FIEDLER FLAW

Jay Fiedler never has received the credit he deserves from a segment of Dolphins fans who simply can't let go of Dan Marino. Having said that, however, Fiedler seems to have reverted to a nasty habit of making that one crucial mistake every game.

It happened in the opener against Houston when his sideline pass to Derrius Thompson was intercepted, setting up the Texans' game-winning field goal.

And it happened last Sunday night against Buffalo when Fiedler hurried a pass with a blitzer in his face and watched it get intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Bills cornerback Nate Clements.

Coach Dave Wannstedt called out Fiedler for that play, saying the quarterback should have thrown the ball to the flat on the right side or simply thrown it away. Wannstedt used the term "managing the game better."

Clearly, Fiedler isn't good enough a quarterback to overcome those type of mistakes.

The best football of his career came early last season, and one of the reasons was that Fiedler was making some throws, making some plays with his legs and, most importantly, was avoiding the key mistakes.

Part of those mistakes stems from Fiedler's competitiveness, his desire to make something happen. But Fiedler also is a very sharp guy, and he has to know he's not physically gifted enough to be taking risks.

The Dolphins can win with Fiedler, let's make that clear. But they won't win because of him. They will win because of the running of Ricky Williams and strong defense.

What the Dolphins can't have is finding themselves in a position where they have to win despite Fiedler.


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