Saints 7 - Dolphins 0
Well that was brutal. These are the kinds of games they show to break prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. There's waterboarding and then there's a game like tonight's. All in all craptastic.
On to the notes:
-After all his smarmy remarks and blaming the Fins' offense and the infield at the Stadium, and all the shit he talked about how his crappy play as Dolphins kicker was everybody else's fault but his, our friend Olindo Mare went 0-for-3 in field goal attempts tonight, missing a 33 yarder, a 50 and a 55 yarder. He missed three makable field goals. In a dome. No infield dirt. No bad weather. Saints fans booed him loudly. Have fun with that, New Orleans. He's all yours.
-Running back Patrick Cobbs looked like he had lost his chance at landing a job when his drive-killing fumble against the Bucs last week was the lone low-light for the offense. But tonight he made up for it in a huge way. Cobbs was the lone standout in an otherwise lethargic offense. Catching passes out of the backfield, hitting holes at the line of scrimmage and making guys miss -- he really had an outstanding game. Cobbs finished with 44 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving. He outplayed Lorenzo Booker -- who looks like he's still running for Bobby Bowden -- and really made a case for himself. The guy is a scrapper and I'd love to have him as a 4th RB and a special teams play-maker. In fact, how bout we give him the kickoff return duties instead of Ronnie Brown.
-LB Edmund Miles, the rookie out of Iowa, was all over the field tonight. He really had a solid performance.
-CB Jason Allen, the much maligned former first-round pick, entered this game on fragile ground. He really had an all around solid outing with 6 tackles and an interception. The Fins have a lot of money invested in this guy and while he clearly has shown he's not first-round talent (thanks a lot Nick Saban, you useless nutsack), he does have something to offer and if he can be as active in the regular season as he was tonight, then I'll take it.
-Rookie LB Kelvin Smith had an all around solid game with 9 tackles. As did DB Courtney Bryan.
-The offensive line was putrid. They allowed 4 sacks and gave John Beck the absolute worst pass protection you can give a guy. Saints DE Wille Evans had his way with the Dolphins' left tackles all night, registering 3 sacks. The good news: none of the O-linemen who started tonight are regular starters.
-John Beck had his worst game as a Dolphin. 63 yards, 2 INT and 0 TDs. Yes, the offensive line should carry a lot of the blame. BUT, Beck made a ton of rookie mistakes tonight. He forced passes where he shouldn't, held on to the ball too long and took way too many sacks. Again, the height was an issue as he dealt with more batted balls at the line of scrimmage. Drew Brees had to overcome this as well. At 6'2, Beck needs to understand that D-linemen in the NFL are big as well as tall. And, as Cam Cameron noted in his post-game comments, Beck needs to learn that an incomplete pass is not a bad thing. Beck needs to learn to throw the ball away. The times he held on to the football and took a sack, rather than throwing an incompletion, were drive-killers. All in all, though, it's good that Beck finally had a poor outing and struggled as bad as he did. It'll just drive him to work that much harder.
That's it from this end. Come Saturday, we'll know who impressed the coaches and who didn't, as the deadline for final roster cuts are to be made by 6:00PM.
But thank God the pre-season has finally come to an end. Bring on the regular season!