Final Game 5 Observations

Sure, it's been a few days since the Dolphins beat the New York Jets in that thrilling Monday night battle, but since Miami has a bye this weekend it still gives us a chance to take one last look at that 31-27 victory.

-- And we'll start with two things that had nothing (or very little) to do with the outcome. First, loved the fact that the crowd for a Dolphins-Jets game in Miami finally had a strong pro-Dolphins slant. I've covered the Dolphins since before the opening of Land Shark Stadium (originally known as Joe Robbie Stadium), and I can't remember a Dolphins-Jets crowd so heavily pro-Dolphins. The stands, which usually are almost 50-50 between green (Jets color) and either aqua or orange, were almost completely devoid of Jets jerseys. It was quite a refreshing change.

-- Why did this happen? Is it because the Dolphins now have a competitive team and their fans are coming out in force instead of letting Jets fans get their tickets on a lot of tickets (remember the Dolphins hosted the Jets last year in their opener coming off a 1-15 season)? Is there something to all the glitz that new owner Stephen Ross has brought and some folks who before might not have come out to the game now are showing up to see the "beautiful people"?

Not quite sure, but again it was great to finally have a Jets-Dolphins game in South Florida feel like a home game.

-- Here's the second point, and this one has even less to do with the outcome because the argument could be made that the crowd did have an effect: Just love those orange jerseys. They just look cool. Here's something else about the orange jerseys: Think about the three games where the Dolphins have worn them. All were prime-time games at home: 2003 against Washington, 24-23 Dolphins victory; 2004 against New England, 29-28 Dolphins victory; 2009 against the Jets, 31-27 Dolphins victory. All close games, all comeback wins for the Dolphins, all last-minute victories, all great games.

-- If the Dolphins' Dec. 6 home game against the Pats doesn't get flexed back to 1 p.m., here's hoping the Dolphins bring out the orange jerseys again. Or how about the all-aqua uniforms, which the Dolphins have worn once, in a Monday night game against Chicago in 2002 when they won 27-9.

-- OK, on to game-related matters. Of course, we have to start with Chad Henne. Nothing we can say hasn't already been said about his performance, so let's just say that the way he played made the outcome of the game -- in the grand scheme of things -- almost irrelevant. Hear me out: The big thing about Monday night's game in terms of the big picture with the Dolphins is it appears Henne indeed is the long-term answer at quarterback based on the way he played. So even if the Dolphins had lost, they would have found their quarterback.

-- Had to love the postgame comments from Jets coach Rex Ryan. Dumping on his defense was fine and dandy because it's his team, but he could have left out the part about the Jets making Henne look like Dan Marino. That comes off as sour grapes and as in it's all about the Jets. On those two third-down throws on the last drive, Henne made himself look like Marino.

-- That long-awaited bomb to Ted Ginn Jr. finally happened, and it was shocking on a couple of levels. One was the fact that Ginn wasn't even in the game on several occasions when the Dolphins had multiple receivers on the field. The second is he beat Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis with an in-and-up move. And beat him easily. Darrelle Revis. The same guy who shut down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Marques Colston. Impressive stuff. Wish I could say I think it was the start of something big, but I think we'll have to settle for occasional big plays like that from Ginn.

-- Finally, we'll wrap this up by briefly touching on the defense, which did not have a great night. In its defense, though, two points need to be made: That catch Braylon Edwards made inside the 5-yard line was ridiculous and the coverage by Vontae Davis on that play actually was pretty good. Sometimes you're going to get beat by a great play, and that was a great play. Second, the pass-interference call against Will Allen on Edwards near the goal line was weak. Yes, there was some slight contact, but many plays with more contact go uncalled. Then again, Edwards had his hands on the ball and should have made the catch, so the point would have been moot anyway.

-- Bottom line is the pass defense still isn't consistent enough, and it's not like the next opponents won't present a major challenge in that area. That would be the New Orleans Saints.


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