The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack

A HOME WIN!

Last week the Fins picked up their first win of the season and this week they not only came back with another win, but this time it was a home win.  And this home win was just their second in the last year.  Too bad there were 363 days in between their victories over the Titans on November 14, 2010 and over the Redskins on November 13, 2011.

The Fins started off the game on Sunday looking like they were going to carry over their impressive effort against the Chiefs last week into this week.  After kicking off they punctuated a nice 3-and-out with a sack on third down.  Between the sack and a good punt return the Fins started their possession on the Redskins 45-yard line.   They drove the ball down for an early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard Reggie Bush touchdown.

That lead was one they would never relinquish, but they came close, allowing the Redskins to narrow the gap to 10-9 in the third quarter.  But then they closed it out, scoring 10 points to produce the 20-9 final.  Not only did the Fins win at home, but they also covered the point spread.

Matt More had a somewhat efficient if not spectacular game at QB.  He was 20 of 29 for 209 yards with no TDs and 1 INT.  The interception came in the first quarter after the Fins had stopped the Redskins’ second possession.  Rather than taking control of the game by scoring again to double their 7-0 lead, Moore turned the ball over, the Skins rturning the INT all the way to the Fins’ 5-yard line.  But that’s when you knew the Fins team of the first 2 months of the season was not on the field as the defense held the Skins to a field goal (thanks in large part to a holding call) thus preserving the lead at 7-3.

The teams would then trade field goals giving the home team a 10-6 lead at the half.  A number of fans booed when the Fins ran out the clock before halftime, but it was the right call given their field position, their lead and the fact that they were going to get the second half kickoff as well.

Matt Moore’s game would have been a lot better considering his 69% completion percentage, but his 3 fumbles (2 of which were recovered by the Skins) clearly detracted from his overall performance.  Of course, much of the thanks goes to the Colombo Freeway as the hits which produced those fumbles inevitably came from Moore’s right side.

The ground game managed a mere 3.1 yards per attempt, although Reggie Bush did score 2 TDs.  Brandon Marshall caught 7 passes for 98 yards (and did not drop a pass all afternoon).  Anthony Fasano had 3 catches for 60 yards.  But it was the defense which took center stage, keeping the Skins out of the end zone all afternoon (as they did against the Chiefs last week).  With 3 sacks and 2 interceptions the defense paved the way for this rare home win.  Karlos Dansby had a monster game with an interception and 10 tackles.  He showed what kind of force he can be on the field.  Vontae Davis got his first interception of the season and also made a big play with a great solo tackle that stopped a third down.

Next week the Fins play at home again, facing the Bills, a 5-4 team that has had its ups and downs.  The Bills figure to be a bigger test than either the Chiefs or the Redskins, so Dolfans will get a chance to see if the Fins of the last 2 weeks are truly coming together or were just lucky to play 2 lesser teams back-to-back.  For now, be happy that the Fins got their second home win in a year.  There may have been a lot of days in between, but be thankful it wasn’t a leap year!

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