The Miami Dolphins are 2&0. Can you believe it? For the first time since 2002, Miami has started a year undefeated after two weeks - and even more impressive, the Dolphins started the season 2&0 with 2 road games. Amazing start.
Week 2 saw the defense once again shine for Miami, but the offense at least showed signs of waking up this week. Although they only connect 4 times, the Chad Henne to Brandon Marshall connection is starting to work. And, ignoring their two fumbles, the R&R Express looked pretty decent most of the game. The O-Line is beginning to dominate.
It's a good time to be a Dolphin Fan!
To recap how the Game Balls work, each week, I will award five Game Balls, ranging from 1- to 5-yards gained. There will alos be one sack, where I will award negative yards. Then, by the comments made in the thread, the following week, I will announce the winner of the 1-yard "Fan Game Ball," given either to someone I left out of the other Game Balls, or adding a yard to someone who deserves more than I gave them.
So, with that complete, we will now proceed to the Week 1 Fan Game Ball. It was interesting looking back at how all the comments worked out for the Fan Game Ball last week. Votes were spread all over the place, with multiple votes for Brandon Fields, Brandon Marshall, Chad Henne, and Vontae Davis. The biggest controversy of the week seemed to be my awarding Jason Allen yardage for "not screwing up" (as one comment read), while ignoring the "heart-and-soul" of the secondary. But, the consensus for the week seems to have corrected this. So, with 8 tackles, 1 for a loss, and 1 pass defensed, Yeremiah Bell collects this week's Fan Game Ball.
Now, on to Week 2 Game Balls:
1-Yard Game Ball: Brian Hartline. After a week of criticism, debate on benching him, and non-stop ridicule, Hartline made his 2010 debut on Sunday, a week after the rest of the team. Although he was only targeted 3 times, he made receptions on all 3 of those targets, with the first being the Dolphins first touchdown of the game.
2-Yard Game Ball: Brandon Fields. Fields redeemed himself after a mediocre day punting last week. Other than one great kick pinning the Bills deep in their own territory, Fields' punts were lackluster most of the game. However, against the Vikings, Fields kicked 6 times, pinning the Vikings within their own 20 on 4 of those kicks. He averaged 40.3 yards per kick, with a long of 59. A pretty good day for a punter.
3-Yard Game Ball: Cameron Wake. Wake disrupted Brett Favre all game. He finished the game with 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a 1 quarterback hit. Plus, he forced the fumble that Koa Misi jumped on in the endzone, giving the Dolphins a 14-0 lead, and proving to have locked down the win for the Dolphins. And, I would have given Wake, and the entire LB crew more respect this week, if not for 145 yards rushing from Adrian Peterson. The defense is awesome, but it seemed like whenever AP wanted to get a big gain, the defense would bounce off of him on the first (and second) attempt to tackle him. A great game for Wake pressuring Favre, but altogether, the linebackers need to shutdown the run a little better.
4-Yard Game Ball: Yermiah Bell. Okay, so I left Bell off last week's Game Balls. You all crushed me for it. I get it, you all like the tackles he gets us. In my defense, after Bell led the team with 92 tackles last year, I kind of expect him to have a high tackles total. Plus, is it really a good thing when your Safety is the guy leading your team in tackles? But, when you put up 12 tackles, with 1 for a loss, you deserve the Game Ball.
5-Yard Game Ball: Jason Allen. Allen again stepped up this week, assuring all of us doubters that he really can play the cornerback position - and thank you Tony Sparano for finally gving Allen a position and leaving him there. Allen finished the game with 2.5 interceptions (come on...that first pick should have counted if not for offsetting penalties), and 11 tackles. The guy is playing lights out football right now, and I, personally, feel much better about the decision to start Allen over Sean Smith.
Sack: The sack for this week was pretty easy to select. Ricky Wiliams and Ronnie Brown each had a potentially very costly fumble (and yes, I know Ricky's led to a touchdown two plays later, but that only brought the score to 14-7, and in the end, wasn't as bad as it could have been). While I won't crush a running back for a single fumble, because fumbles happen, having both of them fumble on the play after a Jason Allen interception was infuriating. Ronnie did finish the game with 80 yards on 13 carries (6.2 ypc average) and Ricky added another 30 yards on 10 carries, so it wasn't a horrible day for the duo, but the fumbles were ugly. As such, -2 yards for each.
So, let's have it. Who did I skip? Who should have had more?
And...let's bring on the Jets!
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I accept the failure I had not giving Jake Long and Vontae Davis game balls this week. Therefore, I will award them the following yardage: Long - 4 yards. Davis - 3 yards. If you disagree, plesae feel free to continue to nominate them for the Fan Game Ball. Otherwise, feel free to begin nominating someone else.]