Final Game 7 Observations

The Dolphins are enjoying a second consecutive day off following their 30-25 victory over the New York Jets, and before they begin their preparations for Sunday's game at New England, we take one final look at what happened at Giants Stadium.

-- Guess we have to start with Ted Ginn Jr., who almost assuredly will be named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday. His two touchdowns on kickoff returns was amazing enough, but it's even wilder when you consider that before he scored he was tackled by the opposing kicker, not once but twice.

-- After what he did on kickoff returns, there's been a call from some members of the media to have Ginn return punts as well. There's certainly some validity to that, particularly after Davone Bess muffed a punt against the Jets.

-- Speaking of Bess, he had easily the worst game of his young career against the Jets -- and it should have been even worse than it was. In addition to the muffed punt, Bess also dropped an easy pass in the middle of the field and he also fumbled after making a catch early in the fourth quarter. Bess, though, got a break because the Jets didn't challenge the ruling on the field that his knee was down. The Dolphins were very smart in running their next play very quickly, but Jets coach Rex Ryan said he didn't throw the challenge flag because one of his assistants upstairs told him a Dolphins player had recovered. Unless my eyes deceived me, it was a Jets player who recovered that loose ball.

-- One really bad decision by the Dolphins was going for it after scoring a touchdown to make it 30-19. Coach Tony Sparano tried to explain his rationale on Monday and went in a few different directions, but the bottom line is being up 12 or 13 doesn't make a difference in the fact your opponent still needs two touchdowns to beat you. At 11, though, the opponent needs only a touchdown and a field goal with at two-point conversion thrown in. Just look at the way the game played out. Had the Jets converted their two-point attempt following their last touchdown, they would have trailed 30-27 on their last drive and the game would have gone to overtime. Sorry, but that was the wrong call, black and white, crystal clear, not a doubt about it.

-- The defense gave up almost 400 yards, but there still were a few players who came up with good performances. You can start with nose tackle Paul Soliai, who was a factor against the run and who forced the fumble that Jason Taylor returned for a touchdown. Much-maligned safety Gibril Wilson also was very effective on the blitz. Finally, Reggie Torbor was very active starting in place of the injured Channing Crowder.

-- Back to Wilson, a lot of attention was paid to the fact the Dolphins started Vontae Davis at cornerback alongside fellow rookie Sean Smith, but the Dolphins also had changes in the starting lineup at both safety spots, with Nate Jones replacing Yeremiah Bell at strong safety and Chris Clemons replacing Wilson at free safety. In the end, everybody got a lot of playing time, so we're not sure whether calling the moves a demotion for Bell and Wilson would be justified.

-- The offense really was out of sync, and a big reason was the Wildcat being stuffed for a second consecutive week. We're getting close to the point where that's going to become a major concern.

-- As expected, Brian Hartline got the start at wide receiver instead of Ginn, but those who expected a major difference in production from the passing game had to be disappointed. But they shouldn't have been surprised. It doesn't really matter who starts, the Dolphins do not have an elite receiving corps.

-- Despite the problems on offense, the Dolphins still managed to reach 30 points for the fourth consecutive game, which tied a franchise best. We would challenge anyone, though, to come up with the last time a team scored 30 points with as low an offensive output as the Dolphins had Sunday (104 yards).

-- Doesn't matter how you do it, though, does it? Right, Rex Ryan?


Dolphins Report Top Stories