Final Game 9 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' 21-19 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Dolphin Stadium.

-- So much for the Wildcat no longer being effective. Kudos to offensive coordinator Dan Henning for coming up with yet another new wrinkle, this one Ronnie Brown taking the snap with both Ricky Williams and Patrick Cobbs in the backfield behind him. The formation produced two touchdowns against Seattle, including Williams' 51-yard run when Jake Long and Justin Smiley opened a huge hole for Williams to run through. Here's the best part about this, though: We can see yet another twist, again with Cobbs and Williams in the backfield with Brown. This one would have Brown fake the handoff to Williams and then take off to the left with Cobbs behind him on an option run. Brown then could just keep the ball or pitch it to Cobbs. Book it that you will see this play at some point this season.

-- Speaking of Cobbs, don't know if everybody has noticed, but he is playing a major, major role for the Dolphins. He was on the field on offense quite a bit against the Seahawks, and also had a big game on special teams. Not bad for a guy who came up from the practice squad.

-- That said, the tight ends have been a little too invisible for our taste in recent weeks. It's time to get Anthony Fasano and David Martin heavily involved in the passing game again.

-- It's actually very impressive -- and again a credit to Henning -- what the Dolphins offense has been able to accomplish with a sub-par receiving corps and an offensive line that is rotating right guards. To that end, we'd love to see somebody grab a hold of that job, whether it be Ikechuku Ndukwe or Andy Alleman or Brandon Frye or Matt McChesney. It has been suggested the Dolphins should consider moving Vernon Carey to guard, where he played his rookie season and in college, and giving rookie Nate Garner a shot at the right tackle spot. Sorry, but that's a dumb idea. Right tackle is more important that right guard, for one, and the idea that Garner could just come in and perform is too optimistic.

-- Moving to the defense, we love the improvement in Channing Crowder's play in recent weeks. He really has become a presence at inside linebacker.

-- That said, the most improved player on defense in recent weeks easily is cornerback Andre' Goodman. His coverage has been absolutely superb. If you saw Sunday's game, you didn't see many balls thrown his way.

-- Safety Yeremiah Bell continues to make big plays, his breakup of the two-point conversion being the latest example. What was impressive about that play was that Bell left his man to help out on tight end John Carlson, who was the intended receiver on the play.

-- The special teams, meanwhile, continue to struggle. Coach Tony Sparano pointed out the problem against Seattle was missed tackles, and it made the game closer than it should have been. The penalty on Charlie Anderson on the opening kickoff of the game, the one that negated Ted Ginn Jr.'s touchdown, was costly, but we'll give the Seattle player an award for making things look a lot worse than they were. He practically threw himself on the ground after, admittedly, being held a little bit, and we'd be willing to bet no penalty would have been called had the guy stayed on his feet.

-- All in all, though, nothing to complain about too much. The Dolphins are 5-4, and we're finally looking at December games that will matter. Boy, it's been a long time coming.


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