Forget Miami's kick-off returner Ted Ginn Jr. zigzagging this way and that way on kick-off returns. Forget quarterback Chad Henne's 66.3 quarterback rating . Forget wide receiver Greg Camarillo's late hit in overtime. What did the Dolphins in yesterday was their special teams gaffe late in the game.
Remember the game not too long ago in Buffalo?
Brian Moorman punted the Bills past Miami .
There was a similar situation yesterday that reminded me of Moorman's punt. After miraculously tying the game, mostly thanks to a Music-City-Miracle-type catch by Brian Hartline, the Miami Dolphins defense came up big and forced the Tennessee Titans to punt.
But Brett Kern helped punt the Titans past Miami.
Out came No. 6 Kern, a second-year punter from Toledo, who punted a beauty. Standing at his own 39-yard line, Kern kicked the ball 59 yards down field towards Dolphin punt returner Davone Bess. But Bess couldn't get a handle on the punt and went AWOL. The punt landed inside the 10-yard line, rolled towards the end zone, and then took a sharp right at the Dolphins two-yard line. Jason McCourty gladly downed it and the rest was history.
Tying the game with 1:38 to go was a real momentum changer. Forcing the Titans to punt after only chewing up 30 seconds of clock kept momentum high on the visitor's sideline. But getting pinned down at the two-yard line with around 56 seconds to go was a real momentum buster.
Had the punt coverage been able to press the Titans attack, had Bess caught the ball and returned it up field a bit, even a fair catch would have taken the pressure off Miami and would have given them a chance to win the game in regulation.
The Dolphins really had no business going into overtime. It was a miracle; too bad for the Dolphins the miracle was not fully realized.
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