Granted, it was against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, who might be the worst team in the NFL. But it's much better to beat them then to lose to them.
With that in mind, give the Dolphins credit for their 24-3 victory over the Jaguars at Sun Life Stadium.
"We came out and dominated a team we were supposed to beat," said running back Reggie Bush, who rushed for 104 yards, his second 100-yard rushing game of the season.
It wasn't a thing of beauty. In fact, in its early stages it was downright ugly for both teams. But the Dolphins (6-8) kicked things into high gear in the second half while Jacksonville (2-12) stalled. The Dolphins outscored the Jaguars, 14-0, had seven plays of 10 yards or more, and kept the ball for 21 of a possible 30 minutes. Miami ended the game with 11-minute edge – 35:38 to 24:22 – in time of possession.
The win allows the Dolphins to take another step toward avoiding a fourth consecutive losing season and it gives them their second victory in their past seven games.
It also allowed the current crew to make a good showing in front of many of the 1972 Dolphins, the team that put together the Perfect Season. It's the 40th anniversary of the only undefeated team in NFL history. They went 17-0 including their Super Bowl victory. Roughly 30 players from that team celebrated all weekend. There was a dinner at former coach Don Shula's house Friday night, the premiere of the movie "More Than Perfect," on Saturday night, and defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger was inducted into the Honor Roll at halftime Sunday. Hall of Famers such as guard Larry Little, fullback Larry Csonka and quarterback Bob Griese were among those at the game.
"It was a great home win," coach Joe Philbin said, "especially when you consider many of the greatest players in our franchise's history were in attendance today."
The Dolphins were facing former quarterback Chad Henne, who was basically Miami's starter for the previous three seasons. He was making his fourth start in place of injured Blaine Gabbert. Henne finished 18-for-34 passing for 221 yards, no touchdowns no interceptions and a 73.3 passer rating.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, on the other hand, showed promise. He was 22-for-28 passing for 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a career-best passer rating of 123.2. That's a good showing for a man who had thrown three touchdowns and six interceptions in his previous five games.
Tannehill wasn't sure if it was his best game of the season but said "it feels good to go out and execute the gameplan, have some fun, have some long sustained drives converting third downs."
Tannehill seemed to be more comfortable passing even though his receiving corps was injury-shortened because Davone Bess (back) was out. Miami was also without linebacker Koa Misi (ankle). And during the game a number of players went down, including running back Daniel Thomas (knee) and cornerback Nolan Carroll (knee). Neither returned.
Regardless, it was a good day for the Dolphins.
Wide receiver Brian Hartline hit the 1,000-yard mark in receiving for the first time in his career. And running back Reggie Bush got close to his second consecutive 1,000-yard season by rushing for 104 yards on 21 carries. It was his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. Bush now has 895 yards rushing.
He took the opportunity to introduce himself to Csonka before the game.
"I just wanted to introduce myself and tell him congratulations and thank him for everything he did paving the way for guys like me," Bush said. "It was good to see those guys out there today, and I think it was even more special for us to get a win today while honoring that '72 team."