The Buffalo Bills came and left Miami in first place in the AFC East (although now tied with 5-2 New England). However, they left Miami with a surprising loss to the improved Dolphins. Surprising because the Bills were not expecting Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. to absolutely explode the way he did.
Before today's game against Buffalo, Ginn was next in a long line of Miami Dolphins first round busts. After the game, he was an emerging deep threat who could make tough catches and stretch the field. Funny how one game can change everything, at least for one week. The question is, will this be a coming out party for Ginn, or a flash in the pan?
Ginn had catches of 43 and 64 yards, and finished the day with 7 catches for 175 yards. It was a career day for Ginn, who has been often criticized for his tendency to disappear during games.
Chad Pennington continued putting together the best season by a Dolphins QB since Dan Marino retired. Pennington was 22 of 30 for 314 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass came on a playaction fake at the goalline which sprung Anthony Fasano for a wide open touchdown.
The running game was contained, but the Dolphins didn't need to pound the rock today. They also didn't need the Wildcat in order to put points on the board. There were still moments of inconsistency, but you can see an improvement in this offense from last week.
The Dolphins, sometimes frustrating to watch, seemed to tighten the gears up toward the end of the game, completely shutting down the Bills explosive passing game. The Bills did not score a single point in the 4th quarter and got their last points early in the 3rd quarter. At that point, Joey Porter and the Dolphins defense decided to take over the game.
Porter has now matched his career high of 10.5 sacks.... in seven games! That means he is on pace for more than 20 sacks. Porter also sacked Trent Edwards in the endzone, which led to a Dolphins safety, and forced a fumble on a quarterback sneak. Porter has two forced fumbles onf the season.
Making his first extended appearance of the season was Jason Allen, who might be a safety or a cornerback, we're still not sure. But surprise surprise.... Allen gets on the field and shows himself to be a capable football player. In the fourth quarter, he was in on a lot of plays and wound up leading the team in tackles. Will Allen also contributed, intercepting his first pass of the year.
All in all, it was a good day for a Dolphins team coming off two consecutive losses. They needed a win in the worst way and got it against a tough Buffalo team. The Dolphins are now two games out of first place in their division and still have a chance to make noise later in the season.
After a 1-15 season, we could not have hoped for anything more from this team. The improvement is happening slowly but surely, and it is an up and down process, but it is definitely there.
Next week, the Dolphins face a tough test in 4-3 Denver. It is always tough to go out to Mile High Stadium and get a win. The Broncos have an explosive offense, but huge question marks on defense.
Ted Ginn Jr. may just have a follow up game against a team that has allowed 28 points per game.
Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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