The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


Following a tough week in which he faced non-stop criticism as being a first round bust, Ted Ginn turned on the jets and ran his way into the record books by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. Ginn literally and figuratively turned on the Jets in leading the Fins to a wild and crazy 30-25 win over their hated rivals at the Meadowlands. In so doing, he became the seventh player in NFL history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a game.

The game at the Meadowlands seemed to be the antithesis of the game earlier this season against the Colts. In that game, the Fins let the game slip away at the end even though they held the ball for 45 minutes and gained 239 yards rushing. This Sunday, the Fins held on to win despite a meager total of only 104 yards of offense (split evenly between the rushing and passing game) and losing the time of possession battle by over 8 minutes.

This win was an ugly win, even to Czarcells whose old motto is “you are what your record says you are.” At 3-4, the Fins are mediocre at best, but this week they were lucky and escaped with a win. The Jets had the ball deep in Dolphins’ territory inside the two-minute warning when the defense—that had given up touchdowns on the last 3 Jets’ drives—sacked Mark Sanchez on third down and forced him to retreat from the pocket and throw incomplete to a blanketed receiver at the back of the end zone on fourth down. From there it was fall on the ball time for the Fins.

Lucky or not, this win was set up by 21 third-quarter points that were scored without the offense running a single play. And that was real lucky considering the offense was horrendous the entire afternoon, save for one 67-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a short touchdown pass to Joey Haynos that put the Fins up 30-19. It would have been 31-19, but Sparano elected to go for 2-points and the attempt failed.

The Fins’ defense was quite spotty. On the plus side, they held the Jets to 3 points in the first half, got a defensive score in the third quarter and (barely) held the Jets in the red zone on their final possession to effectively end the game. The defensive score was a beauty; Paul Soliai stripped Mark Sanchez and Jason Taylor scooped up the fumble and returned it the distance for his ninth defensive touchdown, which tied another record.

The Fins’ offense was poor against the Jets, notwithstanding their success against the Jets just 3 weeks earlier. This time the Wildcat fell flat. The Fins averaged barely 2 yards per offensive play, which was, plainly offensive. Chad Henne managed the one short touchdown pass (to Haynos) and escaped without an interception, but he generally looked quite poor in the process. For the afternoon, he was 12 of 21 for 112 yards. He was sacked 6 times, often for big series-killing losses. Although he wisely did not get forced into any turnovers, Henne needs to learn to get rid of the ball to avoid taking big drive-killing losses. He lost a total of 60 yards on his sacks. The Fins only had one real drive the entire game. That too was offensive.

Despite his heroics on special teams, Ted Ginn was anything but special as a receiver. He was shut out for the day. A first round receiver needs to be better. When it comes to his skills as a receiver, Ted Ginn needs to be a lot better. He needs to learn to run good routes to get separation from the defensive backs and he needs to learn how to catch the ball once it is thrown his way.

But one thing Ginn does not need to work on is his blinding speed. He can sure turn on the jets and that is exactly what he did this week when he turned on the Jets to lead the Fins to victory.

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