Final Game 5 Observations

The Dolphins had their chances early against the Jets on Monday night, but their failure to capitalize on those ended up costing them and the result was a fifth consecutive loss. Let's look at the key elements of the game before we turn our attention to the next game, Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

• Seriously, two goal-to-go situations and a third red-zone opportunity in the first quarter and change, and the Dolphins trailed 7-6? That's ridiculous.

• OK, so who's to blame for the red-zone failures? The obvious place to start is with Brandon Marshall, who continues to fail to come up with the difficult catch in the end zone. It really is getting aggravating. Yes, the pass last night was thrown behind him, but it was not an impossible catch and the Dolphins did give up two second-round picks and a boatload of money to have him make those catches. So make them!

• Heard a Dolphins fan complain this morning about throwing at Darrelle Revis so often. So what? Hey, it's not like the Dolphins didn't complete a lot of passes against him. The interception return for a touchdown? Sure looked like defensive holding. The second interception? Matt Moore was nailed as he threw the ball, which is why it was underthrown.

• Now, if you want to complain about a throw in Revis' direction, point to the third-and-1 from the Jets 41-yard line on the Dolphins' first drive. That was poor because the pass was thrown to rookie Clyde Gates, who hasn't exactly established himself yet as a guy who's going to beat an elite cornerback.

• The biggest problem with that throw — besides the fact that Matt Moore missed a wide open Lex Hilliard in the flat — was the Dolphins following it with a punt on fourth down. Coach Tony Sparano said Tuesday he was playing the field position game. Fine. If that's the case, then don't throw downfield when you need less than a yard for a first down.

• As for going with two running plays in the last 1:10 of the first half down 14-6 with a timeout left, Sparano said Moore had a run/pass option on the play and he checked to a running play based on the Jets defense. Sorry, should have gone with a pass/pass option. The Dolphins, it should be clear by now, should never pass up the opportunity to try to get points on the board.

• Forget the interceptions and forget missing Hilliard on that third-down or missing Charles Clay wide open in the end zone. Moore's worst play came early in the third quarter when the Dolphins had a first down at the Jets 29-yard line. The Dolphins called a screen that the Jets sniffed out and Moore found himself under pressure. He then scrambled and ran out of bounds at the 36 for a 7-yard loss. Dude, throw the ball away if you're outside the pocket and save the sack. As it turned out, Moore's next two passes fell incomplete and the Dolphins punted. That's a field goal opportunity erased right there.

• Defensively, where, oh where, is the pass rush? Yep, the Dolphins were credited with two sacks. One came when LaDainian Tomlinson set up to pass back to Mark Sanchez on a third down but the Dolphins covered the play. The other came in the fourth quarter and was insignificant. For most of the game, Sanchez had all the time he needed.

• Speaking of pass rush, what was Cameron Wake doing downfield trying to cover Santion Holmes on the Jets' last touchdown? The guy is a pass rusher and should never be used to do anything else. Period.

• It got lost because the Dolphins were out of the game by then, but Sean Smith dropped yet another easy interception. What is the deal with that?

• As we mentioned at the top, Denver is next. Let Tim Tebow mania begin.


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