QB Marino was PERFECT. He was brilliant, his passes were accurate and on time. He was pressured a few times but rarely threw a bad pass. When the team looked like there is no way they are going to win, he hung in there and delivered perfect balls leading the team
to victory. He also had excellent long throws to Gadsden (62,48) and Martin (40) that set up big scores, so much for the critisism (can't go long)... On the winning drive he faced 4th and 10 with a blitz and he threw a 48 yard completion to Gadsden to the Colts 2 setting up the winning score (a 2 yard pass to Gadsden). Marino went to Martin a lot
in all stages of the game finding him 10 times for 166 yards. Marino finished with 25 of 38 (65.7%) for 393 yards ! (his best since october 1st 1995 when he threw 450 yards in a demolition of the Bengals) that computes to a rating of 117.5. He needs now only 7 yards to hit 60000 career yards. perfect game perfect grade A+
WR OJ and Drayton were relativley quite (4 rec., 42 yards ; 1 rec., 11 yards respectivly) because Martin was so explosive (10 rec., 166 yards, TD). Gadsden in the winning drive was brilliant with the critical 48 yard reception and the winning TD (4 rec.,123 yards, TD).
Like in the previous games Konrad showed great ability to catch the football out of the backfield, he has great hands and Marino is starting to go to him more often. Pritchett also caught 2 balls for 18 yards (13,5). A
RB Collins got his first carrer start, he was OK although he couldn't get the ball in the endzone in short yardage situations (what else is new ?). There is no doubt in my mind he is Miami's best RB and he will get better (better blocking won't hurt either). He got 21 carries and managed 76 yards and a TD, his first as a Dolphin. His TD run was very nice going straight forward and then sliding to the outside for 25 yards (Do you remember KAJ scoring from 25 yards and in his first start ?!).
Overall Cecil was OK, but the running game must improve in next week's big matchup against New England B-
OL Marino wasn't sacked in 38 attempts but he was pressured a few times, when he got time it was deadly for the Colts so protection is key (besides any hit to Marino puts the season in jeopardy).
The goalline situation is unexecusable, Collins is better than KAJ so you can't blame it on the RB anymore, the blocking wasn't very good, that's all, to have 4 shots to get in from the 2 and not make it...C
DL 2 sacks is a lot considering Manning wasn't sacked untill that game all season long. He usually had time to throw and was very effective. This is not the game the defense will want to linger on, not at all. The D-line did do a good job against the run (no rushing TDs this season). Owens started for Kenny Mixon and he is playing very well registering his 2nd sack of the season. Owens and Armstrong lead the team with 2 sacks each. Gardner recovered a fumble that he returned about 33 yards C+
LB Thomas was his usuall self, causing a fumble in Miami's 1 yard line preventing a colts score that would have put them 10-0 ahead, Rogers had a pass interference penalty. Jones was pretty quite. C+
DB The secondary concieved 3 TDs and Manning had a great game, Harisson didn't catch a lot of balls but when he did they were big ones (1 TD). The INT in the end sealed Miami's victory (the first for Buckley). They should improve and fast because Bledsoe is next and right now he is the best QB in the AFC. C
special teams Mare was excellent as usuall connecting for 4 FGs. The punting by Hutton was good. The return team was OK (exept for one misunderstanding between Marion and Wilson). The coverage tean was AWFUL ! a kickoff return for a TD is unacceptable, It almost cost Miami the game. It's not the first time either, late last season Denver returned a kick for a score (technically it was only 6 regular season games ago), I don't care how good Mare was - F
Coaching 2nd and 5, about 5-6 minutes to go, Miami needs 2(!) scores, Marino is hot and.....the coaching staff call 2 running plays which obviously don't deliver the first down, 1.5-2 minutes are wasted and the Dolhins settle for a FG. If Miami can't punch it in from the 2 at the end of the game (at least they didn't try to run it in...) we are all coming back to this decision...The onide kick was very nice and it took everyone by surprise. Another thing that beats me,
if the referees can't hear you yelling for a review challenge why did they run the 4th down play ? why didn't they tell the offense that they wanted to challenge even risking a delay of game (which the refs would never call in this situation) maybe I didn't understand what was going on because it was starnge, it's not the coaching's fault anyway, the NFL should study that case.
I heard JJ at the end interviewing after the game to WQAM radio, what does Marino have to do to get a compliment out of JJ ? he did throw for 393 yards (Aikman's carrer best heading into this year was 379) C-