I guess this is something I have to do. It was very hard to drag myself back to The Phinsider today, knowing I need to create a post awarding Game Balls after such a disheartening loss.
Well, I guess I need to just jump on in and do it.
1-yard Game Ball. Lousaka Polite. Okay, the Lousaka Monster really should get yardage every week, and he probably should get more this week, especially with his 7.3 yards per carry average (3 carries, 22 yards). But, at least I am recognizing his contribution this week, right?
2-yard Game Ball. Brian Hartline. I don't know which to highlight in this spot, Hartline's gorgeous touchdown catch, where Chad Henne recognized that the back of the endzone was open and that Hartline could get there. Hartline's ability to react, correct, and come down with that ball was amazing. Or was his awareness of the situation and ability to jump back up after catching the ball falling to the ground, where he wasn't touched - nearly scoring touchdown number two - a better play? I'm not sure. Both make me like Hartline a little more, and happy to have him wearing teal and orange. Oh, and he finished with 3 catches for 31 yards, and the touchdown.
3-yard Game Ball. Ricky Williams. Another week, more game ball yardage for Ricky. This week's totals for Williams was 27 carries for 115 yards, and a touchdown. Okay, he threw an interception, but Fasano was open as he tried to throw the pass - and he is a running back throwing his first pass since 2000. That interception kept him from getting more yardage, but can you really say he doesn't deserve a Game Ball?
4-yard Game Ball. Anthony Fasano. The Bull picked up 74 yards on 5 receptions. Suddenly, I remember why we were all so high on him last year. Welcome back Anthony. We need you to keep it up.
5-yard Game Ball. Joey Porter, Randy Starks, Tony McDaniel, Jason Taylor, Ryan Baker, and Kendall Langford. Okay, I'm going to add a bonus yard for this Game Ball, to equal the six sacks the Dolphins put up. Yes, the defense was shaky at times - at best. But, Ryan Fitzpatrick was under pressure all game long. And yes, he ran on this team (7 carries, 50 yards, 1 touchdown), but still, these guys got to him. So, I'm going to break up these six yards by sack total. Joey Porter - 2.5 yards. Tony McDaniel - 1.5 yards. Jason Taylor, Ryan Baker, Kendall Langford, and Randy Starks - 0.5 yards each.
Sack. Chad Henne and Ted Ginn, Jr. Two yard sacks for each of these guys this week. And, not for the reason that stands out. Chad's not getting this sack for the interceptions, because I really can't blame him for those. He was asked to go out and get the Dolphins back into the game. That happens, especially with a young quarterback. He's getting this sack for staring at his receivers. I know, another trait of a young quarterback, but something he needs to fix...quickly. And, Teddy's not going to get this sack for dropping passes. His 2 receptions (on 5 targets) gained 18 yards. Mach 19 gets this sack for being hesitant on kick off returns. Maybe this is a subjective sack, but I know I'm not the only one to notice or comment on either of these things during the game.
Fan Game Ball. Okay, so in what is easily the biggest oversight of the Game Balls this year, I failed to give Nate Garner his due last week. That's really the point to the Fan Game Ball, so thank you to all of you who saw the error of my ways. And, I am going to give him three yards for his performance, one for each position he played during the game. Congratulations Nate, and I'm sorry that I missed such an outstanding performance.