The Miami Dolphins know that they have an uphill (more like up mountain) battle to get back into the playoff race in the AFC. After starting 0-7, they dug themselves quite a hole to dig out of. For their part, they’re doing and saying the right things, trying to recapture what was once a lost season. The Dolphins beat the injury depleted Buffalo Bills up and down the field on Sunday. They jumped out to an early 21-3 lead and didn’t look back.
Matt Moore led the Dolphins offense effectively, throwing for 160 yards and 3 TDs. Moore has looked much better of late, since replacing Chad Henne as the Dolphins starter. Moore is 3-3 as the Dolphins starter this season and is showing signs of improving every week. Although he did not throw for a lot of yards on Sunday, he completed 70% of his passes and had a QB rating of 133.3. THAT is the type of quarterback play the Dolphins have been looking for. Surprisingly, Moore had another good day, but did so without relying too much on his star receiver. Brandon Marshall only caught 1 ball for 5 yards on Sunday. Moore spread the ball around, connecting with 6 different receivers and throwing TDs to 3 different Dolphins.
The Dolphins defense was great, after allowing the Bills to score a field goal on their opening drive. The Dolphins defense was especially tough on third downs, as the Bills failed to convert a 3rd down in 12 chances. THAT is the type of defense we expected to see from the Dolphins.
Special Teams also played a role for the Dolphins. They blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. This was truly an all around team win. You can’t say enough about how well the Dolphins have been playing for Tony Sparano lately. BUT, we have to remember that this is the same team that started 0-7. How could a team that looks this good now, look so bad for almost the entire first half of the season? Were they not prepared? Did the Lockout have that big of an effect on them? If so, why did it effect the Dolphins more than other teams? Unfortunately for Sparano, it’s likely that only a 9-7 finish and a playoff birth can save his job. Anything less and he should face the consequences of his team’s slow start.
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