ONE LAST LOOK

Before the Dolphins turn their attention to the Chicago Bears, here are some final thoughts on the loss at Buffalo.

-- TE Randy McMichael deserves some criticism for his regrettable decision to try to extend the ball only to have it slapped away for a costly turnover. But you've also got to give the guy credit for going all out, something Coach Dave Wannstedt pointed out after the game.

"Was that a smart play? No, but the young kid is trying to give a fanatical effort," Wannstedt said. "He was trying to get the first down. It wasn't a smart play and he will learn from that."

-- The Dolphins made some costly mental mistakes during the game, perhaps none more as glaring being the failure to pick up linebacker Keith Newman on a blitz.

As a result, Newman came in free and wacked Ray Lucas from behind, knocking him out of the game. Newman ran right by Travis Minor on the play, while Minor was slipping out of the backfield to run a route.

Lucas also deserves some of the blame on that play, because he totally failed to recognize the situation.

-- Brock Marion didn't make the glaring mistakes his secondary teammates made, but he had just as bad a game, if not worse. He reacted way too slowly on Peerless Price's corner route on his first-half touchdown, then let Eric Moulds get behind the secondary on the long touchdown pass that was deflected by cornerback Sam Madison.

Madison is the one who got the blame for that play because he got his hands on the ball, but Marion is the deep guy and he's supposed to be providing deep help on that help — which he obviously didn't do.

-- Wannstedt indicated that Lucas should have thrown the ball away on the fourth-down pass when he realized the intended receivers were covered.

Lucas' instincts were to hang in there until somebody broke free to try to get the first down as opposed to giving Buffalo the ball on downs. But Lucas should have known better than to stay in the pocket so long and should have scrambled instead to give himself a chance.

-- One of the big mysteries of the Dolphins' two games against Buffalo is the amount of pressure generated by the Bills pass rush.

This isn't the Doomsday Defense we're talking about here, yet the Bills got consistent pressure on Dolphins quarterbacks in both games.

-- Buffalo's success running the ball, oftentimes outside, for the second consecutive matchup reinforced the idea that the Dolphins need to get a big-time outside linebacker in the offseason.

Derrick Rodgers has made some plays this season and everybody on the team keeps talking about the great improvement of Morlon Greenwood, but the truth is the Dolphins haven't had a difference-maker at that position for way too long.


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