Dolphins Make A Statement

Posted Dec 23, 2012

Some random thoughts and observations on a day when the Dolphins proved again they’re clearly the second-best team in the AFC East, and not just because of the record.

• Don’t believe me? Consider that the Dolphins split their series against both the Jets and Bills with decisive victories after losing by close margins in the first meeting. The Dolphins ended up outscoring Buffalo and the Jets this season by a 88-61 combined margin. 

• Sadly, the Dolphins’ playoff hopes ended not long after the victory over Buffalo was wrapped up when Cincinnati won at Pittsburgh, but it’s clear the Dolphins are heading in the right direction.

• It’s going to be hard over the next couple of days not to look back at the Tennessee game in Miami as the one that really hurt, especially after the Titans lost 55-7 against Green Bay. That was the one game all season where the Dolphins seemed out of sync the whole day.

• Forcing turnovers has been a hot topic around the Dolphins in recent weeks, and they sure took care of that against Buffalo. After recovering only three of 19 fumbles this season, the Dolphins got all three Bills fumbles on this day.

• Leading the way with two fumble recoveries and a late interception was safety Reshad Jones. It’s too bad the voting for the Pro Bowl closed this week, even though he still has a shot to make it regardless.

• One Dolphins player who definitely should be in the Pro Bowl is defensive end Cameron Wake, and he produced one of the fumbles with a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second half.

• Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett probably are long shots to make the Pro Bowl, but they both had very good seasons and they both were very good again against Buffalo.

• Staying with the topic of the Pro Bowl — and the teams will be announced on Wednesday — punter Brandon Fields has to make it, doesn’t he? He had yet another great performance against Buffalo.

• Interesting that newcomer Dimitri Patterson started at cornerback in place of the injured Nolan Carroll only four days after being claimed off waivers from Cleveland. Patterson has been in the league a long time and he clearly was a quality pick-up late in the season.

• Sunday also marked the much-anticipated debut of rookie tight end Michael Egnew after 14 games on the inactive list. While Egnew got some playing time on offense, he did not catch a pass.

• Actually, it was hard to notice anyone on offense on this day other than Reggie Bush. Like he did against Oakland earlier in the season and later against Seattle, Bush had one of those games where he just shows you his spectacular playmaking ability.

Ryan Tannehill also did a lot of good things, both running and receiving. His 31-yard run in the second quarter, the longest by a Dolphins quarterback since a 33-yarder by Pat White in 2009, was tremendous. He also threw the ball very well, his 30-yard dart to rookie Rishard Matthews down the middle of the field standing as the highlight.

• The Dolphins actually looked like they had Tannehill runs in the game plan more than they had all season. Tannehill ran what looked like a couple of read-option plays along with a quarterback draw.

• While he didn’t have the spectacular day that Bush had, rookie Lamar Miller had an impressive outing as he again showed why everyone is so excited about his long-term potential.

• So the Dolphins wrapped up their home schedule at 5-3 and will be shooting for a .500 overall record with a victory at New England next Sunday. It’s not what anyone wants as a final destination, but the victory against Buffalo was yet another step toward getting to the desired destination.

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