REPORT CARD

Here's a breakdown of how every unit performed in the 38-21 loss at Buffalo.

QUARTERBACKS — Ray Lucas was great on the Dolphins' second touchdown drive of the first half, but what he did best Sunday was hand off to Ricky Williams. The Dolphins didn't do anything in the passing game after the first quarter. Lucas didn't get great pass protection, but he looked hesitant in the pocket and didn't show great awareness. After Lucas got hurt, Jay Fiedler came in and he contributed to the fourth-quarter collapse by letting a ball slip out of his hands for an easy interception. Sage Rosenfels came in for mop-up duty late in the game. Grade: C-

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams was simply sensational. Period. Rob Konrad wasn't used in the passing game, but should have been. Konrad did do a good job blocking. Grade: A

RECEIVERS — The wide receivers weren't a factor after the first quarter because the Dolphins never threw downfield. But tight end Randy McMichael made a costly and stupid mistake when he held the ball away from him to gain extra yardage late in the third quarter when he wasn't going to come close to the first down anyway. Bad. Grade: C

OFFENSIVE LINE — In the running game, the offensive line was very, very good. In pass protection, the offensive line was very, very mediocre. Jamie Nails got beat for the sack that resulted in the huge Lucas fumble right before halftime and Mark Dixon also was beaten for a sack. But when someone rushes for 228 yards, it's hard to be too tough on the guys up front. Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE LINE — The Dolphins finished with four sacks and generally applied good pressure on Drew Bledsoe. But the defensive line was too easily blocked in the running game, which enable Travis Henry to rush for over 100 yards again. Grade: B-

LINEBACKERS — Not good. Zach Thomas missed more tackles than he usually does, although the weather conditions certainly didn't help, and he dropped a catchable interception in the first. Morlon Greenwood was invisible, while Derrick Rodgers was called for pass interference on Buffalo's first TD drive. Grade: D

DEFENSIVE BACKS — Ugh. This might have been worse than the Kansas City fiasco. Let's see, Patrick Surtain, Jamar Fletcher and Sam Madison all dropped potential interceptions and in Madison's case the ricochet went to Eric Moulds for a long touchdown. In addition, Arturo Freeman was nowhere near Peerless Price on a 20-yard route in the third quarter, then missed the tackle, allowing Price to turn the play into a 73-yard touchdown. In addition, Freeman and Brock Marion didn't get close to Price on a 20-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter. Simply awful. Grade: F

SPECIAL TEAMS — The wind played a big part in this game and it showed up a lot in the kicking game. Mark Royals' 24-yard punt in the second quarter gave Buffalo great field position at the start of its first touchdown drive. Travis Minor was shaky catching the ball on kickoff returns at first, but he later helped the Dolphins start at their own 38-yard line following three Buffalo scores. The coverage teams were solid. Grade: C


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