In their dressed rehearsal, the third game of the preseason, the rebuilding Dolphins dominated a rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs team, beating them 24-0. The Dolphins starting defense has not allowed a score in 5 quarters and the run defense shut down Larry Johnson, holding him to 36 yards on 13 carries. But the pass defense was swarming as well, with 5 sacks, 3 interceptions and a forced fumble.
Matt Roth appears to have found his niche at the outside linebacker position, getting pressure consistently on the quarterback and recovering the fumble caused by a Channing Crowder sack. Crowder also played lights out, adding 5 tackles to the sack and forced fumble. He certainly spent a lot of time in the Chiefs backfield.
The offense also played well, running the ball consistently with Ricky Williams (12 carries, 47 yards) and making timely passes with Chad Pennington (11 of 15, 94 yards and 1 touchdown). Anthony Fasano caught 3 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown and secured his spot as the starting tight end.
But the most explosive play of the evening came on special teams, when Ted Ginn caught a punt at the Miami 41 and actually ran about 10 yards back and across the field before finding space and showing that speed Dolphins fans have been waiting to see. Ginn returned the punt 59 yards for a touchdown.
The area of concern continues to be penalties, as the Dolphins drew 9 flags. Some turnovers by the 2nd and 3rd teams raised some eyebrows as well, but the first team offense has yet to commit a turnover. John Beck also got to see some playing time late, but a bad snap caused him to fumble and turn the ball over as well.
But the scoreboard said it all, 24-0. And certainly many fans will be more optimistic about this season after seeing the performance of the first team units the past two weeks.
Here's hoping that it carries over into the season.Jason Taylor Injured
In other news, former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor sprained his knee while the Redskins were playing the Carolina Panthers. No word yet on how much time, if any, he will miss. But the Redskins have had some seriously bad luck at the defensive end position.