REPORT CARD

QB Jay Fiedler

Here's a breakdown of how every unit on the Dolphins performed in the 26-13 victory over the New England Patriots.

QUARTERBACKS — Jay Fiedler was very efficient against the Patriots, as he rebounded very well from his performance against Kansas City. Fiedler threw the ball well and also made a couple of key plays with his running, including his touchdown run. More importantly, he did not throw an interception. The Dolphins will take that kind of performance from Fiedler any week. Grade: A-

RUNNING BACKS — Ricky Williams did rush for over 100 yards, but this probably was his least impressive outing of the season. He wound up averaging about 3 yards per carry, which is not a good figure. It seemed Williams seemed content to run straight into the middle of the defensive line a lot of times. Fullback Rob Konrad again was a major factor in the passing game, doing a nice job. Robert Edwards had a couple of nice runs, including a key 9-yard pick-up on a third-down play that helped the Dolphins kill a lot of clock in the fourth quarter. Grade: C+

RECEIVERS — Chris Chambers had his best game of the season, as he came up with a lot of key receptions. His touchdown catch in the back of the end zone was a beauty. So was tight end Randy McMichael's touchdown in the fourth quarter. James McKnight finally was a factor, setting up that last touchdown with a 35-yard catch down the sideline. Dedric Ward had a key third-down catch in the first half, while Oronde Gadsden had some nice grabs. There were no obvious drops, something that had been a problem early in the season. Grade: A-

OFFENSIVE LINE — With Mark Dixon sidelined because of an ankle injury, Marcus Spriggs got the start at left tackle and did a solid job. The pass protection in general was good, with Fiedler getting sacked only once. The run blocking wasn't quite as impressive as it had been in previous weeks, though. Grade: C+

DEFENSIVE LINE — This is where the Dolphins won this game. The Dolphins absolutely dominated up front. Jason Taylor, in particular, was awesome. He had two sacks in the first half and forced a fumble that set up the first touchdown of the game. David Bowens had the other sack for the Dolphins, who also totally shut down the New England running game. Everybody on this unit played well. Grade: A

LINEBACKERS — Most of the plays on defense were made by the line and the secondary, so the linebackers were rather quiet. But considering the Patriots didn't do much damage offensively, that was a good thing in this case. Grade: B

DEFENSIVE BACKS — A major rebound game for the Dolphins. The return of Patrick Surtain obviously made a huge difference. He came up with an interception, although it was Sam Madison who made the play by getting his hands on the ball first. Madison had an interception of his own in the second half, but he was badly beaten by David Patten on New England's first touchdown. Arturo Freeman had a very strong performance, which was good to see considering how poorly he played last Sunday. Jamar Fletcher had good coverage most of the afternoon, but he's got this nasty habit of never turning around to look at the ball. That cost him badly on New England's second touchdown of the game. But overall, this was a good effort by the secondary. Grade: B+

SPECIAL TEAMS — This was not a good day. Olindo Mare missed a field goal attempt and his first extra-point attempt was blocked, and blocked easily. Travis Minor didn't do much on kickoff returns, but Dedric Ward looked very good returning punts — good enough that the Dolphins should stick with him even when Robert Baker is ready to start making a contribution. The Dolphins didn't allow New England much of kick returns, which was a positive. But the kicking problems were not good. Grade: C-

DolphinDigest.com Recommended Stories