Final Game 8 Observations

Before the Dolphins set on the practice field Wednesday afternoon to being their preparations for their next game, we take our customary last look at the last game. The only difference is that this time we're talking about a victory — and an impressive one at that.

-- Really, it probably wasn't a great surprise that the Dolphins won because they had been playing better lately and the Chiefs also were ripe for the taking six days after an improbable and emotional division victory over the San Diego Chargers.

-- That, however, does not diminish the magnitude of the domination of the Dolphins in this game. The Dolphins spanked the Chiefs, no two ways about it.

-- Where to start? Matt Moore, named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, would seem a logical place to start and he truly was superb.

-- But how about the offensive line, and more specifically Jake Long? You know, the Jake Long who hadn't been himself in recent weeks, bringing some reporters to ask Coach Tony Sparano whether he would consider benching the three-time Pro Bowl selection to get him right. Well, Long was dominant on Sunday, as he made Tamba Hali disappear. Hali, who came in with six of his team's nine sacks, is pretty much it when it comes to the Chiefs pass rush. When Long took him out of the game, that made things easy for Moore and the Dolphins offense.

-- Another nice game by Reggie Bush, who is starting to become the back the Dolphins had hoped for when they made the trade with New Orleans. Whether he can continue this, pardon the pun, nice run remains to be seen, but the offense now has intriguing potential the way he's running.

-- Nice to see the tight end finally involved, with Anthony Fasano catching two touchdown passes and Charles Clay catching back-to-back passses of 20-plus yards. Note to Brian Daboll: Clay can play, he can get downfield, make sure he gets the ball on a regular basis.

-- Speaking of getting the ball, anybody seen Brian Hartline lately? That's two straight games without a catch. Here's the sad truth, though: It doesn't matter whether he catches the ball.

-- Nice to see Brandon Marshall catch the ball in the end zone. It was a long time coming.

-- Moving over to the defense, this is what the big deal was about Kevin Burnett. He took a lot of criticism in the first six weeks of the season and it was justified. But he was very good against the Giants and he was even better against Kansas City.

-- Same goes for Karlos Dansby, and those whispers about him playing hurt early in the season certainly would make sense. He's really been ballin' the last couple of weeks.

-- It was good to see the Dolphins blitz often against a Kansas City offense that was clearly out of sync. That's how you get five sacks, even though Cameron Wake had only half a sack and wasn't much of a factor. The Dolphins can't always rely on him to provide the pressure.

-- In the secondary, Tyrone Culver hasn't made big plays at free safety, but he nonetheless has been a big improvement over Reshad Jones.

-- Moving over to free safety, Yeremiah Bell was flagged for two unnecessary roughness penalties, we'll side with him one of the two. The penalty he got for hitting Dwayne Bowe near the sideline after a catch was a flat-out bad call because it was a shoulder-to-chest hit with no helmet involved. On the other one, though, Yeremiah, buddy, you can't fling a running back to the ground after he's already out of bounds and not expect a flag. That was just dumb.

-- Overall, though, it was a thoroughly impressive effort by the Dolphins, one which makes you think they could win a few more games the rest of the way but also one which makes you wonder why it took so long to get that first victory.


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