Alain Poupart: The Dolphins knocked off the Bears because Jason Taylor had a monster game and because Rex Grossman just seemed intent on giving up the ball. The Dolphins also didn't make mistakes offensively that day, something that hasn't happened in recent weeks. The Dolphins are ranked in the top five defensively, so that part of the game has been pretty solid. But the offense has failed to score more than 17 points 10 times in 15 games, which is why the Dolphins are where they are. The Chicago game was the perfect storm where the defense played its "A" game without giving up big plays and the offense simply didn't
make mistakes. It was a once-in-a-season type of game for the Dolphins.
ET: WR Chris Chambers has been relatively quiet the last couple of weeks compared to earlier this year. What's going on?
AP: It's a combination of mediocre quarterbacking, bad weather conditions and also Chambers dropping a few catchable passes. Against the Jets Monday night, for example, he failed to come down a deep sideline pass that was probably the best deep pass Harrington has thrown all season.
|Miami's Zach Thomas (54) and Yeremiah Bell (37)run down the Chief's Eddie Kennison (AP/J. Pat Carter)|
AP: I think the one who jumps out at me is Yeremiah Bell, an athletic safety who was moved into the starting lineup after the bye and right before the Dolphins won at Chicago. He's got the ability to become a big-time playmaker in the secondary, although he's coming off a bad game against the Jets.
ET: The Dolphins are ranked 31st in interception rate. Has the coverage been good overall or is that an indicator of problems in the secondary?
AP: There have been significant problems in the secondary all season, although there was a stretch of four or five games where the pass defense was very good. The biggest issue is the defensive backs just don't seem capable of making plays on the ball. One reason is practically all of them have this annoying habit of looking only at the receiver and never turning around the play the ball until it's too late. This has led to dropped interceptions and some pass interference penalties when the coverage actually was pretty good.