I feel like a little kid on Christmas. Miami Dolphins football is finally fuckin' back. I long for these August days of seeing fat O-linemen sweating through their aqua jerseys, sparsely attended football games that don't mean a damn thing, vanilla offensive and defensive scheming and even that hellish baseball infield clay. I don't care. I'll take it and I love it. Compound the fact that I can actually watch it at 11pm in glorious HD and 5.1 surround sound and you've got a recipe for a 3-hour erection I won't be calling my doctor about. In fact, I'm gonna just shoot ropes all over the place in celebration. I've been waiting 7 months for this shit. All the various good and bad shit I've had to deal with since that Baltimore playoff game can be exorcised by switching on that TV tonight with beer in hand and watching the one thing I truly and unconditionally love (kinda sad, I know): Miami Dolphins football. It's fucking back and that makes this Monday the best Monday (probably) ever.
- Before the garbage time of the 3rd and 4th quarters, would be nice to get a solid drive from the first team offense and a 3 and out from the 1st team defense. How efficient are we on 3rd downs (both sides of the ball)? How sharp does Pennington look? Despite not really upgrading our D-line, are we able to effectively pounce on the run and set up long 3rd downs?
- Obviously this is a big opportunity for The Robot to get some solid reps against live action. I'm pretty sure our collective ocular pupils will be well-expanded while he's in the game and focused on his game management. For example, how will he handle the 3rd quarter adjustments? I, for one, would love to see a bomb to Teddy at some point.
- How will our bevy of no-name receivers perform under the lights? I think this is a sneaky good receiving corps that's going to surprise a lot of people. I'm extremely excited to see Hartline and Turner in action. I'm pretty bullish on Hartline but I worry about Turner's propensity to disappear at times.
- Will Sparano go all-in and start Sean Smith opposite Will Allen? I'm looking forward to seeing Clemons, Vontae and Smith in our new-look secondary.
- How well do Gibril and Yeremiah work as a tandem? Can Gibril be as good a communicator as Renaldo Hill was back there for us?
- How much better is the O-line? Will those $70 million guaranteed up front allow for us to be less gimicky and straight up punch motherfuckers in the mouth all goddamn game if we want to?
- Will we see some flashes of the intense pressure we need to get from Cameron Wake?
- Will Pat White show some ballsedelic gusto in a live game situation? Is he more suited to excel in that kind of environment rather than practice? Will he shy away or step up? Will the coaching staff continue to bring him around slowly and let him run a more spread-friendly offense for the time being?
Our journey every year - as always - is fraught with challenges, obstacles, triumphs, frustrations, joy and considerable consternation. It's never easy. It can be equal parts troubling and wonderful but that's why we love it and live for it so much. It may be just a game when you get right down to it (and God knows we dish out our fair share of dick jokes on this site to account for that aspect) but it's why we're all here together every single day. At last, today is the day we've been waiting 7 months for. It's here! Miami Dolphins football!!!
Prediction: Dolphins 23 - Jags 20