REPORT CARD

Here's a breakdown of how every unit performed in the Dolphins' 17-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

QUARTERBACK — It certainly wasn't a glorious performance by Jay Fiedler, who was intercepted twice and easily could have had another pick. Fiedler continues to misfire every time he tries to go deep and he missed an open Chris Chambers down the middle on a bomb. He also rushed a pass outside when he was blitzed, and the result was an interception that Bills cornerback Nate Clements returned for a touchdown. Fiedler did have a nice 8-yard run for a first down on a quarterback draw. Grade: C+

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams certainly carried a full load, carrying a team-record 42 times for 153 yards. Williams fought hard for his yards and wound up averaging only 3.6 yards per carry. Williams also didn't have much success as a receiver, with three catches for minus-4 yards. Travis Minor didn't touch the ball after being impressive against the Jets, and that was strange. Rob Konrad couldn't come up with an overthrown Fiedler pass the only time he was targeted. Williams was the big story on offense, though. Grade: B-

RECEIVERS — Chambers is on fire. He had five catches for 51 yards and one touchdown, and his numbers would have been much better had Fiedler been able to hit him on a couple of deep passes. Randy McMichael also had a nice game, with four catches. Derrius Thompson finally was a factor, while James McKnight also had a key first-down catch. There were no clear drops that we could see, although McKnight never turned around on the pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Grade: B

OFFENSIVE LINE — Jay Fiedler was sacked once and generally was given decent production. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of big holes produced by the offensive line. Penalties were not a problem up front this week, and that was a big plus. It certainly wasn't a dominant performance, but it was solid. Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE LINE — Tremendous work. This unit set the tone on defense. Adewale Ogunleye was terrible impressive, with two sacks and a nice tackle dropping into coverage. Tim Bowens also had a sack and he helped the middle of the defensive line shut down the Buffalo running game. Good stuff. Grade: A

LINEBACKERS — Zach Thomas again led the team in tackles, although he didn't necessarily stand out. Junior Seau had a couple of nice plays, including a sack in the third quarter. Morlon Greenwood again didn't get much playing time. As well as the entire defense played, this unit shares some of the credit. Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE BACKS — Again, a tremendous performance. The obvious are the interceptions by Patrick Surtain, Brock Marion and Sammy Knight, but the Dolphins also held Eric Moulds to only two catches and didn't give a completion longer than 18 yards. Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS — Not very good. Mark Royals continues to be very unimpressive, lacking the ability to nail the corner on pooch punts or to unleash a big punt when the Dolphins are backed up. Charlie Rogers didn't do much returning kicks, either, failing in his quest to show the Bills they made a mistake in not re-signing him. On the positive side, the Dolphins didn't allow any long returns. Grade: C-


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