This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel. Want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations? Then you need Comcast's NFL RedZone.
The Dolphins were again pretty darn good from inside the Patriots' 20 yard line - scoring two touchdowns on four red zone possessions. The other two trips resulted in field goals - meaning that since week seven, the Dolphins have just one red zone trip that didn't end with at least a field goal.
One of those drives into the red zone, though, came right before the half. Chad Henne connected with Ted Ginn on a 19 yard pass play along the left sideline - in which Ginn did an excellent job of catching the football and keeping his feet in bounds - that gave the Dolphins a 1st & 10 from NE's 11. But there were only six seconds left so the Dolphins had to settle for the field goal. In my mind, when an offense doesn't run a single offensive play inside the red zone other than a field goal attempt, it shouldn't count towards that team's red zone efficiency. But it does - so be it.
The other drive that resulted in Miami settling for a short field goal occurred on their second possession of the second half. The Pats had just scored to make it 21-10. But a pass interference call on a pass to Brian Hartline set the Dolphins up at NE's 9 yard line. But an incompletion, a three yard run, and a painful incompletion that should have been a touchdown forced the Fins to settle for three. On that 3rd & goal play from the 6, Henne had Greg Camarillo open in the left flat but his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and fell short of Camarillo. What we should have seen, since nobody was around Camarillo, was Henne put some touch on it to get it over the line and out in front of Greg. But that was one of just a few poor throws by Henne - I'll let it go.
On their first red zone possession, the Dolphins need only three plays to get into the endzone. From NE's 18 yard line, Ricky Williams gained 5 on first down. Second down saw Henne miss what probably should have been a touchdown to Anthony Fasano. But Henne bounced back, hitt Davone Bess on a slant route and lett Bess do the rest, scampering into the endzone.
The Dolphins final red zone possession came late in the third quarter and this one was a battle. We saw the Dolphins turn to the ground, with Ricky and Lex Hilliard gaining nine on three plays - setting up a fourth and one. Of course the Dolphins did what we all knew they should do, giving the ball to Lousaka Polite. He did what he does, picking up another short yardage conversion. Three plays later, Henne threw an absolutely perfectly placed ball to Brian Hartline, who made a terrific grab and got both feet down in the back left corner of the endzone.
The Dolphins have now scored 25 red zone touchdowns on 40 possessions - a solid 63% efficiency.