Victory! Yes, the exhilarating feeling that you get from winning can sometimes make you forget the game before or weeks of disapointment. Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins finally got win number one on the season and it was in dominating style, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-3. The Chiefs were winners of four straight and leaders of the AFC West coming into yesterday’s game, but Miami totally dominated the the football game in every aspect. The offense scored four touchdowns in a game for the first time since October 25, 2009 against the New Orleans Saints, and the defense had five sacks and seven tackles for loss against the Chiefs. Here’s what I took away from the victory on Sunday.
1) Matt Moore Played With Confidence – Quarterback Matt Moore looked like a starter in the National Football League on Sunday against the Chiefs. He had that bounce of a confident leader who looked totally in control of the situation. Moore was accurate with the football, completing 17-23 for 244 yards and three, yes three, touchdowns! Moore became the first Dolphins quarterback to throw for three touchdowns in a single game since Chad Pennington did it in 2008, ironically also against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first half, Moore was 11-14 for 167 yards and two scores, which would have been numbers similar to his totals in four quarters of work in any game he’s played prior to Sunday. The 156.0 passer rating in the first half was nearly perfect, finishing the game with a 147.5 quarterback rating. It was just nice to watch a young quarterback play with confidence and the guys around him raise there level of play at the same time.
2) Got Tight End! – It was nice to see the Dolphins play with all 11 players on the offensive side of the football, iincluding tight ends Anthony Fasano and rookie Charles Clay! Fasano was a big part of the success in the first half for the Dolphins offense. He made his two receptions on the afternoon, scoring on both occasions, and that was the second time in Fasano’s career that he’s had a two touchdown game. The second touchdown came from 35 yards out marking the first touchdown the Dolphins have scored from outside the red-zone! Clay’s three catch performance looked smooth, athletic and something Miami fans have been waiting to see! He looked healthy for the first time this season displaying run after catch ability.
3) Monster or Beast? – It really doesn’t matter what label we put on Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall today, but productive or consistent are two that come to mind! Marshall was targeted eleven times against the Chiefs and he made those looks count. He looked like he could take over the football game all afternoon catching eight passes for 106 yards and a touchdown from 14 yards out. The key for me was no drops, and he didn’t let the early frustration about ball location from Moore carry over into the rest of the game. As the game went on, Marshall got better and I could tell by his body language he wanted the football on every play!
4) Pressure Defense – After the first drive of the football game, the Dolphins defense got aggressive at the point of attack and dominated the line of scrimmage. It seemed like everybody played a part in this victory getting five sacks (Jared Odrick, Cam Wake, Tony McDaniel,Tyrone Culver and linebacker Kevin Burnett), and Karlos Dansby set the tone with a devastating hit on running back Julian Battle in the first quarter! Four of the sacks came in the first half and Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was running for his life all afternoon. This unt made the Chiefs offense look flustered, confused and rattled all day long.
5) Reggie Bush Is Back – Let me be the first to welcome running back Reggie Bush to the 2011 season! Over the last two weeks, this is the running back that I imagined the Dolphins offense using the entire season. Bush was awesome showing us on several plays his burst and play making ability in space. Getting to the second level on running plays or catching the ball on a wide receiver screen, Bush showed all of us just how dangerous he can be to an opposing defense. On the 28-yard touchdown run, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll put Bush in motion and his speed beat the Chiefs defense around the edge into the end zone! Going over 100 yards on the ground last week against the New York Giants (103) and this week’s 142 total yards (13-92 rushing and three receptions for 50 yards) are the numbers that make this offense successful.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.