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Well, that was a bump back down to earth!

After last week’s miracle in Miami, I suppose it was only right that normal service would resume and we’d struggle, especially away from home where we’ve struggled all year. It was more than a little embarrassing though – long time readers will know that my dad is a Minnesota Vikings fan, so I can only thank my lucky stars that he picked this week to fly 7 hours away so I don’t have to put up with quite as much gloating as I could have expected any other week!

Much like an Alan Partridge talkshow, the Dolphins started poorly and went downhill from there. With the game only 13 minutes old, we’d already gone down by 21 points and lost Frank Gore, who it now turns out is going to be out for the remainder of the season, thanks to a sprained ankle [Actually sprained foot, which somehow sounds words – Ed.]. But the most telling thing in terms of how things went for the Dolphins can be deduced from the following 3 stats:

Total Passing Yards: 108
Tannehill Sacked: 9 times for 71 yards.
Net passing yards: 37

There’s got to be a share of the blame here. Tannehill did go down a couple of times for making poor decisions in holding onto the ball when he could have thrown, but he was not helped in the slightest by his Offensive Line. And I’m getting a bit sick of repeating myself about how beaten up we are, but it’s taking its toll now, and we just looked embarrassing on Sunday night. I can’t imagine all of those hits helped number 17’s injured Shoulder… or his injured Knee… or his injured Ankle!

The Vikings on the other hand looked very good. Their offence had taken a lot of flack in recent weeks, and they even parted company with their OC John DeFilippo last week, but the team’s response was nothing short of impressive. They looked clinical in their approach, with Dalvin Cook (who rushed for 136 yards) Stefon Diggs and Tyler Conklin seeming to find it all too easy to find holes in Miami’s Defence.

The only positive for the Dolphins was a bit of an emergence of Kalen Ballage, who had 12 Rushing attempts for a total of 123 yards, 75 of which were in one play at the beginning of the second half. We seem to be doing pretty well in recent seasons in bringing through young RBs, so hopefully Ballage could be the latest in that list.

Anyway, the game finished 41-17, I ended up with the hump, and the Dolphins are back to 7-7.

Even the Rams lost, giving me more cause for concern with my bet after such a good start to the season! That’s made the chart look like this…

Outside of those games, there were a couple of goose eggs this week, as the Titans and the Colts shut out the Giants and the Cowboys respectively. And my favourite moment of the week came in the form of a Patriots punt cover which saw some an incredible mid air stop and the ball being grounded at the 1 yard line. It wasn’t all good for New England though as a poor throw midway through the fourth quarter pretty much handed their game to the Pittsburgh in what could quite easily cost New England their home advantage in the playoffs.

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No! It’s Jonathan Jones!

Picks-wise, I’m catching up! Once again I went against instinct, and once again, I got a double-digit score… if that’s what it’s going to take to turn this very blog Aqua and Orange, then so be it! Just 2 weeks left, and this is getting close!

This will more than likely be the last time I get chance to blog before Christmas Day. Like many people this time of year, I’ll be busy visiting family and friends, and eating more than can ever be seen as healthy, but I very quickly want to ask you to take a moment to think about those who aren’t as lucky. Many will spend the cold Christmas period alone and on the streets, but you can help to make things a little better. On Christmas Day, I’ll be making my annual Christmas donation to Crisis, a charity who not only provide a hot meal and a bed for the night for those less fortunate over the festive period, but also provide health checkups, hot showers, and support to help people to turn their lives around, and hopefully not face the same predicament again next Christmas. If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written this year, please consider making a donation to Crisis using this link: www.crisis.org.uk/ (this year, the suggested donation is £28.18, but anything you can give will help!).

Have a safe and happy Christmas, and make sure you enjoy A LOT of football!!

Until next time…

@TWFDan