ONE LAST LOOK

With the Dolphins off Tuesday before their begin preparations for Sunday's game at Denver, here are some final observations from the big victory over the New England Patriots.

-- WR James McKnight's 35-yard catch down the sideline, which set up the Dolphins' final touchdown, was the perfect example of how this guy should be used. With him and Chris Chambers lining up outside, that opens up the possibility of hitting the deep ball.

McKnight simply has too much straight-ahead speed not to take advantage of it.

Said Coach Dave Wannstedt: "He's had some adversity. To see a guy like that show up and be a big part of a big win, it was great to see."

-- As impressive as Ricky Williams has been running with the ball, he's got to stop fumbling.

Wannstedt pointed out that Williams fumbled against New England while having both hands around the ball at the time he was hit by linebacker Tedy Bruschi. True, but Williams also had the ball on the right side of his body as he was running to the left. If he'd had the ball on his left side, Bruschi's arm wouldn't have made direct contact with the ball and the fumble probably wouldn't have occurred.

Yes, we know this is getting picky because of the great Williams has done, but he has now fumbled four times in the last three weeks, even though one fumble against Kansas City didn't go down as a fumble because officials incorrectly ruled he was down before the ball came out.

-- As always, Jamar Fletcher was a topic of conversation after the New England game, this time because of the touchdown pass he allowed.

But Wannstedt was correct when he pointed out that Fletcher had good coverage all day against the Patriots, even on the touchdown. What happened is that he never turned around to look at the ball and was beaten on the play.

Said Wannstedt: "The nature of the position is that it doesn't allow for mistakes. Overall, he's playing good. He just has to eliminate those one or two mistakes every game."

-- Although he was called for a false-start penalty, Marcus Spriggs did a good job stepping in for injured Mark Dixon at left tackle.

The Dolphins allowed one sack against New England, and it came when the right side of the offensive line failed to pick up a blitzer.

-- It became pretty obvious what a difference Patrick Surtain makes when he's in the lineup.

As Wannstedt pointed out, it's not just Surtain himself, but the fact that his tremendous coverage ability allows the Dolphins to concentrate their coverage in other areas.

-- One of the most pleasing aspects of the victory for Wannstedt was the fact the Dolphins were penalized only five times, including an intentional delay of game they took to give Mark Royals more room on a punt in New England territory.

Said Wannstedt: "The psyche of our team and playing the game pretty clean, those were the most encouraging things."

-- Finally, game balls were awarded to WR Chris Chambers, DE Jason Taylor and CB Ray Green.

Green only made one play, but it was huge, as he came up with the loose ball after Dedric Ward muffed a punt in Dolphins territory with the score 16-6 in the third quarter.


Dolphins Report Top Stories