Miami Dolphins back-up players and free agents prove their worth Sunday
By Sean Moon
A great game and some great play, as the Miami Dolphins back-up players and free agents prove their worth Sunday.
What a freaking game, and talk about your high stress, blood pressure raising, make you throw the remote across the living room kind of game. The Miami Dolphins played a hard-fought, back and fourth game Sunday and came up victorious. Now a week after the sky was falling, the Dolphins find themselves back in the win column and sit at 4-2 and have found their way back into the hearts of the fan base and remain in the playoff picture.
Brock Osweiler – Played a solid game in relief of ailing QB Ryan Tannehill. Brock went 28-44 for 380 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 picks. He proved he knew the entire offense and looked poised in the pocket and spread the ball around to all his receivers. His audibles looked to be on point and Osweiler took the team late in the second half and rallied several times. I truly didn’t know what to expect from this guy, as he had not really impressed me throughout his time here with the Miami Dolphins up to that point. Well I got to say, well done Brock Osweiler, well done. A player, and maybe not a popular one, that was brought in for one specific reason, if Tannehill should go down, step in and win a game and did he win a game.
The offensive line – These men stood strong and stayed solid against what was supposed to be a sack fest from Khalil Mack and the 2nd ranked overall defense. Back-up center Travis Swanson and back-up left guard Ted Larsen played an incredible game, maybe both their best since becoming a Miami Dolphin. Their pass protection was great, not giving up 1 sack and not allowing Khalil Mack to do just about anything. They produced running lanes that allowed running back Frank Gore to rush 15 times for 101 yards and fellow running back Kenyan Drake to hit the holes 13 times for additional 57 yards. This was against the #1 rush defense and #2 overall defense, I just needed to point that out again. The offensive line in whole gets a standing ovation from me, well done big fellas, well done.
Tight End – Nick O’Leary, where did you come from sir? I have been crying all season for someone in this unit to step up and do something, anything! Well welcome to the team my friend. The back-up tight end not only came out the gates with 4 catches for 49 yards and an early touchdown, but more importantly brought some much-needed physicality and strong blocking to the offensive line. I do believe we have found a guy that can catch the ball, run and block. A tip of the cap to you sir.
Receivers – Yet another show stopping performance from Albert Wilson and a huge effort from a guy who wasn’t suppose to be even close to his predecessor. I beg to differ with that statement, all Albert Wilson has done is step up and deliver. Sunday was just an example of what he can do if giving the opportunity, he went 6 for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns and brought heart stopping electricity to the Dolphins offense. The guy can just simple ball. Danny Amendola has had at least one catch a game, usually a much-needed third down, were you think oh my god watch out and he somehow catches the ball and gets up like its routine, simple amazing. He is shifty and hard to cover and early on Sunday you could see that Brock Osweiler was looking for him and there was definitely some chemistry there and more importantly trust. These two free agent pick ups have already paid dividends and will only continue to help this offense. They both have great hands and a team attitude that you have to love as a fan. Stellar work and keep leading by example.
Running Back – I saved the best for last, Frank “the tank” Gore. This man is the epitome of a NFL running back. A bruiser, a leader and a man who understands if you drive your legs north and south, you’ll fall forward and will wear out a defense. Frank was a star on Sunday, he was the first running back this season to rush for over a 100 yards on the Chicago Bears defense while averaging 6.7 yards a rumble. When he broke loose for a crucial run at the 7 minute mark of overtime on a second and eight they almost had to drag him off of the field, he did not want to come off willingly, such a competitor but the man was gassed and was wanting to leave no doubt that he was there to win this thing. I just wanted to give the guy a hug for an absolutely fantastic performance. What a pick up for the franchise and what a game.
I cannot go without mentioning the nerves of steel that our seventh round draft pick Jason Sanders showed Sunday on his fantastic walk off 47 yard field goal. Darrin Rizzi had said along that this kid would deliver and he did. The rookie stepped up in what I’m sure was a pressure packed field goal and nailed that thing. What a thing of beauty it was. I really appreciated the fact that Brock Osweiler ran out on to the field and bear hugged this young man for delivering the kill-shot in a huge meaningful battle that left our Miami Dolphins victorious.
A great team win, but the contributions of the back-up players and new acquisitions was awesome to watch and hopefully the team can get on a roll and deliver more wins and keep the season moving forward.