stadium renovation agreement that pays the Dolphins a bonus for hosting major events.

“Twenty-five years ago, the Dolphins moved their football headquarters from North Dade to Davie, and I’ve wanted them back ever since,” Miami Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan said. “When I heard Mr. Ross was considering a new $50 million practice facility in Broward, I knew we had to have a conversation about bringing this massive private investment to Miami-Dade. To me, it’s a perfect fit for our community and will bring a lot of economic activity to Miami-Dade.”

Added Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert: “From Top Golf to the Super Bowl, Miami Gardens has become a destination for world-class entertainment, and venues that attract visitors on a consistent basis are a critical component of economic development. Between the Miami Open and Miami Dolphins training camp, we can generate $100 million-plus in privately funded construction, hundreds of good-paying jobs, a significant boost to our tax base and new opportunities for residents to live, work and play. It would be great to bring the Miami Dolphins training facility back home to the 305.”

So, clearly there’s some “wooing” going on, and if Fins owner Stephen Ross is going to privately fund the new facility to the tune of at least $50 and maybe as high as, $75 million, then there is ample reason to try to lure them. Ross has already put over $500 million of his own money into a three year renovation of Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins training adjacent to the stadium where they play or in the same complex area, is not uncommon. In the cases of Florida’s other two NFL teams: the Jaguars train adjacent to TIAA Bank Field, and the Bucs complex is across the street from Raymond James Stadium.

And, there are other examples of the Bengals, the Texans, and the Patriots who train either next to or in the same complex as where they play on Sundays.

The reality is that the new facility will not be ready for at least another two seasons, no matter where it’s located. Still, the convenience and new design will also be an asset for the Dolphins to attract players, too.

Now it’s up to the franchise to decide where and how soon, they want to build.

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