[ Summary |
Good Stuff |
Things to Work On ]
[ Individual Performances |
Web Links ]
The Dolphins' defense registered 8 sacks, intercepted 6 passes
and scored 2 touchdowns today as the Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders
27-17 in Oakland. The offense struggled at times against the tough
Raider defense, but did score early when given the ball deep in Raider
territory by the defense to build a 24-3 halftime lead. And if Olindo
Mare' hadn't missed two field goals, the score would have been even
The miserable weather that was forecast for the day didn't
materialize and the day was sunny and cool with a game time temperature
of 55 and a wind of 10 mph. Inactive for the game for Miami were
Richmond Webb, Damon Huard, Kevin Donnalley, Ron Moore, Shane Burton,
Iheanyi Uwaezuoke, Troy Drayton and Anthony Harris.
The game started with the Dolphins receiving the opening
kickoff 7 yards deep in the endzone for a touchback. On first and 10
from the 20, Marino was off-target on a pass to McDuffie and on 2nd and
10, Karim Abdul-Jabbar got just 2 yards rushing. On 3rd and 8, under
pressure from a blitz, Marino overthrew Lamar Thomas and the Dolphins
punted from their 22. Wilmsmeyer's punt was on 31 yards and it was
returned to the Dolphins' 45.
From the Dolphins' 45, Kaufman got the handoff on first and
second down, but only got 3 yards, which forced the Raiders to a 3rd
and 7. However, on the next play, Hollas found Tim Brown for 7 yards
and a 1st down. Kaufman picked up 5 yards on a 1st down run to the
Dolphins' 30 and added another yard on 2nd down to the 29. On 3rd and
4, Hollas tried to go to Tim Brown, but Sam Madison was there and
knocked the ball away. That left the Raiders facing a 4th and 4 at the
Miami 29 and Greg Davis' field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Dolphins took over at their 38 and Marino's pass to
McDuffie on 1st down was good for only 2 yards. On 2nd and 8, Avery
was stuffed at the line of scrimmage and on 3rd and 8, Marino's pass to
McDuffie was dropped. The Dolphins dropped back to punt from their 40,
but Wilmsmeyer's punt was blocked and Kenny Shedd of the Raiders picked
up the ball and ran it back to the 7 before he was run out of bounds.
That gave the Raiders a first and goal at the Miami 7, but
after Harvey Williams was stuffed for no gain on first down, Steve
Wisniewskie was penalized for a false start and the Raiders moved back
to a 2nd and goal from the 12. On the next play, Hollas tried to pass
to Rickey Dudley at the goal line, but Zach Thomas got his hand in and
knocked the ball up in the air and Sam Madison grabbed it for his 7th
interception of the year. After thinking about running the ball back,
Madison dropped down in the endzone for a touchback.
The Dolphins started on their 20 and after a 2 yard loss by
Abdul-Jabbar on first down and a 2 yard gain on 2nd down, the Dolphins
faced a 3rd and 10 from their 20. Marino ran up in the pocket away
from pressure and hit McDuffie for 21 yards and a 1st down at the 41.
On the next play, Karim Abdul-Jabbar took the handoff and hit a hole
behind James Brown, darted into the secondary, cut left and raced 44
yards to the Raiders 14 before he was pushed out by Charles Woodson.
On 1st and 10 at the Raiders' 14, Marino threw to Perry in the
middle for 8 yards, but on 2nd and 2 from the 6, Avery was knocked down
in the backfield for a 3 yard loss. On 3rd and 5, Marino was almost
sacked but managed to get the ball off to Parmalee, who could only get
2 yards and that left the Dolphins facing a 4th and 3 from the Raiders'
7. At this point, JJ elected to take the field goal and the Dolphins
scored first, giving them a 3-0 lead.
On the kickoff, Rodney Williams of the Raiders was tackled by
Parmalee at the 17, but the Raiders were penalized for holding and that
moved the ball back to their 9. On 1st down, Hollas tried to pass to
Kaufman, but overthrew the screen. On 2nd and 10, Robert Jones blitzed
and came through untouched to Hollas, dragging him down at the 2 for a
sack. Now facing 3rd and 17, Hollas dropped back into the endzone to
pass and under great pressure from the Miami defense, tried to throw to
Harvey Williams to his right. However, Zach Thomas was there and
picked the ball off at the 1 yard line and took two steps into the
endzone for the Dolphins' first touchdown of the day and a 10-0 lead.
On the kickoff, Rodney Williams took the ball at the 8 and was
hit by OJ Brigance at the 22, where he fumbled the ball. The ball
squirted forward and Dwight Hollier dove for it, reaching out to grab
the ball at the Raider's 22 just before it rolled out of bounds.
With another big break, the Dolphins started with a first down
at the 22 and Karim ran for 3 yards on 1st down. On 2nd down, Marino
and McDuffie mis-timed a timing pattern and the ball sailed out of
bounds, but on 3rd and 7, Marino hit Gadsden who was uncovered on a
short crossing route. Gadsden caught the ball and turned right towards
the endzone. Realizing that he was going to get pushed out before the
goal line, Gadsden jumped at the 5 yard line and managed to reach out
with the ball in one hand and push it across the goal line for the
touchdown as he flew out of bounds.
Suddenly, in the space of one and a half minutes, the Dolphins
had scored 17 unanswered points and gone on to a 17-0 lead. The
kickoff was taken at the 9 and returned to the 28, before the Dolphins
dragged Williams down. On 1st and 10 from their 28, Hollas tried to go
to Brown, but Calvin Jackson knocked the ball away at the last second.
On 2nd down and 10, Kaufman carried for 1 yard and on 3rd and 9,
pressure got to Hollas, who was hit as he tried to throw to Tim Brown.
The ball fell incomplete and the Raiders punted to McDuffie at the
Miami 19. OJ returned the ball to the 23 before he was pushed out of
A quick dump pass to Avery on 1st and 10 from the 23 gained 4
yards before he was pushed out and the first quarter ended. The
Dolphins had dominated the 1st quarter and were in control at this
point in the game.
The 2nd quarter opened with Avery carrying for 5 yards to the
32, but on 3rd and 1, Stanley Pritchett was given the handoff and
couldn't get the first down, even though he was locked up with a
safety. On 4th and 1 from their 32, the Dolphins punted to Tim Brown,
who made a fair catch at the Raiders' 21.
After Bromell pressured Hollas into a bad throw on 1st down and
Kaufman was stuffed for no gain on 2nd down by Derrick Rodgers, Hollas
dropped back to pass, but after Hollas could find no one open, Trace
Armstrong got through to Hollas and dragged him down for a 6 yard sack.
On 4th and 16, the Raiders punted to the Dolphins' 31, where McDuffie
field the ball. Seeing that he was about to get tackled, he lateraled
to Terrell Buckley, who raced for 14 yards to the Dolphins' 45.
Abdul-Jabbar was stuffed for no gain on a first down run, but
on 2nd down, Marino tossed the ball to Karim on a swing pass and he
picked up 18 yards to the Raiders' 37. On 1st down, Karim ran for 2
yards and on 2nd down, the Dolphins tried a reverse to McDuffie, but it
fooled no one and OJ only got 2 yards, leaving the Dolphins with a 3rd
and 6 from the Raiders' 33. On the next play, the Dolphins tried the
wide receiver screen, but McDuffie only got 4 yards and on 4th and 2
from the 29, Mare' tried a 46 yard field goal, but it sailed wide left,
leaving the score 17-0.
Starting at their 37, Hollas passed for 4 yards to Ritchie,
followed by a draw to Kaufman for 11 yards to the Dolphins 48. From
there, Kaufman picked up 3 yards on first down to the 45, but on 2nd
down, as he dropped back to pass, Zach Thomas came on a blitz and Jason
Taylor met Zach at the quarterback and they dropped him for an 8 yard
loss. However, on 3rd and 15 from the Raider 47, Hollas found Tim
Brown for 15 yards and a 1st down at the Miami 38. From there, on
first down, the Raiders handed off to Harvey Williams, who threw the
halfback pass to Tim Brown at the Miami 11, where Brock Marion pushed
him out of bounds.
Now having a 1st and 10 at the Miami 11, the Raiders had a
false start on 1st down and moved back to the 16. From there, Hollas'
had Tim Brown get wide open in the endzone, but he overthrew him.
Then, on 2nd and 15, Sam Madison came on the cornerback blitz and
blindsided Hollas for a 5 yard loss. On 3rd and 21, Hollas tried to
throw to Tim Brown again, but this time Brown dropped the ball just
before he was hit by Sam Madison. This left the Raiders with a 4th and
21 at the Miami 22 and they kicked a 40 yard field goal, which made the
score 17-3 in favor of the Dolphins.
With 5:27 left in the 1st half, Avery took the kickoff from the
5 and got out to the 27 before he was stopped. From there, on 1st down,
Avery was dropped in the backfield for a 4 yard loss and after a 7 yard
pass to Pritchett on 2nd down, Marino hit Parmalee for a 9 yard pass on
3rd down. Parmalee fumbled the ball when he was hit, but recovered his
own mistake at the 39. From there, Avery was dropped for another loss
on 1st down and a 2nd and 11 pass to McDuffie fell incomplete as
Charles Woodson stripped McDuffie of the ball at the catch. On 3rd and
11, Marino's pass to OJ was incomplete, but an offsides penalty on the
Raiders gave the Dolphins another chance.
On 3rd and 6, Marino tried to hit Parmalee, but Parmalee made a
rare drop and the Dolphins punted on 4th and 6 from their own 43. The
punt was taken at the 9 by Tim Brown and returned to the 16, before
Parmalee tackled him. On 1st and 10 from the Raiders' 16, the Raiders
tried to set up the screen, but as Hollas was being pressure, he made a
low toss to Harvey Williams. Robert Jones had played the screen
perfectly and was between Williams and Hollas and caught the pass
easily, then ran around Hollas to the endzone for a touchdown that gave
the Dolphins a 24-3 lead.
Now, with 2:38 left in the first half, the Raiders started at
their 20 after a touchback on the kickoff. Hollas' pass on 1st and 10
to Ritchie fell incomplete as Robert Jones knocked the ball away. On
2nd and 10, Hollas passed to Terry Mickens, who broke a couple of
tackles before being dragged down after a 29 yard gain. Now on their
49, Harvey Williams picked up 6 yards on a handoff to the Dolphins' 45
before the 2 minute warning was sounded for the first half.
With a 2nd and 4 at the Miami 45, Hollas' next pass to Tim
Browns was batted into the air and almost intercepted. Now facing a
3rd and 4, Hollas dropped back to pass and was sacked by Trace
Armstrong for an 11 yard loss, leaving the Raiders with a 4th and 15.
On the punt, McDuffie returned 7 yards from the 10 to the 17, but the
Raiders were penalized for illegal use of hands and had to punt again,
this time from their 34. On this punt, Terrell Buckley took the ball
and made a nice dodging return all the way to the Raider 43.
Now with 1:20 remaining on the clock, Marino tried to get
something going, but his first pass to Lamar Thomas was off the mark
and on 2nd down, Gadsden was called for a false start, which made it
2nd and 15 at the Raiders' 48. Marino hit McDuffie for 8 yards to the
40, but on 3rd and 7, his pass to Parmalee was off target as he was
under pressure and the Dolphins punted on 4th and 7 from the Raider 40
with 1:05 remaining in the first half. On the punt, Nate Jacquet
caught the punt in the air at the Raiders' 9 yard line.
From their 9, the Raiders ran Ritchie on first down for 2
yards, but a pass to Ritchie on 2nd down was dropped. Facing a 3rd and
8 with 22 seconds to go in the first half, the Raiders ran the draw
with Harvey Williams and he got 15 yards to the 26 and a first down.
They ran a 2nd draw to their 39, but with only 4 seconds left in the
first half, they lined up for an apparent Hail-Mary pass attempt. For
whatever reasons, Hollas elected not to throw the ball into the endzone
and completed a 21 yard pass from his 39, but that was not enough as
time ran out on the first half with the Dolphins up 24-3.
The stats from the first half were fairly equal, except in 2
areas - turnovers and sacks. The Dolphins had sacked Hollas 5 times
and had picked off 3 passes and recovered a fumble in the first half.
That translated into 24 points for the Dolphins and would turn out to
be enough to win the game.
The second half started with Mare' kicking off to the Raiders,
but the ball sailed 4 yards deep and the Raiders started at their 20
after the touchback. On 1st and 10 from their 20, Hollas hit Tim Brown
for 9 yards and then Ritchie ran for 4 yards on 2nd and 1 to the 33.
From there, Hollas hit Tim Brown for 14 more yards to their 47, but
after Kaufman was stuffed for no gain on 1st down, Hollas went back to
Tim Brown for an apparent 13 yard gain on 2nd down. However, the
Raiders were penalized for holding when the Raiders' left guard
blatantly tackled Jason Taylor. Now facing a 2nd and 20 at their 37,
Hollas scrambled for 10 yards to the 47, but when Hollas tried to pass
to Mickens on 3rd and 10 down the right sideline, Terrell Buckley was
there and hit Mickens as he tried to catch the ball.
This left the Raiders facing 4th and 10 and they punted to
Buckley, who made a fair catch at the 10. From there, Abdul-Jabbar
took a handoff for 3 yards on 1st down, but on 2nd and 7 from the
Dolphins 13, Marino and Tim Ruddy screwed up the snap and the ball came
loose. The Raiders jumped on the loose ball at the Miami 9 and had a
1st and goal. On 1st down, Kaufman tried to run but was stuffed after
2 yards, but on 2nd and goal at the 7, Hollas found Tim Brown on a
shallow crossing pattern being covered only by Zach Thomas and Brown
hauled in the pass for an easy touchdown which cut the lead to 24-10.
The kickoff was taken by Avery at the 8 and returned to the 31,
where the Dolphins started by tossing a dump pass to Abdul-Jabbar for 3
yards. However, on 2nd and 7 from their 34, Abdul-Jabbar took the
handoff and squirted through a hole behind James Brown again and raced
up the Raiders' sideline all the way to the Raiders' 26 yard line for a
40 yard gain.
Now with a 1st and 10 at the Raiders' 26, Avery ran for 2 on
1st down, but a pass to Pritchett on 2nd down was stopped at the line
of scrimmage. On 3rd and 8, Marino dropped back to pass but under
pressure from the Raiders' defensive tackle who got by Tim Ruddy,
Marino had to throw the ball away. Now facing 4th and 8 from the
Raiders' 24, the Dolphins tried a 43 yard field goal, but it went wide
and the ball went over to the Raiders at their 33.
The Raiders' first down pass to James Jett was almost picked off
by Sam Madison, but he couldn't quit hold on to the ball. On 2nd down,
though, Hollas hit Tim Brown for 14 yards to the Raiders' 47. Harvey
Williams tried running the ball on 1st down, but was stuffed and on 2nd
and 10 from the 47, Hollas threw deep to James Jett, but the ball was
overthrown and Terrell Buckley was there for the interception and he
returned the ball from the Dolphins' 5 to the 50 yard line.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins couldn't do anything with this
turnover as Karim was dropped for a 3 yard loss on 1st down and on 2nd
and 13, Marino overthrew Gadsden. On 3rd and 13 from their own 47, the
Dolphins tried a pass to McDuffie and he got 10 yards, but the Dolphins
were forced to punt on 4th and 3 from the Raider 43. The ball bounced
nicely for the Dolphins and Jacquet downed the ball at the Raider 8.
From there, Hollas' first down pass was dropped by Mickens, but
his 2nd down pass was complete to Ritchie, the fullback, for 7 yards
and that left the Raiders facing 3rd and 3 from the 15. At that point,
as the Raiders lined up for the next play, the strangest penalty I've
seen in a long time was called. Terrell Buckley was penalized for
delay of game. I don't know how a defensive player can be called for
delay of game, but this is the official call and that gave the Raiders
a first down and 10 from their 20.
From there, Hollas dropped back to pass, but was hit by Jason
Taylor and fumbled. However, he managed to pull in his own fumble and
the Raiders kept the ball. Now facing 2nd and 12, Hollas tried to pass
again, but this time was sacked by a blitzing Robert Jones for another
yard loss. On 3rd and 13, Hollas hit James Jett for 16 yards and a
first down. On this play, Jason Taylor was shaken up, but after a few
minutes, he walked off the field and came back in later in the game.
With a 1st and 10 at the Raiders' 33, Hollas tried to pass over
the middle, but Robert Jones was waiting in coverage and managed to put
his hand up and knock the ball up into the air. The ball came down in
his arms as he dove for it and he got his second interception of the
day. This gave the Dolphins the ball at the Raiders 39 and Karim
Abdul-Jabbar ran for 3 yards on 1st down and the Marino tossed a quick
pass to Perry on 2nd and 7 that gave the Dolphins a 1st down at the
From there, Karim carried for 2 yards as the third quarter
ended, with the Dolphins still ahead 24-10.
To open the 4th quarter, Marino passed to Perry on 2nd and 8
for 4 yards and to Parmalee on 3rd down for 3 yards, but unfortunately
that left the Dolphins facing a 4th and about a half yard at the
Raiders' 19. The Dolphins initially put Doxzon in to go for it, but
changed their mind and put Marino back in. However, when Marino
handed off to Karim Abdul-Jabbar, the he was stuffed in the backfield
as he has been on so many of those plays this year and the ball went
over to the Raiders on downs at their 22.
From there, Hollas hit Harvey Williams with a 9 yard pass on
1st down and on 2nd down, Hollas ran for 2 yards to give the Raiders a
1st and 10 at their 33. On 1st and 10 from their 33, Hollas dropped
back to pass but was taken down by Jason Taylor after he could find no
one open. On 2nd and 16, Hollas was pressured into scrambling and
Bromell took him down from behind after a 2 yard gain. Then, on 3rd
and 14, under pressure from the Dolphins, Hollas threw his final
interception of the afternoon directly to Zach Thomas, who had dropped
into zone coverage in the middle. Zach returned the ball 3 yards to
the Raiders' 40.
On 1st down, Marino tossed a 3 yard pass to Gadsden, but on 2nd
and 7, Karim was stuffed in the backfield for a 5 yard loss. Then, on
third and 12, Marino's pass intended for Parmalee was tipped at the
line of scrimmage and fell incomplete. Now facing 4th and 12,
Wilmsmeyer punted down to the Raiders' 1 yard line where the ball was
downed. Or at least, it would have been, had Larry Izzo not been
penalized for holding.
That forced the Dolphins to punt again from their 48 and this
time, Wilmsmeyer's punt came down at the 20, where Tim Brown grabbed it
and returned it to the 28. At this point, with 9:46 remaining, the
Raiders pulled Donald Hollas from the game and inserted Wade Wilson at
quarterback. Wilson started by throwing three incompletions in a row,
two of which were almost picked off by Surtain and Terrell Buckley on 2
successive plays, but that left the Raiders facing 4th and 10 from
their 28 and they punted. McDuffie took the punt at the Dolphins' 16
and returned it to the 36.
Now with 9:18 remaining, Marino started by tossing a 6 yard pass
to Lamar Thomas and after Abdul-Jabbar was stuffed for minus yardage on
2nd down, Marino hit Lamar Thomas for 9 yards on 3rd and 5 to the 50.
Karim carried on 1st down for 2 yards and on 2nd down for 1 yard and
that left the Dolphins facing a 3rd and 7 at the Raiders' 47. Marino
tossed a 3 yard pass to Parmalee on this next play, but Bernie added 18
yards running the ball down the left sideline to the Raiders' 26 and
gave the Dolphins a 1st down. After Karim ran for 4 yards and was
stuffed for a 2 yard loss, the Dolphins were going to run Pritchett,
but the Dolphins were penalized for a false start and now faced a 3rd
and 13 from the Raiders' 29. Marino tossed a short pass to Pritchett,
but he was taken down after only a yard and on 4th and 12 at the
Raiders' 28, Olindo Mare' kicked a 47 yard field goal to put the
Dolphins ahead 27-10.
This final drive by the Dolphins was not very impressive while
watching it, but it accomplished 2 things - it ran 6 minutes off the
clock in the 4th quarter and it put 3 more points on the board.
The Raiders took the kickoff with 3:14 remaining in the game at
their 8 and returned it to their 24. From there, Wade Wilson
engineered a drive against soft Miami coverages, passing to Tim Brown
for 9 yards and then to Harvey Williams for no gain. On 3rd and 1 at
their 33, Wilson ran the quarterback sneak to the Dolphins 35. Wilson
passed to Harvey Williams again, this time for 15 yards to the 50 and
at this point, the 2 minute warning was sounded.
Wilson then passed for 9 yards to Ritchie and then found James
Jett down the sideline for 33 yards to the Miami 8. On 1st and 10 at
the Miami 8, Wilson was forced to scramble and was pushed out of bounds
at the 5. On 2nd and goal from the 5, Wilson passed to Ritchie for 3
yards to the 2 and on 3rd and goal from the 2, Wilson hit Tim Brown for
a touchdown on a quick out while under a full blitz. This cut the
score to 27-17, but with no timeouts left and only 1:31 on the clock,
the Raiders still needed two scores.
On the kickoff, the Raiders tried an onsides kick and there
were a few tense moments as the ball was initially kicked by a Miami
player ( I think it was Surtain, but I'm not sure ) as it crossed the
40 and then it bounced up for anyone. Finally, after it bounced in and
out of several players' hands on both sides, Terrell Buckley got his
hands on it and held on, ending the Raiders last chance.
From the Miami 47, Dan Marino knelt down 3 times in a row and
because the Raiders had 2 timeouts left, he was not able to run out the
clock, but when Wilmsmeyer punted the ball away, there were only 34
seconds on the clock. The ball bounced into the endzone and the
Raiders started at their 20 with 23 seconds and no timeouts.
Wilson did manage to complete a pass and Harvey Williams ran
one handoff to the 45 before time ran out and the Dolphins won the game
Overall, it was a very nice effort by the Dolphins. Especially
impressive was the defense's performance on the road, where they
haven't played as well as they have at home this year. I think that
they're learning as they go and they're peaking at the right time.
Obviously, the offense still has a few holes in it, but I think
that they did a pretty good job taking advantage of the turnovers
against a tough Raider defense without 3 of their 5 starting offensive
The defense was outstanding today. Even though they were going
against a backup quarterback, you have to be impressed with the way
they dominated every aspect of the Raiders' offense. They stuffed the
run, pressured the passer, covered the receivers well and took the ball
away. What more can you ask of a defense? Without a couple of
offensive and special teams' miscues, the Raiders may not have scored
The offense, while not very impressive for most of the game,
had it's moments. I'm pleased with the changes in the play calling for
the most part, and I was gratified to see the Dolphins try to call
plays that would compensate for the lack of steady offensive line play.
Even though he was under a lot of pressure, Dan Marino was not
sacked today. I thought that the offensive line was inconsistent at
best, but given their current set of the problems and the quality of
the opposition, I think that they played as well as could be expected.
Special teams were pretty good today, although Mare' had some
problems with field goals. However, his kickoffs were all deep and 2
were touchbacks. Punt coverage and kickoff coverage was very good and
the Dolphins had several nice punt returns of their own.
THINGS TO WORK ON:
Obviously, the short yardage problems persist. The Dolphins
need to find a consistent way to convert those short yardage
situations. I was particularly disappointed when the put Doxzon in,
then pulled him out and ran that horrible off-tackle handoff on 4th
down. I don't think that the team will find a good solution until the
It's hard to be too critical of the offensive line, given their
situation today, but I think that they'll need to play better next week
against the Jets. The run blocking was not there at all, except for 2
runs by Karim. Hopefully, Donnalley will be back next week for the
Wilmsmeyer's punting is still horribly inconsistent. He does
seem to be good at dropping those short punts inside the 20, but he
needs to know when to boom them deep.
Dan Marino had a fine day, getting away from sacks, rolling
out, hitting the open man and not making any mistakes - unless you
count the fumble on the snap. He ended up completing 22 of 33 for 170
yards, with 1 touchdown and no interceptions.
Karim Abdul-Jabbar had 94 rushing yards on 19 carries for a 4.9
ypc average. However, that's a little misleading, because he had 2
carries for 84 yards and 17 for 10 yards. But those two long runs
were impressive. He also had a good day catching the ball, catching 2
passes for 21 yards.
John Avery was absolutely horrible today, although he didn't get
much help since he was constantly getting buried in the backfield. He
had 6 carries for minus-2 yards. You don't want to know what that
averages out to. He also caught a pass for 4 yards and returned 2
kickoffs for 45 yards.
Stanley Pritchett had a disappointing day, I thought, catching
3 passes for just 9 yards and rushing once for no gain on 3rd down.
And on the run, it was a safety who stood him up and wrestled him down.
He should be able to run over a safety.
Bernie Parmalee had 4 receptions for 35 yards, including his
very nice 21 yarder late in the game. He also had 2 special teams
OJ McDuffie led the receivers in catches with 5 for 45 yards,
but he was not as effective as he has been for the last 4 weeks. He
also had one carry on the reverse for 2 yards and 3 punt returns for a
total of 23 yards.
Ed Perry reappeared with the absence of Troy Drayton and caught
3 passes for 19 yards. His blocking was inconsistent, however, and he
almost let Marino get sacked on a blitz.
Oronde Gadsden only caught 2 passes, but one was his incredible
19 yard touchdown reception, where he leaped 5 yards in the air to get
the score. However, he also had a false start penalty.
Lamar Thomas caught 2 passes for 15 yards, but otherwise was
not very effective.
The offensive line was the picture of inconsistency today.
They did not allow a sack, although Dan had a lot to do with that.
The Dolphins had 2 running plays of 40 yards, but otherwise their
running game was miserable. Given all the injuries, I thought they
played pretty well.
On defense, Jason Taylor led the team in tackles with 8 total,
2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was much more in evidence today than
he has been recently. It's hard to know what the reason for that is,
but somehow or other, Jason Taylor came back with a vengeance today.
Zach Thomas was second in tackles with 7 and had 2
interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown), two passes
defensed and is credited with half a sack, although he was pressuring
Hollas quite a bit on several plays. He had a great day.
Patrick Surtain is the surprising third place tackler with 5
and he knocked down a pass. He seemed to have good coverage most of
Trace Armstrong and Derrick Rodgers each had 4 solo tackles,
with Armstrong also getting 2 sacks and a lot of pressure on Hollas.
Robert Jones had only 4 total tackles, but he is also credited
with 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 for a touchdown) and 4 passes
defensed. If Zach Thomas wasn't where the action was today, then Robert
Brock Marion also had 4 total tackles today, but seemed to be
missing on some deep coverages.
Terrell Buckley had 3 solo tackles, an interception and 2
passes defensed. He also had 1 punt return for 19 yards and the
lateral from McDuffie for 15 yards. And he recovered the onsides kick
for the Dolphins.
Sam Madison had 3 solo tackles, a sack and his 7th interception
of the season. And he is credited with 4 passes defensed. Just a
typical Sam Madison game.
Tim Bowens and Lorenzo Bromell both had 2 solo tackles and no
sacks, but both created havoc at the line of scrimmage and put pressure
on Hollas on several ocassions.
Kenny Mixon had 2 tackles also and put some pressure on Hollas,
although he didn't stand out as much as some of the other linemen.
Brian walker had 2 tackles on the regular defense and 3 special
Darryl Gardener only had 2 total tackles, but is also credited
with half a sack and got a fair amount of pressure on Hollas.
Calvin Jackson had 2 tackles and did a good job in coverage.
Barron Tanner and Jerry Wilson had 2 tackles each, but were
otherwise pretty quiet today.
OJ Brigance jarred the ball loose from Rodney Washington on the
kickoff return and Dwight Hollier recovered it.
And Larry Izzo is credited with one special teams tackle.
Klaus Wilmsmeyer was very inconsistent again. He had a couple
of nice punts downed inside the 20 and had one more called back, but he
also had at least 2 short punts, one of which almost cost the Dolphins
some points and he had that one punt blocked.
Olindo Mare was also inconsistent today, missing two field
goals from 46 and 43 yards. His kickoffs were generally pretty good,
Larry Izzo strained his knee early in the game but eventually
returned. Jason Taylor was shaken up late in the game, but also
returned to play more later. In Taylor's case, it just looked like he
may have hit his head.
And Karim Abdul-Jabbar twisted his ankle late in the game and
had to have it taped.
However, there appears to be nothing very serious from this
Another mixed performance by the Dolphins, but one that was more
than adequate, for the most part. The defense seems to have matured to
the point of playing well on the road, at least. Fortunately, the
Dolphins only have one more road game, but they'll need to play their
best football from here on out, regardless of whether it's on the road
or at home.
The offense is still struggling in short yardage situations, but
I think we're going to have to wait until next spring to see any serious
attempts to fix it. The Dolphins need a running back who can get that 1
yard run no matter what the situation is and they just don't have that
player right now.
I'm very pleased with the defense going into the game with the
Jets, especially with the resurgence of Jason Taylor. The Jets'
strength is it's offense and the Miami defense will need to be at it's
best to win. Fortunately, they are playing some outstanding football
The offense is another question, but it seems to be working
better now than it did when the Dolphins went into New York earlier in
the year. Hopefully, Kevin Donnalley will be back for that game and
Oronde Gadsden's turf toe won't bother him too much.