The Miami Dolphins could not do what the Baltimore Ravens could…pressure the QB. Joe Flacco looked like Tom Brady and Chad Pennington looked like the rookie today as the Miami Dolphins blew an early 3 point lead to a surrendered blow out.
Things looked like they could go the Phins way early with a fumble recovery and a 50 yard drive that stalled on 3rd and 1 from the 1 and settled for a field goal. The Ravens pretty much dominated from that point on.
The Ravens intercepted Chad Pennington 2 times in the first half, one for a pick-6 that gave the birds a 10-3 lead that would increase to 13-3 at half-time. Pennington, the comeback player of the year decided to show what he came back from when he turned the ball over to start the second half with his 3rd INT.
Patrick Cobbs was not about to be out-done and fumbled the ball on the Dolphins 20 that led to the first offensive TD of the game for the Ravens. The score would be 20-3 and would signal the end of the Miami Dolphins “Cinderella” season.
Pennington would try one more time to lead the team down the field against the immovable Ravens taking the team to the 10 yard line before giving Ed Reed his 2nd pick of the day and Pennington’s 4th. The Phins turned the ball over 13 times all season, the turned the ball over 5 times in 3 quarters today.
After stopping the Ravens to start the 4th quarter, the Phins would finally make their first and only appearance in the endzone on a nice catch by Ronnie Brown. Unfortunately, the game score would not close to within 10 as the Phins had their extra-point attempt blocked.
While the Phins were seriously outplayed most of the game, they refused to quit. Stopping the Ravens on a 3 and out, the Phins drove to the Ravens 30 and looked like they could make it a game again but a fumbled exchange between Pennington and Ted Ginn on an end around lost 30 yards and took the team out of FG range and left just over 7 minutes left in the game.
It was the only time the Phins would be left with hopes as the Ravens would put the final nail into the coffin with a TD drive to go up 27 – 9.
Outplayed, outhit, and everything else, the Miami Dolphins offense was so inept that in the entire 1st half they could only gain 47 yards on 6 possessions following their first possession. The second half produced much better statistics but it wasn’t until the 4th quarter that they began to play with some enthusiasm and it was too late at that point.
Todays loss can be pinned on the one thing they didn’t do all year long…turn the ball over.
The Phins will now turn their attention to the off-season where questions of Bill Parcells’ future will be known within a month and the finalization of the sale of the team to Stephen Ross. The team will look at the free agent market and prepare for another off-season of player turnover while they address the contract situations of Channing Crowder, Vernon Carey, Yeremiah Bell, and Renaldo Hill.
A season of hope and joy ends with a horrid defeat but as the sun sets on the 2008 season, it’s evident that this team is not the same team we have seen over the last 5 seasons, if not the last 10. This is a new Miami Dolphins team that is still finding it’s way…what a season it was. Nice to have something to finally cheer about.
Thank you Dolphins for a great and fantastically fun season!