Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets: Random Observations

I don't really have the time/place to make a few video recaps like I usually do, so instead I'm just going to offer my observations in boring ol' text form.

The Miami Dolphins advanced to 2-3 on the season this week, beating the division-rival New York Jets on a game-winning touchdown drive by second-year quarterback Chad Henne in the final seconds.

I apologize for not doing videos this week, and with the bye coming up in Week Six, that means you'll have to go two weeks without seeing my gorgeous mug. That is, unless you feel the need to watch some of my old video on YouTube.

Offense
  • I was extremely impressed with Chad Henne this week. Sure, he had the benefit of good pass protection and a productive running game, but he looked poised, confident, and made good decisions all night. He also came through when it counted, using his arm to get the Dolphins down the field a couple of times in the final quarter on scoring drives.
  • Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams continue to run hard and gain good yardage after contact. I thought Ricky looked a little slow getting going when he took snaps out of the wildcat, but the team doesn't do that much anyway.
  • Fullback Lousaka Polite, outside of a missed block on the final drive that could have scored Brown, played like a Pro Bowler against the Jets. He made devastating block after devastating block, clearing holes for the tailbacks all night.
  • After a few tough weeks, Ted Ginn, Jr. came through with a few big catches against the Jets. He had a big third-down grab early, and a great catch on the long pass from Henne late. One game doesn't make up for all the drops in recent weeks, but it was nice to see a confidence-boosting performance in the national spotlight.
  • Anthony Fasano finally woke up this week, doubling his reception total on the season and landing a big touchdown.
  • The offensive line performed very well this week, keeping Henne upright and opening up holes in the running game. Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins is a monster and made his share of plays, but overall the Dolphins dominated on the ground. I thought the guards, Justin Smiley and Donald Thomas, in particular did very well.

Defense & Special Teams

  • My only real qualm (yes, qualm) on the defensive side of the ball was the tackling, especially early on. I thought they let Leon Washington get way too many yards and missed way too many tackles.
  • Overall, the Dolphins did a good job of getting pressure on Mark Sanchez. If they didn't hit them, they at least pushed his own offensive linemen in his face and caused some poor throws. Jason Ferguson, Kendall Langford and Tony McDaniel stood out.
  • The linebackers did a much better job in coverage than they had earlier in the season. I thought Channing Crowder played one of his best games in a long time.
  • I thought the pass coverage was solid. Braylon Edwards made a few plays, but overall, the corners did a good job. The 49-yard pass interference penalty on Will Allen was bogus.
  • Gibril Wilson had an up-and-down game, but at least there were some ups too for a change. I'm not a big fan of the "hitting a defenseless receiver" rule they implemented this year, but I knew Wilson would be flagged for his hit and he should have known better. He also has to come up with the potential interception he dropped, even though it would have been negated by a Miami penalty.
  • Dan Carpenter played a mistake-free game, while punter Brandon Fields had one of his best games as a Dolphin.