Sports Outside the Beltway

Those 0-11 Miami Dolphins

The latest adventure in Miami Dolphins football.

PITTSBURGH – Not even an act of God, Joey Porter’s spirited homecoming and Ricky Williams’ long-awaited return to the NFL could alter the Dolphins’ path to infamy.

All the 25-minute lightning delay at the start of Monday night’s game did was delay the inevitable — a 3-0 loss to the Steelers on a mud-slick Heinz Field that resembled the chewed-up soccer pitch of Wembley Stadium, the site of last month’s Giants-Dolphins eyesore in London.

The final score even resembled the defensive-minded soccer matches that often cause Americans’ eyes to glaze over, and has the same effect on Dolphins fans this season.

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed atoned for a 44-yard missed field goal when he ended a short drive with the winning 24-yarder with 17 seconds left, marking the sixth game this season that the Dolphins have lost by three points.

I wonder how many non-Steeeler or non-Dolphin fans made it through the entirety of last night’s game. It was a sloppy affair, but what do you expect after a rainstorm?

Heinz Field was in horrible condition last night. The result of the rains and several recent HS football and Pitt Panther games. One punt last night dug into the turf like an undetonated bomb.

Oh anyone else see the punt where the ball on the ground, planted itself like an undetonated missile?

The Dolphin season seems to find new lows every week. For the second week in a row, the team’s offense hasn’t scored a point. I’m optimistic about John Beck’s chances of being a quality NFL quarterback. His stats last night, 14 for 23, 132 yards and no INTs were good in the conditions Beck had to deal with. Beck’s stats could have been better too, for Miami receivers dropped at least two of Beck’s throws.

Miami’s defense, with the exception of the final Steeler drive, did a good job also. Pittsburgh had great field position for most of the night and couldn’t find the end zone. On the other hand, the Dolphin D again couldn’t stop a team late in the game.

Bad news- Another loss. Two more banged up running backs, Ricky Williams and Jesse Chatman(the later looked awful. 11 rushes for 17 yards. Jesse looking like he played hurt last night) and the continued failure of the defense when the team needs to make a stand. The running back injuries will certainly make it tougher for Beck to prove himself in the NFL.

Next week Miami plays the 2-9 New York Jets. If Miami doesn’t win that game, I fear they won’t win a game in 2007.(I’d say the chances are 50-50 or more after a loss to the Jets for a winless Dolphin season) Will Coach Cam Cameron survive such a disaster? Should he be kept on if Miami goes 0-16? I’m undecided. The causes of the Miami’s decline are not just the result of Cameron’s sometimes poor decision making. However Cam and GM Randy Mueller, are the only ones left for this debacle. Fairly or unfairly, they may pay the price for not just their bad decisions but other’s also.

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Yikes . . . see, in some senses, the Rooney’s stubbornness is good (they don’t pull the trigger on coaches too quickly, for example). However, ever since they knew they were getting something to replace Three Rivers Stadium, they have stubbornly insisted on natural turf. Every time the question is raised, the Rooneys insist they like the grass. I could deal with this if the Steelers were the only tenant, but they share the field with the Pitt Panthers and the high school championship games (which had just taken place during the weekend, if you hadn’t heard during the game). However, since the Steelers share, the Rooneys just need to cave and buy FieldTurf.

Posted by B. Minich | November 28, 2007 | 12:08 am | Permalink

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