ONE LAST LOOK

The Dolphins did a lot of good things in Sunday's game against the New York Jets, but not enough to avoid their third consecutive loss. Here are some final observations from the game.

-- There were some suggestions Coach Dave Wannstedt made a mistake when he decided to punt early in the fourth quarter from the Jets 36-yard line instead of having Olindo Mare attempt a 54-yard field goal. To that, we say, get real.

Yes, Mare nailed a 53-yarder to win the game at Denver, but this was a much tougher attempt. For one thing, the Dolphins were going into a slight wind; for another, the field wasn't in great condition; for yet another, the Dolphins defense was playing great and this was an opportunity to pin the Jets back.

They did just that, with New York starting its next possession at its own 11-yard line.

Contrary to what many have said, the Jets did not score on that possession. They punted from their own 20 and the Dolphins got the ball back in great field position, at their own 46-yard line.

They weren't unable to capitalize on the field position and wound up having to punt again, pinning the Jets down at the 11-yard line.

The Dolphins were winning the field position battle and putting themselves in position to eventually cash in, but everything fell apart when the Jets hit that big 42-yard pass play from Chad Pennington to Laveranues Coles.

The odds of Mare making that 54-yard field goal were very poor, and a miss would have given the Jets the ball at their own 44. That was the right call by Wannstedt, no question about it.

-- By the letter of the rule, it appears official Larry Nemmers was right to overturn Chris Chambers' apparent touchdown in the second quarter, but everyone is in agreement that it is one dumb rule.

When Chambers got the second foot in bounds with possession, that should have been it. Touchdown. End of story.

But the rule says clearly that you have to maintain possession as you hit the ground, something Chambers apparently didn't do.

-- Jason Taylor was absolutely right to criticize the officiating, even though it's going to wind up costing him some money.

It's almost a lock that he will be fined by the league after saying the officials "sucked tonight."

While you can debate the Chambers call or the Ricky Williams fumble call, there were a couple of defensive holding penalties on the Dolphins that were bogus, and the non-call on Damien Robinson's body-slam of Jed Weaver when Weaver was way out of bounds was a joke.

-- As Wannstedt pointed out in his Monday press conference, the two holding calls on Patrick Surtain were legitimate.

Surtain also was guilty of not getting a jam on Coles at the line of scrimmage on the big 42-yard pass play, which allowed Coles to sprint past Surtain and safety Brock Marion.

Let's be frank here: Surtain is among the top handful of cornerbacks in the league, but he had probably his worst game of the season against the Jets.


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