Andy Cohen: A Great Finish For JT And Dolphins

Posted Jan 1, 2012

A season of "almosts" and "what ifs" ended in the sweetest possible way for the Miami Dolphins.

You beat the New York Jets. You knock them out of the playoffs. You celebrate the final game of Jason Taylor’s career with a victory. You do it at home with a second-half comeback.

Can it get much better than that?

Well, actually, it could have been better than that if Taylor’s fourth-quarter touchdown on a fumble return hadn’t been overturned. Talk about a Hollywood ending to his remarkable career. You can’t come up with a script much more heartwarming than that one.

Oh well, Taylor will have to settle for beating the Jets. For getting carried off the field amid a swarm of photographers. For being in there on the final offensive snap, quarterback Matt Moore giving Taylor the game ball as the final seconds expired. For hearing the fans chanting “JT” over and over again.

Come to think of it — touchdown or not — it was a final game that Jason Taylor should be so proud of.

And the Dolphins will gladly take.

Sure, all of this was bittersweet. The way the Dolphins played over the final nine games — going an impressive 6-3 — it is a shame this game couldn’t have had more meaning in the big picture, the playoff picture. But when you start 0-7, what can you realistically expect?

Nonetheless, for one sun-splashed day, the Dolphins had a lot to enjoy, had to so much to savor.

Was that Randy Starks with two interceptions? A defensive lineman? Are you kidding me?

“Might be at left corner next year if he could lose about 10 pounds,” Coach Todd Bowles joked about the 305-pound Starks.

Was that the longest drive in team history that put the Dolphins up for good? More than 12 minutes? Twenty-one plays? Six third-down conversions? Talk about handing the Jets a slow, methodical finishing blow, this was clearly it.

And this was the Dolphins continuing to make plays, just as they have done for much of these final nine games. When you consider they did it without their best offensive lineman, Jake Long, and their top offensive player, Reggie Bush, it is even more impressive.

But more than anything else, this was a day that belonged to Jason Taylor. It is hard to properly put into words what Taylor has meant to this franchise in the 13 seasons he has worn aqua and orange. He has led in so many ways. He is first class in everything he does. But what he will always be remembered most for is the way he tormented quarterbacks: 139.5 sacks, to be exact. Only five other players in NFL history have had more. Next stop: Canton, Ohio.

For a guy who was supposed to be too small, he stands awfully BIG today. What a career! What a finish! It was a day the Jets would love to forget and one the Dolphins won’t soon forget.
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