Last year, I stole the Game Balls piece from Nicky. In keeping up with my theft, I restart this year's Game Balls.
To remind you, I will name 5 Game Balls for each week. The highest award will be a 5-yard Game Ball, working down to 1-yard. At the end of the year, I will total the entire yardage gained, to figure out our Top 5 Dolphins of 2010.
But, it's not all positive. There's also a weekly sack, in which I will name the least valuable player from the previous game, and award negative yardage to them - anywhere from -1 to -5 yards.
And, then there's the Fan Game Ball. That choice is up to all of you. It's a 1-yard Game Ball given to whomever you all choose. It could be used to award someone I missed. It could be used to award additional yardage. However you choose. All you have to do to vote is write a comment including who you think should get the Fan Game Ball. That's it. Before next week's post, I will go back and look through the thread to determine the winner - and then announce it in the next post (so, Week 1's Fan Game Ball will be announced in Week 2's post).
With that said, let's get to this week's Game Balls:
1-Yard Game Ball: Jason Allen. Allen gets the 1-yard Game Ball here for not having his name called all game. He finished the game with 6 tackles (3rd on the team) and 1 pass defensed. More importantly, a guy most of us write off as a bust, suddenly is a starting cornerback in the league, and played well enough that there wasn't a glaring Will Allen sized hole in the secondary. Now, as long as the coaching staff allows J. Allen to stay at cornerback, perhaps he can finally develop into the player that we all thought he would be when he was drafted.
2-Yard Game Ball: Ronnie Brown. Ronnie looked good out there. Sure, the Wildcat seemed to struggle, but that's a good job by Buffalo over a poor performance from Brown. Brown finished the game with 65-yards on just 13-carries, for a 5.0 yard per carry average, along with a touchdown. It wasn't a stellar day for the Dolphins' offense, but Ronnie Brown stood out amongst the mediocrity.
3-Yard Game Ball: Cameron Wake and Koa Misi. Both of these guys came to play against Buffalo. Both players recorded a sack, along with two additional quarterback hits each. After one week, the Dolphins' pass rush is not missing the two sack-leaders from last season, Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. Wake also had 2 passes defensed and 3 tackles, while Misi added 4 tackles of his own.
4-Yard Game Ball: Karlos Dansby. Dansby tied for the team lead in tackles with 8 (Yeremiah Bell) and had a sack and 3 additional quarterback hits. All in all, it was a great game for the Dolphins pass rush, and Dansby led the way. When not getting after the QB, Dansby seemed to be everywhere, in on every play. It's nice to see a Dolphins LB flying around the field again.
5-Yard Game Ball: Chris Clemons. What FS need? I know, it was only one game, but seriously, Clemons suddenly showed what no one thought he could. If Clemons can keep up his performance like he did on Sunday, the Dolphins' secondary just became even scarier. Clemons had 5 tackles, two for losses in the game, and seemed to be everywhere in the secondary. It was a great game from a player most of us doubted leading into the season.
Sack: Dan Carpenter. DC$ was anything but money on Sunday. Missing a 40+ yard field goal isn't really enough to qualify for the weekly sack, but a turd sandwich of a kick off out of bounds sure is (See what I did there, Nicky?). I will chalk it up to first game jitters, but DC$ needs to correct his play on the field, and correct it quickly. -3 yards.
Well, that's it for Week 1 Game Balls. Please let me know what you think, and remember to nominate people for the Fan Game Ball, to be announced next Tuesday.