Final Game 13 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' 16-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

-- That game sure had a strange feel to it, didn't it? Between the crowd and the controlled climate, the Dolphins caught a major break when the Bills decided this was going to be the game this year they would ship to Toronto.

-- Then again, not sure if it would have made any difference where this game was played the way things are going for the Bills these days. Quite frankly, that Buffalo team didn't look a whole lot better than the Dolphins did last season.

-- You remember last season, don't you? Just so you know, the Dolphins are on the verge of setting a new NFL mark for best finish the year after a 1-15 season. The mark to beat is 9-7, and the Dolphins need two victories in their last three games to do it.

-- Why stop at 10 victories, though? Get 11, and the AFC East title returns to Miami for the first time since the 2000 season. No, not a typo.

-- Don't worry about the Dolphins putting up marginal offensive numbers against Buffalo; the truth is they didn't have to do much more. This was a game Buffalo wasn't going to win; the Dolphins would have to give it to them and they didn't do that.

-- The Dolphins being able to protect the ball should have been expected considering they've done it so well all season. The team is on pace to set a new NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. The old record, by the way, belongs to the 1990 New York Giants. We'll give you two guesses as to who their coach was that season. Come on, now, shouldn't be that difficult. Yes, Bill Parcells.

-- He's not coaching, so credit has to go to Tony Sparano and most definitely to Chad Pennington. We're still not sure if what he has done is being fully appreciated on a local and national level. It's amazing that his name has not -- not once -- appeared among those mentioned as league MVP candidates, but if the Dolphins make the playoffs, he deserves at least some kind of recognition.

-- Oh, by the way, thank you, Jets, for making the trade for Brett Favre.

-- Anyone who was worried about the Dolphins being able to replace Greg Camarillo should feel better by now. Davone Bess is doing pretty much everything Camarillo was doing before he was injured. It's the other spot that's still way too inconsistent.

-- It was good to see tight end Anthony Fasano re-emerge in the passing game against Buffalo. The Dolphins clearly need another option besides Bess, and Ted Ginn Jr. and Ernest Wilford don't appear to be the answers on a consistent basis.

-- The offensive line actually played fairly well considering all the shuffling that's been going on there all season.

-- Defensively, the focus was on Will Allen's interception, Joey Porter's two sacks and Yeremiah Bell's big fourth-down tackle, but let's not forget the nice outside pressure provided by Charlie Anderson. Where has that been all season?

-- Will Allen's interception reminded us of a Sam Madison pick in the end zone in the 2005 game against Buffalo when the Bills were leading 23-3 in the third quarter. The quarterback for Buffalo that day also was J.P. Losman, and the Dolphins rallied after that pick to win, 24-23, on Chris Chambers' last-second touchdown.

-- The Dolphins hadn't had a total shutdown effort on defense like Sunday's, and it coming this late in the season is another positive sign in a season with so many positive signs.

-- The final score wouldn't suggest the Dolphins blew out the Bills, but did anyone feel at any point that this game was in danger for the Dolphins? That is the sign of a good team.

-- And, guess what, maybe that's what the Dolphins are. Remember Parcells' famous line: "You are what your record says you are."


Dolphins Report Top Stories