Dolphins at Denver: Tua Train on track for 6th straight Miami win, Our preview and pick; plus latest Hot Button Top 10 (crazy week), new Greg Cote Show podcast drops Monday & more

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GREG COTE’S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It’s SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas 57 years ago today. Never forget. 2) Note to readers: Not been writing as much lately because I’m burning a bunch of unused vacation time before end of year. But the blog still chugs on! 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 11 picks, Hurricanes season rocked and postponed by COVID, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 37 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.

Some of our most recent stuff: Marlins Hit History-Making Home Run With Kim NG Hire As GM / Herald Week 10 NFL QB Rankings / Top-10 But Underdogs, Disrespected Hurricanes Rally Past VT in Blacksburg / and In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis’ Love Of Coaching Survives.

MiadenverG10: DOLPHINS (6-3) at DENVER (3-6): THE TUA TRAIN GOES CHUGGING FOR 6TH STRAIGHT WIN: Tua Tagovailoa is 3-0 as a starter with five touchdown passes and zero interceptions — only the second rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era (Carson Wentz, 2016) to start 3-0 with zero picks. If Tagovailoa bags a fourth consecutive victory Sunday to begin his career he will be only the second rook since 1976 to do that, and the first since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Heady stuff, the way the Golden Samoan has introduced himself to Miami. He has helped make the Fins one of 15 teams with six-plus wins, the most ever entering Week 11. He also is a win in Denver Sunday (4:05 p.m., CBS) from hoisting Miami into a tie for the AFC East lead with idle Buffalo. This might give us pause: Miami somehow has lost 10 consecutive road games vs. teams with losing records. Except: Denver has lost eight of the past nine at home vs. teams with winning records. Mile High is no longer a scary visit. The Broncos are in shambles. QB Drew Lock (ribs) is iffy to play and has 10 interceptions in past five games when he does play. The once-proud Denver defense has allowed an average of 36 points during the past four games. The Broncos’ decline and the way Miami is playing are a stark contrast. Can’t recall when last I said what I’m about to: Miami losing on the road Sunday would be a huge surprise. My pick: Dolphins (-3), 27-13. For all of our latest King Sport picks (we’re coming off an 11-3 week against the spread), visit NFL Week 11 Gems.

HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (NOVEMBER 22-23): WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Our blog-exclusive Sunday-into-Monday feature is part week-in-review, part look-ahead. Hot Button means what’s on our minds, locally and nationally, from a Miami perspective, as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. This week’s HB10:

1HButton1. DOLPHINS: Tua Train pulls into Denver seeking 6th straight win: Favored at Denver today. Will be favored in next two games at Jets and vs. Bengals, too. Miami could  very plausibly be 9-3 or at least 8-4 after a dozen games heading into the much tougher four-game stretch to end the regular season. The playoffs loom into realistic view. Even better for Dolfans, so does a bright future with Tua Tagovailoa at the wheel.

2. HEAT: Miami nabs Memphis forward in NBA Draft, re-signs Dragic: The Heat selected Memphis 6-9 forward Precious Achiuwa 20th overall, seeing him as a big who’ll back up Bam Adebayo. Precious has sisters named Grace and Peace, and brothers named Promise, God’sgift, God’swill and God’slove. If Precious is as good at basketball as his family is at naming babies, Miami just won the draft. Free agency opened two days after the draft and Miami quickly re-signed Goran Dragic and role player Meyers Leonard, but is lsing Jae Crowder to Phoenix.

3. HURRICANES: COVID outbreak disrupts, postpones UM season: No. 12 Canes — how do you win and then drop three spots in The AP poll? — were supposed to host Georgia Tech Saturday night. But the global coronavirus pandemic had something to say about that. A COVID outbreak got in the way, with much of the UM team including coach Manny Diaz in isolation after positive tests. Presuming no further outbreak, Hurricanes won’t play again until December 5 at Wake Forest.

4. INTER MIAMI: Quick playoff exit ends strangest of rookie years: Inter Miami has finished its inaugural expansion season in Major League Soccer with a 7-14-3 record after Friday night’s 3-0 loss at Nashville in the first round of the expanded playoffs. Miami had won its final regular season match to clinch the 10th and last spot in the East playoffs. Inter Miami starters Gonzalo Higuain and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez did not play Friday after ill-timed COVID test-positives.

5. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: First CFP ranking due as virus ravages season: The first College Football Playoff raking is out Tuesday and good luck to the committee making sense of this season. Nineteen more games were canceled (12) and postponed (7) this week, including ppd’s for Miami-Georgia Tech (see above) and FSU-Clemson. Some games were played. Among results: Gators beat Vandy, FAU won and FIU lost (again).

6. NBA: Crazy week as free agency rolls out two days after draft: A whirlwind: Chris Paul to Suns. Jrue Holiday to Hornets. James Harden turns down $50 million to stay as he attemts to broker deal to join Nets. Anthony Davis not recommitting to Lakers just yet. Giannis mulling options. Toronto re-signs Fred VanFleet. Oh, and Raptors will open season in Tampa after Canada says no home games in Toronto just yet. 

7. UM BASKETBALL: It’s opening week for Canes and college hoops: Under the shadow of a pandemic, college basketball gets underway Wednesday, with Gonzaga (AP) and Baylor (coaches) No. 1 in the men’s polls and South Carolina dominant in the women’s rankings. It’s a season of low expectations for UM, with neither team ranked or receiving votes. Canes women open Wednesday at home vs. Jacksonville; Miami men launch next Sunday vs. North Florida.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Champion LSU rocked by scandal: Ed Orgeron’s reigning national champion LSU Tigers program is under fire after a USA Today investigative report found systemic mishandling of sexual misconduct and dating violence complaints against the school’s football team. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was “deeply troubled” and has called for an investigation, and the NCAA won’t be far behind.

9. SOCCER: Champions League play resumes this week: UEFA Champions League group play continues Tuesday toward a winnowing to the round of 16. Barcelona, one of four team that are a perfect 3-0 thus far, plays Tuesday. The other three perfectos, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool, get back at it Wednesday. Two more weeks of play will follow to complete the group stage.

10. THANKSGIVING: Time to give thanks, if at all possible: Thursday we eat (a lot), watch football (a lot), and enjoy the company of loved ones (but not too close). Many of us, when we say grace before the Thanksgiving banquet, count the blessings of the year. In cursed 2020, that could make for a record-short grace. “Thank God this !@#$%in’ year is almost over! Let’s eat.”

Missing the HB10 cut: Waiting for that first big Marlins offseason deal to trumpet GM Kim Ng‘s arrival ….. R.I.P., Jake Scott, Dolphins career leader in interceptions. Free safety, free spirit, gone at 75 ….. As MLB free agency rolls out, sport suspended Mets 2B Robinson Cano an entire season for PEDs. So long, Cooperstown ….. Baseball Hall of Fame ballots have been mailed, and I (a voter) received mine. Rudy Guiliani is standing by to contest the results of the election ….. The wife of Lions QB Matthew Stafford on Instagram called Michigan a “dictatorship” for its COVID lockdown rules, was shouted down by rational people aware there is a pandemic, and had to apologize ….. LaVar Ball vs. Michael Jordan 1-on-1? Yes, please. But only if it is guaranteed MJ will crush and humiliate the world’s most annoying sports dad ….. Florida Panthers have entered into an affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Minor-league nicknames rule! ….. The Greg Cote Show podcast‘s new Episode 38 drops Monday! ….. Update: Countdown now 2,045 days (give or take) until Miami hosts its first match in soccer’s 2026 World Cup.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: NEW EPISODE OUT MONDAY!: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 38 is out now Monday! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart — wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 37 we’ve done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In Ep37 we welcome in ESPN star Mina Kimes to discuss Tua and the Dolphins, the Marlins hiring Kim Ng and other fun stuff. Also: Greg’s thoughts on the contentious Le Batard Postgame show last week, a stroll to Augusta and Masters golf, the latest Mount Gregmore (T’s) and more. You all made our previous Greg Cote Show the most downloaded and listened-to episode in our history as it climbed as high as No. 3 among all sports podcasts in the national Apple rankings. Thank you! Appreciate you listening each week and check out the new ep!

Select other most recent columns: Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins’ Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN’s Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season  / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky — But Right Move/ and Heat, Marlins, Canes — now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.

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THE ARCHIVES:

Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6–LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5–They’re Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4–Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don’t Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3–Jimmy Butler’s 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2–NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1– Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3–Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2–Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1–Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

Select other 2020 columns: ‘If I Die, I Die.’ QB Cousins’ Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener — And First Place — In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who’s Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission’: Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell’s NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog’s author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

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