The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

A slow five-count by the timekeeper cost the Dolphins three points just before the end of the first half Monday night. With the Jets’ in the lead 14-7 and the game clock starting at 00:05, Chad Pennington completed a pass to Wayne Chrebet and the Jets called time out. All of this supposedly took only four seconds, thus allowing the Jets to line up for a field goal at 00:01. In case you were waiting for a red flag to be thrown by Wannstedt (or by the head coach of the Panthers or the 49ERs, the only other teams with one win, trying to preserve their shot at the top pick in the 2005 NFL draft) to challenge the clock, it was never thrown. Perhaps Wannstedt realized that he has no personal stake in the Dolphins’ draft spot next April?
That field goal just before the half was the beginning of the end for the Dolphins. The Jets took the second-half kickoff and marched down the field for a touchdown. From there, it just got uglier and uglier. The final was 41-14. The defense was porous, giving up 275 yards rushing (including two one hundred yard rushers) and allowing the Jets to score on six straight possessions. Even the usually reliable Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain were toasted as the Jets’ wide-outs caught their first two touchdown passes of the season. The offense was simply pathetic, notwithstanding a second quarter touchdown drive that momentarily tied the game at 7. The running game was nonexistent. Fiedler’s lone rushing attempt (26 yards) netted one-third of the Dolphins’ game total (78 yards). The o-line gave up 4 sacks. The offense turned the ball over three times and went back to its three-and-out mode that was characteristic of the Dolphins’ first six losses. The only bright spot continues to be Randy McMichael (7 catches for 87 yards, 1 TD).
And so the first half of the season ended at a dismal 1-7.
But take heart Dolfans, it is not as though there aren’t any positives. Dave Wannstedt and Rick Spielman will be gone and their successor will have a top first-round draft pick. Stadium traffic and parking will be a breeze for the rest of the season and there won’t be any long lines at the concessions (or the bathrooms). The “paper or plastic” choice at Publix has been made easy, with Dolfans opting for the obvious choice, paper! Since the Dolphins actually managed a win last week, the ’72 Dolphins won’t have to crowd the sideline urging the team on to a win to avoid the shame of being the only NFL franchise to have both a perfect and an imperfect season! Finally, with all the no-shows, Al Qaida has removed Pro Player Stadium from the list of prime terrorist targets!
Of course, there was still another negative Monday night . . . the timekeeper’s failure to move the game clock faster in the second half!

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