Sports Outside the Beltway

Close one- Miami beats Jacksonville 14-10

The Dolphins won the second NFL battle of Florida today. Like the score indicates, it was a close run thing.

Both Miami and Jacksonville are 7-6 now and in the playoff hunt. I’m just not convinced either team is playoff worthy.Dolphins Jaguars Football

Miami jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and then went about finding any way possible to let the Jaguars back into the game. Jacksonville had 4 first half possessions, three of which were 3 and out. The other was a touchdown drive and Miami led at halftime 14-7.

Statistically, Miami dominated the first half. Two Dolphin turnovers, fumbles by Ricky Williams and Davone Bess, kept them from widening their lead. In all Miami turned over the ball three times today, two fumbles and one interception. In all Williams made three fumbles and he had made only one such miscue for the first 12 games of this season. I’ll get back to that later.

The play in the second half was much closer in its over all quality. That’s to say both teams played mediocre football. Chad Henne made 17 straight completions at one point, but then spent the last 20 minutes of the game doing almost nothing right.

A Josh Scobee field goal with 4:55 left in the third period made the score 14-10. The 4th period saw both teams spin their wheels most of the time. A sack of Jaguar QB David Garrard as he attempted a Quarterback draw on a 4th and 2 with less than two minutes in the game basically wrapped up the win for Miami.

Miami is 7-6 now and have three games remaining to be played. At Tennesee, then Houston and Pittsburgh in Miami. All 3 of these teams have losing record but the Titans have bounced back from a 0-6 start, Miami has never beaten Houston the four teams the two teams have played, and the Steelers still have Ben Rothlisberger. That makes no pushover. Notwithstanding how the playoff picture stands now, I still have little confidence in the Dolphins making the playoffs.

Jacksonville doesn’t impress me either. Their QB Garrard should probably be an NFL backup. Yes he has a 86 passer rating but today Garrard was 11 for 26 for 139 yards against Miami’s inexperienced defense. 63 of those passing yards came on one completion.

A couple of notes on today’s game

*- A superstitious NFL fan may have concluded from today’s broadcast that the CBS announce crew were doing their darndest to put the hex on Miami. For instance-

Early in the game they noted how Rickey Williams had only one or two fumbles all year long before today.

That Placekicker Dan Carpenter had made 17 consecutive field goal attempts.

Williams promptly laid the football on the field twice in the game and Carpenter missed a FG attempt about half way through the 3rd period.

The announcers said something else during the game that went the other way. I just can’t recall it at this time.

*- Today’s game was played in Jacksonville and there were many empty seats in the stands. The Jaguars were 7-5 coming into today’s game and coming off five straight home wins, but fans don’t want to watch the games in person. Yes I know the present economy is bad, but I still think NFL football may not have a long future in Northern Florida.

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