The Miami Dolphins coaching staff must be avid readers of Riptide. Because they pretty much ran down the checklist of our three keys for a Dolphins victory post and came out on top with a thrilling, last-second 31-27 victory over the Jets on Monday Night Football. You're welcome, everybody!
It was almost as if they shouldn't even have bothered playing the game. Every analyst, talking head, and oddsmaker swore Rex Ryan and the Jets' vaunted Oh-My-God-My-Face-Done-Got-Melted! defense was going to stuff hot coals down the Dolphins' pants, go have themselves a ham sandwich, and call it a night. The Jets had the kryptonite to stop the Wildcat, they said. Poor Miami's gonna have to rely on Chad Henne to win it, they said. The odds are just stacked against them, they said.
They were right.
But the Fins overcame those odds, and much more. They overcame two fake
punts. They overcame terrible calls by the officials. They overcame
ESPN color man Ron Jaworski's constant disparaging of the Wildcat
(though it was tough for him to speak coherently, what with Jets QB
Mark Sanchez's balls in his mouth and all). And, yes, they overcame
that scary Jets defense.
You had Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams showing the world why they are
such a ballstastic duo, running for a combined 142 yards and two touchdowns. You had Ted Ginn Jr. (no, really, TED! FRIGGIN! GINN! JR!)
outrunning the Jets' secondary for an amazing 53-yard touchdown pass
from Henne. And you had the defense bending, but not breaking, when it
counted the most.
But the story of the night had to be Chad Henne's coming-out party.
Faced with a 27-24 deficit with only 5:12 remaining in regulation,
past Dolphins teams would try to milk the clock, get into field goal
range, try to tie the game, and just let the chips fall where they may
in overtime. Their slogan was "We Have No Balls and It Shows!" But The
Robot Chad Henne said, "Not on my watch, command, control, .exe" and
proceeded to lead the Dolphins on a brilliantly executed 13-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in -- what else? -- a Ronnie Brown-Wildcat
touchdown with six seconds left.
Kryptonite-proof, rust-proof. Game, set, and match.
Henne finished the night 20-for-24 for 241 yards and two touchdowns. And
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while all the pre-game talk was about how much poise Mark Sanchez had
to go along with his pretty face, in the end, it was Henne who displayed not only poise but also a laser-rocket arm to go with that
poise. Laser-rocket arm will always trump a pretty face. Every time.
Suck on that, Ron Jaworski! Suck on that, Rex Ryan! Suck on that, Jets!