Final Game 13 Observations

The Dolphins kept themselves in the playoff hunt with their four-point victory at Jacksonville on Sunday. Before the focus shifts to next weekend's equally important game at Tennessee, we take one last look at the 14-10 victory at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

-- There were a lot of story lines on offense, starting with Chad Henne's franchise-record-tying 17 consecutive completions, but this one was all about the defense.

-- Linebacker Reggie Torbor isn't a guy who gets a lot of attention, but he showed up big against the Jaguars after Akin Ayodele left the game with minor injuries. Torbor is a starting-caliber player who provides great depth at inside linebacker.

-- Speaking of backups stepping up, this might have been Paul Soliai's best game at nose tackle. It was needed against Maurice Jones-Drew, just like it will be needed this Sunday against Chris Johnson.

-- The secondary also had a good game, although somebody has to explain to me how Gibril Wilson could come running up when Torry Holt made a cut as if he were stopping his route when Sean Smith was right there. Of course, we all know Holt took it upfield and burned Wilson for a 63-yard completion. Seems to be Safety Play 101 that you don't bite on that kind of fake when you're supposed to provide deep help.

-- The other safety, meanwhile, had a really big game, highlighted by his fourth-down pass breakup. Yeremiah Bell isn't really a playmaker in the secondary, but that's more for the free safety to provide anyway. As it is, Bell is doing a good job at strong safety.

Up front, along with Soliai we have to mention Randy Starks -- again. Look, the guy should make the Pro Bowl even though he probably won't. Why won't he? Well, he didn't enter the season with any kind of rep, and that's going to hurt him. So is the fact he plays in a 3-4 defense. Know the last time a 3-4 defensive end made the Pro Bowl? That was 2004 when Pittsburgh's Aaron Smith got an invitation. That year, remember, the Steelers went 15-1, so they needed to have a lot of guys in the Pro Bowl. Not so the Dolphins this year.

-- Of course, the way things keep going, fullback Lousaka Polite just has to be there. Fullback is a position that doesn't draw a lot of attention, but Polite is getting a lot of recognition for constantly converting third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 situations. He was at it again on Sunday.

-- As for Henne, yes, he was tremendous, even though he failed to see the defensive back on his one interception. But that's getting picky. He was in control all game.

-- It also was nice to see the Dolphins leave Pat White on the sideline in this game. Nothing against the kid, but he's bringing nothing to the offense right now except disrupting Henne's rhythm. Maybe next year.

-- Henne also got a good game from his receivers, especially Greg Camarillo. He got open and caught everything thrown his way. He's not flashy and he's not a difference-maker, but he's guy the Dolphins need to keep regardless of how they change the receiving corps in the offseason.

-- Another solid performance by Ricky Williams, although those three fumbles were troubling. We can only hope it had to do with the wet conditions in Jacksonville.

-- It was a good thing the two lost fumbles, one interception and Dan Carpenter's missed field goal didn't come back to bite the Dolphins. Just shows how dominant they were on defense.


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