Final Game 12 Observations

The Dolphins' playoff hopes took a shot on Sunday with the disappointing three-point loss to Cleveland and now they get to face a Jets team that was humiliated by New England on Monday night. Before we turn our attention to this weekend's game, we take one last look at the Browns game.

-- Of course, we have to start with Chad Henne, but we'll forego the discussion of his long-term future for now. At this time, we'll just make two points that need to be made: 1) His first interception wasn't so much because he overthrew Brian Hartline down the sideline; it came because he took way too long to throw the ball in the first place. Watch the replay, and you'll see Hartline separating from cornerback Joe Haden after his stop-and-go move before Haden starts to quickly make up ground. By the time Henne finally threw it, Haden had gotten closer and he very possibly would have been able to knock it away even if the pass hadn't been underthrown. 2) Will someone please teach Henne how to do a believable play fake; if not, stop with the play-action passes. His fakes are atrocious and won't slow down a pass rush for a millisecond. They're a waste of time, and he's a quarterback who needs all the time he can get.

-- OK, moving on. Let's be honest, it sure didn't help Henne to lose Hartline late in the first quarter when he already was without Brandon Marshall. No offense, but Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace don't exactly inspire a lot of fear in opposing defense. Now, Greg Camarillo certainly could have helped in that situation.

-- Maybe the running game also could have helped. But it was back to its pre-Oakland form, leading us to believe again that this was a fluke. And to think the Raiders completely shut down a San Diego running game that had been producing. This league is just hard to figure out.

-- Back to the Dolphins running game, it's just not impressive. The problem? Guess you have to look up front, where Vernon Carey and Jake Long are banged up, and the three interior guys are journeymen or unproven commodities.

-- And yet we keep seeing the Wildcat. For the 712th time, can we please keep it on the sideline! Please!

-- It goes against every instinct a player has, but the right play after Henne was intercepted in the final minute would have been to let cornerback Mike Adams score on the return. It's the kind of quick thinking you rarely see, though. I can recall Maurice Jones-Drew falling down at the 1 in a similar situation and Brian Westbrook also did it for the Eagles. While Ronnie Brown deserves kudos for his hustle on the interception return Sunday, he cost the Dolphins any shot at a comeback.

-- Yeah, sure, Phil Dawson could have missed a 23-yard field goal. But the odds were better that the Dolphins could have scored a touchdown after letting Adams get into the end zone.

-- The Dolphins defense played another good game, but there had to be the obligatory dropped interception. Those are getting aggravating, and there's really no rhyme or reason for them. It's just guys not making plays when they have the chance. It's funny, though, you never see an Ed Reed or a Troy Polamalu drop a potential interception.

-- Outside of that, though, kudos to the defense for the job it did on Peyton Hillis, who at times looks like the only player on that Cleveland offense.

-- Not so good was the "job" done on tight end Benjamin Watson. He caught 10 passes for 100 yards, another big outing for an opposing tight end.

Dolphins Report Top Stories