REPORT CARD

Here's a breakdown of how every unit on the Dolphins performed in the 21-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

QUARTERBACKS — Jay Fiedler again completed a high percentage of his passes (going 13-for-18) and he made some nice plays running the ball, including a 1-yard touchdown bootleg in the first half. Fiedler also came up with a potential game-saving play when he recovered his own fumble after being hit from behind late in the fourth quarter. The one negative was his interception, which swung the momentum early in the second half but at least it wasn't a case of making a bad decision. Fiedler simply overthrew Oronde Gadsden on a crossing pattern. But overall it was a strong performance by Fiedler. Grade: B

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. Damn, that guy looks good. 111 yards against Detroit. 132 more against the Colts, and tack on a 52-yard gain on a screen pass and a receiving touchdown. The guy has been phenomenal so far. Rob Konrad also caught a touchdown pass, and should be used more often. Robert Edwards dropped a screen pass on a third-and-long that wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway. Travis Minor got some carries but didn't look good at all. But this was all about Ricky. Grade: A-

RECEIVERS — Another good performance. Chris Chambers made some big plays, tight end Randy McMichael again was a factor. The one negative was a clear drop by Gadsden early in the first quarter, but the Dolphins scored a touchdown on that drive anyway. Chambers did have a costly holding penalty on a Ricky Williams run, and McMichael was called for a false start. Grade: B

OFFENSIVE LINE — Not nearly as impressive an effort as against Detroit. Todd Wade was called for holding, Mark Dixon was badly beaten on the play when Chad Bratzke knocked the ball away form Fiedler (and that play could have been HUGE). The overall blocking slowed down in the second half as the Colts were making their comeback. Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE LINE — The goal-line stand in the third quarter was a key in the game and the defensive line deserves a lot of credit for that. That sequence alone made up for the fact that the D-line had a rough day. Edgerrin James had big running lanes all afternoon and Peyton Manning was not sacked. Adewale Ogunleye was penalized for going offside in the fourth quarter. Grade: C-

LINEBACKERS — We've knocked the outside linebackers in the past for not making big plays, but Derrick Rodgers certainly did Sunday with his first-quarter interception. Tommy Hendricks also came up with a huge play when he made the initial hit on James on the fourth-and-goal stop. Zach Thomas was fairly quiet, although he did make a couple of nice plays. But, again, James ran free way too often. Grade: C

DEFENSIVE BACKS — If anyone was wondering why the Dolphins have been looking for another cornerback, Sunday provided the answer. Jamar Fletcher was simply overmatched whenever he went up against Marvin Harrison (which was way too often). There also were too many penalties on the secondary, with Arturo Freeman and Sam Madison being among those called. Losing Patrick Surtain when he made an interception on the last defensive play of the first half really, really hurt. Fletcher also had a pick, and safety Brock Marion came up with two huge plays on the last drive of the game, first knocking the ball loose from Reggie Wayne to negate what would have been a long completion and then knocking Manning's las-gasp pass in the end zone away from Qadry Ismail. Grade: C

SPECIAL TEAMS — Albert Johnson again struggled on kick returns, showing more hesitation than explosiveness. Olindo Mare missed his first field-goal attempt of the season when he pushed a 29-yard chip shot wide right. That almost proved very costly. On the flip side, punter Mark Royals had a good day and the coverage teams were good.


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