So, I fell behind with preparing to move back to the good ol' Sunshine State (even if I do have to live in the heart of Seminole country now), but here are the missing four weeks of Game Balls.
Some of these were tough to award...especially during the last three games of the season. But, most of the yardage was awarded - and all of the deserving yardage was given out. But, if there is someone deserving that I missed, please let me know.
Hope you all enjoy.
Week 14 (@ Jacksonville)
1-yard Game Ball. Dolphins fans. While Jacksonville still cannot sell out a game, the presence of the traveling fans from Miami led to the Jags having their largest crowd of the season (60,457). Congrats to all of you who attended, giving Miami a little bit of a home while in Jacksonville.
2-yard Game Ball. Randy Starks. Starks is a beast. He had four tackles in this game, two for a loss. The highlight tackle is easily the tackle for loss on David Garrard with about a minute-and-a-half to go. The Jaguars were going for it on fourth down, and Starks ended any chance of a Jacksonville comeback.
3-yard Game Ball. Chad Henne. Simple reasoning here. He had 17 straight completions during the game, the first time in Dolphins history that has ever been accomplished. The only person to come close to that record is Chad Pennington last year completing 18 straight over two games (itself a team record). For a first year quarterback, Chad Henne continues to give all of us hope for the future of this team.
4-yard Game Ball. Greg Camarillo. Suddenly the Camarillo of 2008 appeared, and it was good. He finished the game with 7 catches (on 7 targets) for 110 yards. Plus, he had one tackle.
5-yard Game Ball. Defense. The defense dominated this game. They had three sacks, seven tackles for losses, five passes defensed, and five quarterback hits. The defense held the Jaguars to just 217 yards of total offense, 130 yards of which came on two drives. The Jaguars were forced into 3-and-out drives on six of their first eight possessions. The defense held Maruice Jones-Drew to just 59 yards of rushing. This defense came out determined to win, and decimated the Jaguars in route to that win.
Sack. Ricky Williams. Ricky apparently forgot how to hold on to the football this week. After not having lost a fumble since the Taft administration, Ricky put the ball on the ground three times this week, losing one of them. So, for apparently bathing his hands in grease, Ricky, you lose four yards (one for each fumble, plus one for the lost fumble).
Week 15 (@ Tennessee)
1-yard Game Ball. Ricky Williams. He only got 80 yards in this game, but he did go over 1,000 yards for the season, setting the NFL record for years between 1,000 yard seasons (6). He did also score a touchdown and the game-tying two point conversion. He lost another fumble (second in as many weeks), which keeps him from getting more yardage this week - a week where the yardage was hard to award.
2-yard Game Ball. Chad Henne. Yes, he had three interceptions, including the game-losing interception in overtime, but in only his 11th start, Henne put the team on his back in the second half and led the comeback. He finished 29 for 46 for 349 yards and 1 touchdown to go with the 3 picks.
3-yard Game Ball. Jason Taylor. Taylor seemed to embrace his role as a linebacker in this game. He finished with six total tackles (five solo), a sack, and a tackle for a loss. More importantly, in the second half, he figured out his role in shutting down the run game, refusing to allow Chris Johnson to turn the corner and forcing him back inside.
4-yard Game Ball. Dan Carpenter. DC$ finished the game 3 for 3 on field goals, with a long of 45-yards. He also was 1 for 1 on extra points, resulting in 10 total points. He also had one kickoff for a touchback.
5-yard Game Ball. Brandon Fields. Fields kept up his great performance his season with 3 punts for an average of 53.0 yards. His longest punt was 56 yards, which shows his 53 yard average was not ballooned by one great kick. Another outstanding performance from a great field position weapon.
Sack. The First Half Miami Dolphins. Pathetic first half. The entire team. Great turn around to climb back into the game and force overtime, but this may as well have been a completely different team or game between the two halves. So, the entire team is losing two yards each for this game.
Week 16 (vs. Houston)
5-yard Game Ball. Lex Hilliard. Lex kicked open the barn door and let everyone know he had arrived in this game. He only had 3-carries for 12 yards, but scored his first career touchdowns. But he wasn't done. He led the team in receptions, with 9 catches for 74 yards, and his second career touchdown. In what was an extremely ugly game, Hilliard stood out as a bright spot.
3-yard Game Ball. Ted Ginn, Jr. Ginn played well in this game. He had 5 receptions for 82 yards, a 16.4 yard average. A great performance for a player who, every time Henne throws a pass his direction, most of us cringe.
That's it. No one else gets any yardage. This whole game was a disaster and needs to just be forgotten.
Sack - See Week 15....
Week 17 (vs. Pittsburgh)
1-yard Game Ball. Jason Taylor. JT only had one tackle and one pass defensed in this game, but he gets this yardage for becoming only the fourth Miami Dolphin to start a game in three different decades. That's impressive.
2-yard Game Ball. Tyler Thigpen. Who thought Tyler Thigpen would get yardage this season? He played well, and showed flashes of why he was a solid starting QB in Kansas City. He finished 4 for 8 for 83 yards, with 1-touchdown, and 2-picks.
3-yard Game Ball. Yeremiah Bell. Bell finished off what was actually a pretty decent year for a player most of us don't seem to like. Bell's totals for the year were 114 tackles - to lead the team - , 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 9 passes defensed, and 3 interceptions. In this game, Bell had 6 tackles, and a pick. Another solid game from a player we all love to overlook, if not hate.
4-yard Game Ball. Lousaka Polite. Okay, the Lousaka Monster gets this yardage for his season long work. With his third-down conversion during the game, Polite finished the year with a perfect 16-for-16 on third-or-fourth down conversions. Pretty good for a Pro Bowl "alternate."
5-yard Game Ball. Pat White. Not for his play on the field, but for the hit he took. Yes, it knocked him out of the game, and maybe out of this decade, but, as he left the field he was smiling and moving all of his limbs, even if he was lying on a back board while doing it. Hopefully he will be okay.
Sack. Ricky Williams. Ricky gets this sack for, well, basically, for being old. He ground down over the last few weeks of the season, and in a game where the Dolphins focused on running the ball, especially once Henne was out of the game, Williams only averaged 2.6 yards per carry (12 carries for 31-yards). Now, I know part of this is the o-line, but Pat White averaged 5.4 yards on almost half the number of carries that Ricky had. Just a less than stellar performance for Ricky. 3 yard sack (for his 2.6 yard average - rounded up).
Well, this catches us up. If you have some Fan Game Balls to nominate, please do so. Between the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, I will post the season's yardage totals and we can see who were deemed teh best and worst players on the team.