Was that really the Dolphins?

How does the saying go, necessity is the mother of invention? Or something like that. Whatever, there had to be some reason the Dolphins unleashed more gadget plays Sunday than they had in all of Dave Wannstedt's previous games as Dolphins head coach combined. Was it desperation? A sense of nothing to lose? Letting it all hang out? Did it come as an order from the top, as was suggested? That's the million dollar question on Monday.

But instead of wondering why it happened, we prefer to revel in the fact that it did -- finally -- happen. And the team that may have been the most boring in the NFL (or close to it) actually was fun to watch for a day.

Let's recap. First quarter: Wide receiver Marty Booker receives a handoff from Sammy Morris on a double-reverse, pulls up and hits Chris Chambers for a 48-yard gain that sets up a touchdown.

Second quarter: Morris takes a pitch-out on third-and-1 from the Rams 28-yard line and pulls up with the intention of throwing a pass to Chambers downfield. But Chambers is covered and Morris winds up sacked for a 9-yard loss that knocks the Dolphins out of field goal range.

Second quarter: After a Marc Bulger touchdown ties the game 7-7, Wes Welker receives the kickoff and starts upfield before handing off to Bryan Gilmore coming across the field. Gilmore sprints downfield to complete a 63-yard return that sets up a touchdown.

Third quarter: The Dolphins face a fourth-and-1 from their own 40 and line up in punt formation. But the ball is snapped to Morris, the up-back, and he runs 6 yards for a first down.

Wow. What happened to the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust Dolphins.

But that wasn't all. Even if this wouldn't classify as a gadget play, the Dolphins threw the ball downfield on third-and-28 from the Rams 42-yard line in the second quarter and the result was a 42-yard touchdown by Randy McMichael.

The Dolphins also threw a third-and-7 from their own 29 nursing a 24-14 lead with 4:34 left. Jay Fiedler hit Chambers with a short slant and Chambers split two defenders before racing to the end zone for the game-clinching touchdown.

That might not seem like much, but the Dolphins typically don't throw in that situation, nor do they throw downfield on third-and-28.

Never mind all the trick plays. Heck, the last time a non-quarterback had thrown a pass for the Dolphins before Sunday was 2000 when Lamar Smith did it.

To say Dave Wannstedt likes to play it close to the vest is like saying Britney Spears isn't bad to look at.

But that strategy only works under the most ideal of circumstances, and those are not the Dolphins' circumstances this season.

The Dolphins finally took chances on Sunday, and they were rewarded on three of four occasions. Those plays not only produced big results in terms of yardage, but they also energized the crowd and pumped up the players as well.

The Dolphins need to do more of this. That might be the only chance they have against some of the teams remaining on the schedule.

Besides, even if they don't work, at least it will make the games more interesting to watch.


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