Cover 3: Fins | Football | Pop Culture

Posted Sep 13, 2017

DOLPHINS: Who will score the Dolphins’ first touchdown of the 2017 regular season?

Andy Cohen: Got to go with running back Jay Ajayi, who figures to get the ball near the goal line with great regularity this season. I can see in my crystal ball a long pass to DeVante Parker to get the Dolphins deep in the red zone and then Ajayi doing the rest. My second choice would be Julius Thomas, who gives the Dolphins a unique red zone threat with his size and hands.

John Congemi: Here's hoping that there are multiple touchdowns scored in the game at the Chargers, but the first one goes to wide out DeVante Parker. I believe that quarterback Jay Cutler will utilize Parker's long frame and find him on a slant route for the Dolphins’ first score of the season.

Alain Poupart: The most spectacular way would be a defensive touchdown or a kickoff return for a touchdown by, say, Jakeem Grant or Kenyan Drake. But logic says we have to go with an offensive player and the best guess here is that it will be Jay Ajayi scoring on a short touchdown run to cap a long scoring drive. Here’s a bold prediction: That Jay Ajayi touchdown will finish off the Dolphins’ opening drive of the season.

NFL: What was your biggest takeaway from Week 1 of the NFL season?

Cohen: That the Patriots may be vulnerable, especially on defense. I truthfully wasn’t shocked that the Chiefs came into Foxboro and upset the Patriots. What surprised me was how they did it. All those long touchdown drives. All those big plays. The Chiefs finished with 541 yards. Really never saw that coming. While I still believe the Patriots should be favored to win the Super Bowl, they clearly need to get a whole lot better on defense.

Congemi: The New England loss at home was the biggest takeaway for me in week one. Kansas City struggled early but stabilized and then exploded under the direction of veteran quarterback Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt. They led an offensive explosion that put up 42 points on the Patriots defense, and that total is the most points scored on a New England defense in 17-plus seasons.

Poupart: I think most agree what stood out from Week 1 was the very first game, Kansas City’s 15-point victory against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The loss quickly ended the notion of the Patriots going 19-0, as some had predicted after their offseason acquisitions. The loss exposed some defensive issues for the Patriots, particularly in the front seven, and also illustrated just how much Tom Brady will miss not having Julian Edelman on third down. Of course, dismissing the Patriots after one bad loss would be foolish (see 2003 season), but now maybe we can hold off on just handing them the Lombardi Trophy before the games are all played. The other two eye-opening results for me were Baltimore’s 20-0 victory against Cincinnati and Oakland’s victory at Tennessee in a battle of AFC teams expected to make some noise in 2017.

POP: What’s your all-time favorite football movie?

Cohen: Has to be “Brian’s Song.” I start crying just thinking about the made-for-TV movie, first shown in 1971. A sad, but very real life story about two football players (Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo) and the bond that they formed before Piccolo’s death. For those who haven’t seen it, bring a couple of handkerchiefs and get ready for an emotional roller coaster. A distant second on my list is Blindside.

Congemi: One of my all-time favorite football movies is “The Longest Yard.” It's the original first staring Burt Reynolds over the latter film with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Although Reynolds appears in the second film, I enjoyed him in the lead because he looked and portrayed the position of quarterback better than Sandler.

Poupart: I personally am not a fan of sports movies that rely on a big finish involving a game because — spoiler alert — the stars usually end up winning. So that throws out movies such as “The Program,” “Varsity Blues,” “Any Given Sunday,” “Necessary Roughness” and the like. I’m going to go with two here, one involving a true story and the other being fiction. The true story, and by far the best football movie I’ve ever seen, is “Brian’s Song,” the story of former Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo, whose career and life was cut short by cancer. It’s a truly moving movie. In the fiction category, I’ll go with “All The Right Moves” with Tom Cruise, which follows the ups and downs of a high school player in Pennsylvania.

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