Final Game 5 Observations

Tuesday is the off day in the NFL, the day before preparations begin for the next game. It's also an opportunity to take a final look back at the most recent game, in this case the Dolphins' 29-28 loss to the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.

-- Let's take care of the obvious stuff first: Ted Ginn Jr. becomes more and more disappointing every game. One catch for minus-1 yard against Houston? Absolutely pathetic. Ninth overall pick in the draft. Yikes!

-- The secondary is still a mess. Yes, it got better for a couple of games after Renaldo Hill replaced Chris Crocker in the starting lineup, but Sunday's effort was weak -- and that's being kind. One problem is this group doesn't play the ball well at all. Renaldo Hill has dropped two interceptions in three games, and his mistake against Houston gave the Texans a field goal in a game the Dolphins lost by one point. Yeremiah Bell has gotten a lot of rave reviews, and every once in a while he looks like a total stud. But he had a bad game at Houston. Yes, that was a tremendous catch Andre Johnson made on the fourth-and-10 play on the final drive. But he never should have had a chance to make that catch. Bell was right near the ball, but his footwork got messed up and he allowed Johnson to jump in front of him without contest. Bad, bad, bad.

-- Speaking of bad, that's the only way to categorize the decision of Tony Sparano to kick an extra point after Ronnie Brown's late touchdown made the score 27-23. Kick the extra point or miss the two-point conversion, you would lose on a touchdown regardless. Make the two-point conversion, at least you make the Texans kick an extra point. Look, it almost certainly wouldn't have made a difference in the final outcome, but there's no reason whatsoever to at least not try it.

-- Speaking of Sparano, we love what he's done as a coach, but it would be nice if he went for one of those fourth-and-inches once in a while. The strength of this team is obvious, it's Ronnie and Ricky with Chad Pennington not far behind. Let those guys win the game.

-- Joey Porter is having a phenomenal year. Even though he finished the Houston game with only one sack, he was a factor all game. His pressure is what caused Akin Ayodele's interception in the first quarter and he almost had a fumble-causing sack on the last drive.

-- Speaking of that last play, the replay seemed to show that Matt Schaub's arm indeed was going forward when he lost the ball, but why, oh why, was that play not even reviewed by the booth? It's not like Sparano could challenge the call because it came under two minutes left, but the officials should have reviewed it. Oh wait, this was Ed Hochuli officiating the game, the same Ed Hochuli who handed Denver a victory over San Diego with a quick whistle. It was suggested there was no review because this was the same case, that he had blown the whistle and therefore the play was dead no matter what. But shouldn't that have been announced to the crowd?

-- The officiating all around the league has been brutal so far this season.

-- Back to Porter for a second, don't think his presence hasn't made a big difference for Matt Roth on the other side. Roth had a tremendous game against San Diego two Sundays ago, but he was absolutely invisible against Houston.

-- Finally, we close with the same player we began with: Ted Ginn Jr. It's obvious the coaches don't trust him to handle punts, and his bobble against San Diego isn't going to change that anytime soon. So we have no problem with Davone Bess being used as the punt returner. He's actually pretty good at it. But when it comes to kickoff returns, Bess simply doesn't have the speed to zip through an opening and outrace the defense, so all his returns basically end before the 30-yard line. Ginn has that kind of speed even if he's somewhat hesitant to go full blast because he's not physical (that's a kind way of putting it). But for crying out loud, make some use of the guy. Bottom line, though: Ginn is so not a Bill Parcells kind of player, it's ridiculous. You wonder exactly how long he'll be around.

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