The streak is finally over. Miami won their first road playoff game in 28 years. They played very good. Miami now plays at Jacksonville on Sunday. It's the same situation they were in a year ago going on the road against the highest playoff seed. BUT, Jacksonville is not Denver. The Jags will be heavy favorites, but stranger things have happend.
In the Halftime show Randy Cross said Marino didn't play good and we might see Brock Huard... Well, anybody who has seen Dan play knew it was his day, he played good the first half as well but he only threw 9 passes, it was only a matter of time until Miami started to throw more. He (Cross) was just plain, old fashioned stupid, he probably wanted to say that "ever so popular" line before the game even started. And second,
The guy makes a ton of money, there were only 2 games that week, at least get the names right, Damon Huard not Brock, Brock plays for the Seahawks... Just let Phil Sims do the talking.
Grading the Dolphins
QB Dan played very very well. He almost didn't throw the entire first half going 5 for 9 for 28 yards, but when it was all over he finished with 17 of 30 for 196 yards 1 TD, 0 INT (87.6 rating). He orchestrated the 85 yard game winning drive. It was a vintage Marino performance, he was brilliant. From their own 8 yard line facing a 3rd and 17 Marino drilled a 24 yard bomb to Martin followed by a 20 yard gain to Martin and after that facing a blitz
and a third and long, he drilled a 24 yard pass to Gadsden at the Seahawk 5. Two plays later JJ Johnson was in for the winning TD. On the other TD drive Marino was a perfect 6 for 6 for 54 yards and a perfectly thrown TD, without having any separation by the WR going against pro bowl CB Shawn Springs. Marino had only 1 or 2 really bad throws, he was sacked only once. Miami played conservative, trying and succeeding to protect the ball and run the football.
But, when the Dolphins needed Marino he came through, Big time. A
RB JJ Johnson ran for over 80 yards. Denson carried a few times with two consecutive good runs of 17 and 12 yards. JJ Johnson ran hard. He looked strong, although his injury did show. He was able to break a few tackles and get the additional yards after the first tackle. He didn't finish with a good average but the numbers are misleading he had a good game. B
WR A good game for the WRs. Martin saved the day in the game winning drive catching 20 and 17 yard strikes from Dan and catching a brilliant 24 yard completion on a 3rd and 17 from the Dolphins' 8 yard line. Martin did drop a pass but that pass was going like a million mph. OJ was very good making first downs and moving the chains. He also had one big reception when he was wide open and had a good catch and run.
Gadsden was pretty quite but when it counted he made the great 24 yard catch that moved Miami to the Seahawk 5 yard line. 2 plays later JJJ was in for the TD. A-
OL Miami stayed with the run and it payed off. Marino had good protection most of the day. Seattle has some big names on the D-line, Kennedy, Adams and Sinclair. The O-line, as I see it is the weak link in this football team if they play good Miami has a chance and they played better the last few weeks. B
DL Armstrong, need I say more. The D-line got 6 sacks. Armstrong got 3 sacks and on another occasion got Kitna for a 1 yard gain so he could have had 4 on the day... They did a good job on Seattle's running game too. Bowens, Gardener and Owens all played very well. On one occasion they had 3 straight sacks. A+
Trace Armstrong sacks Jon Kitna. Armstrong had 3 sacks on the day
LB Zach blitzed. He also had a sack. Jones had a huge special teams hit. Rogers was serviceable. B+
Secondary Surtain had another interference call. Marion was beaten for the TD, He was beaten because he was supposed to cover two different recievers. Other than that the coverage was very good. No big plays for Seattle. Some of the sacks were coverage sacks. They also had 2 INTs (Marion and T-Buck). A solid game but there is no excuse for a 15 yard persoanl foul penalty (Madison)
that gave Seattle 3 points and a chance to win. B+
Special teams Mare kicked 2 FGs. A 50 yarder that looked like Mare had the distance for a 65 yarder. Marion had one big return taking it back to midfield. Jacquet played well most of the game. They had some big hits. Hutton had his best day as a Dolphin with 6 punts inside the 20. BUT, Miami almost lost to a team that really scored only 10 points. Mare could kick 10 FGs but that won't matter if they let a kick get returned for a TD.
We saw it last year with Denver and this year with Indy (both Miami victories).
The team relaxed when the returner dropped the ball.
The return almost cost Miami the game/season. (Well it did until Marino came...) D
Coaching Big Win. Great coaching job. Holmgren rushed 3 on that 3rd and 17 from Miami's 8 yard line. Now that's bad coaching by Seattle, what did Holmgren expect ? Giving Marino even a slight opportunity in that "late playoff game" situation is almost suicide. Miami was ready, they somehow got their confidence back (At least part of it untill sunday). Great job. A-