I wonder who the top performer for the Dolphins' defense was this week?
This week's Game Balls are brought to you by Sprint.
Man, I hate the bye week. It seems like forever since the Dolphins were on the field. But, apparently, the bye week did some good for this team.
What a game. What a performance from all three personnel groupings.
I'm going to do something a little different this week. In light of, what I felt was a solid performance by just about everyone on Sunday, I'm going to double up on every Game Ball, giving one to the offense and one to the defense.
So, let's get to the Game Balls, shall we?
Week 4 Fan Game Ball. There was a lot of discussion two weeks ago between giving additional yardage to Vontae Davis or to Ricky Williams. But, with a late push in the comments, I think the Fan Game Ball was decidedly given to Kendall Langford. Langford finished the game second on the team with 6 tackles (1 behind Yeremiah Bell), along with a sack and an additional QB hit. Seems like every week, Langford has a solid performance at the defensive end position. He's never a guy that gets a lot of recognition, but he definitely performs.
Offense 1-Yard Game Ball. Lousaka Polite. Sure, for the first time since the Carter administration, Polite was stopped on a 3rd Down an 1 play (about 2:00 to go in the third quarter from the Green Bay 27), but Polite is constantly performing and, since he is a fullback, not getting the love. Well, today, he gets some love. He had 4 carries for 7 yards in the game. I did think it was interesting that Lex Hilliard checked into the game at fullback late Sunday, but either way, Lousaka deserves to pickup some yards here.
Defense 1-Yard Game Ball. Channing Crowder. Crowder only had three tackles during the game, but him simply being on the field was a huge boost to the defense. As has been discussed on this site already, Crowder may never be a star ILB, but he can be a very solid #2 ILB. Plus, as we have all seen in those commercials, he "thirsts for a Title."
Offense 2-Yard Game Ball. Chad Henne. It may not have been his best game, but Henne played well Sunday. Sure, that one interception was scary to all of us as fans, and killed a promising drive , but overall, Henne had a solid 23 for 39, 231 yards, and 2 touchdown day.
Defense 2-Yard Game Ball. Jason Allen. Another game, another interception by Allen. Do you realize, Jason Allen is second in the league in interceptions thus far this year? Allen also led the team in tackles with 5, and had two more passes defensed. Another great game from a player most of us considered a draft bust going into the season.
Special Teams 2-Yard Game Ball. Dan Carpenter. Okay, so this is the only special teams game ball I am giving out this week, even though the unit played much better than the previous weeks. But, overall, DC$ stood out far above that of the rest of the team (okay, maybe not far above Nolan Carroll, but above everyone else). Going 3 for 3 on field goals, with kicks from 53 yards, 41 yards, and 43 yards - his 4thgame winning kick of his career - along with his 2 extra points, gets Carpenter some yardage this week.
Offense 3-Yard Game Ball. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Brown finished the game with 73 yards on 19 carries. Couple that with Williams'69 yards on 13 carries, and you end up with a running back tandem that carried the ball 32 times for 137 yards (a 4.3 ypc average). In a game where the Dolphins returned to their power football roots, the "R&R Express" didn't fail.
Defense 3-Yard Game Ball. Koa Misi. The rookie linebacker continues to prove his worth- and earn his name - with this Dolphins defense. He picked up his third sack of the season, along with another QB hit and 3 tackles. He is currently tied for 29thin the league in sacks, with guys named Dwight Freeney, Aaron Kampman, and that #99 guy from the New York team not called the Giants.
Offense 4-Yard Game Ball. Jake Long, Richie Incognito, Joe Berger, Pat McQuistan, and Vernon Carey. These guys dominated throughout the day. Chad Henne was hit four times all day. Four. The line opened up holes resulting in 150 yards of rushing. The offensive line has finally gotten their chemistry going. Now, hopefully, they can sustain it throughout the rest of the season.
Defense 4-Yard Game Ball.Randy Starks. Is Starks a defensive end or a nose tackle? Does it really matter? The guys simply makes plays. On Sunday he notched 3 tackles, a sack, and 2 more QB hits. Starks seems to always know eher to be and how to get there. It will be fun when Jared Odrick comes back, to see Starks back in his normal 2010 position of nose tackle.
Offense 5-Yard Game Ball. Brandon Marshall. Marshall reach double digit catches in a game that the Dolphins were trying to "pound the rock." He finished the game with those 10-receptions, for 127 yards. He is currently tied for fourthin the league with 37 receptions and 11th with 467 yards. Just to put that in a little more perspective, he is currently on pace for 1,494 yards receiving, on 118 receptions - surpassing the Dolphins records of 1,398 yards and 90 catches.
Defense 5-Yard Game Ball. Cameron Wake. Was there any doubt here? Wake tallied 3 sacks, and 6 more QB hits. He was a constant menace in the backfield, threatening to hit Aaron Rodgers on every play. His 6 sacks through 5 games puts him tied for 4th in the league, just 2.5 behind the league leader, Clay Matthews. He is also on pace to surpass the Dolphins single season sack record, looking to get to 19 sacks, 0.5 more than the record.
Sack Speaking of sacks, it's time for this week's sack. After such a great game, I really didn't want to give anyone the negative yardage for the week, but I have to. But, I have an easy scapegoat this week. This week's 1-yard sack goes to linebacker and special teamer Bobby Carpenter. His missed assignment on special teams let the Packers deflect a Brandon Fields punt - and giving every single Dolphins fan the same dreaded feeling all at the same time. Luckily, the Special Teams bounced back. But, Bobby Carpenter was just bounced - and is no longer part of the team. Which, by the way, also allows DC$'s jersey to just read "Carpenter" again.
So, let me know what you think....