I was away over the weekend, and haven't been able to post. But, I did watch the game.
The Dolphins were on the road, so, naturally, I expected that they would find a way to win. And they did.
It started off as a bad day - Cinicinnatti was able to go no huddle and get down the field quickly on their first drive en route to a 7-0 lead. I was thinking that didn't bode well. But Miami followed that with two field goals, and was looking relatively strong.
Then, a while later, Miami was driving, and things were really looking up. Then Henne threw a pass toward Hartline that was errant, and intercepted. The Bengals did something that the Dolphins never, ever do after a turnover (and which I pointed out last week has a high percentage of success because teams are down after a turnover): they tried to score on that first play after the turnover.
Now how do I capture this moment? The ball was well played by Clemons, only he didn't make the catch. He got both hands on the ball, and it appeared to hit him on the numbers. But it bounced up, and there was TO to grab it and run in for the score.
It 14-6. And there about 3 minutes to go in the half. Miami generates another drive, but it stalls at the 6, so Miami gets another field goal. There's less than a minute left, and Cincinnatti goes 3 and out, and suddenly is punting with 28 seconds to go. Its a short punt, and Bess does a nice job of getting the ball out to midfield.
A couple of plays later, Carpenter hits his career long of 54 yards as time expires. And its 14-12, and Miami gets the ball to start the second half.
The second half starts, and a nice completion to Bess is called back for a hold, and the Fins go 3 and out, and I started thinking they were in trouble...
Except for the fact that their opponent is sometimes caleld "the Bungles" and they found new and unique ways to be inept throughout the second half. People will tell you Miami's defense played great. I respectfully disagree. They played well enough, but their opponent was playing so poorly, they could have made my grandmother and 6 friends look good. They did nothing right, after the break.
And Miami's offense finally got a TD, which was nice to see (guys - see that colored area at the end of the field? that's where you should score!), but just one? They had several 4th and short opportunities (again!) deep in the opponent's territory and settled for a field goal.
And at one point it was 3rd and 9 at the 20, and strageness ensued: Roberto Wallace went out of bounds and came back in bounds to try and make a catch. He couldn't cone down with it, and because he was the first one to touch the ball, the touch was illegal and a penalty was called. The Bengals declined, so it was 4th and 9 at the 20, and Miami took the 3. It shouldn't have come to that, and that's probably why we didn't see Wallace again on the day.
But this nonsense of taking field goals all the time has to stop. Yes, there is a sense that when you are in the early stages of the game, you should simply take the 3, because you're trying to amass points for the endgame. But, you also have to take some chances, and at least try for the endzone here and there. What I'm seeing too much of is being in 3rd and short and going to the shotgun, and there being an incompletion near the line of scrimmage. Why not take a shot at the endzone, or simply power rush for a first? And then not put yourself in that 4th and short situation....
And that leads me back around first to Brandon Marshall. Why did we bring him here if we're not going to use him? He had 5 catches; 4 of them were very quiet. One was a great play on the ball that got a nice first down. And second, to Chad Henne. There was some improvement this week in his game, but he's still checking down too much for my taste. I still expect more from him.
But, hey, this is the NFL and a wins a win. And the Jets lost, so its a decent weekend.