In what will become one of the strangest and most surreal football games of all time, the Miami Dolphins triumphantly defeated the Tennessee Titans yesterday with 4 different quarterback’s. Titans used 2 totaling 6 different QB’s for the game, the first time since Troy Aikmen was starting for the Dallas Cowboys.
Losing new starting quarterback Chad Pennington for the year with a shoulder injury after just 3 plays of the first Miami series added irony to the previous weeks “spark” dilemma, or the last ditch effort for some Miami coaches to save their jobs. Dolphin’s beloved hero Chad Henne would go down himself late in the 3rd quarter to be rescued in the 4th by none other than third-string QB Tyler Thigpen, continuing an impressive touchdown drive sealing the win. A failed flee-flicker pass attempt by Brandon Marshall and a handful of brilliant Wild Cat plays brought the Miami count total of passers behind center to 4 for the game. With the win aside, this game has left the Fins decimated with injuries as they approach their short week game at home against the Chicago Bears this Thursday.
If you’ve been living under a rock the last couple days, then you might be shocked to find out that not only has Pennington been confirmed to be out for the year, but Henne is questionable and certainly likely to not start this Thursday’s game against the Bears. That would be Tyler Thigpen, however the Dolphins plan on signing 2 additional QB’s to fill the gaps, one of which is Patrick Ramsey. On top of that, starting OT Jake Long has a separated shoulder and apparently was playing with the injury all game yesterday. If an MRI shows damage he will be out for an undisclosed amount of time. Cameron Wake suffered a hip injury and sat most of yesterday’s game. He has now been reported to be fine. Chris Clemons, Yeremiah Bell and even Vonte Davis are all reported injured, however not as grave as Miami QB situation and are expected to play Thursday night. Bad timing for a short week game.
The Chicago Bears 6-3 record is numbers on paper. They’ve had a mediocre schedule thus far, playing 5 teams under .500 with only one notable win against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago. Their road wins came against the 2-7 Cowboys and 1-8 Buffalo Bills (which wasn’t a home game for the Bills either) and Carolina Panthers. The Bears do however, have an impressive rushing defense ranked 3rd overall. The Dolphins rank only 19th in rushing offense and with Pennington and Henne out, the Bears plan on shutting down the Dolphins run and apply pressure to the inexperienced Thigpen and force him to the air, even with the 16th ranked passing defense. Taking into consideration Long will be sitting or playing injured, the Bears will have a considerable edge when Miami is on offense.
Where the Bears lack is on their offense. Jake Cutler has turned over the ball 6 times the last 3 games with a 79.7 percent passer rating. The Miami passing defense is ranked 6th overall recovering 2 fumbles and 1 interception against the Titans yesterday, all of which were converted to eventual touchdowns. The addition of Pro-Bowler Al Harris and rookie standout from the Tennessee game, Reshad Jones, have proved fruitful from the roster changes that happened during the week up to yesterday’s game. Thursday might prove to be a true defensive battle.
As reports begin to surface throughout the day, there may be an update on the whether Henne will at least be able to play backup on Thursday night. But take this one impressive stat into consideration about Thigpen from yesterday’s game: His passer rating was 141.7 percent, completing 4/6 passes with 1 touchdown. Not to shabby for not taking any first team snaps in practice all season.