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Study finds music can provide pain relief. Feel better by listening with these wireless headphones

South Florida Local News - Mon, 09/18/2023 - 00:13
Ease pain naturally with your favorite music and quality headphones

Every music lover knows that music can lift their spirits, invoke happy memories and even soothe a broken heart. Now pain relief can be added to that list. A study last year found that listening to music can relieve physical pain — especially pain that can be classified as chronic. The effect was amplified by being able to choose the music.

If you’d like to give music therapy for pain relief a try, you’ll need quality wireless headphones. These will help you shut out the world and become immersed in therapeutic sound.

Benefits of wireless headphones

In the past, headphones required a wire to connect to any music-emitting device. Even if the sound quality was impressive, the cable often got in the way and limited the wearer’s movement. Thanks to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, this isn’t a concern with wireless models. The result is more flexibility to move about while wearing them, or kick back and relax cord-free.

Types of wireless headphones

There are three types of wireless headphones — in-ear, earbuds and over-the-ear. Often referred to as earphones, in-ear and earbud models are similar in that they are small and lightweight. However, the main difference is that in-ear models fit inside the ear canals while wireless earbuds fit just outside of the ear canals on the conchas. Over-the-ear models have cushioned ear cups that cover the ears during wear.

The term headphones is often used interchangeably for all three models. The one you choose is a matter of preference. There are quality options in all three categories. Each offers a comfortable fit, noise-canceling capabilities and rich, balanced sound.

Features to look for in wireless headphones

Regardless of the type of wireless headphones you buy, there are a few features to consider that will help you make the most of listening to music to ease your pain.


Comfort is key when wearing headphones, especially to reduce pain. After all, you don’t want to add to your discomfort with a device that rubs, pinches or applies pressure. Look for earbuds and earphones that are contoured and have a compact design. Ideally, earbuds will include several ear tips in different sizes for a customized fit. Over-the-ear headphones should have cushioned ear cups that are simple to adjust.

Audio quality

Sound is just as important as comfort when wearing headphones. Top brands can be expensive but are known for producing outstanding sound with balanced treble and bass. Noise-canceling technology is available in many models and helps filter outside sounds that can interfere with music. Easy-to-use controls are important for adjusting the sound and volume to fit your preferences.


Because there are no wires to get in the way, wireless headphones work with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The best models are easy to connect and pair and don’t easily lose connection. By checking customer feedback, you can get an idea if connectivity drops are a concern with any wireless headphones you are considering.

Battery life

When relaxing to music, your wireless headphones should hold a charge for as long as you plan to use them. Well-made models provide hours of listening time once fully charged, with some brands getting as much as 50 hours of playtime.

Best wireless headphones for pain relief music therapy Best over-the-ear wireless headphones

Sony Wireless Noise-canceling Headphones ]

These wireless headphones come at a high price but offer high-end sound and unbeatable noise-canceling technology. With thick cushioning in the headband and ear cups, the fit is just right for relaxing to your favorite music.

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless Headphones ]

Soundcore Life Q30 Headphones are affordable compared to other high-end brands but offer similar features including noise canceling technology, transparency mode and nice sound. The padded ear cups provide comfort during wear.

AfterShokz Air Bone Conduction Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ]

In between over-the-ear headphones and earbuds are models like the Air Bone design. It offers a minimalist structure that’s extremely lightweight and comfortable. Although they don’t cancel noise, they produce notable sound.

Apple AirPods Max Wireless Headphones ]

Just as you’d expect from Apple, AirPods won’t disappoint when it comes to their amazing sound and ability to cancel outside noise for a memorable listening experience. They are also comfortable to wear thanks to the padded ear cups. The price is high, but it’s acceptable for dedicated Apple fans.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise-canceling Headphones ]

Bose QuietComfort over-the-ear headphones are industry leaders for their impressive sound and comfortable fit. Proprietary Quiet Mode blocks outside sound so the wearer gets the most out of the pain-minimizing benefits of music.

Best in-ear and earbud wireless headphones

Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds ]

When it comes to earbuds, the AirPods Pro stand out in terms of comfort and sound quality. They combine the best of both worlds with reliable sound-canceling technology that produces an immersive listening experience and a transparency mode that makes it possible to hear outside sounds when necessary.

Studio Beats Buds Wireless Noise-canceling Earbuds ]

In addition to Spatial Audio technology that produces smooth, balanced sound, Beats Buds feature active noise-canceling capability and transparency mode like higher-priced competitors. However, they are available at a midrange price.

Raycon The Everyday Earbuds ]

With a lightweight, compact build and ear tips in six sizes, the Everyday Earbuds provide a comfortable fit that works for most wearers. They are a midpriced pair that includes a charging case. They get exceptional runtime per charge.

Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones ]

Dependable Bluetooth connectivity, impeccable sound and useful functions are some of the impressive features of Bose Soundsport Headphones. The lightweight slip-on fit makes them comfortable and easy to wear.

Sony Noise-canceling Wireless Earbud Headphones ]

These Sony earbud headphones get high marks for having outstanding noise-canceling capabilities and next-level sound. Although pricey, many owners find them to be a worthy investment for enjoying their favorite music.

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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These jeans from an iconic brand will be in style for years

South Florida Local News - Mon, 09/18/2023 - 00:13
Levi’s jeans that won’t go out of style

Levi Strauss makes some of the most popular and iconic jeans around. From classic 501s to slim fit and skinny jeans, there’s no lack of styles to choose from. However, some of these cuts are enduringly popular, while others quickly go out of vogue.

If you’re looking for Levi’s jeans that will be in style for years, you’ll need to pick them carefully. Some cuts have staying power that others don’t. However, it’s also important to consider what you like, regardless of fashion. Choose jeans you’re happy in and you can wear them for decades.

Levi’s jeans styles

Levi Strauss jeans come in a range of cuts and styles. You have plenty to choose from, but it can become overwhelming when you’re not sure what style you want. Traditionally, each style of Levi’s was given a numerical designator, such as the classic 501 cut. Today, some styles are given names such as Wedgie Straight or Mile High Wide Leg. These are some popular Levi’s jean styles:

Men’s vs. women’s jeans

While Levi’s has released some genderless styles, most are separated into men’s jeans and women’s jeans. Anyone can wear jeans from either category, regardless of their gender, but this gives you an idea of how they fit. It’s also worth noting that even the same style of jeans can vary in cut between men’s and women’s varieties. For instance, women’s 501s are slimmer than men’s and are available in a skinny cut as well as an original cut.

Which types of jeans will stay in style?

It’s impossible to say for sure what cuts and fits of jeans will stay in style for years, but you can make an educated guess. By looking at past trends and styles that have remained popular over time, you can see which are classics and which are likely passing trends.

Best Levi Strauss jeans Top Levi Strauss men’s jeans

Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Fit Jeans ]

These straight-fit jeans are timeless classics that are unlikely to go out of style. You can buy them in a range of colors, including black, gray and light, medium and dark stonewash blue.

Levi’s Men’s 513 Slim Straight Jean ]

Slim fit with a low rise and a straight leg, these are perfect for people who like a slightly closer fit than you’d get with a 501 but not a tight enough fit to be classified as skinny. They come in both stretch and nonstretch fabrics.

Levi’s Men’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans ]

A variation on the slim fit look, these jeans have a medium rise and a tapered leg. While this is an on-trend fit, it has a wide enough appeal that it’s unlikely to go out of style any time soon.

Levi’s Men’s 505 Regular Fit Jeans ]

With a straight leg and a regular fit, these are perfect jeans for anyone who likes their jeans loose but not baggy. This style has been around since 1965 and is still popular today.

Levi’s Men’s 541 Athletic Fit Jeans ]

The athletic fit is relaxed but tapered with a mid-rise. This gives these jeans a tailored look that works with both smart and casual outfits. They’re designed with comfort and style in mind.

Top Levi Strauss women’s jeans

Levi’s Women’s 501 Original Fit Jeans ]

This classic straight style is perfect for anyone who wants a slightly slimmer fit than men’s 501s offer. They come in dark, medium and light hues, including some with distressed finishes.

Levi’s Women’s Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans ]

These versatile jeans have a slim, but not skinny, cut that tapers in at the ankle. They have a slight stretch to them, making it easier to get that perfect fit around the hips.

Levi’s Women’s Straight 505 Jeans ]

Thanks to the slightly relaxed straight cut, these are ideal jeans for everyday wear and look great with a range of outfits. This style has been around for more than 50 years, so you can be sure it will stay fresh for years.

Levi’s Women’s 720 High Rise Super Skinny Jeans ]

Although looser styles are fashionable right now, especially with the younger generations, skinny jeans aren’t going anywhere. These high-rise skinnies are so versatile that they’ll probably never go completely out of style.

Levi’s Women’s Boyfriend Jeans ]

Mid-rise with a relaxed fit that tapers in at the ankles, this is a cut that’s both currently trendy and has a timeless appeal.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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How to make your apartment a smart home

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 23:54

Despite an ever-growing selection of smart home products that make life easier, you might feel a little left out if you don’t own your own home. That’s because some of the most popular and effective products often require construction projects and repairs that, if you’re only renting, aren’t things you’re allowed to do within your lease agreement. Luckily, there are plenty of smart devices that don’t require permanently modifying your building.

Smart home vs. smart apartment

The biggest issue with building a smart home as a renter is that most leases and rental agreements don’t allow permanent changes to the building. Even if yours did, you might not be keen on investing money, time and effort in electronics that you won’t be able to take with you when you move out. While this does rule out some of the most in-depth smart home technology, there are still plenty of useful devices to choose from. There are also alternate no-drill mounting tools available for some devices that allow you to install something without drilling holes into your apartment. Before deciding which devices to install, make sure you contact your landlord to clarify what you can and cannot do in terms of building modifications to avoid trouble.

Don’t forget to program routines

Most of the novelty, convenience and fun in a smart home comes from automation. Whether that includes your front door unlocking itself as you walk up to it or your coffee maker firing up as soon as your alarm goes off in the morning is up to you; your imagination is the limit. Automating the more tedious parts of your home helps to take the frustration out of fun activities and lower stress overall.

Best smart home devices for apartments

The biggest step in automating a rented space is selecting versatile smart devices that are readily compatible and don’t cost a fortune. Luckily, there are plenty of those to choose from.

Smart plugs

If you want to automate the on/off switches of electronics you already have, smart plugs are an excellent alternative to smart switches and outlets that require permanent installation. If you’re setting up lights, fountains or other electrical devices outside, get an explicitly weather-resistant smart plug.

Most stand-alone smart plugs do have a drawback. While they allow for in-depth programming, the majority are only able to turn an electronic device on or off. If, for example, you want to automatically dim a set of outdoor lights, you’ll have to select a plug that specifically allows dimming, such as the Kasa Outdoor KP405.

Kasa Smart Plug HS103P4 ]

Available here in a four-pack, this popular option is easy to use and engineered to plug comfortably into the wall without blocking any adjacent outlets.

Kasa Outdoor EP40 ]

If you want an automated on-and-off switch for outdoor lighting or other decorative fixtures, this two-outlet adapter can help.

Kasa Outdoor KP405 ]

While there’s only a single outlet on this weather-resistant outdoor-focused adapter, it’s one of the few stand-alone plugs that can dim compatible bulbs.

Smart bulbs

Light bulbs with built-in smart technology and wireless connectivity work with nearly any lamp that shares their physical connector. Most renters will be satisfied with a low-cost smart bulb like this one from Kasa, which delivers a wide range of colors, up to 850 lumens and a huge range of programming and hub choices.

If you want something that looks nicer and is even more reliable, consider a Philips Hue smart bulb. Although they are expensive, they’re engineered to last decades and work with a large number of dedicated smart home hubs in addition to the Philips-specific model.

Kasa Smart Bulb KL130 ]

Not only is it simple, straightforward and reasonably priced, it also comes from a highly reliable manufacturer.

Philips Hue White and Color Bulb ]

The Philips Hue smart lighting lineup is widely regarded as the best premium choice on the market, and these bulbs back that reputation up well. There are even high-output versions that produce the equivalent of 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

Smart speakers

The smart speaker and its microphone are integral to streamlining the smart home experience. You’ll find it especially convenient to turn on lights, fire up the oven, play music and do quick web searches throughout the day.

There are some Bluetooth speakers that are reasonably compatible with the most popular voice assistants, but the best-performing options are usually the ones from the source. The Echo Dot, for example, is both relatively affordable and nearly as good as they get in terms of registering your commands consistently. On the other hand, more premium options like the Echo Studio and Google Nest Audio are considerably better at playing music.

Amazon Echo Studio ]

It’s one of Amazon’s best-sounding smart speakers yet. It sports powerful long-range microphones and sounds excellent when paired in stereo with another Echo Studio plus an Echo Sub.

Amazon Echo Dot ]

Don’t let its small size fool you; this is one of the most reliable and least intrusive smart speakers on the market.

Google Nest Audio ]

If you’re a fan of Google’s ecosystem or just want to easily control your network of devices from an Android tablet or smartphone, the high-end Google speaker is worth a look.

Smart security devices

A wireless video doorbell is a great first step to keeping any home safe. The Ring Video Doorbell is a highly refined model. The Blink Video Doorbell system is another effective choice that helps you save even more money.

For general-use security monitoring, the Wyze Cam v3 is one of the most compact and affordable. With a 32-gigabyte microSD card, it can even record video 24/7. Alternatively, the Blink Outdoor is a weather-resistant option with a long wireless range, a straightforward setup process and a somewhat higher price.

Finally, the vast majority of smart locks require heavy modifications to the door, but the August Smart Lock often does not. It’s still recommended that you confirm with your landlord that it’s OK to install, but it’s definitely one of the best semipermanent options for anyone on a lease.

There are also many no-drill mounting options available on the market for some smart doorbells and cameras. The Ring No-Drill Mount is made specifically for Ring cameras, but there are also off-brand versions available that work for a variety of different smart doorbells and cameras.

Ring Video Doorbell  ]

This is one of the most advanced wireless-ready doorbells on the market. If you want to save some cash, you can opt instead for the more affordable Blink Doorbell system.

Wyze Cam v3 ]

While it’s marketed as a pet cam, its 1080p resolution and ease of use make it perfect for a variety of indoor uses.

Blink Outdoor Camera ]

It’s waterproof, easy to install and should have no problem communicating with a wireless network on the other side of your apartment.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock ]

This is one of the rare smart locks that fit on most preexisting deadbolts, so it requires just about the least amount of installation hassle possible.

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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Chris Perkins and David Furones break down Dolphins’ win over Patriots | VIDEO

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 22:34

The Miami Dolphins had a balanced offensive attack between their runs and passes, some good defensive plays among sacks and turnovers — and, of course — some more center-to-quarterback snapping problems and issues on special teams. But they came away with a 24-17 victory at New England, and are 2-0 and still atop the AFC East.

In this video, the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Chris Perkins and David Furones discuss Sunday night’s victory over the Patriots.

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SEPT 5 MINUTES - Quad-City Times

Home Inspection - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 22:00
SEPT 5 MINUTES  Quad-City Times

Things we learned in Miami Dolphins’ 24-17 win over the New England Patriots

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:56

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Miami Dolphins ran their record to 2-0 with Sunday’s 24-17 victory at New England, and they appear to have righted some of the concerns they had in their opening victory.

The run defense and pass rush were both notably better, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hot again.

Not only that, the Dolphins got a crucial AFC East road victory and are still atop the division.

Having said that, here are some other takeaways from Sunday night’s game: 

Winning an AFC East road game

The Dolphins won their first AFC East road game of the season, an important accomplishment in a division that’s expecting tough road games. It’s especially good the Dolphins are able to take advantage when they have warm weather in locales such as New England and Buffalo, who the Dolphins visit in two weeks.

The Dolphins were 0-3 on the road in the AFC East last season losing at the New York Jets, 40-17, at Buffalo, 32-29, and at New England, 23-21. — Chris Perkins

Run game, pass game work in tandem

The Dolphins rushed for 144 yards on 30 carries and Tagovailoa was 21-of-30 passing for 249 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 92.2 passer rating. This was a balanced offense and it worked well, keeping the Patriots off balance and showcasing run blocking as well as pass protection.

The run game was especially encouraging. The Dolphins, who averaged 22.9 carries per game last season, 31st in the league, rushed for 70 yards on 20 carries last week.

First sack allowed, pass protection been good

Pass protection has been good through the first two games, so good that Tagovailoa took his first sack early in the third quarter, meaning he went six quarters without being sacked.

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The pass protection unit of center Connor Williams, right guard Robert Hunt, right tackle Austin Jackson, left guard Isaiah Wynn, left tackle Kendall Lamm, tight end Durham Smythe and running backs Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed and fullback Alec Ingold has been strong so far.

In an interesting statistical twist, Tagovailoa, the man who makes you concerned when he leaves the pocket because of his concussion issues last season, had two carries for 11 yards on the season before getting his first sacks because he had a four-yard scramble against the Patriots.

Replacing Armstead, Phillips

The Dolphins used a nice bit of trickery Sunday. Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead (back/ankle/knee) and edge rusher Jaelan Phillips (back) were inactive for the Patriots game. Lamm and Andrew Van Ginkel started in their places, respectively.

The Van Ginkel substitution was slick. During the practice sessions open to the media the Dolphins used Emmanuel Ogbah in Phillips’ place, and they did the same thing in pregame drills. Yet on the first snap it was Van Ginkel. Ogbah, in fact, didn’t play in the first quarter.

Related Articles Ezukanma in backfield again

Wide receiver Erik Ezukanma lined up in the backfield and took a handoff from the 3-yard line that resulted in a one-yard loss. It was at least the second time Ezukanma has lined up in the backfield in the red zone. He’s also had a handoff on an end around. Apparently Miami likes Ezukanma’s skill set and are exploring ways to use him.

By the way, the Dolphins are also quietly utilizing tight end Durham Smythe. He had three targets against the Patriots after having seven against the Chargers in the opener.

Achane debuts

Rookie running back De’Von Achane, who was inactive for the opener, made his debut in the third quarter. Achane, the third-round pick, most likely got his opportunity because Salvon Ahmed sustained a groin injury.

Achane battled a shoulder injury late in training camp but as soon as he got in the game he was fairly active with a carry and a reception. By the way, Achane’s first carry was between the tackles, a nice feat for the 5-foot-8, 188-pounder. 

Discipline showing improvement

The Dolphins, who were tied for fourth in penalties last season, had just six penalties for 46 yards against the Patriots, showing more improvement on an area of focus from the offseason.

The Dolphins had just six penalties for 38 yards last week.

By the way, the Dolphins also didn’t have any problems in the chain of command/getting plays to the huddle. That was an issue last season causing the threat of delay of game penalties and timeouts to prevent delay of game penalties.

Positive turnover margin change

The Dolphins were minus-7 in turnover margin last season, tied for 29th, are now minus-1 after going plus-1 against the Patriots. Turnover margin is one of the statistics McDaniel considers crucial to winning.

Edge rusher Bradley Chubb caused a fumble that safety DeShon Elliott recovered and cornerback Xavien Howard had a third-quarter interception. Tagovailoa had a fourth-quarter interception for the Dolphins’ giveaway.

The Dolphins were minus-2 in turnover margin against the Los Angeles Chargers in the opener.

More special teams concerns

Kicker Jason Sanders missed a 55-yard field goal attempt wide left in the fourth quarter, and New England blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, raising special teams concerns for the second consecutive week. Last week Sanders missed an extra point by pushing it right.

The Dolphins prevented the Patriots from scoring after the blocked field goal thanks to Howard’s interception.

Another lost challenge

Coach Mike McDaniel is still bad at challenges. McDaniel was 1-4 last season. He challenged a second-quarter call in which linebacker Van Ginkel tackled Patriots quarterback Mac Jones on an incomplete pass. McDaniel thought it might be a fumble. The challenge was unsuccessful and he’s now 1-5.

When was the last time Dolphins started 2-0 on the road?

That would be a decade ago. In 2013, Miami won in Cleveland (23-10) and Indianapolis (24-20). Unfortunately, Miami was 6-8 the rest of the way. The other Miami 2-0 starts on the road were in 2010 (5-9 in the rest of the games), 1977 (8-4). So, amazingly, the Dolphins will be trying to make the playoffs for the first time in four such 2-0 starts. — Steve Svekis

Mac Jones must be sick of Xavien Howard

Sunday night was Mac Jones’ fourth career game against Xavien Howard. In that quartet, Howard has a pick-six, an interception deep in Miami territory and, in last year’s opener, a tipped ball in the Dolphins end zone that floated into the hands of Jevon Holland in his NFL debut.

A hearty applause for the offensive line

Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t sacked until his 66th dropback of the season, and, further, was barely pressured in that span. Considering Terron Armstead was out for both games, even with so much uber-quick passing by the offense, it is a wonderful accomplishment. There is no starting quarterback whose health is more required than Tagovailoa’s is for Miami. For context, Tagovailoa was sacked once every 20.05 dropbacks last year.

Chubb’s forced fumble and sack are the sort of plays Dolphins need more of from him

Bradley Chubb, under criticism by the NBC crew before Sunday night’s game, had his best game as a Dolphin. He did a nice job hustling downfield to chop the ball out of the hands of Patriots runner Pop Douglas, creating a huge early turnover, and then had a massive sack of Jones with less than two minutes left.

The pass rusher the Dolphins traded a first-round pick for had an excellent first 20 games of his career, where he registered 13 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 27 quarterback hits. Then, on Sept. 30, 2019 Chubb tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). In his 37 games since coming back, he has 15.5 sacks, 16 TFL and 43 QBH. His Miami stint, before Sunday, had been even less impactful, with 2.5 sacks, two TFL and 12 QBH in nine games, heading into the Patriots matchup. Of course, in the midst of a pretty tepid wild-card playoff game, he had a big strip sack of Josh Allen to force a punt and give Miami a final possession, down 34-31.

When was the last time Dolphins led the AFC East by themselves going into Week 3?

The last time the Dolphins were in first place in their division with their rivals at least a full game behind them at the end of Week 2 was in 2018 season, after Miami started 2-0 by beating the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets, while the Jets and Patriots were 1-1 and the Bills 0-2.

Mostert would break his personal record for touches in a season at this pace

Raheem Mostert, who has been beset by injuries through his career, put together a personal-best 212 touches (runs and receptions) for the Dolphins in 2022. Following his 19-touch domination in Foxborough, Mostert is at 31 touches, which would extrapolate to a personal-record-breaking 263.

Prime-time games have battled Tagovailoa a little bit

Sunday night was Tua Tagovailoa’s eighth night game in the NFL, with seven of them on the road. After an exceptionally sharp first half under the Foxborough lights, Tagovailoa trudged to the finish. So, as it stands with this current crew of 2022-23, Tagovailoa has an All-Pro 113.1 passer rating in day games, but a 85.4 in the five night games of the Mike McDaniel era.

On deck: Denver Broncos, 1 p.m., Sunday, Hard Rock Stadium

Sean Payton hasn’t coached many games at Hard Rock Stadium, but he has made them memorable. He has gone 2-0, with his Saints winning a 46-34 barnburner in 2009, and then winning the Super Bowl there against  the Colts to cap the 2009 season. His Broncos are off to a poor start, with an 0-2 record in home games against the Raiders and Commanders, teams not expected to make much noise in 2023.

Denver will bring a bunch of familiar faces to town, with an NFL-high six players who graduated from Broward County high schools, including American Heritage alum Brandon Johnson, who caught two touchdown passes, including a final-play 50-yard Hail Mary to make it 35-33 Commanders on Sunday. Denver then missed the tying two-point throw on what arguably was defensive pass interference.

Hyde10: McDaniel and Tua play smart, small ball; defense’s big stops — 10 thoughts on Dolphins’ win at Patriots

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:52

For much of the game, it looked like it would be a comfortable Miami Dolphins win in Foxborough. But even as uncomfortable as it became in the end, the Dolphins’ 24-17 win against New England puts them at 2-0 after opening road wins on opposite coasts.

Here are 10 thoughts on the game:

1. Play of the night:  New England tight end Mike Gesicki makes a catch on fourth-and-4 with under a minute to play. As he’s being stopped, he laterals to New England guard Cole Strange, who bulls forward and is ruled to have got the first down at the Miami 29. Replay says no. It’s inches short. And that’s how the game ends. NBC then spent five minutes dissecting the play.

2. Bill Belichick had a simple plan: Take away the big play, especially from Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (five catches, 40 yards). The Patriots played a three-man shell in the secondary to start to prevent the deep plays. No wonder: The Dolphins had a league-high 23 plays of 10 or more yards in the opening week and eight plays of 20 or more yards. But there seemed an underlying idea to Belichick’s scheme: Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa wouldn’t be patient in playing small ball.

So what kind of game did McDaniel call and Tua play? A balanced game. Six runs and six passes on the opening, 81-yard drive for a field goal. Six runs and five passes on the second, 73-yard TD drive. That’s how they played the game, too. Raheem Mostert ended up running 18 times for 121 yards and a 43-yard touchdown. The balanced bottom-line: Tagovailoa threw 30 times (completing 21 for 249 yards), the Dolphins ran 30 times. So maybe both things worked as each hoped: Belichick took away the big play but the Dolphins showed a patient mindset.

3. This is the week Vic Fangio’s defense stepped up to save everyone else. It isn’t a finished product. But it saved a lot of others. It saved the special teams after a blocked field goal gave the Patriots the ball at their 47. Xavien Howard’s interception ended that Patriots threat. It saved the offense after Tagovailoa’s interception could’ve been a turning point and the defense had a quick three-and-out performance.

It also saved some uncertain thinking when a missed 55-yard field goal attempt gave the Patriots the ball at their 45 to possibly go for the win with more than two minutes left. That ended with the failed lateral attempt. Conclusion: The Patriots offense doesn’t have anyone that scares you and this defense made sure no one did.

4. Stat of the game II: New England hadn’t started a season 0-2 since 2001. And Belichick remains 19 wins behind Don Shula’s all-time record of 347.

5. Second-guess of the day (even wins have to have one): After Tagovailoa bobbled a snap and the Dolphins had a fourth down at the Patriots 37, they either had a punt or 55-yard field goal attempt. They led 24-17 with 2:19 left. A field goal ends the game. A missed field goal, as happened, gave the Patriots the ball at their 45. Considering Sanders was 4-for-12 over the past two years on attempts over 50 yards, wouldn’t a punt be in order? Kudos for aggressiveness. But it put the defense in a spot with the game on the line.

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6. It’s always interesting to see which players benefit from a new scheme, and the early leader in Fangio’s defense is Andrew Van Ginkel. He was a role player/special teams player his first years. Now? On Sunday with Jaelan Phillips out (back), Van Ginkel expanded his new role from inside linebacker to include edge rusher.

He was a disruptor in the game with seven tackles, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. He had a fourth-quarter sack and came so close to hitting Jones in a near-fumble that the Dolphins challenged the call that Jones’ arm was moving forward when he lost the ball. Old-time Dolphins fans and new-time listeners might see a little of Kim Bokamper in Van Ginkel. Big guy. Versatile. And he seems to be just what Fangio wants.

7. Terron Armstrong can take his time healing, right? Kendall Lamm is the good surprise of the season at left tackle and the offensive line is doing its good job through two games. In the opener, Tagovailoa was hit twice and not sacked. In the first half Sunday, he wasn’t touched before being sacked for the first time this season early in the third quarter.

Sure, some of that is the quick release of Tua and the play designs of McDaniel. But the line gets its due here. For all the questions right to the edge of this season, it’s been nothing but answers. When Mostert ran up the middle 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-10, center Connor Williams and guard Robert Hunt should’ve co-spiked the ball. They opened a hole so wide Mostert wasn’t even touched. McDaniel said before the season he had more linemen than any other year in his career. Maybe it wasn’t coach-talk. Maybe he was right?

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8. Has anyone sent a player sprinting so he’s at full speed coming off the edge to block a field goal like the Patriots did with Brenden Schooler in the third quarter? A tip of the cap to a new, schematic idea. Of course, it’s also time to wonder if the Dolphins’ special teams are going to be a problem again this year. In the opener, it was a missed extra point that set the win on a platter for the Chargers to take (they didn’t).

On Sunday, it was Schooler’s inventive sprint to block a third-quarter field goal that would’ve made it 20-3. Instead, the Patriots had the ball at the Dolphins 49. Special teams, again. But the Dolphins saved the day again as that Patriots possession ended with Howard’s interception.

9. Quick hits:

* Couldn’t NBC have given everyone a view of Patriots owner Robert Kraft & Son in their stadium suite in the fourth quarter just as the networks always showed when in their championship years?

* The Jets will challenge for the top pick in the draft, which would get them the franchise quarterback they thought they had.

* Josh Allen was the good Josh Allen on Sunday, the one he wasn’t against the Jets in the Bills opener and the one that makes Buffalo a contender. It wasn’t so much his stats (31-37, 274 yards, three TDs) as the fact he didn’t try to force the game. Yeah, and he only ran three times (for 7 yards).

* A little ha-ha by the Patriots in passing to former Gesicki (five yards ) and Devante Parker (four yards) on the game-opening plays.

10. Next week: Broncos at Dolphins. This is the home opener for the Dolphins and they’ll be favored as much as they might be all year. Denver is 0-2 after losses to Las Vegas (17-16) in the opener and to Washington (35-33) on Sunday. Considering neither of those opponents are contending for anything this year, it’s fair to say neither is Sean Payton in his first year in Denver.

Dolphins hold off Patriots in balanced road win to start 2-0

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:26

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It didn’t take every one of 466 yards passing, like the opener.

But it was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa taking what the defense gave him. It was the run game providing balance. And it was the Miami Dolphins defense rebounding from its unsettling Week 1 performance the unit wasn’t proud of and making the final stop.

The Dolphins went into Gillette Stadium Sunday night and took down the New England Patriots, 24-17, in a game where they mostly outplayed the Patriots but missed several opportunities to put them away.

“I told the guys in the locker room that they’re going to feel like it didn’t need to be a nail-biter,” coach Mike McDaniel said. “And that happens a ton. You’re fortunate to get the win in that learning process of how to make sure that that’s not the case.

“But overall, on the road, prime time, division opponent, those are very, very valuable games to be able to come up with a win.”

Miami starts the season 2-0, and it’s not just any 2-0. It’s against two teams that many expect to be in the playoff mix at the end of the season — and both of the victories came on the road. The Dolphins start a season with two road wins for the first time since 2013.

They have now won five of their past six in the AFC East rivalry with the Patriots. Tagovailoa is 5-0 in his career against New England and 4-0 versus his former backup at Alabama, Mac Jones.

Tagovailoa went 21 of 30 for 249 yards, a touchdown and an interception against a New England defense that was playing off coverage, often with three safeties, to limit the deep passing game.

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“They’re not going to give up too many explosives,” Tagovailoa said. “They really want you to work for yardage. And it’s definitely a take-what-they-give-you kind of defense. And they play sound football. So they’re trying to force you to make mistakes.”

Running back Raheem Mostert went for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his staple game plan to limit an opponents’ best playmaker, held Tyreek Hill to five receptions for 40 yards with a touchdown. That was without cornerback Jonathan Jones and with fellow corner Marcus Jones going down during the game. Jaylen Waddle had four receptions for 86 yards before he exited late after a helmet-to-helmet hit from New England linebacker Marte Mapu.

“It was a unique game plan that I think guys did a pretty solid job of adjusting to the weird spots the guys were in,” McDaniel said. “And then, I was happy with a lot of the stuff that Tua did.”

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Mac Jones finished 31 of 42 for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Miami run defense, which was rolled over for 234 yards on the ground in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, held New England to 88 rushing yards. Rhamondre Stevenson was contained to 50 yards on 15 attempts.

And the Dolphins picked up four sacks from different players: Christian Wilkins, Bradley Chubb, David Long and Andrew Van Ginkel, who started in place of the injured Jaelan Phillips.

“We have dogs all across the board,” said Long, who bounced back from a lackluster Week 1, as did Chubb. “Once we start gelling together, and playing as one, it’s going to be scary out there. I think you got a glimpse of it.”

Former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, now with the Patriots, made a catch on the final fourth down. In cornerback Justin Bethel’s grasp, he lateraled to lineman Cole Strange. Strange made an effort for the first down marker and was initially called to have reached the line to gain on the field before the play was overturned upon review.

“It kind of reminded me of the Rob(ert) Hunt play a couple years back,” said Van Ginkel, who was in on the stop with safety Jevon Holland. “It was a great play to get the stop and won the game off that.”

With the Dolphins ahead, 17-10, Mostert reeled off a 43-yard scamper through the middle on an inside-zone play for his second touchdown on the opening play of a possession to extend Miami’s advantage back to two scores, 24-10, with 8:45 remaining.

“One-hundred yards is hard to come by, especially in a passing league,” Mostert said. “When you’re able to get 100 yards and do your due diligence, that means that everything was going on all cylinders, you were running the ball very well.

The Patriots swiftly responded. Jones led them 75 yards in nine plays, and Stevenson punched in a 2-yard touchdown with 5:25 to play. New England was back within a score, 24-17.

Then, Miami missed out on points on the ensuing drive. A fumbled under-center snap between center Connor Williams and Tagovailoa led to a failed third-and-1. Jason Sanders’ 55-yard field goal, after having one blocked earlier, missed wide left.

Tagovailoa pulled off a two-minute drive before halftime where he was 7 of 7 for 69 yards and a 2-yard touchdown to Hill on a short out from the slot. It gave Miami a 17-3 lead at the half. A smooth touch throw to Braxton Berrios down the sideline got Miami to the 2-yard line before Hill’s score.

As the Patriots looked to respond, they picked up momentum from a blocked field goal in the third quarter. They were then driving deep into Miami territory, but cornerback Xavien Howard ended the threat with an interception of Jones in single coverage against former Dolphin DeVante Parker. Howard shielded Parker from the ball with inside positioning and still had to toe-tap the sideline.

“They’re going to keep coming,” Howard said, “but we made the special plays that needed to make and we got the job done.”

New England did score on its next drive, however, as Jones threw on the run to tight end Hunter Henry for a 6-yard touchdown. It brought the Patriots within a touchdown, 17-10, with 11:21 remaining.

Not taking many deep shots the way the Patriots were defending the Miami passing game, Tagovailoa decided to throw one to Hill, but rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez was there, leaping for an interception at its highest point.

“I think that forced throw to Tyreek in the second half is something that he was trying to win the game after a couple frustrating drives,” McDaniel said. “And that’s something you have to learn from.”

The Dolphins again got a stop, spearheaded by a Van Ginkel sack that backed up New England inside its 5-yard line.

The Dolphins opened up a 10-0 lead in the second quarter with Mostert’s 8-yard touchdown run to the pylon. A screen to Waddle on second-and-19 that went for 28 yards behind blocks by Hunt, right tackle Austin Jackson and Williams highlighted the drive.

The Dolphins, after forcing the Patriots to punt on the opening drive Sunday, scored first with a 13-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 23-yard field goal from Sanders. Tagovailoa started by completing his first five passes until he stumbled on a dropback and throw off a low snap from Williams.

Miami got another defensive stop on the following series, and that time with their first takeaway of the young season. Chubb forced a fumble, punching the ball out of receiver Demario Douglas’ grasp, and safety DeShon Elliott was present for the recovery.

After scoring on their first two drives, the Dolphins went three and out on their third series. The Patriots took advantage of the field position but were held to 3 points as Elliott broke up a pass to Parker while Eli Apple nearly came up with a diving interception off the ricochet. Rookie New England kicker Chad Ryland made his first NFL field goal attempt, a 49-yarder that cut the Dolphins lead to 10-3 with under 2 minutes in the first half.

In the second half, the Patriots made a patented special teams play when Brenden Schooler shot through off the edge to block a field goal. Wilkins, who had his sack later, didn’t pick him up as Schooler got a running lateral start from the outside. Wilkins then saved a touchdown with the tackle to follow.

“It was a really cool schematic adjustment by the Patriots,” McDaniel said. “Hats off to them.”

After Tagovailoa wasn’t sacked in last week’s opener, he was only sacked once Sunday. Miami played both games without Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead as Kenall Lamm replaced him.

Miami has its home opener next week, hosting the Denver Broncos.

Instant Analysis: Miami Dolphins 24, New England Patriots 17

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 20:25

Quick thoughts from South Florida Sun Sentinel staffers on the Miami Dolphins’ win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Sunday night in Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Dave Hyde, Sports Columnist

It started out like a walk in the park and turned into a walk through a minefield. But a second win on the road, going coast to coast, says the Dolphins have started their year in a big way. And that other AFC East team? All you need to know is New England hadn’t started 0-2 since 2001.

Chris Perkins, Dolphins Columnist

The Dolphins had to hang on in the end but they won an AFC East road game and ran their record to 2-0, staying in control in the division. Nice job running the ball, and nice job making plays in the fourth quarter.

David Furones, Dolphins Writer

Exciting finish. It’s always tough on the road in the division. Tua Tagovailoa took what the defense gave him. The run game was huge. And the defense showed up for most of the night — not just the final stand.

Keven Lerner, Assistant Sports Editor

It got a little bit ragged at the end before Raheem Mostert’s second touchdown, but who cares when you come back home 2-0 with a couple of road wins. The buzz is palpable.

Steve Svekis, Sports Senior Content Editor

Doesn’t matter what sort of talent the Patriots have, any win against Bill Belichick in Massachusetts is a great win. Now, Miami is 2-0 with only five more road games in the next 15 contests of this season (with nine at home and one against the Chiefs on a neutral field in Germany). If Tua plays at least 16 games, a playoff bye week is seriously in play.

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General Daily Insight for September 18, 2023

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 18:03
General Daily Insight for September 18, 2023

There is a methodical rhyme and reason to this day. The Moon enters Scorpio at 12:58 am EDT for the next two days, encouraging us to read between the lines and think carefully before coming to any conclusions. While here, Luna forms a harmonious trine to masterful Saturn in Pisces, ensuring we’re connected to our work. Plus, a supportive lunar sextile to Mercury should make it easy for us to articulate whatever is on our minds. Progress can be achieved without stress.


March 21 – April 19

This is no time for doing things halfway. The Moon is marching into your 8th House of Shared Resources, demanding that you take matters seriously and leave screwing around for another time. While this may not sound fun, it should be incredibly useful for tackling any big issues you’ve been avoiding. If anything is hissing for your attention, do your due diligence and work on wrapping it up. You’ve got all the resolve you need to knock it out of the park.


April 20 – May 20

You may feel the need to defend your current position. There is an emphasis on balance as the Moon enters your fair-minded 7th house, focusing its cosmic attention on the central partnerships in your life. While it’s important to treat others fairly, it’s also important that they treat you fairly! If someone has been getting away with doing less than their share, then it’s your turn to let them know where they’re dropping the ball. You have every right to be honest about your needs.


May 21 – June 20

You can run with the best of them on a day like this. The Moon is moving into your 6th House of Routine, organizing your approach to everything on your plate with an efficiency that is sure to impress. Avoid stressing about huge projects. Instead, remember that life is made up of lots of little parts, and that you will succeed best when all those small pieces are in sync with one another. Get yourself in sync and you’ll go far.


June 21 – July 22

Turn up the music, Cancer, and get ready to dance! You’ve got cosmic clearance to enjoy yourself as the Moon shimmies into your 5th House of Pleasure, giving you the day off from more serious projects if possible. When you have a chance, do something that brings a smile to your face or nurtures your inner child, because every once in a while you need to shake off all the heaviness of the world. Finding joy can be a radical act.


July 23 – August 22

It’s a good day to return to your roots. The Moon is entering your 4th House of Introversion, so you may not be terribly interested in the outer world at the moment. Plus, your interior life could probably use a little attention! Make it a point to check in with yourself and your emotional needs, because if those are out of sorts, the rest of your life can start to crack and quake. Nurture your nature, and you should see brilliant results everywhere.


August 23 – September 22

You’ll need to work a bit harder to keep your eye on the ball than typical. The skies are pulsating with frenetic energy as the Moon enters your 3rd House of Local Community, so you might find yourself all over the place, up and down and around like a bouncy ball. It’s fine to get caught up in something, but you’ll have to display some responsibility and accountability if you want to actually accomplish anything. Otherwise, today could pass you by in one big blur!


September 23 – October 22

The stars are crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s. As the Moon moves into your money-minded 2nd house, this is an ideal point to go over your financial situation and make sure that everything is on the up-and-up. You may find a few hidden charges you didn’t know were going through, and can potentially save yourself a pretty penny by canceling them or removing some other subscriptions you no longer need. A little efficiency now can pay dividends down the line.


October 23 – November 21

Everything is coming back to you today, Scorpio. The Moon is arriving in your sign for a monthly check-in, helping you clear out the clutter and block out any noise. You’re capable of honing in on whatever it is that YOU want. If you’ve let your passions lose steam, do whatever you need to get them cooking again! You shouldn’t deny yourself the things that make you happy. Don’t think of it as being selfish, because it isn’t. You deserve to be fulfilled.


November 22 – December 21

You can temporarily bow out from reality if you so choose. There is an emphasis on letting bygones be bygones as the Moon settles down in your sleepy 12th house, so you potentially won’t be interested in big issues or making waves. It’s okay if you’re more inclined to turn on Do Not Disturb and do your own thing on your own time. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself! You deserve a chance to refill your tank and refresh your soul.


December 22 – January 19

Your phone may start ringing off the hook at any moment, Capricorn! The Moon is sashaying into your 11th House of Social Networks, so it’s the perfect time to check in with people near and far. Whether you’re playing your part in an organized group or just circulating from one friend to the next, you’ll find the most satisfaction when you don’t take things on by yourself. Remember that we’re all connected, and there is so much to be gained from that connection.


January 20 – February 18

The higher you aim, the further you can go! Your ambitions are highlighted as the Moon enters your 10th House of Professional Goals, helping you narrow in on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to go about making it happen. If you’re a little unclear on what your goals are, then use this moment to get back in touch with what drives you and what you want to manifest in the future. Gaining clarity will boost your success in all your endeavors.


February 19 – March 20

It isn’t a good idea to limit yourself at this time, Pisces. The Moon is flying into your explorative 9th house, sending a breath of fresh air your way to inspire your journey into the unknown. Perhaps you sometimes see the world as more daunting than uplifting — try to view that fear as a simple manifestation of what you do not know. If you confront the unknown instead of cowering from it, you could find more excitement and satisfaction than you’d have ever imagined.

Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner removed from Rock Hall leadership after controversial comments

South Florida Local News - Sun, 09/17/2023 - 16:58

By MARK KENNEDY (AP Entertainment Writer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jann Wenner, who co-founded Rolling Stone magazine and also was a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been removed from the hall’s board of directors after making disparaging comments toward Black and female musicians. He apologized within hours.

“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” the hall said Saturday, a day after Wenner’s comments were published in a New York Times interview.

Wenner created a firestorm doing publicity for his new book “The Masters,” which features interviews with musicians Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend and U2’s Bono — all white and male.

Asked why he didn’t interview women or Black musicians, Wenner responded: “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni (Mitchell) was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test,” he told the Times.

“Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level,” Wenner said.

Late Saturday, Wenner apologized through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company, saying: “In my interview with The New York Times I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks.”

He added: “I totally understand the inflammatory nature and badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”

Wenner co-founded Rolling Stone in 1967 and served as its editor or editorial director until 2019. He also co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was launched in 1987.

In the interview, Wenner seemed to acknowledge he would face a backlash. “Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism.”

Last year, Rolling Stone magazine published its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and ranked Gaye’s “What’s Going On” No. 1, “Blue” by Mitchell at No. 3, Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” at No. 4, “Purple Rain” by Prince and the Revolution at No. 8 and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” at No. 10.

Rolling Stone’s niche in magazines was an outgrowth of Wenner’s outsized interests, a mixture of authoritative music and cultural coverage with tough investigative reporting.


Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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