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Hyde10: Ten thoughts on Dolphins’ dominant 33-10 win over Panthers

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Hyde10: Ten thoughts on Dolphins’ dominant 33-10 win over Panthers

Four straight wins.

Back to 5-7 on the year.

A possible big December ahead.

That’s the fall-out of the Dolphins’ dominant 33-10 win against Carolina on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. The win might not have been a surprise. But this one-sided of a win?

Here are 10 thoughts on the game:

1. Player of the game: Rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle. You could pick quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and that’d be fine. The combination put the offense in gear against a top defense. Waddle caught nine of Tua’s passes for 137 yards — his first game over 100 yards — and provided the electricity to the offense he was drafted to do. You’ve waited to see the speed of Waddle in use? There it was midway through the second quarter when Tagovailoa had some time, showed some patience and hit Waddle over the middle on about a 10-yard pass. Waddle took it from there. He turned it into a 57-yard gain, the only mini-surprise is he was caught at the Carolina 14-yard line by cornerback Donte Jackson (4.32 speed at his NFL combine). Waddle was a star Sunday, catching five passes for 101 yards in the first half. His 9-yard touchdown catch was impressive for his getting across the goal line, finding an open space in the Carolina zone and waiting for Tua to deliver the ball. His previous numerically high game was the 83 receiving yards against Atlanta or his two touchdowns against Jacksonville.

2. Tagovailoa might have had his best game since the win at Arizona in his starting debut. There was trouble at the start — two sacks from Carolina’s strong rush on the first two series, no running game as the Dolphins had 16 carries for 34 yards at half. But he lifted the offense in completing 27-of-31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. This was against the NFL’s second-ranked defense in total yards and sixth in giving up points. So it meant something more than beating up Houston, Baltimore (24th), and the New York Jets (dead-last 32nd).

3. Three interceptions, four batted balls by defensive linemen, five sacks — where do you want to start with the domination by the Dolphins defense? Let’s start here: 10 points. That means in the past four weeks Houston (nine points), Baltimore (10) and the Jets (17) haven’t put a dent in the Dolphins defense.

4. Stat of the game: Jaelan Phillips ended with three sacks on Sunday — nearly half of his 6.5 on the season. So three of the rookies shined on Sunday — Waddle, Phillips and Jevon Holland with his interception.

5. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton completed 5-of-21 passes for 92 yards and was intercepted twice. The Dolphins defense helped him look like a guy who couldn’t find a job most of the season. He threw back-to-back interceptions in the first half to Holland and Xavien Howard. He completed 3-of-15 passes for 84 yards in the first half and a 10.0 rating. The long pass, a 64-yard reception to DJ Moore, was underthrown or it would have been an easy touchdown.

6. When you scramble with personnel moves at a position in midseason, it means one of two things: 1) You have injuries there, or 2) You misjudged your talent. Put the running back situation at 2. Last week it was Duke Johnson who was elevated for a game from the practice squad after he was picked up. This past week, Phillip Lindsay was picked up off waivers from Houston and ran 12 times for 42 yards. That’s a healthy output considering this running game hasn’t done much. Myles Gaskin ran 16 times for 49 yards. On his first play, Lindsay appeared to go the wrong way, crippling a first down and putting the series in three-and-out jeopardy. You expect moments like that from a guy who was signed Wednesday, went through a walk-through on Thursday and a practice Friday. But as he showed with runs of 8 and 9 yards in the second half he can provide some punch for an offense needing some in the running game.

7. Special teams giveth … and they taketh away. The good was very good: Duke Riley ran in free and blocked a punt in a scoreless game, Justin Coleman picked it up at the Carolina 2-yard line and ran it/was pushed in for a touchdown. That’s the game-tilting play this special teams made a lot of last year and hadn’t done much this year. The bad: With Carolina’s offense struggling, it went to punt after the first possession of the second half. A direct snap was made to safety Sean Chandler. Andrew Van Ginkel appeared responsible for the Dolphins left end, but Chandler ran around it for 14 yards and a first down.

8. “Hold on a second please, gentlemen, hold on a second please.” With those words from referee John Hussey, the Dolphins stopped moving to the locker room after a what-was-that misadventure just before half. With 12 second left and the ball at Carolina’s 27-yard line, the center Austin Reiter’s shotgun snap went over Tua’s head. Carolina linebacker Frankie Luvu ended up with it at the Carolina 49-yard line and returned it to the Miami 23. The clock initially looked to run out but — “Hold on a second” — a second was put back on it. So gone was a Dolphins field-goal attempt that could have made a, 24-7, at half that was about as good as it could be. Instead, Carolina kicked a field goal to make it, 21-10.

9. Quick takes:

* Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey rolled his ankle in the first half, tried for a play in the second half and didn’t. The Panthers’ lone offensive threat had 10 carries for 35 yards;

* Jason Sanders’ extra-point streak ended at 69 with a third-quarter miss. It was the longest active streak in the league;

* Durham Smythe, the one-time blocking-only tight end, had five catches for 32 yards and Mike Gesicki had three catches for 17 yards;

* New England moved to 8-4 with a win over Ryan Tannehill and Tennessee.

10. Next week: New York Giants (4-7) at Dolphins. Two chips off the Bill Belichick coaching tree meet as Joe Judge brings his struggling Giants to town. Judge fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett last week. GM Dave Gettleman, Judge and quarterback Daniel Jones are all under fire right now. The Giants beat Philadelphia on Sunday.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Ryan Poles for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Ryan Poles for their GM vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager candidates and 11 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospective hires.

Ryan Poles interviewed for the GM opening Friday, the team announced.

Ryan Poles

Title: Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel

Age: 36

Experience

Poles has been with the Chiefs for nearly 13 years, working his way up from player personnel assistant to college scouting administrator and coordinator, director of college scouting, assistant director of player personnel and now executive director of player personnel this season. He was part of the Chiefs team that won Super Bowl LIV.

Poles was an offensive lineman at Boston College, where he was part of the line that protected quarterback Matt Ryan. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bears before working as a recruiting assistant for BC in 2008-09.

You should know

Poles also is interviewing with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings this year and made it to the second round of Giants interviews. He was a finalist for the Carolina Panthers GM job last year.

Chicago connection

Poles’ time with the Chiefs has spanned multiple GMs and coaches. He was on the Chiefs staff when former Bears coach Matt Nagy was the quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator under coach Andy Reid.

What has been said

Poles spoke to his hometown paper two years ago about finding leadership among the players he scouts: “We see these guys on TV as athletes every week, but they’re around each other all the time, too. So the locker room has to be good. If you don’t have a strong locker room, if you don’t keep everyone on the same page and if you don’t have leaders to keep the focus forward, you’ll lose it.”

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Leslie Frazier for their head coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Leslie Frazier for their head coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager and 11 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.

Leslie Frazier interviewed for the head coaching position Friday, the team announced.

Leslie Frazier

Age: 62

Title: Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator

Experience

Frazier has been coaching in the NFL since 1999, including a stint as the Minnesota Vikings head coach which began on an interim basis for the final six games of the 2010 season. Frazier was then hired full-time and coached the Vikings for the next three seasons, posting a 21-32-1 record during that span. In the eight years since, he has spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills. He has been the Bills defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Sean McDermott since 2017.

You should know

Under Frazier’s watch, the Bills defense led the NFL in total yardage allowed during the regular season (272.8 per game). The Bills also tied for third with 30 takeaways, finishing in the top 10 of that category for the fifth consecutive season.

Chicago connection

Frazier entered the NFL with the Bears as an undrafted defensive back out of Alcorn State in 1981 and was an invaluable piece in the vaunted defense that coordinator Buddy Ryan built. During the Bears’ iconic 1985 season, Frazier recorded a team-high six interceptions and finished in the top 10 in the league in that category as the Bears recorded 61 takeaways and held opponents to 12.4 points per game. Frazier tore his ACL during a trick punt return in Super Bowl XX and never played again.

What’s been said: “Leslie is special. With his connection to the Bears and knowing that city, the organization and the mentality there, I don’t know how you couldn’t give him serious consideration. … Les knows how to galvanize people. He brings players together. And he has always had a good vision for how to get the most out of people.” — Hall of Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy

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US military medical team to help with COVID staffing at a St. Louis County hospital

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‘Winter Surge’ pushes St. Louis area pediatric numbers to highest levels in three months

CLAYTON, Mo. – A team of US military personnel will be deployed to the St. Louis region to help hospital staff deal with the record numbers of COVID patients. They are expected to be at Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County next week.

The U.S. Navy team is coming to the region after a request from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. On Thursday, Dr. Alex Garza, Task Force Leader, told FOX2 that it’s the first time hospitals here have needed to make the request, as hospitals not only see the most patients they’ve seen during the pandemic, but are losing staff to sick days brought on by their own COVID cases or those close to them.

Christian Hospital was selected by the Pandemic Task Force to receive federal assistance. A team of 44 health care professionals, including doctors and registered nurses, will begin arriving on January 26.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force submitted requests to support 11 facilities in the region. The United States Department of Health and Human Services indicated that could only deploy resources to only one local hospital. The hope is that by adding resources to North County other facilities will benefit as well. 

“This is a reflection of where we are in the pandemic. We’re seeing more patients now than we have ever seen before in the pandemic. Unfortunately, we have our workforce is either getting ill or having that second order effect from the virus… having to take care of family members, schools closing down, things like that. We’re typically very self-sufficient in health care, we don’t like to ask for help but I think we’re at that point where we need to ask for help,” Garza said Thursday.

A 17-member Health Care Task Force team is currently helping to support staff at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. They have been in place since January 7 and were granted an extension to continue providing care through February 4.

“This team will help support our dedicated local medical professionals who work hard each day to care for Missourians. The best way Missourians can help aid our hospitals and health care workers is by considering vaccination to protect themselves and their families,” states Governor Parson.

“As we made clear in our letter to Governor Parson more than two weeks ago, St. Louis needed him to step up and request federal assistance to help our region respond to the Omicron variant,” writes US Rep. Cori Bush.

The move comes roughly three weeks after Missouri Governor Mike Parson ended the state of emergency which had been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

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