There’s still a question of who is calling the plays for the New England Patriots. The best speculation is that it’s head coach Bill Belichick, not one of his coordinators. But there’s no question about the Miami Dolphins.
In the second quarter Sunday with Miami up, 10-0, but looking at fourth down and 7 yards to go at the Patriots’ 42-yard line, there was no punter in sight. Instead, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took his usual place behind the center, and despite the downage, he threw a slanting pass to Jaylen Waddle who ran into the end zone for a 17-0 lead.
The touchdown pass showed several things, but most important was that coach Mike McDaniel is not afraid to take chances on fourth down. It was also part of the indication that Tagovailoa is quite capable of being a standout quarterback. And that Miami has capable wide receivers, including Tyreek Hill. For the game, which Miami won, 20-7, Tagovailoa completed 23 of 33 pass attempts for 270 yards, the one touchdown, with no interceptions.
For the Dolphins, it was a solid victory, but Miami has been making a habit of defeating New England the last several years, so this was more of the same. The defense performed well, too, even scoring a touchdown when Melvin Ingram picked up a loose fumble at the 6-yard line and ran the ball into the end zone.
So, it was a good but not great game for the Dolphins.
I saw several games over the weekend and the Buffalo Bills, who whipped the champions of last year, the Los Angeles Rams, on Sept. 8. I thought the Bills, who are in the Dolphins’ division, looked the best, which does not bode well for Miami, who should still be a wild card.
On a personal note, the Bills-Rams game was on NBC, but I am led to believe I won’t have that luxury again. The Thursday night games will now be on Prime Network. I receive my television through Comcast network, which has carried ads that indicate Thursday games will be on Prime. So I called Comcast and received information through which I could contact Prime, but those numbers were not helpful. I then visited the Comcast office on Kennedy Drive and was told straight out that I could not hook up Prime through Comcast. Can you help me? If so, send me information through my email at [email protected].
I thought Pittsburgh was a surprise victor over Cincinnati, which made it to the Super Bowl a year ago but missed extra points and field goals on Sunday. I don’t hold much hope for either. Baltimore and Cleveland, also in the AFC North, turned in victories. I like Baltimore to win that Division.
Indianapolis and Houston tied, which was not good for either in the AFC South, which also has losers Tennessee and Jacksonville. I’ll take Indianapolis to win that division.
Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers were Sunday winners and I’ll take KC to take the West Division with the Chargers as a wild card. Las Vegas was a loser. Denver played Monday night and sight unseen, I’ll take Denver as a wild card. I like Kansas City to lose to Buffalo in the AFC championship game.
In the National Football Conference South, I’ll take Tampa Bay, which won Sunday, to move on to the Super Bowl with New Orleans, another winner, to grab a wild card. Sunday losers Carolina and Atlanta are also-rans.
Philadelphia, Washington and the New York Giants all won in the East with Dallas a loser. I pick Philadelphia to win this division with Washington as a wild card.
In the North, Minnesota and Chicago were winners and Green Bay and Detroit were losers. OK, I’ll take Green Bay to recover and win the division with Minnesota to take a wild card. Arizona, defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco all lost in the West on Sunday with Seattle playing Monday night. Of course, the Rams will recover and win this division