REPORT CARD

Breaking down how every unit on the Dolphins performed in the 30-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

QUARTERBACKS — Ray Lucas didn't do anything spectacular against the Chargers, but he was very efficient and he didn't turn the ball over for the second consecutive week. On this day, that was all that was needed of him. Sage Rosenfels saw mop-up action late in the fourth quarter. Grade: B

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams was simply brilliant against the Chargers. Yes, he was the beneficiary of some great blocking, but he also made some great cuts and beat defenders to gain extra yardage. Fullback Rob Konrad was a factor in the passing game early in the game. But the big story on this day was the running of Williams. Grade: A

RECEIVERS — James McKnight continues to make big plays in the absence of Cris Carter. He had a touchdown catch in the first half, and then he later took a short Lucas pass, fell down, got up and raced 77 yards to set up an Olindo Mare field goal. Chris Chambers had a few nice catches down the sidelines. The tight ends were very quiet. But overall, there were no obvious drops. Grade: B+

OFFENSIVE LINE — This may have been this unit's best performance of the season. There were gaping holes opened in the running game throughout the day, particularly up the middle. And this came against the third-ranked rushing defense in the league. The pass protection also was good, with Lucas getting sacked only once. Grade: A

DEFENSIVE LINE — The Dolphins dominated on defense, and it started up front. Jason Taylor had two sacks and toyed with the Chargers offensive line. Everybody up front played well, and that helped shut down Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Grade: A

LINEBACKERS — Zach Thomas came up with the first big play of the game when he intercepted a Drew Brees pass to set up a field goal. Thomas was all over the field. Derrick Rodgers also had a very good game, and it would have been even better had he been able to hold on to a potential second-half interception. Morlon Greenwood didn't play much, but made a couple of nice plays. Grade: A-

DEFENSIVE BACKS — The Chargers did nothing downfield in the passing game against the Dolphins. Patrick Surtain was absolutely brilliant. He had a sack and should have had an interception, but it was negated by an atrocious roughing-the-passer call on Zach Thomas. The only negatives here were a stupid personal foul by Sam Madison and a holding call on Jamar Fletcher that gave San Diego a first down. But that's getting picky. This was a dominant effort. Grade: A-

SPECIAL TEAMS — The Dolphins were solid in this area as well. Mark Royals never gave San Diego a chance to return a punt, the kickoff coverage teams were excellent, Robert Baker had a couple of nice returns and Mare made a couple of field goals. Mare did miss a 54-yard attempt in the second half, but overall it was a good performance. Grade: B


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