The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack

A HAPPY ENDING

One thing the Fins have not known for a long time is a happy ending.  Losers of 10 straight dating back to last December, the Fins have had some very unhappy endings, like the multiple times they gave away fourth quarter leads this season.  The story was different on Sunday when the Fins surrendered an opening drive field goal and then went on to score 31 unanswered points to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-3.  Finally, the Fins would have a happy ending.

Although the defense held the Chiefs to 3 points, one must remember it was the Chiefs, anything but a prolific scoring team.  One must also remember that had the offense not put up 31 points, the Chiefs might have scored more in the fourth quarter as they eschewed 2 field goal opportunities because they were so far behind.  Still, the win was impressive for a number of reasons.

Matt Moore, Reggie Bush, Anthony Fasano and Brandon Marshall all had great games.  Moore was 17 of 23 for 244 yards and 3 TDs which produced a most impressive 147.5QB rating.  Reggie Bush had 142 all-purpose yards with 92 on the ground in 13 rushing attempts for a most impressive 7.1-yard average.  One of those rushes was a 28-yard touchdown.  Brandon Marshall caught 8 passes for 106 yards and 1 touchdown as he finally held onto a ball in the end zone.  Anthony Fasano had touchdown catches of 3-yards in the first quarter and 35 yards in the second quarter.  The offense was truly clicking as the Fins’ longest touchdown drive spanned all of 6 plays and 2:43 on the game clock.  Their other 3 drives took only 2 plays (46 yards in 0:52), 3 plays (78 yards in 1:39) and 4 plays (61 yards in 1:17).  And for the first time all year, the offense did not turn the ball over a single tune.  Meanwhile, the defense harassed Matt Cassel, sacking 5 times.

So what does this all mean for the 1-7 Dolphins?  On one hand, the Chiefs were coming off 4 consecutive wins, including an emotional win on Monday night.  On the other hand, the Chiefs were a 4-3 team primed for a letdown coming off a short practice week.  The real question is where do the Fins go from here?  Do they make it 2 straight next week or do they get back in the loss column at home against the Redskins on Sunday?  Time will tell. 

How the Fins perform in the wake of their first win will be more important than that first win itself.  If the Fins revert back to their losing ways next Sunday, then the win in K.C. will indeed be a hollow one.  It will become a win that has no meaning (although it will literally hand the Colts the top spot in the 2012 NFL Draft and with it a top-flight replacement for Peyton Manning and another 15 years of stability at QB).  It the Fins go on to beat the Redskins, then it may mark a turnaround of sorts, perhaps even the start of a return to mediocrity.  So while Sunday marked a happy ending to a game for the first time in 11 months, the Fins find themselves still searching for a real meaningful happy ending.  Quite clearly, that happy ending will not be found any time soon.

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