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Fiedler Makes a Name for Himself Against Ravens

September 18, 2000|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Jay Fiedler had plenty to prove.

Not to Dan Marino, who criticized Miami's decision to start Fiedler over Damon Huard and was on hand as his No. 13 was retired Sunday night. But to his defensive teammates who watched Fiedler and the offense struggle last week at Minnesota.

"The whole team now knows that we have an offense that can go out there and make plays," Fielder said.

Fiedler completed all seven of his passes in the second half and led the Dolphins to two late scores as they beat the Baltimore Ravens 19-6.

On a night that belonged to Marino, Fiedler completed 11 of 16 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"I'm not going out there trying to be Dan Marino," he said. "I'm just going out and trying to make the plays that I can make. Those aren't the plays Dan made, but I don't feel the pressure of Dan's shadow on me at all."

Fiedler is, though, still playing in the shadow of Miami's defense.

On a sloppy field and in steady rain, the Dolphins (2-1) sacked Tony Banks six times and intercepted one of his passes. Banks, coming off a five-touchdown performance against Jacksonville, also fumbled twice.

"I didn't play well enough to win, but I don't think I slipped back," said Banks, who began last season as a third-string quarterback with more career fumbles than touchdown passes.

"We killed ourselves," he said. "We were continually in second-and-10, third-and-eight and playing catch-up. It's going to be a long ride home. A lot of us envisioned ourselves as 3-0 and playing a home game this week."

The Ravens (2-1) had plenty of chances to score. They moved the ball 68, 67, 55 and 67 yards on their final four possessions, but couldn't score. Baltimore settled for two field goals by Matt Stover.

Baltimore had pulled to within 13-3 in the third quarter, but the Dolphins put the game out of reach with a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Fielder threw a pass to Jed Weaver for a 41-yard gain. Weaver shook off Ray Lewis and gave the Dolphins a first down at the 11.

Fiedler, making his fourth career start, capped the drive with an eight-yard pass to Lamar Smith, who slipped past a tackler and reached across the goal line.

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