There are only 15 shopping days until Christmas, and counting.
The Dolphins did what they had to do yesterday and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-28. Not only do the Fins have a VERY RARE two-game winning streak in the month of December, but they managed to stage a fourth-quarter comeback to win on the road. Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes, completing 20-33 passes for 200 yards. The Fins ran for 181 yards, led by Daniel Thomas, who had 16 carries for 105 yards. TE Charles Clay was the man again, with 7 catches for 97 yards and two TD’s. Miami is tied with Baltimore at 7-6 as they fight for the sixth and final playoff spot, but the Ravens have the tiebreaker advantage. For all intents and purposes, the post season is NOW for the Fins. Next opponent for the Fins are the New England Patriots here at the Seven Names Stadium next Sunday, while the Ravens travel to Detroit for a Monday night encounter with the Detroit Lions.
Here is the remaining regular season schedule for the Fins:
12/15 New England 1:00 pm CBS
12/22 @ Buffalo 1:00 pm CBS
12/29 NY Jets 1:00 pm CBS
Here’s more on the Dolphins:
More on the Dolphins from Armando Salguero:
Here are this week’s results in the NFL. I am 4-2 so far this week, with tonight’s Dallas-Chicago MNF game pending. My record so far this season is 51-42-4 against the spread, and 58–39 straight up.
Jacksonville 27 Houston 20
Dolphins 34 Pittsburgh 28
New Orleans 31 Carolina 13
Green Bay 22 Atlanta 21 **(Falcons +7)
Arizona 30 St. Louis 10
San Francisco 19 Seattle 17
Cincinnati 42 Indianapolis 28
New England 27 Cleveland 26
NY Jets 37 Oakland 27
Tampa Bay 27 Buffalo 6
Kansas City 45 Washington 10
Baltimore 29 Minnesota 26
Philadelphia 34 Detroit 20
Denver 51 Tennessee 28
San Diego 37 NY Giants 14
Dallas @ Chicago even 8:30 pm ESPN
This could be a fun game to watch. Both defenses have struggled, we could see offensive fireworks galore. The Bears have lost two in a row, and three out of four, while the Cowboys have won two in a row, and three of their last four. People keep talking about Tony Romo’s shortcomings in December games. Here’s the stats for you to ponder . . . since 2009, Romo has 28 TD’s vs only 7 interceptions in 15 December/January games, including 10 games with a passing rating of over 100. The Bears cant stop the run, and the Cowboys’ running game has been better the last couple of weeks, thanks to DeMarco Murray. The Bears’ passing offense has been playing very well with Josh McCown in at QB for the injured Jay Cutler, and receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery should have a lot of fun running through the porous Dallas secondary. Tough one to pick, so I’ll check the weather conditions for tonight. Temperatures will be in the teens, with windy conditions that will make the “feel like” temperature somewhere below zero and throwing the ball may end up being more difficult than usual tonight. I’ll take Dallas.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater nailed a 64-yard field goal yesterday to set a new NFL record. Who held the record until yesterday? The answer comes later, alligator.
Here’s ESPN’s NFL Nation Blog, with more news from all around the league:
Of course, we can all continue to sleep at night, knowing full well that Aaron Hernandez remains in jail, where he belongs.
The MLB winter meetings get underway today in Orlando, and after all the moves we've seen the past couple of weeks, the meetings could end up being anti-climactic. I don’t think so. I fully expect more wheeling and dealing this week.
Former GM Jim Bowden talks about eight hot trade commodities:
The Marlins are expected to sign free agent first baseman Garrett Jones to a two-year deal. Jones is a platoon-type guy, as indicated by his career .193 batting average against left-handed pitching. In his five seasons with the Pirates, he hit .254, 100 homers, and drove in 330 runs. The Marlins are actively looking at trading Logan Morrison,and there are a few teams that have shown interest.
In other hot-stove news,
Wheeling and Dealing:
Like I mentioned before, I would have loved to see the Marlins get Arencibia. Only time will tell.
Expect some more wheeling and dealing from the baseball winter meetings, which will be from December 9th through December 12th.
Here’s the latest buzz from the winter meetings:
Marlins’ pitchers and catchers report February 16th, position players arrive February 20th, and the spring training games begin February 26th, when the Fish play the University of Miami Hurricanes. They will then play the FIU Panthers on the 27th. Both of those games will be in Jupiter.
Here is the complete preseason schedule for the Fish:
In college football,
The BCS National Championship game will have the Florida State Seminoles squaring off against the Auburn Tigers in Pasadena on January 6th. The rest of the bowl schedule is here, including a good one in the Orange Bowl Classic, where we will see the Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes do battle at the Seven Names Stadium.
Manny Navarro and Susan Miller Degnan have the latest and greatest from Coral Gables, as the Canes now know what I said here last week: It'll be Miami vs Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando.
Here’s the latest from FIU story. David J. Neal of the Herald has the details:
Neal also has a followup on yesterday’s story on his blog:
Here’s the latest from Tallahassee and #1-ranked FSU:
From Gainesville and the University of Florida:
Here are the NCAA Football rankings for this week:
Here is the complete schedule in College Football for week 15, including Conference Championship match ups and TV listings:
Moving to the hardwood:
The Miami Heat had a good weekend, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Detroit Pistons on the road. They take their traveling show to Indianapolis tomorrow night, where they will face the team with the best record in the East so far this season, the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is 13-3, after losing 118-94 last night to Oklahoma City and the Heat are 16-5. After the Pacers game on Tuesday, the Heat will have a few days off before they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to the AAA next Saturday night.
The Heat’s upcoming schedule of games for the remainder of 2013:
Heat @ Pacers Tue 12/10 7:00 pm Sun Sports
Cavaliers @ Heat Sat 12/14 7:30 pm Sun Sports
Jazz @ Heat Mon 12/16 7:30 pm Sun Sports
Pacers @ Heat Wed 12/18 7:00 pm Sun Sports
Kings @ Heat Fri 12/20 7:30 pm Sun Sports
Hawks @ Heat Mon 12/23 7:30 pm Sun Sports
Heat @ Lakers Christmas Day 5:00 pm ABC
Heat @ Trailblazers Sat 12/28 10:00 pm Sun Sports
Heat @ Nuggets Mon 12/30 9:00 pm Sun Sports
More Heat coverage:
In other NBA news, Kobe Bryant is back:
Here is the Heat’s complete regular season schedule:
On the NHL ice, after consecutive wins over the Winnipeg Jets and the the Detroit Red Wings, the Panthers fell last night to the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2. The next game for the Cats will be on Tuesday night, when they welcome the Red Wings to the BB&T Center. They will drop the puck at 7:30 pm, and you can watch the game on Fox Sports Florida on your cable or satellite system.
In boxing news,
Here is Santos Perez’ weekly boxing spotlight column from the Miami Herald:
I’m selling three lots totaling a little over five acres in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, overlooking the New River, a quick 35-minute drive from Boone and Blowing Rock. Click here to see some photos and feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
THE ANSWER TO TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater nailed a 64-yard field goal yesterday to set a new NFL record. Who held the record until yesterday?
Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints set the old record in 1970 with a 63-yard kick. His record was tied by Jason Elam in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski in 2011, and David Akers in 2012.
NOTE: Tom Dempsey broke the old record of 56 yards by former Baltimore Colts kicker Bert Rechichar in 1953.