Perhaps Reggie Bush’s lasting contribution from his time in Miami wasn’t his 1,000-yard season, but the clever nickname he gave a long-shot rookie wide receiver in 2012’s training camp.
Chris Hogan became a Hard Knocks celebrity when the reality TV show focused on his uncanny ability to make plays. Bush called Hogan “7-Eleven” — because he was “always open.”
That certainly seemed to be the case early Thursday night. Hogan, now a slot receiver for the Bills, had three third-down catches in the first half alone — helping Buffalo to field goals on each of its first two possessions.
The Bills’ PR staff even twisted the knife a bit, tweeting at one point: “Anyone know where to find a first down? Try Chris Hogan, he’s always open. #7Eleven”
Turner turns up
Billy Turner appears to be on the Dallas Thomas career path. Which is bad news for his rookie season, but potentially encouraging for Year2.
Turner has now been inactive for all nine games of his rookie season — one more than Thomas had missed in the first nine games of his career.
Some wondered whether Thomas would ever pan out, particularly given the fact that he couldn’t crack the lineup of an offensive line that allowed 58 sacks and lost two starters to its bullying scandal.
But through circumstance and development, Thomas has earned playing time in Year2 and started his fifth game Thursday night. He was the Dolphins’ right tackle, while Shelley Smith replaced Daryn Colledge (out with a back injury) at left guard.
Fans turn out
The conventional wisdom surrounding the Dolphins and their inability to draw fans needs revision.
The Dolphins announced their first true sellout of the season Thursday and are on pace to sell more tickets than in any year since 2007.
Entering Thursday night’s game, the Dolphins had averaged 70,510 sold tickets per home game — ranking 13th in the NFL. Total attendance is up nine percent over last year and up 30 percent from 2012, when the Dolphins bottomed out at 57,375 fans per game.
Odds and ends
▪ Full list of Dolphins inactives: Colledge, Turner, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, running back LaMichael James, linebacker Chris McCain, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, defensive end Terrence Fede.
▪ Entering Week 11, Jelani Jenkins was the only player in the NFL this season to record 60 or more total tackles, two or more sacks, and two or more forced fumbles.
▪ Brent Grimes entered the night with nine interceptions in the last two years — second-most in the AFC behind Tashaun Gipson.
▪ The Dolphins took full advantage of their only home prime-time game of the year. Pregame introductions included smoke, fireworks and a laser show.
▪ The Bills won the opening toss and deferred.
▪ Former University of Miami wide receiver Michael Irvin said this about Joe Philbin during NFL Network’s pregame coverage: “He’s an incredible coach, and he’s done an incredible job.”