A strange night

There was just a very weird atmosphere at Pro Player Stadium Sunday night when the Dolphins took on the Cleveland Browns. Maybe it was because the big news wasn't so much the game as it was the Nick Saban hiring. Or maybe it was that we were watching a meaningless game between two bad teams. Or maybe it was the Dolphins' all-aqua uniforms. Nah, we like those. In fact, they may have been the best things about this night.

The game was nothing short of painful to watch, and you have to be working or be a serious football fan to sit through its entirety.

Cleveland is an awful football team right now, perhaps even challenging the 49ers for distinction of worst at this moment, yet the Dolphins couldn't put them away.

The Browns ran the ball all night, a few yards at a clip, while the Dolphins just couldn't mount any sustained drives.

It was a big downer for the Dolphins after the thrilling win over New England, but maybe it was good in that it served as a reminder that the Dolphins have a long way to go and a lot of work to do this offseason.

It was good to see Olindo Mare nail a 51-yard field goal to win the game, but can someone explain the decision to have Mare pooch-punt from field-goal formation in the third quarter?

Mare's punt went 19 yards and was returned 17 yards, for a whopping 2 net yards.

A.J. Feeley also had some nice moments, and he went interception-free for the second time in three games. But he threw short all night and continued to show no pocket presence and no feel for the pass rush.

Really, it was that type of night all the way through.

Derrius Thompson made a really nice catch in the end zone, but then dropped a soft pass right in his hands.

Arturo Freeman intercepts a deep pass from Cleveland QB Luke McCown, but then a bloopers reel ensues: Freeman laterals to Patrick Surtain as he's being tackled; Surtain drops the ball, picks it up and starts running; Surtain laterals to Sam Madison; Madison bobbles the ball before grasping it; Madison fumbles when he's hit from the side; the Browns recover the fumble and wind up gaining 30-some yards on the wacky play.

The victory gave Jim Bates a 3-3 record as interim head coach since taking over for Dave Wannstedt, but the Dolphins have been in every game. On the flip side, two of three victories have come against the 49ers and Browns.

The overall feeling at the game, really, is that the season really need to end for the Dolphins. Mercifully, it does after just one more game.


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