Archive for September, 2008

Grading the Dolphins

Posted in Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Recaps with tags , , , , on September 8, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Plenty of stuff to look at in the Dolphins 20-14 loss to the Jets yesterday. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what we thought of the each portion of the team.

Quarterbacks: B-

Hard to fault Chad Pennington for anything that happened yesterday. He made throws and kept the team in the game despite not having any rushing attack. Or receivers. Or an offensive line capable of blocking. Call me anti-American, but by the time the game ended, I was more convinced by Chad Pennington’s performance than Brett Favre’s.

Pennington: 26/43, 251 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Favre: 15/22, 194 yards, 2 TDs

But luck plays a big role in how we perceive players.

Example: Favre’s second touchdown was a ball that should’ve been picked off, or at the very least, batted down. He closed his eyes and threw the ball straight up in the air to avoid getting sacked on a 4th down play. He had no idea where the ball was going when he released it, because his head wasn’t even facing the right way. Luckily, the ball fell somewhere in the vicinity of the endzone, the Dolphins defenders had no clue what they were doing, and a guy named Stuckey found himself in the right place at the right time. Touchdown.

“He’s a miracle worker,” Dolphins fullback Boomer Grigsby said. “He threw that thing in the air and God said, ‘Brett Favre will have a touchdown pass.’ And he did. That’s Brett Favre being Brett Favre.”

Conversely, Chad Pennington tried the same thing at the end of the game and Darelle Revis made a one-handed interception in the back corner of the endzone, while falling down.

If you take those two plays out of the game — because, honestly neither was the result of anything the quarterback did right or wrong –here’s what the stats look like:

Pennington: 26/42, 251 yards, 2 TDs
Favre: 14/21, 172 yards, 1 TD

Pennington, on the whole, had a much more impressive day than anyone else on the field, not named Dwight Lowery.

Running Backs: D

17 attempts for 59 yards. That’s it.

Ronnie Brown made a few mistakes, cost the team a much-needed timeout in the 4th quarter, and almost had the biggest brain fart of the game when, after catching a pass, he cut back inside despite having to get out of bounds in the final 30 seconds. He wound up finding the sideline, but even that was a debatable call by the officials. Ricky made a big catch late in the game to put the team in position to get the final score, but overall, it just didn’t seem like the running backs played a big part in this game.

Receivers: C

To be honest, it was hard to get any kind of reading on the receivers. The offensive line was so bad that Pennington was running for his life for most of the game, dumping off to the nearest white jersey. In moments where he had time to throw, Anthony Fasano was his most sure-handed target. He finished with 8 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown, and was the only thing saving this grade from falling to a D.

Offensive Line: F

Our teacher once told us that we received an F, simply because she wasn’t allowed, by the rules of teaching, to give a lower grade. We suppose she would’ve skipped G, H and I and reached straight for the Q. Now, we understand.

Never has the term “offensive” been so fitting. Penalties? Check. Missed assignments? Check. The only time this group looked even remotely competent was on the final drive, when the Jets lightened up the blitz. Too often, there were multiple green shirts in the backfield before Pennington could even finish his 3-step drop. At one point, an attempted flea flicker saw Ricky Williams get mauled before he could turn around to pass it backward. Not a very inspiring performance by the one group that looked solid in the preseason.

Defensive Line: B-/C+

It’s difficult to give them a higher grade when they allowed Thomas Jones to rush for almost 5 yards a carry. But they got pressure on Favre on a number of occasions, forced him into throws that he didn’t want to make, and even managed to slap a ball out of his hands for a turnover.

Defensive Backs: D

The Dolphins defensive backs were only terrible on two plays. Unfortunately, both plays led to touchdowns.

The first touchdown, a 56-yard bomb to Jerricho Cotchery, caught the safety sleeping after a Favre play-fake. We’re still not sure what the hell happened on the second touchdown, but any time a ball floats in the air for more than 35 seconds and only goes 20 yards, we’d like to think that it shouldn’t be caught for a touchdown. Favre’s lame-duck touchdown pass was an obvious indication that this secondary still has some glaring holes in it.

Special Teams: C-/D+

The kicking game included a 9-yard punt and a kickoff that sailed out of bounds. In a game where the other team’s offense isn’t that impressive, it’s hard to stomach the idea of constantly giving them the ball at midfield to start drives.

The biggest return threat the Dolphins have produced 3 punt returns for a total of 9 yards, and drew the ire of fans for not attempting to return a punt late in the game, with the Dolphins needing good field position to get themselves in a spot to tie the game.

Coaching: C

There wasn’t enough there to suggest that Sparano and his staff did a poor job. They also didn’t do enough to justify giving them anything better than a mediocre grade. There’s no reason for some of the miscues and penalties from the offensive line, but that’s something Sparano and company can’t neccessarily control. If it continues throughout the season, then the blame can be placed on the coaching staff. For now, it was simply a young team making young mistakes.

Overall, they did ok with the team that took the field. This is a grade that would seem to need a long-term look, rather than a one game snapshot.

Hey, it could be worse. They could be the Patriots right now…

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Brett Favre Unretirement Tour, Live-Blog: 2nd Half

Posted in Brett Favre, Chad 1 & Chad 2, Chad Pennington, Live Blogs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Sticky Icky Ricky, The Big Fupa with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Welcome back. Sorry I’m late. Vista is not always my friend.

On to the 2nd half live-blog!

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The Brett Favre Unretirement Tour, Live-Blog: 1st Half

Posted in Brett Favre, Chad 1 & Chad 2, Chad Pennington, Live Blogs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Sticky Icky Ricky, The Big Fupa with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Welcome to the party. Because we’ve said so much about this already, we’ll spare you the repitition today and just get right into the live-blog. If you wanna know more about what you’re in for today, here’s the link you wanna click.

As those that followed along in the preseason know, this is an interactive live-blog. The screenname is BOSLiveBlog, so if you wanna throw us some info, maybe a Pennington noodle-arm joke or two, hit us up on the AIM. That’s how the kids say it. I think. (Those of you from Deadspin now have about 47 extra screennames on your buddy list.)

Ok, enough of this filler. After the jump, Adam Smoot doesn’t just blog… he live-blogs!

(Remember: this shit runs bottom to top. Just trying to save you from spending the first 10 minutes looking like you’re the lone goy in temple on Shabbos. “You mean this book reads from right to left?”)

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Three In A Row? Eh?

Posted in Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Recaps, St. Louis Cardinals with tags , , , , on September 7, 2008 by Adam Smoot

With football season starting, all eyes have been on the Miami Dolphins this week. But what about the other team playing in Dolphin Stadium?

The Marlins finally won back-to-back games on Friday night, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1, one night after a 5-3 win over Atlanta in front of roughly 12 fans. The attempt for a streak, however, was foiled by Todd Wellemeyer on Saturday.

Fish baseball has been anything but consistent lately, so winning 2 out of 3 is a welcome sight. With just 18 games left though, they’ll need to bounce back quickly from last night’s loss.

…And get a ton of help from the Mets and Phils.

AP Photo/Tom Gannam

The Brett Favre Unretirement Tour, Live-Blog: Pregame

Posted in Brett Favre, Live Blogs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Vicodin with tags , , , , on September 7, 2008 by Adam Smoot

See those people? That, my friends, is what Brett Favre gave up in Wisconsin. Mother fucker could’ve had free blow jobs for life from the hottest women Green Bay has to offer — see: woman above — and all he had to do was hold onto his retirement papers a little longer. Oops. Waita’ fuck that one up, bucko.

Now he’s back. From outer space. He just walked in to find us there with that sad look upon our face. And why the sad look? Because this is fucking pathetic. Dude, hang em up. It was cute the first couple times you did this, but now it’s just plain old. And why the Jets? Well, shit, at least you traded up in the fan department. (Should you get homesick, me thinks a thorough inspection of that fan will turn up plenty of cheese. Probably moldy.)

And how incredibly lucky are we, as Dolphin fans? The first stop on the Brett Favre Unretirement Tour is South Beach. Unfuckingbelievable! It’s like Santa Claus came to South Florida four months early and put a large, shit-black lump of coal in my stocking. Thanks, Kringle. Maybe when you stop by in December, you can kick me in the face with your massive steel-toed boot, while I’m sleeping, and finish me off, whatdya’ say?

Well, fuck it. Since there’s no way around it, we’ve decided to celebrate this festive occasion with a live-blog. Really, how else could we effectively say what needs to be said about Brett Favre without time-stamps and well-placed, Vicodin jokes? So, join us at 1pm as the Brett Favre Unretirement Tour kicks off right here, at Bright Orange Seats.

You bring the beer, we’ll bring the Astroglide. Yes, it’s that kinda party.

(Morning update: Fuck it. It’s opening day. We’re geeked. We’re starting this thing early. 12:30, bitches. Astroglide still needed.)

Jets/Dolphins: The Most Unnecessarily Long Pregame Report. Ever.

Posted in Brett Favre, Chad 1 & Chad 2, Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, NFL Previews, Sticky Icky Ricky, The Big Fupa with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Football is back, bitches! Not that fake, don’t-get-the-starters-hurt, oh-look-it’s-Jalen-Parmele, preseason shit. Real mother fucking football! We’ve had a month to get our shit together, try out ideas, and declare our pregame shtick “ready.” Today, we can proudly proclaim that we are, in fact, not ready at all. Ready? Fuck that. This shit is gonna look like a jumbled mess of a blog post until about week 15, when we finally get it right. Whatever. As Dan Le Batard’s radio show can attest to, bad is the new good.

All that said, I’m Adam Smoot, and i’ll be your voice for the 2008 NFL season. Over the course of the next 17 weeks (because there’s no way in hell the Dolphins are making the playoffs), I’ll be breaking down the weekend matchup, talking shit about the opposing team, and generally causing mayhem in Dolphinland. If you wanna see what you’re about to get yourself into, check out the abbreviated versions for the Bucs and Jags preseason games. I’m not letting you off that easy anymore, though. It’s the regular season, so you’ll be reading at least 3X as much from here on out. But, trust me. It’ll be worth it. Maybe. Probably not.

One admission: I curse. A lot. It’s a literary crutch I use when I can’t find the correct adjective to get an otherwise logical point across. Deal with it.

So, hey, what are you waiting for? Click the damn link and join the fucking party, after the jump.
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Look Whose Road Trip Came Just In Time

Posted in Cone Of Death, Florida Marlins with tags , , on September 5, 2008 by Adam Smoot

Looks like the Marlins got outta Florida just in time.

We’ll tell ya this. The one thing we loved about living across the street from Dolphin Stadium was that anytime there was a storm that knocked the power out, we were the first ones to get it back. Especially if it happened just before a Dolphins game. Priority number one. We’re not so sure we’ll get that same treatment living in the area we’re in now.

The Fish, though, are two games under .500 away from the friendly confines of Dolphin Stadium. They’ll take their act to St. Louis for the next three nights, Philly the following three, and then head home to beat up on the lowly Nationals.

So, here we go folks. Eight games back. Twenty-two to play. While the month of August did everything in its power to crush the hopes of the fanbase, there’s still September. It might be just a sliver of the hope we had 2 months ago, but it’s hope nonetheless. The Mets fell apart this same time last year, the Marlins have had hot streaks all throughout the season and the Phillies, well, does anyone really think they’ll be the ones atop the division at the end of the month?

All the Fish have to do is weather the storm.

And hit.

And pitch.

Shit. It’s gonna be a long month, isn’t it?