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Miller’s Week 10 NFL, Fins & Fantasy

November 10th, 2013 · No Comments

Miller’s Week 10 NFL, Fins & Fantasy

Miami Dolphins (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (O/U 41)
October 11, 2013 Monday Night Football ; 8:40 PM (ESPN)

I start this week’s analysis with a riddle: Why didn’t the Dolphins know that Jonathan Martin was being bullied? Punch line: Because the bully was incognito. For those of you who don’t get it (my original joke), stop reading now, because the following will be the equivalent of Xanax to your senses.

Miami is 4-4 and Tampa Bay is 0-8. So, we can say that Fins are a lock to win or conversely that the Bucs are due for a win. Before addressing this past week’s circus which may otherwise be referred to as “BullyGate” or “Dolphins Drama”, I will get right to the meat of the matter…the game itself.

The Bucs’ offense is better than it appears. Last week, it scored 21 points on the road at arguably the toughest venue in all of football, Seattle’s home field. Losing in OT to the Hawks was a moral victory, but they are talented enough to beat most NFL teams, and are led by rookie QB Mike Glennon who has thrown 5 TD’s and no interceptions in his last 3 starts. Last year, TB featured rookie phenom RB D.Martin, but injuries have plagued Martin and have engendered opportunity for ex-Cane Mike James, who has produced well recently. Watch for Bucs to soften up the Dolphins’ run D with short passes, especially some to James out of backfield and with deep shots to perennial Pro Bowl WR V.Jackson, who will likely be shadowed by CB Grimes (92 yard pick 6 last week). Fins will bring the heat against Glennon and will likely stack the line in many instances to prevent run-game from launching. I expect DE Cam Wake and Co. to come up big one again and force hurried throws and perhaps a couple of costly turnovers. The 11-day buffer between games, if nothing else (besides augmenting negative publicity time for Dolphins Drama), has allowed certain key defensive starters to heal their wounds.

The Fins offense has been inconsistent from game to game and within games themselves. The main reason for this could be attributable to a mixture of bad play calling, untimely dropped passes and turnovers, and the inability or unwillingness to take advantage of existing talent. Last week’s OT victory vs Cincy would not have been possible without some explosive plays, namely the running of Lamar Miller and key completions to Brian Hartline. But perhaps the most impactful play was the result of a deep shot to speedy M.Wallace which resulted in a 40+ yard pass interference penalty, which changed field position, ultimately resulting in the winning walk-off sack by Wake. So why haven’t the Fins used Wallace more in such manner? Well, one reason might be the instability of the offensive line and lack of pass protection. Another might be the hesitance to roll QB Tannehill and buy more time to look downfield. This week, the Bucs will likely place All-World CB Revis on Wallace, which may result in increased targets for Hartline and R.Mathews. Also, look for TE Clay to be heavily involved in short passing game. RBs Miller and D.Thomas will continue to split reps, but watch for my namesake to have an even bigger game (with no fumbles) than he did vs. Bengals.

My take on BullyGate is that it is largely the creation of sensationalistic media. An NFL locker room is essentially a politically incorrect safe haven for the inner circle of players and even coaches who largely insulate themselves from the real world. This being said, there are those who cross the proverbial “line” from time-to-time, and should be sanctioned. Bottom line: we don’t have all the evidence, but from what we do know (as supplemented daily with new tidbits of fresh drama), there appears to be strong support from the players (based on sound/video bites) for the accused and little support for the presumed victim. As a Finfan, I am hopeful that this fiasco will be resolved in short order, and the team can withstand the barrage of negative national publicity. I think the latter occurs by the time MNF is over. Prediction: Dolphins 23 Tampa Bay 17

Week 10 Winner Picks (Survivor pools):
N.O., SEA, CHI, GB, IND, NYG, PIT, BAL, SF, HOU, DEN

Week 10 Fantasy Sleepers:
QB: M.Glennon, J.Locker, J.Cutler, N.Foles, S.Wallace, E.Manning, T.Pryor, EJ Manuel, C.Keenum
RB: L.Miller, M.James, Sproles, Starks, R.Jennings, L.Bell, Ellington, Woodhead.
WR: Hartline, Stills, G.Tate, C.Shorts, A.Jeffrey, R.Cooper, R.Randle, E.Sanders, M.Jones, M.Brown, Hopkins, K.Allen.
TE: Clay, Pettigrew, Ertz, Quarlles, Fleener, B.Myers, H.Miller, D.Clark
DF: (All Games) Titans, Packers, Colts, 49′ers, Cardinals

That’s it for now.

Related posts:

  1. Miller’s Week 10 Fins & Fantasy
  2. Miller’s Week 7 NFL, Fins & Fantasy
  3. Miller’s Week 2 NFL Fins & Fantasy Pick
  4. Miller’s Week 3 Fins & Fantasy Blog
  5. Miller’s Fins & Fantasy for NFL Week 8

Tags: Eric Miller · Sports

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