After another nail biter against the Jets, we're sitting at 3-4 and are still searching for answers on offense and defense. While suprisingly, we may have actually found the answer to our special teams futility. That's right boys and girls, Teddy Ginn finally showed up. But let's not start drinkin' the Ginn koolaid just yet. Let's see how he responds to the boost of confidence this game gave him. So while the game wasn't pretty, on either side of the ball, a win is a win and that's all that matters in the end. Here are my 5 reasons why this game could have gone either way.
5 Reasons We Won
1. Mark Sanchez: In the first half we gave him very little time to find a receiver, and it showed as the score was 3-3 at half. But in the second half he had all day to find his receivers, and he did for the most part. He also showed his rookies colors as he missed quite a few open targets that helped attribute to the Jets abysmal 3-14 on 3rd downs. The real reason he's on here, that nice scramble backwards on the last play of the game, that made that 4th and 13 into a 4th and 30. A true rookie mistake that virtually insured there was no way he was going to complete that pass. Even if he had a wide open receiver, that extra 15 yards would have given our defenders a chance to react and defend.
2. Jason Taylor: With the addition of Roth to the roster to give JT and JP some breathers, I see JT having an outstanding year as he'll be fresher later in the season. He already leads the team in sacks, and he just added to his NFL record for fumbles recovered for TDs. This guy is a true gamer who comes to play each and every game.
3. Brandon Fields: A punter you say? How the hell did the punter help us win? By averaging 51.7 yards per punt, he helped create a longer field for the Jets offense.
4. Special Teams: What more needs to be said about the guys blocking for our kickoff unit. 6 returns, 299 yards, 2 TDs. I haven't been this excited about kickoffs as a Dolphin fan since........ummmm.....ok, I admit it, I've never been excited about kickoffs as a Dolphin fan in 25 years.
5. Ted Ginn Jr.: 2 kickoff returns back to back for TDs. But the real question is, was this a one game fluke? Or have we had the next Dante Hall/Brian Mitchell/Deion Sanders/Joshua Cribbs/Devin Hester on our team all along? I'm inclined to believe the latter, but for a reason. He didn't practice with the first or second team all week, so I'm assuming he had some extra time to focus on return duties. Could his time being relied on as the number one receiver been hampering his return chances? The last time he showed flashes of brilliance in the return game was during his rookie season, when there wasn't as much pressure to produce as the number one receiver. We may have finally found Ginn's true calling in the NFL. Cause I'm sorry to say it, WR isn't it.
5 Reasons We Should Have Lost
1. Our Offense: 104 yards, on 51 plays, for a truly pathetic 2 yards per play. We couldn't run the ball, we couldn't pass the ball. While I did expect some offensive ineptitude in our second meeting with the Rex Ryan's Jets. I was not prepared for it to be this bad. I will give credit to Rex Ryan and his defense for really coming into this game prepared to shut down our offense, and they did. But there's no excuse for our offense to play as poorly as they did. We must learn to adapt to how defenses are playing us. We can't keep going into games thinking that whatever worked last time will work this time. Sure it might work, and if it does, keep doing it. But if it doesn't work, don't keep doing it hoping it will eventually.
2. Our Defense: 378 yards, 4.9 yards per play. I don't know what happened, but in the first 4 games this year we gave up 244 yards rushing. In the past 3, we have given up 403 yards rushing. This is a problem that has to be addressed. Once again our defense came up with just enough plays to keep it close in the first half, but then fell apart again in the second. I'm starting to have more and more faith in our two rookie CBs, but I'm losing more and more faith in anyone else to cover. We must find someone who can cover TEs. Bell, and our LBs are not the answer.
3. Davone Bess: Davone, welcome to the dog house. You'll be bunking next to Teddy. Davone has really disappointed me the past two games. He's making too many careless mistakes at all the wrong times. Dropped passes and fumbles are things we don't expect from this guy. And let's not kid ourselves, he fumbled on that Haynos TD drive, and had it been challenged could have had a huge impact on the outcome of the game. I don't see Bess returning punts next game.
4. Chad Henne: I know he's pretty much a rookie. I know it's only his 4th start in the NFL. But for crying out loud kid, learn to throw away the ball!!!! Over half the sacks in this game could have been avoided by simply throwing the ball away. He must learn to go through his progressions quickly, while feeling the pocket around him.
5. Dan Henning: What will it take for this guy to get a clue how to run our offense based on how a defense is playing us? Does this guy know how to make adjustments? Twice, we tried running the same blocking scheme that worked real well the first time we used it against the Jets overload blitz. First time, it results in a sack. I gues he thought that was a fluke, so we tried it again. Result: Another sack. Here's an idea, how about you throw some slant patterns or drag routes for the WRs who are in one-on-one coverage? You know, routes that don't take more than 3 seconds to develop, which is roughly the amount of time Henne has to throw the ball.
So yes, this was another ugly affair between the Dolphins and Jets. But we showed just enough fortitude to come out the victors at the end, and as I mentioned before.....that's all that matters.