Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Dolphins Booted Out Of Houston
Houston's Kris Brown kicks a 57 yard field goal to beat the Dolphins
Bad teams find ways to lose games. Now sporting a record of 0-5, there's no question the Dolphins are a bad team. But Miami's 22-19 loss to the Houston Texans was not the result of the Dolphins blowing the game. This time I'm going to give credit to the Texans for winning it.
How could you not? The simple fact is Texans kicker Kris Brown was the best player on the field. It's rare that you can say this about a kicker. But the facts don't lie. Brown kicked five field goals--three of them were beyond 50 yards. He kicked the game winner from 57 yards yards away. Oh and by the way, he didn't miss any kicks the whole game. There's nothing you can do as a Dolphin player or fan but tip your helmet to Brown and the Texans.
Now I know a lot of Dolphin fans are still upset with Cam Cameron's decision to punt the football in Houston territory with about a minute left to play and the scored tied 19-19. First of all, I'm not a Cameron apologist. I've never really been a huge fan of his as a coach. But I believe he made the right decision to punt. Sure hindsight is 20/20 and the Dolphins defense was not able to stop Houston's offense when it mattered. But I can honestly say if I were in Cameron's shoes, I would have done the same thing.
It's easy to play the result. But Cameron did the right thing by playing the percentages. Had the Dolphins attempted the field goal, kicker Jay Feely would have been forced to attempt a 58 yard kick. And although Feely has not missed a field goal this year, none of them have been that far away. Miami's defense did a good job limiting Houston's offense all day. I don't fault Cameron with putting faith in his defense. The Texans scored only one offensive touchdown and began their final drive inside their own 10 yard line. Zach Thomas's return to the lineup was a huge boost to a defense that couldn't stop Huggy Bear's son (Raider running back Justin Fargas) from rushing over 100 in one quarter last week. But when it was crunch time and the Dolphins defense really needed a stop, they couldn't deliver.
Aside from Brown's heroics, this game will always be remembered for Trent Green's concussion after he tried to throw a block on Houston defensive tackle Travis Johnson to free receiver Ted Ginn on an end around. Green was wheeled off the field on a gurny after he laid motionless for several minutes. Shortly after the play, Johnson taunted Green while his was knocked out on the ground. For this, I just want to say Travis Johnson is an absolute piece of crap who should be fined by the NFL. It's one of the most unsportsmanlike gestures I've seen on a football field. I'll get into this incident a little more on another blog entry.
For now Cleo Lemon is the Fins starting QB. I'm all for playing the the quarterback who gives the team the best chance to win. But the Dolphins have made a huge investment in John Beck and I can't emphasize how important it is for him to start playing and contributing. I can understand the philosophy of bringing Beck along slowly and letting him learn in practice. But nothing can prepare you more than playing in an actual game. You can't completely simulate game situations in practice. The speed of the game and pressure can't be duplicated on the practice field. So while Cleo Lemon has now been given the keys to the car, I expect John Beck to be unleashed sooner than originally anticipated. Stay tuned.