Final Game 12 Observations

While the Dolphins are wrapping up their first practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, we take our customary final look at the most recent game, in this case the 34-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

• This one was about the running game, both the Dolphins' ability to run the ball and their ability to stop the Raiders' ground game.

• Offensively, kudos to the offensive line for manhandling the Raiders' front four and opening big holes for both Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas.

• The performance was especially impressive considering the unit was minus one starter, right guard Vernon Carey.

• The defensive effort in the run game might have been even more stellar, especially when you consider this one number: Michael Bush's longer run of the game was 3 yards.

• Of course, the run defense started up front with the big guys, in particular Paul Soliai, Kendall Langford, Randy Starks and Jared Odrick.

• It also was a huge game for the linebackers, in particular Kevin Burnett. Was told he was a running back in high school, and that explains his eye-opening return after his interception.

Vontae Davis, meanwhile, had yet another great game at cornerback. He is playing the best football of his career right now.

• Offensively, the passing game wasn't overly impressive, but we again saw a couple of deep completions. That's been a constant this season, through the good and bad. Those who complained last year about the team's in ability to stretch the field have no room to complain in 2011.

• Among the few disappointments on Sunday were a couple of drops by rookie tight end Charles Clay. We hadn't seen that out of him this season, so hopefully it was an aberration.

• The Dolphins also could have closed out the game a little better. Giving up those two late touchdowns wasn't ideal, especially the T.J. Houshmandzadeh score when there clearly was a blown coverage.

• Then again, it's not like we're going to get overly picky after such an overwhelming performance. It was the team's third-largest margin of victory this season, but undoubtedly the Dolphins' most impressive performance to date.


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