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Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wrap-up: Giants 20, Dolphins 17

By James Walker


Let's take a look at the New York Giants' 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

What it means: The Dolphins blew a fourth-quarter lead for the second straight week and fall to 0-7. Miami, which led 17-10 after three quarters, gave the Giants all they could handle but still dropped its 10th straight game, dating to last season. The Dolphins remain firmly in the hunt in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. One winless team -- the St. Louis Rams -- won Sunday. That leaves Miami and the Indianapolis Colts (0-8) as the NFL's two winless teams.

What I liked: Just one week after saying the Dolphins "stink," Dolphins running back Reggie Bush responded with a big game against the Giants. Bush rushed for 103 yards on 15 carries. It was his first 100-yard game of the season. Rookie tailback Daniel Thomas was inactive with a hamstring injury, leaving Bush to get most of Miami's carries. Overall, I also thought Miami was energized and played with good effort most of the game under embattled head coach Tony Sparano.

What I didn’t like: Once again, the fourth quarter was the difference. Miami played very tentatively in the final period -- and much of the blame should go to the coaching staff. The offensive play calling was no longer aggressive with the lead and the defense laid far off New York's receivers most of the game, trying to prevent the big play. The result was New York scoring 10 straight points in the fourth quarter without much resistance. Miami tried to open things up offensively after New York finally took control. But Miami's offensive line couldn't pass protect for quarterback Matt Moore, who was sacked five times.

Bad news from Cowher: Perhaps the most important thing that happened to the Dolphins Sunday wasn't on the field. Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher said he will not return to the NFL in 2012 and will stay in television. Cowher was widely regarded as being at or near the top of Miami owner Stephen Ross’ wish list. Ross, who has deep pockets, may still approach Cowher at a later time to see if the time is right.

What’s next: The Dolphins will stay on the road next week. Miami will play at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs (3-3). The Dolphins, including next week, will have played on the road in five of its last six games.