Dolphins finally get some breaks

OK, so the Dolphins probably should have lost Sunday's game against Baltimore, but the argument could be made there are a couple of games they lost that they easily could have won. Besides, in a year when Miami has been hit by bad break after bad break, it was nice for the Dolphins to finally get a few of their own against Baltimore.

And, make no mistake, the Dolphins got several lucky breaks on Sunday.

The most obvious, of course, was getting Matt Stover to miss a 44-yard field goal attempt in overtime. Stover is a reliable kicker, and when he lined up for that kick he seemed reasonable to expect loss No. 14.

Then there was Brian Billick's ridiculous decision to kick an 18-yard field goal in the final seconds instead of going for the victory right then and there on fourth down from the 1-yard line. The Ravens were 4-9 at the time, so it just didn't make a lot of sense for them not to go for the victory, especially the way rookie quarterback Troy Smith had led them to that position in the first place.

The final play that was fortuitous for the Dolphins happened in the third quarter after Miami had cut Baltimore's lead to 13-10.

On a third-and-6 from the Ravens 39, starting quarterback Kyle Boller fired a deep pass over the middle to Devard Darling, who not only failed to come up with what should have been about a 45-yard completion but deflected the pass right into the hands of cornerback Michael Lehan.

The issue here isn't whether the Dolphins deserved to win because they more than held their own against an inept Baltimore team, but rather the fact they finally were able to get some breaks.

The victory also allowed Cam Cameron to escape some major criticism for the decision to have Jay Feely kick off close to the sideline so many times, including the kick after Feely's field goal gave the Dolphins a 16-13 lead with under two minutes left.

Cameron explained after the game that the Dolphins had coverage concerns and also were trying to make it tough on Baltimore returner Yamon Figurs.

But the move backfired when Feely's kick went out of bounds to give the Ravens the ball at their own 40-yard line.

In two plays, Baltimore already was in field goal position and a little later they were in position to win the game.

There's no guarantee the Ravens would have scored a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1 had they gone for it, but the odds certainly seemed to be in their favor.

Put it this way, the Dolphins had to think they had gotten a major break when Billick wimped out and called for a field goal.

They also might have been thinking: "It's about time we get a break."


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