[Note: Our latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll will be out in a separate blog post beginning at 5 p.m. sharp. Watch for it and weigh in].
Dolphins beat visiting Buffalo, 25-16, and what a nice division win for Miami. Like it because it was solid all-round. On offense, Chad Pennington was terrific, and Ted Ginn, with almost 200 yards receiving, finally lived up to his draft status. Defensively, Joey Porter was a monstah! Special teams? Dan Carpenter was huge, and two punts were downd inside the five. Top to bottom: solid showing.
Miami now is 3-4 and, say what you will, not out of the playoff chase yet in a wide-open AFC. A game at Denver next is followed by consecutive home dates that will find Miami favored over Seattle and Oakland.
Your comments on today's game welcomed below. And on whether playoff contention is a realistic aim at this point.
Randy Crowder with the latest Dolphins turnover, with 1:44 to play. Dolphins win!
Dan Carpenter 35-yard FG -- that's kid been money -- gives Miami a safe nine-point lead with 3:53 to play. Stout all-round performance, with Ginn and Porter the stars.
Joey Porter sacks Trent Edwards in end zone for a safety. What a monster game for Porter. He will be the AFC defensive player of the week.
Porter stole the ball! Porter stole the ball! Joey snatches it from Trent Edwards to halt the driving Bills and return possessio to Miami. Huge play. Dolphin defense coming up large.
Dan Carpenter FG is resilt of Will Allen interception of Trent Edwards on first play of fourth quarter. TD there would have been huge. Nervous lead, but things looking up.
Dolphins regain lead late in 3Q on short Ricky Williams run. Now 17-16. Good game. Hey, it's Ted Ginn Day in South Florida. How 'bout that!
Dan Carpenter 43-yard FG draws Fish within six, after a Ted Ginn 64-yard catch and run put Dolphins in scoring territory. (Good to see the YAC; Ted tends to fall down after a catch). Miami "settled," though. Afte the big play, a delay of game, sack and batted pass followed.
Bills take opening 2H drive to impressive TD capped by Marshawn Lynch run. Bad tackling on the scoring run. Check that, missed tackling. NO TACKLING!
Second half about to begin. Miami needs some ground presence.
Dolphins trail for first time in game as first half expires, with 47-yard Bills FG making it 9-7, visitors.
Bills block Dolphins' FG try late in first half. Hope you betteors out there have the under.
Bison within a point, 7-6, mid-2Q, on 43-yard FG, capitalizing on the Ricky fumble. Sloppy tackling and especially penalties are hurting Miami a bit.
Dolphins give it right back on a Ricky Williams fumble.
Miami back with the ball after Joey Porter's ninth sack; he'll make the Pro Bowl. But: Looks like CB Will Allen has a pretty significant injury.
Dolphs punt, but pin Bills back near own goalline. Somebody point Ricky in the right direction, please. Positive sign: Wildcat formation already paying greater dividends than a week ago vs. Baltimore.
Buffs settle for chip-shot FG after being denied at goalline on third down. Big benefit for Miami having DTs Jason Ferguson and Paul Solaia back. One early concern: Jason Allen's play at the corner.
THE STREAK IS OVER! Dolphins score TD on opening possession after not doing so in 26 straight games dating to December '06. A 2-yard flip from Chad Pennington to Anthony Fasano ends the skid, gives Miami early lead at home. The big play: a 46-yard strike to Ted Ginn on game's opening snap. I asked if Dolphs could conjure a deep threat? Thanks for the fast answer, fellas!
Dolfans panicking all over South Florida as CBS switches to London for pregame ceremonies there. Oy! But back in time for kickoff. Game on!
Minutes from kickoff. Can the Dolphins conjure up any sort of deep pass threat?
Do the Dolphins have a true "rival"? Is it Buffalo? I digress. Bills coming in here fairly high and mighty for this afternoon's visit to Miami, primed for an upset. Could be why the Bison are only favored by a negligible 1 1/2 points. I predicted (and predict) a Bills win, but that only means, based on my record this season, that Dolfans may start celebrating now.
At 2-4, Miami faces one of those crossroads games. With a win, the Dolphins are allowed to believe the playoffs might still be in play in a wide-open AFC. With a third straight loss? Few will believe that, or should, and the predictbale drumbeat for Chad Henne might begin to begin.