Last week it appeared the Miami Dolphins finally had put it all together in New Jersey against the Giants. As had been the case all season though, the outcome was the same.
Sunday in Kansas City against the Chiefs, the team played determined football, and this time left no stone unturned in making sure they were in the win column for the first time in 2011, pounding the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs 31-3 to move to 1-7 on the year.
The Dolphins looked nothing like a team playing in the “Suck for Luck” campaign, a name that has been given in the race to draft USC QB Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in next years NFL Draft.
Matt Moore played his best game of the season by far, going 17 of 23 for 244 yards with three TD passes and no interceptions. His passer rating for the game was 147.5. Reggie Bush gained 92 yards on 13 carries and caught three passes for 50 yards. Even Brandon Marshall had a TD grab, only his second of the season, and he went over 100 yards as well.
While the offense stepped up, it was the defense that deserves all the credit. They allowed a 43-yard field goal on the first drive of the game to the Chiefs Ryan Succop, but it was all Fins from there.
The Dolphins went ahead 7-3 with a 3-yard pass from Moore to a wide-open tight end Anthony Fasano in the back of the end zone with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
It was that combo that struck again on Miami’s next possession, this time for 35 yards and a 14-3 lead with 9:41 to play in the first half. The drive was a three-play series, as Miami went right at the Chiefs secondary. Moore hit rookie fullback Charles Clay for 21 yards and then 22 yards before getting Fasano one-on-one on linebacker Derrick Johnson.
The Dolphins defense never let up on the Chiefs, and Miami went up 21-3 lead midway through the third quarter on Moore’s third touchdown pass of the game, a 14-yard score to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who got between cornerback Brandon Carr and safety Kendrick Lewis.
Bush made it 28-3 with a 28-yard TD run with 6:41 left in the third period for a 28-3 lead, and kicker Dan Carpenter’s 42-yard field goal with 8:08 left in the game made it 31-3.
Matt Cassel passed for 253 yards, but completed only 20-of-39 throws for the Chiefs. The Dolphins outgained Kansas City 351 to 343, but had nine minutes more of possession, and with Moore playing his best game by far of the year, the Chiefs seemed out of sync all day.
The Dolphins’ relentless front spent most of the afternoon in Cassel’s face, sacking him five times and forcing the slow-footed quarterback to scramble nine more times. The Chiefs came into the game having allowed 13 sacks all season, tied for sixth-best in the league.
Miami recorded its first victory since December 12th of last year, when it earned a 10-6 win against the Jets. Matt Cassel passed for 253 yards, but completed only 20-of-39 throws for the Chiefs (4-4), who had won their last four games.
Next Sunday the Fins are back at home, they will host the Washington Redskins, who are 3-5 after losing at home Sunday to the 49ers 19-11.