Final Game 14 Observations

There were a lot of things to like in the Dolphins' effort in Sunday's game at Tennessee, just like there were some things that really shouldn't have happened. So before we turn our attention to this weekend's game against Houston, let's take one final look at what happened against the Titans.

-- We'll start with the roughness penalty on Greg Camarillo in overtime. Yep, it was a bad break because there didn't appear to be anything malicious about what he did. But why didn't simply touch Titans safety Michael Griffin, who already had thrown himself to the ground instead of diving into him? That's all that was needed to end the play. Maybe the NFL needs to introduce a rule whereby the play is dead the second a player slides the way it is with quarterback who slide feet first, but for now it appeared from this end that Camarillo went overboard and the flag indeed was justified.

-- Here's the other thing about that flag. Because of it, Tennessee started its overtime possession at the Miami 27-yard line, already in field goal range, and that led to the Titans playing it safe with three Chris Johnson runs before Rob Bironas' game-winning field goal. Without the penalty, the ball would have been at the Miami 42 and it's doubtful the Titans would have been so conservative. Now, there's always the possibility the Dolphins could have held Tennessee in check to keep them and out of field goal range, but it's not likely. The game really was lost with the interception, not the penalty.

-- A lot was made of Jeff Fisher's curious decision to allow the Dolphins to run out the clock at the end of regulation despite being pinned at their 2-yard line, and rightfully so. Fisher explained that he had a "gut feeling," but that's just plain weird. OK, we'll go further. That was bad. Fisher is a great coach, but that wasn't impressive stuff.

-- Not enough, on the other hand, was made of the really bad break the Dolphins got when that punt took a sideways bounce right before reaching the goal line. The Dolphins had 56 seconds left and a timeout and might have been able to go for the victory in regulation had they started that drive at the 20. Once it became the 2-yard line, the Dolphins had no choice but to play safe.

-- Chad Henne will take a lot of flak for the end zone interception, but it actually was the least egregious of his three on the day. The one late in the first half when he tried a desperation fling while being taken down was just a poor decision. It was only second down and he should have just taken the sack and come back on third down for another shot at putting the Dolphins in putting for a field goal. The other one was just a case of trying to make something happen when there was nothing there. Ricky Williams never created separation from safety Chris Hope on his out-and-up route and it would have taken the throw to end all throws for that play to have any shot at succeeding. If it's fourth down and the game is riding on that one play, fine, take a shot. But not on first-and-10 down by 15 late in the third quarter.

-- Then there was the Ricky Williams fumble, which Coach Tony Sparano seemed to excuse the day after the game. It's nice for Sparano to stick up for his player, but replays didn't seem to indicate a particularly hard hit or a direct hit on the football. That's one that Ricky needs to hang on to. His fumbling the last two games has become a major problem.

-- Defensively, the big issue is Vontae Davis, who got beat for two touchdown passes. It clearly seems opponents are targeting him because there are not nearly as many passes being completed against Sean Smith as there are against Davis. Yes, Davis is the better tackler of the two — by a lot — but we can only hope his cover skills will continue to improve.

-- Of course, it wouldn't have been a Dolphins game without Gibril Wilson getting beat. We're trying hard not to pick on the guy, but he just seems to give up at least one bad play a game. This time, he was slow to react to Justin Gage getting behind him in the back of the end zone and to make matters worse never reacted as the ball sailed right by him. His base salary jumps next season from $950,000 to $3.85 million, and it's difficult to fathom the Dolphins being willing to pay that salary with the season he has had.

-- Ted Ginn Jr. seems to be back to his old habit of applying the brakes when he reaches the first wave of defenders instead of hitting the hole hard. The blocking on kickoff returns hasn't been great of late, but he's doing it no favors, either.

-- OK, enough with the negative because there were a lot of things to like about this game, starting with the play of the wide receivers. How about Brian Hartline? Fabulous play he made on the drive that led to the game-tying touchdown and then he had another long way after taking a beautiful pass from Henne in stride.

-- Greg Camarillo also continue his string of really good games. As much criticism as there has been about the wide receiver corps, Camarillo, Hartline and Davone Bess are keepers, and this group can get really good really fast if a pure No. 1 guy can be added in the offseason.

-- Also have to commend Channing Crowder, who is on a nice little roll. He got a lot of attention for the game-clinching interception against the Patriots, but he's done a lot of really good things in other aspects the last two games.

-- Finally, you have to give the Dolphins defense for holding Chris Johnson to "only" 104 yards rushing. That's actually great work by Miami, especially when you consider he had only 33 yards on 15 carries in the second half. That effort is why the Dolphins still had a chance to win the game at the end.

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