Dolphins vs Patriots game summary 10/18/99
Grading the Dolphins
QB Huard played for the injured Marino. His performance was good but he had problems in a few areas. Although he did lead the team to a comeback victory, most of his passes were short (exept the 69 yard TD to Martin) in order to keep it simple for him.
His stats were 24 of 42 for 240 yards 2 TD, 1 INT. That computes to a rating of 79.5. The problem was that he was sacked 9 times. Some of that was his inexperience and that he held the ball to much. He didn't want to throw an INT and he is not good at throwing the ball away.
Huard rushed for 54 yards on 6 carries, some of them sustaining a drive. That was refreshing, but I personnaly don't like scrambling QBs, they could get injured (Young, Brunell etc.) and it's really not worth it (if he is a starter anyway).
He did get better as time passed, he is a fine QB. It's
good to know that Miami can win without Marino, something they could never do in the past. Huard was good on sunday and he can probably carry the tean past Philadelphia if he needs to, but Miami needs Marino. B
WR Martin is Miami's best WR. Only now we can see how Miami was lacking a big play WR last year. OJ was quiet, and really he is not playing at his level all year. Gadsden was quite also.
Konrad was hurt, but Pritchett did an execellent job, especially on the last drive, getting 1st downs and the game winning TD at the end. Drayton continued his good play, grabbing 4 balls for 49 yards. B+
RB 122 yards rushing is misleading. 54 of those rushing yards were Huard scrambles. In 6 carries Huard got almost as much as Collins got in 20 (59 yards). A 3.0 yards per run is not very good. JJJ had 2 carries for -2 yards...D
OL The cat is out of the bag. Without Marino's quick release, the O-Line showed what they are worth. OK, so Huard hung on to the ball to much fearing an INT but 9 sacks !? Imagine if they were protecting a normal QB instead of Marino... The horror show continued all day, on one drive Huard was sacked 3 consecutive times ! the 9 sacks were most in team history.
The absense of Webb and Dixon was showing badly. The run blocking wasn't good also. Miami couldn't puntch it in after having a 1st and goal from the 5. The upside is that the only way is up. (although with Philadelphia's defense I am not that sure..) F
DL Bledsoe wasn't pressured to much. The line got 2 sacks both by Bromell. Patriot running game ? I didn't see one. The D-Line stopped a weak Patriot running game. Don't forget New England got 14 points by the defense and 3 by their special teams (61 yard kickoff return), so in a sense the defense gave up 13 points. B+
LB Thomas, Jones and Rogers had a quite afternoon. There was no running that needed to be stopped, they dropped to coverage very effectivly, Coates was not a big factor. good game B+
Secondary Execellent game. Glenn didn't have a reception ! he came in leading the league ! Buckley did not play but Surtain was very good. Madison was my MVP of the game shutting down Glenn A
Special teams Aside from one big return, a 61 yarder by Kevin Faulk, the coverage was good. As I said in the past I think that the kickoff coverage team has a few problems. Jackquet was execellnt on the punt return team with a big 45 yard return, and his other 3 returns were also good. Maybe he should be returning punts to prevent injuries to OJ and T-Buck.
And last but not least, Oindo Mare - Broke an NFL record by kicking 4 FGs in 4 consecutive games, Broke Dolphins record for most FGs in a game that stood for more than 2 decades, He also hit the longest FG of his carrer, a 53 yarder, when the game was on the line, in the 4th quarter. If he misses that FG the game is over. Mare is 19 of 20 FGs on the year. As I said in my game preview, Miami has a better kicker.. He is right now the best kicker in the NFL. A
Coaching Not to many difficult calls. Perhaps kicking the 53 yard FG. They gave Huard time to enter the game slowly, having him complete short passes. The coaches were confident, even when it looked bad, down 14-0 without Marino.
Marino also helped Huard get into things B-