Game observations

The Dolphins put on quite a show Sunday afternoon in handling the Denver Broncos. Not everything was perfect, particularly early, but it was still probably than anyone could have anticipated following a lackluster preseason. What follows are some observations from Sunday's season opener.

-- Perhaps the biggest key for the Dolphins on Sunday was stopping the Denver running game, and other than a 30-yard run by Tatum Bell the Dolphins were outstanding in that department. The goal-line stand was particularly impressive, most notably the work of Zach Thomas.

-- We would encourage you to watch the work of nose tackle Keith Traylor on running plays. There was one play in the second half where his right arm was being held by the offensive lineman and he basically stopped cold the runner with only the left side of his body. Impressive stuff.

-- Nick Saban obviously made the right choice when he picked Gus Frerotte to be the starting quarterback. Frerotte had one errant pass that was picked off, but overall he was very solid in throwing for 275 yards.P>-- How refreshing was it to see the Dolphins throw on first down after they took possession at their own 40 with a 10-point lead and nine minutes left! That practically never happened under the old regime.

-- Ronnie Brown is one tough running back. We'd like to see a little more wiggle in his running, but no one can ever question his ability to drag defenders.

-- The offensive line, other than three pre-snap penalties, did a very, very good job. That, perhaps as much as anything, was encouraging.

-- The secondary also did a very good job in coverage, and that clearly was a concern coming in.

-- Wes Welker had a fumble in the fourth quarter that led to the Denver touchdown, but the guy makes so many plays as a receiver and returner that he can be forgiven that one misstep.

-- The play-calling was very good on offense. We didn't like a pass backward to Ronnie Brown on a fourth-and-1 from the Denver 44 late in the first half, but overall there were several good calls, including several quick throws to Chris Chambers with the cornerback playing well off him.


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