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MIAMI 24, WASHINGTON 23

Fiedler Saves the Day

November 24, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — With the Dolphins trailing by 13 points late in the third quarter, quarterback Jay Fiedler entered the huddle for the first time in more than a month and told them they were going to win. He was right.

Sidelined since Oct. 19 because of a sprained left knee, Fiedler came off the bench late in the third quarter and helped Miami rally past the Washington Redskins, 24-23, Sunday night.

Wearing orange jerseys for the first time, the Dolphins looked like the same hapless offensive team they've been most of the season until Fiedler replaced Brian Griese. He led scoring drives of 71 and 69 yards, both ending with touchdowns by Ricky Williams, who ran for 107 yards.

"Things just started clicking," Fiedler said. "It's amazing -- you make one play out there, and all of a sudden everyone picks their game up."

Miami's largest fourth-quarter comeback since 1980 might have salvaged the season. The Dolphins (7-4) remain two games behind AFC East leader New England.

"In the fourth quarter, when the pressure was really on, it was encouraging to see them respond that way," Coach Dave Wannstedt said. "Jay came in and kind of gave us a little spark."

Fiedler will start against the Cowboys, Wannstedt said.

Washington (4-7) lost for the sixth time in seven games.

"We had the game right in the palm of our hands, but we looked like an elementary school team in the fourth quarter," cornerback Champ Bailey said.

The Redskins were beaten despite a strong showing by backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, who came on in the first quarter and directed scoring drives in his first three series.

"He did enough nice things, he deserved to be a winner," Coach Steve Spurrier said. "But it didn't work out. We're all losers tonight."

Hasselbeck, who came into the game when Patrick Ramsey was shaken up on a sack, threw for 150 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles.

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