FINS HAVE BIG DAY IN 33-17 WIN OVER OAKLAND
The Dolphins offense was horrible last week against the Chicago Bears under the quarterback play of Tyler Thigpen. Luckily for the Dolphins, Chad Henne is a fast healer, as he returned to the starting lineup after what many originally considered a season ending knee injury. How did Henne respond in his first start back? Very well, as he turned out one of the best games of his NFL career. Henne finished the day 17 of 30, for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as the Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders 33-17.
Henne wasn't the only player on offense to have a big day. With Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall out for the game with a hamstring injury, Davone Bess took the game over with 6 receptions for 111 yards. Brian Hartline also had a good day as he caught four passes for 75 yards. Despite those big numbers by Bess and Hartline, the best reception of the day may have been made by undrafted free agent Marlon Moore as he turned his only reception into a 57 yard touchdown. The running game, which has been mostly invisible for the the entire season, awoke today and produced 186 yards and one toucdown. Ricky Williams turned out 95 yards and Ronnie Brown added another 85.
The Dolphins controlled the game from early on, even despite giving up a 101 yard kick off return for a touchdown by Jacoby Ford on the game's opening play. While the Dolphins trailed the Raiders 14-13 at halftime, the game was very one sided in the first half in favor of the Dolphins. Miami then came out and blew the game wide open in the second half. It didn't take long after the start of the third quarter for Henne to hook up with Moore to give the Dolphins a 20-14 lead. After a Dan Carpenter field goal made it 23-13, the Dolphins did receive a scare from the Raiders as they turned in a few big plays and eventually added a field goal of their own to make it 23-17. Miami re-took control of the game with a Carpenter field goal to make it 26-17 and sealed the game with a 45 yard touchdown run by Ricky Williams.
The Dolphins, now at 6-5, still have a lot of ground to cover with the New York Jets and New England Patriots both at 9-2. Also, it doesn't help Miami that both Baltimore and Pittsburgh won today to improve their records to 8-3. The playoffs may still be a long shot for Tony Sparano's bunch, but after today it is very apparent that this team is not going to just roll over and die. After a pathetic performance last Thursday night against the Bears, this was a perfect rebound game.
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