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Miami Dolphins blow second-half lead, fall against unbeaten New Orleans Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; BY JEFF DARLINGTON JDARLINGTON@MIAMIHERALD.COM It was like a bad night at a blackjack table, one that begins with that euphoric feeling as the chips begin to pile up far faster than could have ever been expected. The Dolphins looked unstoppable. ...

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Old 10-25-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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BY JEFF DARLINGTON
JDARLINGTON@MIAMIHERALD.COM
It was like a bad night at a blackjack table, one that begins with that euphoric feeling as the chips begin to pile up far faster than could have ever been expected. The Dolphins looked unstoppable. Unbelievable. And unbeatable.

Then, before they could barely ponder how they'd spend this win, the pile of chips had shrunk. The energy was gone. And the night - the once incredibly uplifting night - had morphed into nothing more than this: Saints 46, Dolphins 34.

At one point, it appeared to be highlighted by the rejuvenation for Ricky Williams' career, who tied a career high with three touchdowns. It was a defensive explosion for the Dolphins, too, one that resulted in a befuddling four turnovers by the best offense in the NFL.

No defense had stopped the Saints on their opening drive. No offense had ever led New Orleans during any point of its first six wins. And yet, the Dolphins had done both in dominating fashion.

So where did it all go wrong? Where did the buzz kill first begin? Strange enough, the momentum saw its initial bout of fatigue before the first half even ended.

During a game that had 10 combined scoring drives before the fourth quarter even began, it'd be hard to isolate any one touchdown as the ultimate cause for the result of this game. There are, nonetheless, areas worth discussing.

The most notable - or at least the most bizarre - occurred at the end of the first half. With five seconds in the second quarter, Brees hit wide receiver Marques Colston for a 20-yard completion that was first ruled a touchdown.

An official review would reveal that Colston's knee was down at the -yard line, meaning the clock would have expired before the Saints could run another play had that been the original call.

But because it was reviewed, the Saints got another shot. They put their field-goal unit on the field, though, and the Dolphins expected otherwise, indicated by the fact that they had their base defense lined up.

Rather than simply letting the Saints kick the field goal, Miami called a timeout to reset, giving Brees enough time to convince coach Sean Payton to let him go for a quarterback sneak that resulted in a touchdown.

It was a strange result that led to plenty of questions and what-ifs. But considering everything that happened afterward, there were plenty more what-ifs to go around.

For instance, what if Ted Ginn Jr. didn't bobble yet another ball to start the second half, one that would be intercepted by Saints safety Darren Sharper and returned for a 42-yard touchdown? Too many what ifs. Not enough maintenance of momentum.

As a shootout ensued during the second half, the cushy 24-3 lead from the game's early portions was a distant memory. And the Saints, suddenly surging, were the last team Miami wanted to engage in a shootout.

Suddenly, nothing was going right. Tight end Anthony Fasano dropped a Wildcat pass by running back Ronnie Brown. Quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Brian Hartline had a miscommunication that led to an errant throw.

It was a sign of what would soon come, a potentially game-winning drive that would not have any of the magic from that Monday night win against the Jets two weeks ago. This drive - one low-lighted by three dropped passes - would instead result with an interception that would once again be returned for a touchdown.

By then, the last chip had been bet away. And there was nothing left but a loss and a memory of all the riches that once were right in front of them.

Miami Dolphins blow second-half lead, fall to unbeaten New Orleans Saints - Miami Dolphins - MiamiHerald.com

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Old 10-25-2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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Re: Miami Dolphins blow second-half lead, fall against unbeaten New Orleans Saints

This guy was so impressed by the Saints, he gave them an extra win :

No offense had ever led New Orleans during any point of its first six wins.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: Miami Dolphins blow second-half lead, fall against unbeaten New Orleans Saints

didn't even read this one, just know we won lol.
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