It wasn’t pretty at times and then the rain came pouring down in sheets. Still, at the end of the game, the Miami Dolphins used to late defensive stops to secure an opening pre-season victory against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Phins and Jags traded first half field goals twice as they headed to the locker-room tied 6-6. The Dolphins would add their only TD on a Chad Henne to Ernest Wilford 30 yard strike. The extra point was blocked when Dan Carpenter lost his footing from the rain soaked grass.
The game saw both Pat White and Chad Henne toss Int’s but the Dolphins defenders had two of their own and put constant pressure on the Jags’ QB’s. Cameron Wake and a returning Jason Taylor each had sacks. The game itself was what you would expect from a 1st pre-season game. Mistakes, surprises, but most of all, an opportunity to get some hits in. Some shined, others didn’t.
QB’s: Chad Pennington was his careful self but almost tossed a couple of Int’s early. He had only one quarter of work but seemed to rely on the dink and dunk passes. His long shot downfield, about 25 to 35 yards was underthrown but still brought a defensive pass interference call. Chad Henne played most of the next two quarters and despite a lackluster first series, looked sharp and poised in the rest of his action. His lone mistake an Int in the 3rd quarter. He followed that with the Ernest Wilford TD.
All eyes were on Pat White tonight and it was evident early on in his action that he was way too tense. Hard throws to short distanced receivers caused the receivers to drop too many balls and while his only Int was not his fault, he hardly impressed in the passing game. White often threw off the back foot or tried to throw on the run and neither really worked well for him. He did however work the field with his legs. Still, he is a QB and not a runner so while he used his legs often, he needed to get the work in, in the pocket.
RB’s: Ronnie Brown didn’t see much action and Patrick Cobbs was o.k. The real talk came on the legs of 31 year old Ricky Williams who displayed the cut style upfield running that he was known for and lacked last season. A sign of things to come? Lex Hilliard did well bouncing off defenders late in the game.
WR’s: Greg Camarillo didn’t play and Brian Hartline saw little action, but the first half was the Davone Bess show. Bess caught everything it seemed and he appears poised to break out. To the delight of the fans, Ted Ginn played well in the first quarter. Patrick Turner looked good early but struggle with Pat White as the QB. Perhaps the switch from a right handed QB to a left was the culprit.
OL: Shawn Murphy didn’t seem to do much early and was replaced by Donald Thomas…I probably missed how much each played but it appeared the offense did better when Thomas was in the game. The rest of the starting line was solid. Brandon Frye the back-up LT gave up an embarassing sack.
DL: Pressure was the name of the game. The DL had penetration all night from the NT to the DE’s and that pressure put the Jaguars offense at a standstill. The line did an adequate job of stopping the Jags rushing attack although the Jags opened the game flying through the air far more than running the ground game.
LB’s: Cameron Wake and Jason Taylor looked good, Wake still has some work to do. Akin Ayodele also stood out. 7th round pick J.D. Folsom looked good in his 4th quarter action and intercepted the last Jaguar QB. He also made several stops on the offensive line…could he make the roster?
CB’s/S’s: Vontae Davis did not have a good game. Two costly infractions were awarded to his play and he often times seemed a little unsure. Davis is an instinct player and he needs to be more acclimated before that sets in. What he was however was overshadowed. Second round pick Sean Smith looked very solid as the starting CB opposite Will Allen and in the second half added an Int to his night’s work. He really stepped up and should be the opening day starter if this continues. Eric Green was so-so and I still dont’ think he makes the final roster.
ST’s: Not much to talk about except the return game from rookie Chris Williams. The New Mexico product started off very poorly and at one point I figured he may be pulled. Then he exploded and every time he touched a kick-off was in position to run it back. He needs to work on his punt returns if he wants to make the roster.
That’s about what stood out from the Dolphins 12-9 opening pre-season victory!