Up-and-down night on offense

One quick look at the final stats of Saturday night's 16-5 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars might make one think the Dolphins had a pretty good night on offense. Let's see, 383 total yards, 122 yards rushing with a 5.1 per-carry average. Hmm, not too bad. Yes, but stats sometimes can lie. It wasn't nearly that easy for the Dolphins.

Nowhere else do the numbers lie more than the running game. That's because of Fred Russell's 88-yard jaunt on the next-to-last play of the game.

It came after the Dolphins defense had put together a goal-line stand, after the outcome had been decided, at a time when some expected the Dolphins to simply kneel down.

Take away that run and the Dolphins managed only 34 yards on 23 attempts. You don't have to be a math major to realize that it's pathetic.

The two backs projected at this point to lead the ground game -- Travis Minor and Sammy Morris -- combined for 9 yards on nine carries.

Ouch.

Tight end Randy McMichael said the problem against Jacksonville was that the Jaguars were doing a lot of stunting up front and the Dolphins really hadn't spent much time working on that in preparation for the game.

Fullback Rob Konrad, for his part, blamed the poor numbers on the fact Jacksonville has one of the best defensive lines in the league, which it does -- but only at tackle.

Regardless of the reason, the starting offensive line created no holes whatsoever in the running game.

Minor didn't look very impressive running the ball, but he had practically no chance.

The passing game, on the other hand, was a little more encouraging.

Both Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley actually looked pretty good.

Feeley probably made more pretty throws than Fiedler did, but he also had the two big mistakes, an interception on a pass that was tipped at the line and a bad intentional grounding penalty that put the Dolphins at their own 2-yard line and led to a Jacksonville safety.

The first play was the result of good penetration by the Jacksonville defensive line, but Feeley seemed slow to react to the outside pressure on the grounding penalty.

The two quarterbacks also had to deal with a depleted receiver corps, which lost another member when Kendall Newson went down with a leg injury in the first half.

Coach Dave Wannstedt said at halftime that Newson had "popped" his Achilles tendon, which would mean he'll be gone for a long while.

The Dolphins already began the game without Chris Chambers, Derrius Thompson and Terrence Wilkins, not to mention David Boston.

In their absence, the guy who stood out was Ronald Bellamy, but he still doesn't seem that likely to make the final roster.

J.R. Tolver, who is running out of chances to make an impression, had a rough night because of a couple of procedure penalties.

Finally, the other bad news on Saturday were a couple of injuries to the two guys who were battling for the fifth cornerback spot, Alphonso Roundtree and Korey Banks.

Banks sustained what was described as a "C-spine" injury when he was hit in the head by the knee of Jaguars rookie wide receiver Reggie Wllliams after a catch. Banks was immobilized and then taken on the field on a stretcher.

As for Roundtree, he sustained a leg injury while returning a punt. The Dolphins didn't reveal the nature of the injury, but medical staff put an air cast on Roundtree's left leg, making a fracture a reasonable assumption.


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