Final Game 2 Observations

Before we turn the page and start focusing on the Dolphins' next opponent, we take one last look at the heartbreaking 27-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.

• OK, all those who said the Wildcat had run its course, that it couldn't be as effective anymore, where are you now? Dolphins players said throughout the offseason what makes the Wildcat work is the execution, and while that makes for a boring soundbite, it's true. No blocking, no success. That applies for very play, including the Wildcat.

• That said, the Dolphins showed a few new variations to the Wildcat, and all seemed to work. All of them, incidentally, were running plays.

• And that brings us to Pat White. Why exactly are the Dolphins bothering to use him, especially if all he's going to do is hand off? This may just be coincidence, but on the two plays he was in the game he handed off to Ricky Williams, and Williams was stuffed for no gain both times. Just saying.

• So what about Chad Henne? Are we going to start hearing whispers about the Dolphins needing to put him in the game to provide a downfield threat? Look, Chad Pennington is not the problem. He didn't play well against Atlanta, but he did nothing wrong against Indy. Leave him in there.

• The issue on offense is the lack of talent at wide receiver. Hmm, sound familiar? Didn't everybody scream about that in the offseason, yet the Dolphins assured everyone they were just fine at the position. Sorry, but no. This was one mistake the Dolphins have made and need to rectify next offseason.

• Yes, Ted Ginn Jr. caught 11 passes against the Colts, but didn't it seem inconsequential? And why is it that Ginn never seems to be able to make that really great play, the one that can change a game? Yes, that would have been a tough catch in the end zone in the second quarter and, yes, the one in the final minute also would have been a great play, but wouldn't it be nice if he made that kind of play every once in a while?

• At the risk of repeating myself, Davone Bess is the best receiver on this team, but the problem is he's small and he's rather slow, so there's only so much he can do. He's a tremendous possession receiver, but he simply doesn't have the physical tools to be a difference-maker. Really, he's Wes Welker all over again. And don't start with Welker's gaudy catch totals with New England. Welker is a fabulous complementary player, he's not a difference-maker. Take Randy Moss away from the other side, and see how much of an impact Welker can make. It's the same with Bess.

• On the line, it was great to see Jake Long bounce back with a great performance against Dwight Freeney. Yes, Freeney had a sack, but that was after Pennington had to run around the pocket because he couldn't find anybody open. Outside of that play, Freeney was invisible.

• Defensively, the problems were obvious. You have to start with free safety Gibril Wilson, whose starting job just might be in jeopardy if he doesn't shape up -- and fast. Folks in Oakland weren't bullish on this signing when it happened, and it's starting to look like they were right.

• Then again, nobody on defense really had a good night. The linebackers had nightmares trying to cover Dallas Clark, starting with Akin Ayodele, who made the mistake of biting on Peyton Manning's play fake on the first play of the game. Come on, Akin, didn't you see Manning do that on tape about a zillion times?

• One guy who had a good night was cornerback Sean Smith. He was matched up with Reggie Wayne a good part of the night, and Wayne ended up with three catches for 37 yards with six passes thrown in his direction. On top of that, Smith tipped a pass that should have been intercepted by Wilson.

• The Dolphins still can't get anything going on kickoff returns, but at least they've got a better option back there with Patrick Cobbs replacing Ginn. Not that Cobbs is the perfect kickoff returner, it's just that he hits the hole a lot harder than Ginn.

• On the flip side, the kickoff coverage was outstanding, and that's not something we've been able to say very often the last couple of years.

Dolphins Report Top Stories