Sunday, October 25, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Saints 46, Dolphins 34
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
MIAMI -- Please forgive me. I'm a little dizzy as I write this. And I'm short of breath.
This was an exhausting, thrilling game to watch.
But I'm sure the Miami Dolphins didn't find the result too entertaining.
The Dolphins blew a big lead at home and were thoroughly overtaken in the second half by the New Orleans Saints, who remained undefeated with a rousing 46-34 victory in Land Shark Stadium.
The Saints posted 36 points in the second half. The Dolphins answered with 10 points in the third quarter, but came up empty in the fourth.
The AFC East's defending champs are 2-4. The feeling in their locker room must be similar to Week 2, when they held the ball for more than 45 minutes but lost by four points to the Indianapolis Colts on "Monday Night Football."
The Dolphins were borderline dominant in the first half, especially when you consider the opponent. They rolled to a 24-3 lead before the Saints scored a touchdown with two seconds left before recess. Ricky Williams scored two touchdowns, including a career-long 68-yard run.
Miami's defense knocked Drew Brees around, sacked him three times and intercepted him twice. He had a 29.4 passer rating in the first half.
But a different Saints offense emerged from the tunnel for the second half, and the Dolphins couldn't trade punches with a real contender.
Brees finished 22 of 38 for 298 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. He did sneak in for two touchdown runs, including a momentum-changing play with two seconds left in the first half. The Saints were going to rush a field goal with the clock about to run out after a replay challenge. But the Dolphins called a timeout, allowing the Saints to put their offense back on the field.
Miami quarterback Chad Henne, after a great game two weeks ago against the New York Jets and a bye to prepare for the Saints, completed 18 of 37 attempts for 211 yards and no touchdowns. He threw two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
Henne's receivers didn't help him with multiple bobbled balls.
Williams added another touchdown in the second half, giving him three scores for the first time since he played for New Orleans in 2000. He finished with nine carries for 80 yards, keeping him on pace for a 1,000-yard season.