I always love beating Buffalo. And the way we did it, with a second-half comeback, is the best way to do it, in my opinion. Crush their spirits even worse. I have a couple quick notes before I get to the Gameballs:
- I'd like to give a shout out to my Dolphins Man-Crush Brandon London for getting his first NFL catch. Hopefully it's the first of many. He's got all the tools, and after Teddy's performance today, we may be a little better off at WR than most of us thought.
- The TE's were good as usual. Fasano had a TD, and Martin added a couple catches. They weren't targeted as much as normal because of Ted's Big Day and Pennington being able to find his WR's often, but they were most likely a big reason why those guys were so open all day.
- Ricky Williams looked headed for an all-time bad game for him early, with a fumble and very little contribution in the running game. He finished with only 16 yards rushing. But soon after that fumble he took a screen pass 47 yards, and then scored the go-ahead TD later in the game. That's big to see him bounce back after the fumble.
These should come as no surprise, nor should the order, but here they are, my Gameballs for this week...
5. The Secondary - Usually, the only way these guys make it into this column is when they receiver a turd sandwich for a terrible performance. This week was different. The numbers may not show their impact on the game, but for anybody who watched the amount of big plays this secondary made will understand why they receive a Gameball. It seemed like they had more deflections today than they've had the entire season. Guys were always around the ball, getting hands on the ball, tackling recievers immediately after they catch it, all of that. Jason Allen was a bright spot today, playing about as well as I can remember him playing. He was also at CB for the day, something I wanted to see. Will Allen picked Edwards the Great off, and the secondary (along with the pass rush) held Trent to 227 yards on 60% completions. No passing TD's given up, either. Probably the best game they've played all season.
4. Brandon Fields - Another guy that usually ends up at the bottom of this column, and somebody I really wanted to see replaced. I'll own up to that one, if he can continue to play like he did today, he can stay as long as he wants. He punted 4 times, put 2 inside 5 yard line, and gave up exactly 0 return yards. The average wasn't very high, but his Net average was his best this season I believe. He was a huge part of helping us win the field position battle and making Buffalo work incredibly hard for every point they scored. He even got a televised atta boy from Coach Sparano. Can't have a better day than that if you're a punter.
3. Chad Pennington - Once again, he was accurate, he was consistent, and he was mistake-free. 22-30 for 314 yards and a TD. Hit the deep ball to Ginn on the first play of the game. Mixed the ball around to everybody. Beat the Bills with a Play Action fake and TE dump for the first touchdown. Seriously, what more could you want from a QB? The running game wasn't much help today, but Chad didn't need it. He was as pinpoint as you can get today. 8 Different guys had receptions. I don't think we'll be hearing from the Play Henne Now! Coalition, the John Beck = Future Club, or the Noodle Arm Must Go Group. Pennington is one of the MAIN reasons we have 3 wins already this season. And watching Brett Favre throw pick after pick after pick this season makes it even sweeter.
2. Joey Porter - What can you say? Wow. What a game by Joey. Before the season, we were complaining about keeping him and trading JT. And now? Well, JT ain't playing, and Porter has tied his career high in sacks and is on his way to starting in Honolulu in February. 2 more sacks today, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery (on a strip) and a caused safety. That gives him 10.5 sacks through 7 games. He's on a pace that will have him breaking the single season sack record against Favre, the man who laid down for Strahan to break the previous record. What a cool little twist that would be huh? Porter is having an All-Pro year, and he's racking up Gameballs as well. Could he be the front-runner right now for Gameball of the Year?
And the Number 1 Gameball goes to... Ted Ginn Jr. - That's right. That Ted Ginn Jr. The one picked number 9 two drafts ago. He earned this spot today with the best game of his career. 7 catches, 175 yards. Doesn't seem real. We've been waiting to see this Ted Ginn Jr. for a year and a half now, some of us (me included) wondering if we would EVER see this Ted Ginn Jr. Well that all can stop now. He did everything today: caught a deep ball, caught the curl routes, caught a slant/post and almost took it the distance, making a catch in traffic and getting whacked. Today was the day he proved to everybody he could indeed be a number 1 wideout. Whether he builds on this day and continues to play to his potential is a topic for another day, and I'm sure that day will be soon, but today we saw what is hopefully a glimpse of the future of Ted Ginn. Congrats to him.
The Turd Sandwich of the Week goes to... Trent Edwards - It's not really his fault. It's mostly the Bills fans (and, sadly, one of our own) pimping him as the Next Tom Brady on this site all week. We heard how he can lead a team to a Super Bowl, how he is worth trading any one player from our team for, and this and that and blah blah blah. Well Trent can definitely share this sandwich with all you guys, because he looked more like the next Rob Johnson. Oh, that reminds me. Rob Johnson > Trent Edwards. And Dolphins > Bills.
Looking forward to reaching .500 next week! Go Dolphins!