Week 1 Miami Dolphins Rookie Report: Early selections shine in debut

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The Phinsider 14 September, 2021 - 11:00am 13 views

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The game will be broadcast on CBS. USA TODAYMiami Dolphins at New England Patriots: Live stream, time, date, odds, how to watch

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Jaylen Waddle Scores 1st Career TD!

NFL 14 September, 2021 - 10:10pm

While it's unclear how the pair have been brought back for the fourth instalment in the Matrix series, speculation has been ongoing since the film's announcement as to how the pair would return. Some fans have theorized that the machines carrying Neo away plugged him back into the Matrix to save his life, while others believe that they have taken over host bodies akin to what the Agents did throughout the original trilogy. However they have been resurrected, their return has been well-received by fans with many excited to see the film has in store for the pair.

Speaking as part of a panel on screenwriting at the International Literature Festival Berlin, Wachowski opened up about her decision to bring back Neo and Trinity for the sequel. The director stated that she was inspired after she had just lost both of her parents and a close friend. She explained: "I was crying and I couldn't sleep, and my brain exploded this whole story," adding that, while she couldn't seek comfort from her parents, "suddenly I had Neo and Trinity … It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again." Read Wachowski's full statement below:

Moreover, Wachowski's statement certainly adds to depth of meaning behind the film's title. The titular Resurrections can be read as relating to both the series being brought back and the characters. If anything, it actually makes a great deal of sense for Neo, continuing the Christ metaphor that the ending of The Matrix Revolutions was steeped in. However, with the director's comments it seems that in some way it also relates to her parents which adds an even greater level of emotional depth.

Hopefully in bringing Neo and Trinity back for The Matrix Resurrections, Wachowski is able to find a measure of closure. What exactly is in-store for the characters is another matter entirely, but fans are undoubtedly excited to see their favorite characters return. Fortunately they won't have long to wait as the film releases on December 22.

Source: International Literature Festival Berlin

QB Report Card: Tua Tagovailoa is good, not great, in season opening win

Phin Phanitic 14 September, 2021 - 10:10pm

Sep 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) runs onto the field before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins  and Tua Tagovailoa started their 2021 season with a big win against their divisional foe the New England Patriots. While it’s still early in the season, it was important for the Dolphins to get off to a hot start against a divisional opponent, especially when the AFC itself looks like a strong conference.

While the win is nice to have, the offense, at times struggled in this one. It’s still early in the season, but there are going to need to be some massive improvements from this unit if they are going to compete for a postseason birth.

The silver lining, however, is that second year and highly scrutinized, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did a commendable job in this one. If he can fix a few things, he may actually develop into the player that he looked like back at Alabama.

Tagovailoa went 16 for 27 for 202 yards with a touchdown and an interception (stats courtesy of ESPN.com). This is not an impressive stat line, especially compared to how Mac Jones played. These numbers, however, are a bit deceiving as there was a decent amount of good to take away from this performance.

The Dolphins’ first drive of the night was a perfectly executed drive-by Tagovailoa, who looked sharp, demonstrating accuracy and, most importantly, great timing on his throws allowing the team to march down the field. Tagovailoa capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown drive and the offense looked like it was already in mid-season form.

After that touchdown drive, Miami proceed to punt the ball away three times in a row, with Miami’s offense looking poor at best. Tagovailoa did his best to try and keep the offense moving, but there were a few miscommunications, a big drop by rookie Jaylen Waddle and a poor decision that almost resulted in an interception that killed any momentum.

Coming out of the half, Tagovailoa and the offense seemed to find their rhythm in the locker room and the talented quarterback led a great drive right down the field to put the Dolphins ahead. On the ensuing drives, Miami’s offense once again sputtered and Tagovailoa made his biggest mistake of the night, by far.

With a little more than 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Miami facing a third and 7, Tagovailoa scrambled to avoid pressure and made a terrible decision trying to create something magical when there simply was no real opportunity to do so. New England ended up coming down with the interception, which could have cost Miami the game had the defense not come up with a huge turnover late in the game.

It would be unfair for me to grade Tagovailoa’s day on just one incredibly poor throw, but it simply can’t be ignored. In complete fairness, I thought Tagovailoa did a really good job on his throws over the course of the day. He looked great when throwing the ball downfield, and the majority of his throws had great zip on them. In fact, his stat line would have been much improved if not for an incredible defensive play by Jalen Mills who tipped the ball away from Albert Wilson after a great throw by Tagovailoa.

By all accounts, Tagovailoa looked good, but not great in this one. There is no doubt that he still has a lot to work on in order to be in the conversation with the best in the league. Yet, there were definitely some bright spots from his play today, even if there were a few boneheaded moments as well.

Week 1 QB Grade: B

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Are the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets destined to meet in the 2022 NBA Finals?

NFL.com 14 September, 2021 - 10:10pm

Injuries are an unpredictable variable every year and derail a team's title aspirations, but certain franchises contain the talent and depth to overcome such adversities. That's how they become consensus favourites among experts and stakeholders.

A recent example occurred not long before when the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers seemed to be on a collision course for the 2017 NBA Finals after the Warriors added Kevin Durant to compete with the reigning champion-Cavaliers. A few years prior, the same could be said about the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals after also battling it out in the Finals the year prior.

This is not to say that either of these teams didn't have any competition within their conference, they were just expected to prevail over any intraconference threat regardless of injuries or unforeseen circumstances.

Heading into the 2021-22 season, the Lakers and Nets are giving off a similar aura. Coming off of spectacular offseasons, they look set to emerge out of their respective conferences and contend for the 2022 NBA title.

Both teams were already packed with superstars who could rank among the league's top-15 players, but in the 2021 offseason, they retooled with complimentary supporting casts to get even better.

For a third straight offseason, since signing LeBron James in the summer of 2018, the Lakers were one of the most active teams in the offseason. Undoubtedly, the biggest and most influential transaction from their 2021 activity was acquiring superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, adding him to their current superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

As part of the trade, they also received three future second-round picks in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the draft rights to Isaiah Jackson. 

Subsequently, the franchise made quick-fire signings in free agency, including a number of former Lakers that not only addressed their other concerns such as shooting and defence but also fit with their Big 3. The Lakers signed players such as Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn, Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk and Rajon Rondo   while re-signing young guard Talen Horton-Tucker. 

These signings make them the oldest roster for the league's 75th season, and by a sizeable margin. This has been a major topic of discussion  regarding their contention, will the wear-and-tear on their bodies give in to the grind of an NBA season or will their experience help them overcome all adversities en route to a title?  

If they go on to win the title with this roster, they could go on to be among the oldest teams to do so

The Nets were stacked in the 2020-21 season but injuries played spoiler and didn't allow them to legitimately contend for the championship. 

The team already had great compatible role players in Joe Harris, Bruce Brown and Nicolas Claxton to complement their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. In the offseason, they brought back key veterans who were part of their 2020-21 roster following contract buyouts, such as Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. 

However, arguably their biggest acquisition of the summer was Patty Mills, a veteran guard who has the ability to catch fire and lead the second unit. Other key signings include DeAndre' Bembry, James Johnson, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter, all of whom give their team incredible all-around depth. 

Over the past couple of decades, the Western Conference has been the stronger and deeper conference. However, for the upcoming 2021-22 season, long-term injuries to key players on potential title contenders like Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets), Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) has shallowed the pool.  

With no other franchise taking a major step, that leaves last year's top-seeded Utah Jazz and the reigning Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns as the main roadblock in the Lakers' path to the Finals. 

Neither Utah nor Phoenix have made significant changes in the 2021 offseason. While that could work for the Suns, who were just a couple of wins shy of winning their first-ever NBA championship in franchise history, it's difficult to see the Jazz, with the same core for nearly four seasons now, break through and emerge as a title contender, especially following their disappointment in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. 

Having said that, I believe the Lakers' talent level and depth, at least on paper, looks superior to either the Suns or Jazz. 

Then, there's always the "bet against LeBron at your own risk" factor. Only twice since 2010 has LeBron failed to make the NBA Finals and both of those times, he suffered injuries during the season – a groin injury in 2018-19 and an ankle injury in 2020-21. Barring any ailments in his 19th season, the King will be going into an NBA year with an elongated rest, which proved to be beneficial for the Lakers in winning the 2021 NBA championship.

In the East, which seems to be a lot deeper this season, I believe the Nets have two legitimate competitors in the Miami Heat and the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. As great as last year's MVP runner-up Joel Embiid is, it's difficult to see the Philadelphia 76ers contend for a title unless they resolve their situation with their other superstar, Ben Simmons. 

While the Heat were among the biggest winners in the East this offseason, adding veterans like Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker and Markieff Morris to their current core that is centered around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Nets (again, on paper, at least) seem to be the more multi-dimensional, deeper two-way roster. 

Meanwhile, the Bucks have had a relatively quiet offseason. Yes, as per Rudy Tomjanovich's famous saying, "we shouldn't underestimate the heart of a champion," but I fear the Bucks, if they are matched up against the Nets in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, will be playing uphill given the depth and talent on the Nets' roster. 

New England Patriots CB takes shot at Tua Tagovailoa following Week 1 matchup

Saturday Down South 14 September, 2021 - 02:34pm

Tua Tagovailoa scored a rushing touchdown, connected with Jaylen Waddle for a score through the air and led the Miami Dolphins to a season-opening 17-16 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. It was a solid showing for the former Alabama quarterback.

However, there was one Pats defensive player who apparently wasn’t impressed by Tagovailoa.

While speaking with the media on Tuesday, New England cornerback J.C. Jackson discussed Tagovailoa’s lone interception of the game, which came when Jonathan Jones picked off a pass midway through the fourth quarter. And Jackson had some thoughts about the play.

“That’s what Tua do. If he doesn’t have his first read, he’s just gonna throw the ball up,” Jackson said, per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.

Jackson didn’t stop there, as he was then asked if was surprised the Patriots didn’t intercept Tagovailoa earlier in the game, to which he replied, “Yeah.”

Although Tagovailoa turned the ball over in that instance, the Dolphins still held on for the win as the Patriots gave the ball back by fumbling on their ensuing possession. Miami’s offense then picked up enough first downs to run out the rest of the clock.

So while Jackson has his thoughts about Tagovailoa’s decision-making abilities, it’s Tagovailoa and the Dolphins who head into Week 2 of the 2021 season with a 1-0 record.

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man he needs to take his L, shut up and worry about his team

Something else Tua will do is put an L on that noggin. Sore losers.

I was a dumb pass under pressure. That has nothing to do with 1st read and throw it up.

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