Miami Dolphins in the Thick of It
But alas, that's exactly what happened, as the Dolphins managed to overcome several miscues to take down the Jacksonville Jaguars in a big, large, desperate, must-win, game of gargantuanly huge proportions.
The Dolphins seemed to do everything to pull off their weekly patented Fourth Quarter Meltdown Extravaganza yesterday, turning the ball over three times and failing to get any offensive coherence in the second half. At various points throughout the game, even CBS play-by-play man Kevin Harlan seemed to be in on jinxing the Dolphins at every turn. To wit:
HARLAN: Dan Carpenter has been automatic this season. I mean, he's been clutch.
Very Next Play: Dan Carpenter's 38-yarder plunks the right goal post, field goal attempt no good.
HARLAN: Ricky Williams has been one of the most reliable running backs in the NFL, and has been so reliable for the Dolphins stepping in for the injured Ronnie Brown.
Very Next Play: Ricky Williams fumbles the ball on the Jacksonville 35, Jags recover.
HARLAN: Chad Henne takes over with excellent field position. He's simply been on fire today.
Very Next Play: Chad Henne throws an interception at the Jacksonville 41.
Get your nuts caught in a waffle iron, Kevin Harlan.
Still, if this team has proven anything, it's that it's a resilient bunch. Chad Henne had another solid performance, going 21-for-29 for 220 yards, including a team-record 17 consecutive completions, and a rushing touchdown. Despite fumbling the football three times (losing it once), Ricky Williams still managed to rush for 108 yards and a touchdown.
But it's the Dolphin defense that's earned the complimentary booze and strippers today, as they held the Jags offense to only 217-total yards and just 10 points for the game. The Dolphin D was able to shake their recent craptastic fourth quarter play by bailing out the offense's miscues time and again. The Dolphin D must also really fucking hate dudes with hyphenated names because they beat the crap out of the usually dominant Maurice Jones-Drew, holding him to 59 yards rushing, while delivering a donkeypunch to the sternum to up-and-coming receiver Mike Sims-Walker, holding him to just one catch for six yards. With 1:20 remaining and clinging to a four-point lead, Miami was able to stop Jacksonville on a key fourth-and-three and, to put an exclamation point on the proceedings, brought in pass rushing specialist Cameron Wake to seal the deal. Wake, if you haven't noticed, has pretty much been ruining opposing quarterbacks' shit all season. So, in order to specifically ruin Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard's shit, the Dolphins once again called on Wake. And, on the last play of the game, ruin Garrard's shit he did, sacking the big quarterback as time expired, sealing Miami's 14 - 10 victory.
The Dolphins now find themselves smack in the middle of a huge hot messy logjam along with the Ravens, Jets, Jags, Steelers, Titans and Texans for the final AFC playoff spot. The schedule doesn't get any easier, as the Fins travel to Tennessee before hosting Houston and Pittsburgh to close out the season. The good news: Miami is now 6-0 in December under Tony Sparano. The better news: The Dolphins are finding ways to win, even when they don't play their best football.