Henne takes baby steps, Wake takes giant strides in Dolphins win over Packers

By Hugo Guzman  |   Monday, October 18, 2010  |  Comments( 4 )

Miami Dolphins
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In a game filled with mental mistakes and execution errors, the Miami Dolphins were able to find a way to win yet another tough road test, beating the Green Bay Packers 23 to 20 in overtime. Miami's third straight road win puts their record at 3-2 and allows them to keep pace within the division. Perhaps more importantly, two of Miami's most important players took a step in the right direction on Sunday.

Quarterback Chad Henne started the game extremely well, engineering an impressive touchdown drive in which he completed four of six pass attempts (including two completions on third down) en route to the game's opening touchdown. He then fell into a familiar pattern, throwing a drive-killing, poorly thrown and ill-advised interception deep in Green Bay territory. It prevented the Dolphins from extending their 7-3 lead and it also led to an 87-yard touchdown strike on the ensuing play (although to be fair, it was Yeremiah Bell's inexcusable coverage error, which left the entire deep middle of the field exposed, that allowed this play to happen).

Fortunately, Henne bounced back, finishing the day 23 of 39 for 231 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Perhaps most importantly, he was able to put together a touchdown drive to take the lead late in the fourth quarter and also made a key completion in overtime to setup the game-winning field goal (although, that drive was more about a punishing ground attack than it was about Henne's arm). Not a perfect game, but the young signal caller made enough plays to win the game and avoided costly turnovers when it mattered most.

While Henne's progress was subtle, his defensive mate, Cameron Wake, was anything but.

Wake finished the game with three sacks and hit Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers six times, providing much-needed pass rush at key junctures in the ball game. Wake, who now has six sacks in just five games, is clearly the heir apparent to Jason Taylor. He gives Miami a legit pass-rushing presence that should pay dividends for the rest of this season and beyond. More importantly, this particular performance seems to indicate that Wake is capable of taking over games single-handedly. This is a big step in Wake's career and should come in handy for the Dolphins as the season progresses.

Hopefully, one of the Wake's counterparts, like rookie linebacker Koa Misi, will benefit from the added attention that is sure to come Wake's way if he continues to produce in this manner.

P.S. Cornerback Jason Allen didn't make it into the title of this article but deserves special mention. He bounced back nicely this week, finishing the game with three tackles a couple of pass breakup and a nice interception, which was Miami's first turnover since Week 2. The former first-rounder and current reclamation project leads the team with three interceptions through five games.
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About Hugo Guzman

Trying to bring an objective approach to NFL analysis.
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