Well, it's Sunday, and Miami isn't playing. This is the first of two straight weeks in which that statement will be true. Luckily, this week, the Dolphins grace us with their presence on Monday Night Football, shining in glorious ugly Orange. So, to get us through this Sunday and on to Monday, I bring you the makeup Game Balls.
Weeks 1, 2, and 3 of the 2009 NFL Season were pretty ugly for us as Dolphins fans. The team lost in every way imaginable. The offense couldn't move the ball in Week 1, in Week 2 the offense dominated the Colts, only to see Peyton Manning be Peyton Manning.. Week 3, saw Miami stay close to the San Diego Chargers for the first two-and-a-half quarters or so, only to have to replace starting QB Chad Pennington for the season and seeing the offense stall as it tried to adjust to second year player Chad Henne.
Well, Game Balls still need to be given out.
So, here are the missing Game Balls for each of those weeks.
1-yard Game Ball: Ricky Williams. Ricky had 7 carries for 39 yards, giving him a 5.6 yard per carry average. He also had 2 receptions for 19 yards, and the Dolphins' only score, Not great stats, but a 5.6 yard per carry average and being the only Phin to find the endzone earned him this yard.
2-yard Game Ball: Gibril Wilson. Simply due to his having 7 solo tackles (9 total). Seriously, it was hard this week to come up with some of these Game Balls.
3-yard Game Ball: Yeremiah Bell. He gets one more yard than Wilson due to his having one more solo tackle (8 solo tackles, 8 total). It really was a bad week when tackles are getting guys 2 and 3 yards.
4-yard Game Ball: Davone Bess. He only finished with 57 yards, but it seemed like every time you turned around, Bess was open and hauling in the ball. He was thrown to 7 times, catching all 7, with an average of 8.1 yards per catch.
5-yard Game Ball: Phillip Merling. Someone had to get 5 yards this week. Merling had 5 tackles, all solo, with 2 tackles for loss, including 1 sack. So, he'll get this week's 5-yard Game Ball.
Sack: 5-yarder to Anthony Fasano. Fasano had 2 catches for 10 yards...and then immediately fumbled both catches for turnovers. In an ugly game, Fasano stood out above everyone else. So, this debacle, Fasano gets the big negative five this week.
1-yard Game Ball: For leading the team in tackles during a week in which the defense didn't show up at all, Yeremiah Bell will get this week's one yard Game Ball. Now, just for a frame of reference, Bell's leading tackle total was five. Five whole tackles.
2-yard Game Ball: This week's two yard Game Ball holder's tackle total was actually lower than the 1-yard winner's. Why? Because Lex Hilliard recorded three tackles on Special Teams, to be the team's second highest tackler. When a Special Teamer has the second highest tackle total, that really tells you how inept the defense wwas this week.
3-yard Game Ball: Ted Ginn, Jr. had the game all of us are dying for him to have. He had 11 receptions for 108 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per catch. Teddy finally looked like the WR we need, and hopefully he will build on this performance.
4-yard Game Ball: Ronnie Brown will pick up the 4-yard Game Ball this week. This was close between him and Ted Ginn, Jr. for the 3- or 4- yard Ball, but Ronnie gets the nod here on the time of possesion advantage. Ronnie finished the game with 24 carries for 136 yards (a 5.7 yard per carry average), with 2 touchdowns.
5-yard Game Ball: The entire offensive line gets this week's 5-yard Game Ball. The line dominated the Colts all day, resulting in 45 minutes of time of possesion for the Dolphins. This Game Ball will be applied to all members of the O-line, 5 points each - Jake Long, Justin Smiley, Jake Grove, Donald Thomas, Vernon Carey, Joe Berger, and Nate Garner (Andrew Gardner and Shawn Murphy - sorry guys, you were'nt active for the game).
Sack: This week's sack goes to the Defense. I don't even know how to spread this sack amongst the players. The defense had a total of 28 tackles in this game. 28! When you subtract the 5 that Bell had, and the 3 from Hilliard, the rest of the defense made 20 tackles. 20 tackles amongst 10 starters averages to 2 tackles per starter. Then you add in the reserve guys rotating into the game and you end up with a pretty unimpressive, anemic tackle average. Plus, when you take into account the 0:12 80-yard touchdown drive (1 play), the 4:07 48-yard field goal drive (9 plays), the 0:43 44-yard field goal drive at the half, a 3:17 79-yard drive (10 plays), and a 0:32 80-yard game inning touchdown drive (4 plays), the defense may as well have not even gone to Land Shark Stadium this week. So, every member of the defense will now be awarded -5 yards for this turd sandwich. (Kendall Langford, Phillip Merling, Jason Fergusson, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Tony McDaniel, Jason Taylor, Quentin Moses, Channing Crowder, Reggie Torbor, Akin Ayodele, Joey Porter, Charlie Anderson, Erik Walden, Will Allen, Vontae Davis, Jason Allen, Sean Smith, Nathan Jones, Yeremiah Bell, Gibril Wilson, and Tyron Culver. (Inactive defense that luckily coundn't be part of this mess: Loinel Dotson, Chris Clemons, and Cameron Wake)
1-yard Game Ball: Akin Ayodele receives one yard this week, for his 6-tackle, and 1 QB hit performance. Not extremely sexy, but he was effective.
2-yard Game Ball: Will Allen will pick up two-yards this week for a 7-tackle performance. Similar to Ayodele, it wasn't sexy, but 7 tackles was a huge improvement over the previous week's exhibition.
3-yard Game Ball: The 3-, 4-, and 5-yard Game Balls were all pretty close, and I'm not really sure any of these performances are deserving of 5 points, but this is the order I chose. The 3-yard Game Ball goes to Ronnie Brown. He had 18 carries, for 75 yards (a 4.2 yard per carry average) and 3 receptions for 40 yards. Another solid day, and more Game Ball yards for the center of gravity of this offense.
4-yard Game Ball: Davone Bess gets this week's 4-yard gain. He had 7-receptions, for 54-yards, as well as 1-rush for 11-yards. Somehow, the team's "Number 3" WR seems to be the most important member of the receiving corps.
5-yard Game Ball: Call it favortism, or whatever you would like, but once again, Ricky Williams is once again picking up Game Ball yards. He only had 8 carries this week, but stretched them for 55-yards, a 6.9 yard per carry average. Almost 7 yards a carry is a huge stat. Plus he had 4-receptions for 29 yards. Really, what pushed him into the 5-yard position was his garabage time 14-yard touchdown run. I'll give the bonus to someone who finds paydirt every time, even if it is a worthless score at the end of the game.
Sack: I really had two players I considered for this week's sack. The first was Chad Henne. I know it was his first real chance to play and that he wasn't exactly prepared to go into the game, but 10 for 19, 92-yards (4.8 yards per attempt average), with a pick. He ended up with a QB rating of 44.2. Come on...I don't know what a QB rating really is, but I know 44.2 isn't good. But, I couldn't bring myself to give negative points to the kid in his first game. Especially with the support he got from our Sack Award winner this week. Ted Ginn, Jr. followed up last week's 11 catch performance with a solid 0 catches on 6 targets. Great job Teddy. Mr. Ginn, what you've just done is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your dropping, stone-hand route running were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational performance. Everyone in this organization is now dumber for having watched it. I award you negative five points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
One last item to complete. After Week 4's Game Balls post, there was a lot of debate about some of the points awarded. I thought about it, and I think we will introduce a new Game Ball each week. It will be the Fan Game Ball. This game ball will be awarded to one member of the team who the comments in the Weekly Game Balls Post seem to support awarding a point to. It will be a 1-yard Game Ball, and can be given to anyone, even if they already received a Game Ball.
So, with that in mind, the Fan Game Ball for Week 4 will go to Vontae Davis. Congratulations VD!
Remember to nominate Fan Game Ball winners for all three Weeks in this post.
BTW, here's the NFL's QB Rating Formula:
a = (((Comp/Att) * 100) -30) / 20
b = ((TDs/Att) * 100) / 5
c = (9.5 - ((Int/Att) * 100)) / 4
d = ((Yards/Att) - 3) / 4
a, b, c and d can not be greater than 2.375 or less than zero.
QB Rating = (a + b + c + d) / .06
Does this make sense to anyone?