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Dolphins Win Sloppy Game: Hopes Still Alive

This is one of those wins that you just want to forget.

Yes, the Dolphins got the win, 14-10, and showed the world that they can actually play defense in the fourth quarter, but in turn, also showed the spectators that the Dolphins still do have flaws.

Chad Henne performed outstanding again for the second straight week. Henne accumulated 20 yards over 21/29 passing. Henne also threw an interception late in the game to give the Jaguars a glimmer of hope. Henne ran for his first career touchdown as well for the Dolphins second touchdown of the day.

At one point in the game, Henne completed 17 straight passes, which tied Chad Penningtons record that was recorded over two games during last season.

After last weeks game, I was a little skeptical of Henne’s accuracy, but today he showed that he has the confidence to make every throw that has to be made.

Henne was zipping the ball all over the field, threading the needle, and placing the ball where there was no chance of the receivers dropping the ball.

Henne improved on some of his throws from last week, and even threw a nice deep ball to Davone Bess in the 2nd half that fell incomplete because Bess failed to put his hands out to catch the ball.

Besides many of the Dolphins second half drives stalling, Henne performed well under the playoff pressure.

Yes, I called this a playoff game today. Why is that? Because every game that we play for the rest of the season is against a team that has some chance of making the playoffs, and the Dolphins have to beat every single one of those teams to even get into the playoffs, plus get a little help.

Many of those unsuccessful drives were not because of Henne’s ineffectiveness. No, you see, the Dolphins faced a little bit of the fumbleitis today. Ricky Williams, who rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, fumbled 3 times in the game, losing only one.

Bess also had 2 fumbles as well, and one was lost as well.

While the offense was busy fumbling the ball away, the defense was busy proving the critics wrong, for the second straight game now.

The Dolphins limited Maurice Jones-Drew to only 59 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. MJD had little effect on the game at all. A big part of this was the play of Paul Solia. Solia has really matured over the course of the season, and his play over the next couple of games could impact whether the Dolphins need to go out and address the defensive tackle position or not. Solia had 4 tackles in the game, and made MJD his whipping boy.

In fact, the only big play that the Jags offense accumulated was a 63 yard hookup between David Garrard, and Torry Holt. Holt glimpsed to his right to cause Sean Smith to stutter, and Holt simply beat Gibril “Smeagol” Wilson to make the catch.

Speaking of good ol’ ” Smeagol”, this was the first game that he was burnt for a big play. It seems that Wilson is now settling into his role as the free safety, and the secondary is now becoming a unit, and in turn, becoming comfortable with each other, and gaining trust in their fellow members of the secondary unit.

Smeagol had 6 tackles in the game.

The defense as a unit performed superb today, a big part of that was their run defense. Many times, the Jaguars were forced to pass, but asked Garrard to scramble because of the Dolphins awesome coverage all game.

Joey Porter, and reggie Torbor came up with sacks in the game, and Cameron Wake again ended the game with a huge quarterback pressure, and this time, it resulted in a sack that caused the Jaguars, and their hopes at winning the game, to disappear.

Wake was oft seen bullrushing the offensive line, and looked to me to be dominating the Jags offensive line at times. Sure, he was not registering sacks, but he was causing Garrard to scramble out of the pocket, and make plays with his legs.

The Dolphins won the battle of the clock again today, holding the ball on offense for 35:06, to the Jags 24:54.

Player of the Game:

Offense:

Brian Hartline: This kid went out and made every big catch that was asked of him. Sure, Henne may deserve this award as well, but Hartline was the one catching the ball that Henne threw. Hartline was making some tough catches out there, and it can be argued that if Henne would have thrown the same balls to someone like Ted Ginn, that those same throws would not have been caught. So Hartline gets this award for this week for his clutch catches all throughout the game to prolong some of the Dolphins drives.

Defense:

Paul Solia: No other player on the defensive squad came up bigger than Solia. It was Solia who stuffed Jones-Drew time and time again, and it was Solia who helped the linebackers get the pressure that they got on Garrard. Solia’s service for this game was invaluable. He dominated MJD today, and the whole Jaguars offensive line.

Unsung Hero:

The Unsung Hero for this week is more of a unit than any one player. The defensive squad was the unit that won the game for the Dolphins today. The offense could not finish drives late in the game, opening the door for the Jaguars to mount a comebakc, but again and again they were denied by our stifling defense. This defense looked almost ready for some playoff caliber recognition. By that I mean they are almost ready to be known as one of the better all around units in the league. That is how good they looked today.

-Brant

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One Response

  1. I like the nickname Smeagol. As you Brant you and I watched the game together. Through the game we gave each the same glance we did last year against the Texans. The look like oh no the fins are going to blow a game that they dominated in except the score. The way the offense came out early it should have been a Miami Big Win Blowout. Lets just hope for the best, because I see the Texan game as a big test.
    See ya Sunday my Dolphin Friend.

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