|Other Week 13 Game Recaps|
|ARI at PHI||ATL at SD||BAL at CIN||CAR at GB||CHI at MIN||DEN at NYJ||IND at CLE||JAX at HOU|
|KC at OAK||MIA at STL||NO at TB||NYG at WAS||PIT at NE||SEA at DAL||SF at BUF||TEN at DET|
Week 13 Game Recap: Miami Dolphins 16, St. Louis Rams 12
What you need to know
The Dolphins relied on their defense and a win in the turnover column to gain victory on the road versus the St Louis Rams. Chad Pennington had an unspectacular day, completing 13 of 23 passes for 166 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. Ronnie Brown added a 12 yard pass completion. Though the Dolphins didn't rely much on the passing game against the Rams, Davone Bess stepped into a starting role and caught six balls for 84 yards. Fellow starter Ted Ginn finished with 55 yards on four catches, but was guilty of a couple of drops. Rookie wide receiver Brandon London saw game action and caught one pass for sixteen yards. Tight ends David Martin and Anthony Fasano pitched in with one reception a piece (twelve and seven yards respectively) with fullback Lousaka Polite adding the final catch for six yards.
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams shared the backfield most of the day, and finished with similar yardage totals, but Brown claimed the only touchdown of the afternoon for both teams. Brown gained 48 yards and a touchdown on fifteen carries, while teammate Ricky Williams added 54 yards on twelve carries. Williams did depart briefly in this game with an ankle injury which should be monitored. Both fullbacks were active in the backfield against the Rams, with Lousaka Polite carrying the ball three times for twenty yards, while Patrick Cobbs gained twelve yards on a pair of touches. Chad Pennington officially gained fifteen yards on three attempts.
|St. Louis Rams|
The return of Steven Jackson was not enough to help propel the Rams to victory over the Dolphins at home. Jackson came out of the gates hot, and finished with 21 carries for 94 yards, but was kept off the field at the end of a close game in a coaches decision which Jackson did not agree with. Jackson looked very fluid and at or near top speed early in the game, though coach Jim Haslett felt his hamstring had tightened up and limited his playing time in the second half. Antonio Pittman saw six carries late in the game, and gained 25 yards on those touches, with Kenneth Darby spelling both backs for a total of eight yards on two attempts. Wide receiver Donnie Avery added two yards on his only touch of the game.
Marc Bulger struggled against the Dolphins defense, throwing three interceptions and completing just 16 of 35 passes for 149 yards. Dane Looker led all Rams receivers with six receptions and 52 yards, followed by Torry Holt with 30 yards on three catches. Rookie Donnie Avery failed to catch a pass in this game. Fourth wide receiver Keenan Burton caught a 23 yard pass against the Dolphins secondary. Tight end Daniel Fells caught three balls for 18 yards, while fellow tight end Anthony Becht chipped in one catch for five yards. Steven Jackson and Kenneth Darby added 23 and 5 yard receptions (respectively) out of the backfield.
What you ought to know
|QB Chad Pennington, Pass: 13 - 23 - 166 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 15 - 0|
Pennington completed 57% of his passes for an average gain of 7.2 yards per attempt en route to a 79.3 passer rating on the afternoon. The Dolphins employed a conservative offense in this game, and focused on wearing down the Rams with a combination of Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams and their fullbacks. Pennington did work well with Davone Bess out of the slot, though saw his numbers reduced by a pair of drops by Ted Ginn.
|RB Ronnie Brown, Pass: 1 - 1 - 12 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 15 - 48 - 1|
While Brown averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, he saw 15 carries to Ricky Williams' 12 touches, in part because of the additional moves which Ronnie offers, highlighted by his touchdown, where he spun out of the defenders would-be tackle for a three yard burst. Brown was not targeted out of the backfield, but did complete his only pass attempt on the day to tight end David Martin.
|RB Ricky Williams, Rush: 12 - 54 - 0|
Ricky Williams outgained Ronnie Brown in this game (54 to 48 yards) on fewer touches, and averaged a solid 4.5 yards per attempt, however was hobbled by an ankle injury in this contest and saw his numbers limited as a result of this. Williams did have a fourteen yard touchdown nullified by a holding penalty.
|WR Davone Bess, Rec: 6 - 84 - 0 (10 targets)|
Bess looked impressive in his elevation to a starting role following the season ending knee injury to Greg Camarillo. Against the Rams, Bess was Chad Pennington's favorite receiver, and averaged 14.0 yards per reception coming out of the slot.
|WR Ted Ginn, Rec: 4 - 55 - 0 (8 targets)|
Ginn averaged 13.8 yards per pass reception, however saw another two balls which he should have caught to make it a bigger day. With the loss of Greg Camarillo, Ginn's role in the offense would expect to be increased, though it did not show on this day with the Dolphins committed to the run. Ginn retained kick return duties, while fellow receiver Davone Bess handled punt returns.
|TE Anthony Fasano, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)|
Fasano had just one target on the afternoon, but made a nice diving catch on the play. He and David Martin were kept back to block for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams for much of the afternoon.
|PK Dan Carpenter 3 - 3 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 10 points|
Carpenter connected on field goals of 37, 42 and 47 plus added one extra point on a perfect afternoon.
|MIA Rush Defense|
The Dolphins rush defense had difficulty slowing down Steven Jackson early in this game, and in between the 20 yard line markers, but were able to shut down the Rams running game when it counted most. The Rams totaled 129 yards on 30 carries, but were kept out of the end zone.
|MIA Pass Defense|
With three interceptions to seal the victory, and limited the Rams to 149 yards through the air at home, the Dolphins pass defense more than did their job, despite failing to record a sack against Marc Bulger.
|QB Marc Bulger, Pass: 16 - 35 - 149 - 0 TD / 3 INT|
Bulger completed just 46 percent of his passes and averaged only 4.3 yards per passing attempt against the Dolphins defense. Combined with three interceptions, Bulger finished with a passer rating of just 22.2. While he was not sacked all afternoon, the Dolphins kept pressure on the Bulger and made him look uncomfortable in the pocket. The Rams looked better running the ball in this back and forth game, but the Rams appeared to be committed to the pass in the second half when they felt that Steven Jackson was not ready to carry the same load as he had in the first.
|RB Steven Jackson, Rush: 21 - 94 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
In his return to the playing field, Jackson averaged 4.5 yards per attempt, though the majority of his carries came in the first half. Coach Jim Haslett thought he looked "gassed" and didn't have the same speed in the second half, a point Jackson disputed. Jackson showed good burst in the first half, but missed the century mark when he spent much of the fourth quarter waiting to enter the game.
|RB Antonio Pittman, Rush: 6 - 25 - 0 (2 targets)|
Pittman came into the game late and averaged 4.2 yards per attempt subbing for Steven Jackson on a coach's decision, with the game on the line.
|WR Dane Looker, Rec: 6 - 52 - 0 (8 targets)|
As the Dolphins focused on stopping Torry Holt and Donnie Avery over the top, Looker picked up six catches underneath for an average of 8.7 yards per catch.
|WR Torry Holt, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (9 targets)|
Holt had a quiet afternoon, averaging just ten yards per reception against a Dolphins secondary he had some difficulty finding openings in. Holt was targeted twice in the end zone on the opening drive, though neither was a catchable ball. Holt took away one of his own catches with an offensive pass interference call as well. Against the Dolphins, quarterback Marc Bulger struggled, throwing three interceptions and was never in sync with any of his primary options all afternoon.
|WR Donnie Avery, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 (5 targets)|
Avery failed to catch a pass all afternoon, though did draw two defensive pass interference calls on the opening drive of the game. Avery added a two yard rush as well.
|TE Daniel Fells, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (3 targets)|
With the Dolphins secondary focused on stopping Torry Holt and Donnie Avery, Fells was able to slip off the line for three short grabs in the second half, averaging just 6.0 yards per catch.
|PK Josh Brown 4 - 4 FG, 0 - 0 XP, 12 points|
Brown was perfect at home against the Dolphins, connecting from 23, 33, 38 and 51 yards out. Unfortunately for the Rams, they never found the end zone to give Brown any extra point attempts.
|STL Rush Defense|
The Rams rush defense held Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to 102 yards on 27 carries, but were bulldozed by Lousaka Polite, Patrick Cobbs and Chad Pennington for a total of 150 yards on 35 attempts. The Dolphins kept the Rams on the defensive all afternoon by varying their rushing attack, though only gained two yards out of the Wildcat formation on two carries.
|STL Pass Defense|
The Dolphins appeared focused on running the ball all afternoon, and as a result the Rams secondary went generally untested, giving up just 169 yards on the afternoon.