Week 8 saw this team travel to East Rutherford, New Jersey to face off against the New York Giants. Miami entered the game without a win to show after six games, while the Giants sported a 4 wins 2 losses record. The Giants were the clear favorite over the hapless Dolphins, whose shaky defense gave up 177 yards rushing the previous week. Nevertheless, they were hoping that their defense would carry them to their first victory of the season against the Giant’s vaunted running offense, led by the grizzled veteran – Eli Manning.
Despite playing on New Yorks home turf, they played extremely well in the first 3 quarters. They scored two touchdowns on their first two possessions which enabled them to obtain an eleven point lead, before the Giants cut it to four after the second quarter.
The Dolphins continued their fine play and went on to extend their lead to seven heading into the fourth quarter. Then the team collapsed in the fourth quarter. They did not scored any points at all, while allowing the Giants to have their way on offense by scoring 10 points anchored on Manning’s pinpoint passes. When the dust settled, the New York Giants emerged victorious with a close 20-17 win. This game does show that the Dolphins have not given up. Despite their winless record, the team can still put on a good show. With a little support from fans, they might be able to turn around their season.
Game Highlights By Quarter
* 1st Quarter: Led by Reggie Rush and Matt Moore’s rushing, they found themselves accomplishing a feat they had difficulty of doing all season long – a red zone touchdown. As a result of the New York Giant’s pass interference penalty, they had no difficulty getting to the red zone. That gave them the opportunity of setting up their offense at New York’s one yard line. The Giants once again were called for unnecessary penalty for roughness, as Steve Slaton tried to run the ball for the first time. With another shot at the end zone, Slaton this time ran it in for 1 yard. This gave the Dolphins the lead at 7-0. Overcoming the four penalties they committed, Lawrence Tynes wound up scoring a 25 yard field goal drive for New York; making it a 7-3 at the end of the quarter.
* 2nd Quarter: With the Giants continued having problems in the red zone, Reggie Bush led Miami’s drive with a 35 yard run for a touchdown. Miami now led 14-3. With about two minutes left in the first half, Eli Manning was slowly finding his form and started passing the ball with great efficiency. It finally culminated to a Mario Manningham’s 7 yard pass for a touchdown, which resulted from a 13 play 84 yard drive. Miami’s lead was cut down to 14-10.
* 3rd Quarter: The period opened with Miami getting the ball at their 20 yard line. Reggie Bush continued with his rushing. The 41 yards he gained on the ground opened the way for a Dan Carpenter’s 45 yard field goal drive. That increased the lead to 17-10 at the end of the period.
* 4th Quarter: With a winning game in hand, the Dolphins recurring problems in the last quarter began to manifest once again – missed opportunities and bone-headed coaching decisions. Meanwhile, the New York Giants had a decision to make after their last drive. They chose to kick the field goal that resulted into another Lawrence Tynes 29 yard field goal drive. This reduced Miami’s lead to 3. With about 6 minutes left in the game, Eli Manning flicked a 25 yard pass to Victor Cruz for the last touchdown of the game. New York grabbed the lead 20-17 for good with less than 6 minutes left before the end of the ballgame. Miami was not able to respond and did not score any goal the rest of the way.
The team needs no adjustments in their upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs. They played beautifully in the first 45 minutes against the Giants; only to give it away due to missed opportunities and bone-headed coaching moves. If ever, it is in these areas they have to improve. They just have to be consistent and capitalize on the opportunities presented to them. And most importantly, they have to play tough defense to stop the opponent from coming back in the last period. If they could accomplish all of this, I am sure fans will start to feel more comfortable purchasing Dolphins tickets.