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October 14, 2012

G6: Dolphins 17, St. Louis 14: A day for past and future as club honors Taylor/Thomas and Tannehill leads team to .500

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G6: ST. LOUIS @ DOLPHINS: [Click on Handoff: Past to Present for my column off Sunday's game. And thanks for making it the mos-read column at MiamiHerald.com today] Final: Big, big win by Miami, with solid play from QB Ryan Tannehill, topping a 100 passer rating with two TDs. Weird game. Miami had negligible running game and gave up a lot of yards on defense but somehow won. Two straight and .500. Things looking up as Miami heads into bye week and then at Jets. ..... 4Q: Huge sack by ex-Cane Vernon (his second) forces 66-yard Rams FG try as time expires. Would have shattered league record. But no! ... Dolphins huge first down on faked punt and 3-yard run by Chris Clemons to keep possession with 3:22 left. Ballsy call by Miami. ... Rams within 18-14 on short TD and 2-point conversion pass. ... Miami one quarter from climbing up to .500 with a second straight win. ..... 3Q: Jason Trusnik recovers Rams apparent fumble after catch, but ruled incomplete upon review. ... Rams fumble loss overturned on review. ... Miami up 17-6 on 1-yard TD pass from Tannehill to Anthony Fasano. ..... Half: A well-deserved Honor Roll induction for Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. "Now let's go win the second half!" exhorted Zach. ... Nervous lead. Tannehill sharp at 11-for-15 for 108 yards with a TD, but Miami will need to run the ball much better (and more often) in second half. Dolphins winning with four yards rushing. Amazing. ..... 2Q: Break for Miami as Rams blow 37-yard FG try in final seconds. ... Dan Carpenter 42-yard FG for 10-6 MIA lead, capitalizing on STL turnover. ... Marcus Thigpen recovers STL kick-return fumble forced by Jimmy Wilson to set up MIA at Lous 25. ... Ryan Tannehill hits a wide open Marlon Moore for 29-yard TD and 7-6 Miami lead. Yes, that Vernon sack apparently did provide a needed spark! ... Lous miss 52-yard FG try after an 8-yard sack by ex-Cane Olivier Vernon. The spark Miami needed? ... Rams dominance has turned this crowd too close to silent. ... MIA offensive line struggling mightily with Rams pass rush, as Jake Long hold nullfied first down. ..... 1Q: Rams dominate first quarter, leading in total yards by 159 -- 109 on two plays -- to 32. Dolphins lucky to only be trailing by six. ... Jake Long having a tough time with Chris Long. ... STL now up 6-0 on 32-yard kick. Miami defense gives up another big play, this a 65-yard pass to the 11. ... Rams 3-0 on opening drive 48-yard FG. Dolphs gave up a 44-yard run to Daryl Richardson but later forced the kick after a Cam Wake sack. ..... Pregame: hard feelings: Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland and Rams coach Jeff Fisher chatting amiably on field before game. ... RB Daniel Thomas, CB Richard Marshall and WR Jabar Gaffney are today's notable inactives. ..... Original post: Miami shook off consecutive heartbreak overtime losses with last week's big road win in Cincy, now its time to build on that momentum and restake a little claim to home-field

1aa1jtzachadvantage in a very winnable game that would get the Dolphins level at .500. It'll be a special day when the franchise's past and future intersect in the present. The past, of course: All-time great defenders Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas being added to the club's stadium Honor Roll. It will be emotional because they were (and are) such huge fan favorites, and close enough to their careers to have a connection to fans that most of those great '70s players do not. A question for you: Other than obvious choice Dan Marino, what Dolphins are/have been more popular than JT/Zach? I suspect it's a short list but I'd welcome your nominess. (Larry Csonka, maybe?) While today is an homage to the past, the club's future is embodied by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has impressed enough to make Dolfans as optimistic as they have been in a long time. Turning to today's game, I think the present-day Dolphins will treat honorees JT and Zach to a victory. And, appropriately enough, I think it'll be Miami's defense leading that win. I see a very stout run-D limiting the Rams' Steven Jackson, and QB Sam Bradford doesn't have a lot of weapons after that. I'm sure St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher does not regret his decision to say no to the Miami job, but maybe this game (and Tannehill outperforming Bradford) will give him a little something to think about. My Pick: Dolphins, 19-13.

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