Final Game 14 Observations

Tuesday is the one day off for every team in the NFL; for us, it's the day we take a final look at the most recent game before we start focusing on the upcoming opponent. So here are some final thoughts about the 22-16 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Hallelujah! There will be no 0-16 record for the Dolphins this season, although it sure looked like they would get to 0-14 against Baltimore, which would have meant 0-15 after Sunday's loss at New England.

Two thoughts came to mind as we watched Dolphins players celebrate after Greg Camarillo's game-winning touchdown as though they had just won the Super Bowl -- or at the very least a playoff game: 1) The celebration showed just how badly the Dolphins wanted to avoid the kind of infamy that would have accompanied an 0-16 record and 2) It was almost sad to watch a team get this happy while the standings indicated they still had a 1-13 record.

Sadly, though, that's the state of affairs in South Florida.

Make no mistake, winning the game was great, but it doesn't change the fact the Dolphins really are in bad shape right now. It took a reeling, battered opponent to come to Miami to get the job done and then a choke job by both the head coach and normally reliable kicker.

For Brian Billick to go for a game-tying field goal instead of going for the victory on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line was pathetic, really, and the point also should be made that it was shocking the previous play wasn't reviewed (triggering the review had to come from upstairs because the play came with under two minutes left) because Ravens wideout Devard Darling came awfully close to scoring on that play.

Then came the choke job by Matt Stover, who pulled a 44-yard field goal attempt in overtime after the Dolphins let the Ravens get in position to win the game with nothing but running plays. It actually looked like a replay of the overtime against Washington.

LEMON ON TARGET: Cleo Lemon played a big part in the Dolphins' first victory of the season, and in the second half and overtime looked like someone the Dolphins should think about keeping as a backup next season. Lemon will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, and it will be interesting to see how much interest he draws. The Dolphins should make an effort to re-sign him, but only as a backup because the future -- we've said this before -- at quarterback needs to be John Beck, and not Cleo Lemon.

POOCH PROBLEMS: It's obvious the Dolphins special teams are really bad, but the Dolphins were overdoing it with the pooch kicks against Baltimore. The one at the end of the game, especially, could have been very costly. It went out of bounds and gave Baltimore to ball at its 40-yard line to start its final drive, which came very close to ending in a game-winning touchdown. The Dolphins simply can't play that scared all the time; if they're going to, then just have Jay Feely kick it really high and really short so the opposing team will be forced to call for a fair catch at, say, the 30-yard line.

THE BOOK ON BOOKER: As Lorenzo Booker continue to make things happen in the passing game, we're still faced with the same question: Why the hell did it take so long for him to get into the lineup? If used properly, Booker could have been a weapon as a third-down back the entire season. What the game against Baltimore also showed, though, is that his role always will need to be limited. He touched the ball 10 times against the Ravens and was shaken up twice. He's simply too small to ever become more than a change-of-pace guy, but he should have been that much earlier this season.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and To read him every day, visit and become a Miami Dolphins insider.