The Miami Dolphins kept the New York Jets out of the playoffs this week by defeating the AFC East division rivals 19-17. Neither team's offense was spectacular on the day, and this week's game ball nominees clearly establish that. Without further ado, I give you the three nominees for the Miami Dolphins Week 17 game ball - the final game ball of the season.
Nominee 1 - Randy Starks. There's not a whole lot defensive end Randy Starks didn't do this week. He had two tackles, a quarterback sack, and two interceptions. Starks was everywhere Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez wanted to go, or wanted to put the ball. A Pro Bowler last season, Starks had the game of his life Sunday.
Nominee 2 - Dan Carpenter. Last season, it seemed like kicker Dan Carpenter was a permanent fixture in the game ball posts. This season, there has (usually) been enough positive performances to keep "DC$" off the nominee list. But, this week, he earned his way into consideration. Carpenter went 4-for-4 on field goals, including a 58-yarder to end the first half of Sunday's contest, with his right leg, and the 13-points it provided, being the difference between a Dolphins win and yet another loss on a bad season.
Nominee 3 - Jason Taylor. Come on. You didn't really think I wouldn't put linebacker Jason Taylor up for this week's game ball, did you? Taylor may have only had 1 tackle, and 1 quarterback hit on Sunday, but that QB hit was huge, sending Sanchez' pass directly to Starks for the interception. Taylor also had his seventh fumble recovery for a touchdown during the game, only to have replay deny him, and us as fans, a great moment in the future Hall of Famer's final game. But, really, this game ball nominee is for 13 years of Miami Dolphins greatness, plus those two years he spent in other uniforms. Taylor was a class act from the day he was drafted through his locker room and media availability after the game. Interim head coach Todd Bowles and the team gave the game ball to Taylor in the locker room - how can he not be nominated here?
So, who do you award this week's game ball? Vote below.
Who deserves the Miami Dolphins Week 17 game ball?
Randy Starks (1 sack, 2 INTs) (385 votes)
Dan Carpenter (4/4 FGs, Long 58 yards) (90 votes)
Jason Taylor (494 votes)
969 total votes