The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


The Fins’ performance on Thursday Night Football can be best described as unbearable.  Not only did Da Bears shut out the Fins, but the game was as lopsided of a contest as one could imagine.  It does not matter whether you talk about the score (16-0), time of possession (37:51 to 22:09), first downs (19 to 10), third down conversion percentage (56% to 9%), or total offensive yards (268 to 187).  It was an all around thumping that the Chicago Bears inflicted upon the Miami Dolphins at the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie. 

Tyler Thigpen, who became the 15th QB to start a game for the Fins since the retirement of Dan Marino, entered the game thankful for the opportunity to show that he deserves a starting QB job in the NFL.  His performance was more suggestive of the fact that those coaches and GMs who thought otherwise were right.  To his defense, he was playing behind a patchwork offensive line and there was no semblance of a running game to take the pressure off the passing game.  Given Tyler’s performance against the Bears, the only thing which may forestall a 16th different starting QB in the post-Marino era will be if Chad Henne is able to start the next game, a road trip to Oakland on December 5. 

Thigpens’ stats for the game were awful.  He was 17 of 29 for 187 yards.  He had 1 INT and no TDs.  For the longest time he looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights.  It had to be a particularly painful performance for his agent to watch. 

The positives were few and far between.  Cameron Wake managed to get a sack, stretching his season total to 9½, and also drew 2 holding calls against the Bears’ offensive line.  The defense played well enough to hold the Bears to 16 points even though the Fins’ offense could not manage to sustain any drives, thus resulting in a significant time of possession disadvantage which usually proves fatal to a team’s defensive efforts. 

The loss of the game, which brought the Fins back to .500, was not the only bad news on the night.  The Fins’ already lengthy injury list continued to grow.  Cory Proctor—who started at center in place of Joe Berger—and Brandon Marshall both were in street clothes by halftime.  Vernon Carey likewise could not finish the game. 

For the second week in a row, Brandon Marshall made a bonehead play that resulted in a penalty flag.  After catching a pass for a first down, Marshall passed the ball to his ex-Broncos’ teammate, Jay Cutler, who was standing on the sideline.  This resulted in a taunting call and, as a result, the Fins’ had a first down at a spot that was behind the original line of scrimmage.  Although he was out of the game before halftime, Marshall also managed 2 drops for his shortened night.  At least those drops did not cause the Fins to move backwards.  Marshall really needs to develop some maturity . . . along with better hands.  

In the final analysis, there was plenty of blame to go around in the wake of the loss to Chicago on Thursday Night Football.  But no matter how you look at it, this game was simply unbearable.

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