Game observations

This might be getting old, but somebody needs to tell offensive coordinator Scott Linehan he's not with the Minnesota Vikings anymore. For the second week in a row, the Dolphins abandoned their running game when they had a chance to tie the game and for the second week in a row they paid the price.

Against the Patriots, the Dolphins called for four consecutive passes after they got a first-and-goal at the New England 5-yard line. This despite the fact they had 58 seconds and two timeouts at their disposal.

As we asked last week, aren't Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams the two best players on the Dolphins offense? Shouldn't they at least have gotten a carry or two?

In addition, the plays on first and second down were fade passes to Marty Booker and Chris Chambers. Two problems with that. One, neither Booker or Chambers is Randy Moss. Sure, the Dolphins had gotten a touchdown on the same play with Chambers before, but it remains a low-percentage play.

Second, the plays were run in a corner of the end zone where the receivers had to look into the sun. Chambers said after the game he couldn't even see the ball.

Coach Nick Saban didn't criticize the play-calling, per se, after the game, but his tone and his words made it clear he wasn't happy with it.

"We didn't give ourselves the kind of chances we would hope to give ourselves," he said.

The truth is it wasn't the play-calling that cost the Dolphins the game, nor was the inability of the secondary to stop Tom Brady after the Dolphins had taken a 16-15 lead.

Rather, it was the inability to make the most of their opportunities in the first half when the Dolphins clearly were outplaying New England and really should have gone into halftime with a bigger lead than 7-3.

Olindo Mare's 31-yard miss on a field goal attempt was bad. So was Randy McMichael's fumble as he was getting up after making an unnecessary dive for a catch.

That fumble not only cost the Dolphins a scoring opportunity, but it also gave Brady a chance to put up a field goal before halftime.

So instead of 7-3, it easily could have been 13-0 or 17-0.

Then again, that's why the Dolphins are 3-6 today.

Their effort actually wasn't bad at all on Sunday, but finding a way to win still remains an issue.


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