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  1. #1
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    Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    NFL.com wire reports



    MIAMI (Oct. 24, 2004) -- Jay Fiedler threw a game-clinching touchdown pass, then sprinted the length of the field to join his teammates in an end zone celebration, waving his index finger as he ran.

    No, the Miami Dolphins aren't No. 1. But they do have victory No. 1.

    Winless no more, Miami jump-started its sputtering offense with a succession of big plays and occasional trickery to beat the explosive St. Louis Rams at their own game Sunday, 31-14.

    "You almost forgot what it felt like," Fiedler said. "We were down in the dungeon of the NFL, and we were able to play a full game. This is a big victory for us."

    After enduring the worst start in their 39-year history, the Dolphins (1-6) took out their frustration on the Rams (4-3), who had at least five players hurt. The much-maligned Fiedler threw for two touchdowns, embattled coach Dave Wannstedt made some risky calls that paid off, and Miami held the Rams' high-powered offense in check.

    "Enough is enough," said defensive end David Bowens, who said last week he expected Miami to win its final 10 games. "At some point you've got to draw a line in the sand and be a man about it."

    The Dolphins are the last NFL team to win this season.

    "Every dog has its day, and today was their day," Rams defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "You never know. They could run off six straight wins now. That's the NFL."

    Fiedler was booed during the pregame introductions, then went 13 for 17 for 203 yards. He shrugged off five sacks and threw touchdown passes of 42 yards to Randy McMichael and 71 yards to Chris Chambers, with the latter clinching the win.


    Randy McMichael's 42-yard catch and run put the Dolphins ahead for good.
    The conservative Wannstedt, his job in jeopardy, took some uncharacteristic gambles to keep St. Louis guessing. A 48-yard pass by receiver Marty Booker set up the game's first score, and Miami also pulled off a fake punt and tried a halfback pass.

    "We opened up the playbook today," McMichael said. "Coach Wannstedt said he was going to run them all, and they all came out positive."

    Miami, which entered with a league-high 17 turnovers, committed none. A replay review overturned a fumble lost by Chambers in the fourth quarter, and instead the drive produced a field goal for a 24-7 lead.

    "The guys play hard every week," Wannstedt said. "We just didn't make as many mistakes today."

    The Rams' lone turnover was costly, with Marc Bulger intercepted in the end zone when they were threatening to tie the game in the third quarter. St. Louis totaled 372 yards but converted only 2 of 13 third-down situations.

    The Dolphins dominated on special teams with ferocious hitting, including a block by rookie Tony Bua that took out two Rams on a 20-yard punt return.

    "A lot of guys were playing with their hair on fire," Bua said. "When you're 0-6, you're willing to do anything to get a win."

    Although the crowd was announced as a sellout, the stands were half empty. But fans did plenty of cheering for a change, including when a trick play helped Miami score first.

    Booker took a handoff on a reverse, then threw deep to Chambers. On the next play, Sammy Morris scored Miami's first rushing touchdown of the season on an 8-yard run.

    With the score 7-7, Fiedler foiled a blitz on third and 27 and found McMichael streaking down the middle for a touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.

    "That's the only time I've ever called a play on defense, and it goes for a touchdown," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "I guess that's why I don't coach defense."

    The Rams, who staged come-from-behind victories in their past two games, tried to rally again and made the score 24-14 on Bulger's 15-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald with 4:51 left.

    Miami answered with the clincher 27 seconds later. Fiedler threw a short third-down pass to Chambers, who found a seam and sprinted to the end zone.

    "Sometimes you can overcome mistakes early," Bulger said. "But sometimes you wait too late to get anything going, and that's what happened to us."

    Game notes
    Five Rams left the game with injuries: CB Dwight Anderson (right shoulder), LB Brandon Chillar (hamstring), DE Bryce Fisher (chest), WR Dane Looker (leg bruise) and T Grant Willliams (neck burner).
    Dolphins LB Junior Seau sat out the second half with a groin injury.
    Dolphins T Wade Smith, who started the first two games this season, was inactive for the first time.
    The Rams are 0-4 in Miami since their last win there in 1976.


  2. #2
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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    Two points ought to be made here. 1st he shouldn't have accepted the penalty and he should have let it be 4th and 18 and then could have let them try a 50 yarder. That way he wouldn't have found himself trying to call a play to justify what he was thinking when he idiotically accepted one of the two penalties.

    2nd, and one which I doubt, maybe he was preparing MarmieListless for his eventual firing by taking over play calling.

  3. #3
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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    I believe that it would have been fourth and 10 if he declined the penalty. The 10 yards was marked off from the point of the foul, which was in the backfield near fiedler, not at the line of scrimmage. If i am wrong on that i apologize in advance.

    They would have gone on 4th and 10 and i would rather take my chances on 3rd and 28.

    I think many of the people that are complaining about the blitz call (this is not directed at you jason) have complained that marmie is not aggressive enough on defense. I dont think the issue was the defensive call, its how do you send 8 guys against the worst offensive line in the nfl and not even get close to the qb? We are playing matador defense against the tight end every week.

    general counsel

  4. #4
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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    I don't have a problem with Martz's call. If the defense holds we get some awesome field position. At some point in time, the players HAVE to make a play.

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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    But the call was designed with Bryce Fisher covering Randy McMichael. That is a problem in itself. I'd be all for it, if Fisher was lining up across from Manumalauna, but this was McMichael. It never should have been drawn up that way.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    Well, there wasn't a LB in sight backing up a D lineman either. Polley missed the play call. Maybe the call was wrong, or right. Not sure. However, Polley's head wasn't in that game Sunday and he's one of my favorite defensive players. No one is saying anything about the stupid personal foul he took when hitting that Dolphin out of bounds.

    Maybe the play calling wasn't spectacular but to hang the whole thing on Martz is ridiculous.

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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    Quote Originally Posted by Tx
    Maybe the play calling wasn't spectacular but to hang the whole thing on Martz is ridiculous.
    Who's hanging the whole thing on Martz? I just don't think it was the right call to put coverage of McMichael in the hands (and feet) of B. Fisher.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  8. #8
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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    alright.....

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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    You can fault Fisher for not covering McMichael. But there was at least one or two Rams that probably could have tackled McMichael short of the first down and didn't get it done either. And I agree with GC - it doesn't seem like our blitzing players are getting to the QB in time, from what I've seen. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen Rams blitzing and the opposing QB still have five or six seconds in the pocket.
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    Re: Martz's call defense on 3 and 27!!??

    Archuleta came over from being out of position and looked like he could have made a hit on the reciever, but apparently he wasn't looking to see if the ball was coming. So when the receiver caught it, he was surprised, and then the guy was gone.

    Huge mistake by Arch. He's supposed to be the SAFETY on that play, and yet all of our guys were playing up. No backup there.

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