New Era; Dolphins Hammer Broncos 34-10

By Mike Medina  |   Sunday, September 11, 2005  |  Comments( 0 )

Miami Dolphins
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The Miami Dolphins took the field today against the Denver Broncos, and to everybody's surprise, emerged victorious. There was a lot to cheer about for Miami fans who endured a 4-12 record in 2004, the Dolphins' first losing year since 1988.

The Miami Dolphins initial drive to start the season looked reminiscently sloppy. After a series of plays, Gus Frerotte hit Chris Chambers for a ten yard catch that resulted in a fumble. Just when you thought that the offensive struggles from their preseason would continue Miami came back strong. Their second drive of the game set the tone for the revamped Dolphins' offensive scheme. Gus Frerotte, with the help of Chris Chambers, engineered a 9 play 69 yard drive, which resulted in a field goal. On that drive, some of that old Miami Dolphins bad luck played into the Broncos' favor. Chris Chambers barely stepped out of bounds at the Denver 18, after running for what would have been a 79 yard reverse touchdown.

On their follow up drives, Miami looked crisp going down field, relying on a newly found dink-and-dunk offense. With less than four minutes left in the first quarter, the Dolphins drove the ball to the Denver 16, but had to settle for yet another Olindo Mare field goal. This time it was from 44 yards out. On this particular drive, Miami shot themselves in the foot once inside the red-zone, with a handful of offside penalties.

With the score now 6-0 in favor of the Dolphins, Jake Plummer and the gang gave it their best shot and drove down to the Miami 1-yard line. However, when three straight attempts to get in the end-zone failed, the Broncos gave it one last stab on fourth and 1 but came up short. Miami's goal line stance was impressive and made a statement on that series. The half would end at 6-3 in favor of Miami.

The second half was all about Nick Saban and the Fish. In the third quarter, the Dolphins scored on a 2 yard pass to TE Randy McMichael to cap off a 9 play 61 yard drive. In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins didn't let up. Sammy Morris scored from nine yards out to finish another Dolphins Drive (10 plays 67-yards).

Denver's only touchdown came off a Miami turnover. Dolphins' return specialist Wes Welker fumbled the ball on a punt, which gave the Broncos the ball at the Miami 26 yard line. The Dolphins, however, would not give up the score easily. Miami held Denver to another fourth down situation. This time it was fourth and two, but Jake Plummer managed to get the ball into Kyle Johnson's hands for the score.

They say to always save the best for last, and Miami did not disappoint! Their final two scores are arguably the most exciting touchdowns that we have seen since the 2003 season. The first was credited to Marty Booker. Booker found a small gap just past two defenders, caught a perfectly thrown ball from Gus Frerotte, and out ran the defensive backs for a 60 yard score. Finally, it was Jason Taylor who put the cherry on top. With four seconds left in regulation, and the Broncos knocking on the door, Jason Taylor knocked the ball loose from Jake Plummer, recovered the fumble and ran it all the way back for an 85 yard touchdown. Needless to say, the statement made in the first quarter, when Miami stopped Denver on fourth and one, was re-emphasized. The Dave Wannstedt era is over!

Gus Frerotte would end the game completing 24 of 36 attempts for 275 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Ronnie Brown rushed for 22 carries and recorded 61 yards. Marty Booker had a great game making five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Chris Chambers had 5 receptions for 40 yards and also recorded 61 yards rushing on a reverse. Wes Welker had a good day receiving and is now more involved in the offense, recording 4 receptions for 60 yards. Randy McMichael had 6 receptions for 55 yards and a score. On the defensive side, Lance Schulters and Travis Daniels both had interception. Finally, Jason Taylor recorded his first sack of the 2005 season plus a bonus touchdown.

As for the Denver Broncos, they not only lost the momentum built by a perfect preseason (4-0), but they also lost star CB Champ Bailey indefinitely. He suffered a separated shoulder and had to leave the game.
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