Dolphins open up the 2020 season with an antique offense

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With week one in the books, the Miami Dolphins opened up their 2020 campaign right where they left off, visiting AFC East rival New England Patriots. Except, this time, it was the Patriots that would end up coming out on top, sending Miami to a 0-1 start.

The Patriots, behind new starting quarterback Cam Newton, put together a good game plan that made playing in an empty Gillette Stadium, and no Tom Brady, not a problem at all. Dolphins failed to take advantage of either.

Offensively, where do I start? I have to start with the Dolphins offensive line. Every year it seems fans are having the same discussion…no push upfront. The Patriots were shoving them around all game long. Yes, it’s a new unit, but you should have at least some continuity built up while in training camp.

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AFC East Week 1 Preview

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

Week one of the 2020 NFL season for the AFC East will see all four teams facing off against each other. The Buffalo Bills will host the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins will start where they finished their 2019 season, in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.

Let’s take a look at each team before Week 1.

Miami Dolphins 

Starting behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team will have first-round, future franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa watching and waiting in the back-up spot. Miami solidified that spot for Tagovailoa after the release of former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen.

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OTFB Fan Forum: Good, bad, and a little weird. The 2020 Offseason.

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.

Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?

Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?

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Fan Forum: Quarterbacks and all that money. Are they worth it?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

NFL quarterbacks are always a hot topic. Overrated. Underrated. Overpaid. Underpaid. Elite. Not Elite. Top five lists. Quarterbacks are often the cause of a lot of arguments and constant comparisons to fans.

With Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signing his tag, and nowhere near a new contract, and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes scheduled to break the bank with his new contract, I decided to ask the fan forum how they felt about quarterbacks. Is their favorite team’s QB worth it? Do they feel quarterbacks are overhyped or undervalued? Here is how a few of them felt.

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A flashy draft, or a functional draft? Which proves more useful?

John Errico HeartNSkol Podcast Blitzed Football Blog

By John Errico // @MikeZimmersEars

(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.) 

There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?

I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.

Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:

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Is the AFC East up for grabs?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East now is considered “up for grabs”.  So which team is poised and ready to take over the reins?

Buffalo Bills

With the Miami Dolphins in full rebuild mode and the Jets still finding their nitch with second-year Head Coach Adam Gase, the Bills are poised and are deemed the heavy favorites to take over the AFC East. Fourth-year head coach Sean McDermott brought the Buffalo Bills to a 10-6 record and second in the AFC East in 2019. With the aid of a departing Brady and a solid draft class(see below) for 2020, the Buffalo Bills and their Bills Mafia fan base are ready for an AFC East take-over.

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Don’t worry Pats fans. I’m here for you!

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //  @Mom23RN

Thanks to my pal Murph, my kids have been indoctrinated into Patriot Nation. Well… at least two of them. The third is just trying to get on to UCLA’s women’s gymnastics team.

But as we know, their quarterback Tom Brady moved on to warmer pastures and is taking his talents to Tampa Bay.  And with all that’s going on, Patriot Fan, I’m here for you.  In a socially distant type of way, of course.

See… while most NFL fans (especially the AFC East peeps) are doing happy dances and the like, I was starting to feel bad for you.  We all knew that the end would come at some point, but wasn’t expecting it right now.

Then it hit me this morning that the winner of the NFC will theoretically have to get through Brady.  If (hopefully) he’ll be able to reproduce a single season in Tampa like the ones he had in New England, look out.

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A change of colors for two veterans quarterbacks

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

As we begin the 2020 NFL season, a few questions have been answered in regards to several top quarterback spots that were up for grabs.

The first one being that of New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. For the first time in his entire NFL career, Brady was about to be a free agent. But as we all knew, that didn’t last too long.

AFC East fans rejoiced because Brady, as expected, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left no question that Tampa Bay would be a top contender in signing the six-time Super Bowl winner. This ended his two-decade stay with the Patriots.

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NFL Free Agency: The QB Frenzy

Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The off-season is upon us and, for once in a couple of decades, my Cleveland Browns are NOT in the market for a new quarterback.

However, there are quite a few teams that definitely need an upgrade at this position and there are quite a few notable names up for grabs.

The top six names at this point are, in no particular order, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, and Jameis Winston. Now, I don’t for a minute believe Brees, Prescott or Winston will be hitting the streets, doing the interview tour and trying to find a new team.

The Dallas Cowboys will be re-signing Prescott. It could take a while, but it will get done. Same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Winston. While he wasn’t stellar last year, I think they’ll stick with him a little longer.

So that leaves Brees, Brady and Rivers looking for new homes. Hmmm.

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The Titans dethrone the Patriots

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

The defending Super Bowl Champions started their playoff run with 2 huge questions Saturday night in Foxboro.

First Question: Could the Patriots defense stop the explosive running back Derrick Henry?

Answer: NO. The Patriots defense struggled with Henry all night long. When a running back ends his night with numbers like 182 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, you can pretty much assume the Titans controlled the line of scrimmage all night. He also added a 22-yard reception to finish with a total of 204 total yards from scrimmage.

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