This week's Game Balls are brought to you courtesy of Sprint.
But, we already are discussing that this week. I'll let that discussion continue somewhere else. Here, we will award Game Balls for those Dolphins who played well this past week.
And, as I said in the Game Thread, I did not get this week's game on TV. So, I am going off what I saw on the Red Zone Channel, the Game Thread comments, the box score, and the write-ups you all have made since the game. If I miss someone, please let me know in the comments, which will result in the Fan Game Ball next week.
First, a look back at last week's Fan Game Ball:
Week 6 Fan Game Ball. Last week's Fan Game Ball was pretty much a consensus pick. Everyone wanted to see Dan Carpenter pickup more yards than the two he was originally awarded. As such, he gets this week's Fan Game Ball, and an additional yard. Just to recap, DC$ went 3-for-3 last week, with field goals of 53-, 41-, and 43-yards.
1-Yard Game Ball. Ikaika Alama-Francis. Okay, it will never go down as an official stat (his line for this game was 1 tackle), but, I'm pretty sure he recovered a fumble in the endzone near the end of the game, that sealed the Dolphins win. But, on further review, I can't conclusively determine if any of this is true....
2-Yard Game Ball. Chris Clemons. Clemons tied Karlos Dansby for the team lead in tackles with 9, added a 0.5 sack, and had a forced fumble on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The result of that forced fumble? See IAF's write up above.
3-Yard Game Ball. Jake Long, Richie Incognito, Joe Berger, Pat McQuistan, and Vernon Carey. This is the second week in a row these guys are picking up yards. The pass protection this group gets is amazing. Chad Henne was only hit twice all game, with one sack. When you have a QB attempting 36 passes, and he is only hit twice, your O-line is doing something right. When you run the ball 21 times, and only average 3.0 yards, your O-line also has some improvements to make. But, I'd rather have a hard time running the ball against the Steelers than have Chad Henne being hit like Jay Cutler or Tony Romo.
4-Yard Game Ball. Davone Bess. The only player to score without kicking the ball, Bess found the endzone on a beautiful tight rope, tackle breaking, sideline dash. He finished the game with the team lead in receptions, with 6, had 66 yards, and the one score. Bess also returned two punts for 27 yards (a 13.5 average).
5-Yard Game Ball. Dan Carpenter. DC$ was money during this game. A week after going 3-for-3, Carpenter backed it up with a 5-for-5 performance, adding an extra point to score 16 of Miami's 22 points this week.
Sack. Yes, the fumble call was horrible - even if it was technically the right call, when going by the NFL Rulebook. And, I really wanted to give this sack to either the refs or the playbook itself, but I am going to go somewhere else. I hate criticizing coaches. I really do. I don't have their job. I don't want their job. I don't expect a coach to be able to tell me how to properly coordinate and fire artillery rounds 30 km from the howitzer, and have it impact within 50 meters of the target. So, I shouldn't really expect me to understand the intricacies of a coach's job and trash him for what I see as incorrect calling. As Matty has said before, the difference between a stupid play call and a brilliant play call is often execution. Think about the play in Week 6 where Chad Henne threw back across the field to Anthony Fasano after every player on the team not named Fasano or Jake Long ran to the right. Brilliant call....unless it didn't work. Then we would have all been screaming about how dumb it was.
But, this week is different. For the first time, I will (temporarily) jump on the Trash Dan Henning Bandwagon. I don't know what game he was watching, but it didn't seem to be the same game as the rest of us. Why on Earth are you handing the ball off when you are down 20-19, when the run game has been stuffed all day? Even worse, why are you handing off the ball to Ronnie Brown, who averaged 1.6 yards per carry on the day, when Ricky Williams averaged 4.4 yards? I don't understand what happened to the offense during the game. Chad Henne would start making good throws, and suddenly we returned to a stagnant run game, just because we could. As such, I am giving Dan Henning a full 5 yard sack this week.