Sports Outside the Beltway

Personal Foul- Tennessee beats Miami 27-24 in overtime

The 2009 Dolphin season is over. There are two games to be played. What I’m talking about is any chance the team had of making the playoffs.Mia-Ten

Miami has never looked like a legitimate playoff team to me this season. Even after they won an exciting game against the Jets early in the season, my view of the fins was tempered. They make just too many mistakes and their defense is too prone to giving up big plays.

Like today when Miami fell behind 24-6 early in the 3rd period. I didn’t blame Miami’s two turnovers at the time(The Dolphins made a total of 4 for the game. More on that later.) for the deficit. They were certainly bad and couldn’t have come at worse times. Each taking place while Miami had the ball in the Tennessee half of the field.

What was killing the Dolphins inability to stop Tennessee anytime it mattered. As seen in the 364 yards they ran up against Miami. Vince Young was hardly brilliant, but he got the job done.

With 5:33 left in the third quarter, Miami narrowed Tennessee’s lead to 15 after Dan Carpenter sucessfully made a field goal. The score was now 24-9.

Both CBS announcers, Dan Fouts and Dick Enberg, were critical of Dolphin Coach Tony Sparano’s decision to go for the field goal. I differed, partly because I was ignoring the inane announcers(How many ways can the name Sparano be pronounced? I think Fouts and Enberg were going for a record today. Those were minor broadcast blunders compared to Fouts calling a pass incomplete when it was clearly caught and the player tackled and other bungled pronouncements from the booth. I really should have turned off the sound today but that was happening naturally without any help from me. The screen went blank six plus times during the game. First with audio, then without. The telecast would then re-appear after 10-15 seconds)and partly because I knew how to add. The score was now 24-9 and the game was now a two-touchdown affair.

Then in the waning seconds of the 3rd qtr, Chad Henne threw a INT from the Tennessee 14 yard line. For a few moments I gave up hope and started looking for other programming. Doctor Zhivago, playing on Turner Movie Classics, looked more appealing than 15 minutes of tortuous football.

Miami rallied in the 4th quarter. Mostly thanks to Henne, who played those fifteen minutes like a Hall of Famer. Henne threw 11 of 16 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns, and with a passer rating of 119.3. A Ricky Williams run for the two-point conversion with less than two minutes to go made the score 24-24.

For overtime, the Dolphins won the toss. On a 3rd and 6 from the Miami 27, Henne three INT#3. Which would have given the Titans the ball on the 43 yard line or so. Except a official threw a unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami WR Greg Camarillo. A personal foul for making sure the play was dead? This was a bad call.Mia-Ten2

Given the ball inside the Miami 30 yard line, I knew Tennessee wasn’t about to blow their second chance to win. Three running plays came and went before Rob Bironas booted a 46-yard field goal to give the Titans a 27-24 win.

In theory Miami remains in the playoff picture. They will need LOTS of help to play this post season.

Next up for Miami- Games against Houston(a team they have lost to in each of 4 prior meetings) and Pittsburgh. Both games are played in Miami. I predict the fins to finish the 2009 season at 8-8.

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