REPORT CARD

Here's a breakdown of how every unit on the Dolphins performed in the 27-24 overtime loss to New England.

QUARTERBACK — Jay Fiedler had a decent, not great, game. He made a couple of really nice throws, such as the touchdown pass to James McKnight. But he also had some bad misses, most notably one where McKnight was open for a touchdown in the second half. Grade: C+

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams again was brilliant, rushing for 185 yards and showing great speed around the outside. Williams and Rob Konrad both caught passes out of the backfield. Grade: A

RECEIVERS — Chris Chambers did a better job as a runner (he had a 45-yard run on a reverse) than receiver. He had a big drop deep in New England territory on a drive that ended with a punt. McKnight had the touchdown catch, while Dedric Ward did a good job as the third-down receiver. Cris Carter did not have a catch. Randy McMichael had a couple of nice receptions. Grade: B

OFFENSIVE LINE — The offensive line had an up-and-down day. The one player who looked like he struggled on a couple of replays was center Tim Ruddy. The Dolphins needed their offensive line to take charge at key moments in the second half, and it just didn't do that. Grade: C-

DEFENSIVE LINE — The Patriots made sure Jason Taylor wasn't going to beat them by putting two guys on him practically all day. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, nobody else stepped up. Jay Williams did have a sack, but it was a coverage sack. The defensive line did a decent job against the run for the most part, but the pass rush was weak. Grade: C

LINEBACKERS — Zach Thomas had a big fumble recovery in the first half and also tipped a Tom Brady pass that was intercepted by Brock Marion. Derrick Rodgers was in coverage on the huge reception by Pats RB Kevin Faulk in overtime, but he had good coverage and was just beaten by a great catch. Morlon Greenwood made a couple of decent plays. Grade: C

DEFENSIVE BACKS — Considering the lack of a pass rush, this unit played very, very well. The penalty on Jamar Fletcher that set up New England's last touchdown was a joke, as he had great coverage on the play. Marion also had the interception, Sam Madison had good coverage all day. New England tried a couple of flea-flickers, but the Dolphins had both of those well covered. Grade: B+

SPECIAL TEAMS — This is where the Dolphins lost the game. Olindo Mare missed a field goal, he booted the overtime kickoff out of bounds, Randy McMichael had a key holding penalty on Miami's last kickoff return, and the Dolphins looked ill-prepared when New England kicked off deep down by three with 2:49 left in the game. Simply awful. Grade: F


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