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Dolphins Prevail Despite Penalties

October 13, 2003|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Even without any props, the Jacksonville Jaguars looked silly Sunday.

The Miami Dolphins did the work all by themselves, getting unorthodox scoring plays courtesy of Jay Fiedler and Randy McMichael and dominating performances from defensive ends Jason Taylor and Adewale Ogunleye to defeat the Jaguars, 24-10.

"This is how we should be playing," Taylor said. "This isn't anything new to us."

Their methods of scoring sure were unusual, though.

Fiedler threw a beautiful cut block to spring Ricky Williams for a touchdown, and McMichael scooped up a fumble for the go-ahead touchdown. It was all part of a strange-looking victory for the Dolphins (4-1), who won despite a team-record 149 yards in penalties.

The penalties would have been enough to sink most teams, but not against the Jaguars (1-5), who blew a decent chance at an upset and wound up with yet another ax to grind.

The loss closed out a week during which Jacksonville became a source of national ridicule. Punter-holder Chris Hanson was lost for the season when he gashed open his leg while using an ax to chop the log Coach Jack Del Rio put in the locker room to inspire the team.

Del Rio wanted to drive home the message to "keep chopping wood." Now he'll have a bye week to conjure up a new mantra and try to move beyond the bizarre, embarrassing episode.

"I'm not even going there," Del Rio said when asked about Hanson. "It's an unfortunate accident. We're looking forward to him getting healthy. We're not looking back."

Even though they won, the Dolphins probably don't want to dwell on this game, either. Their offense sputtered, and they found themselves in a 10-10 tie deep in the game after rushing to a 10-0 lead in only 12 minutes.

McMichael's touchdown with 11:29 left put them ahead, 17-10, and the game wasn't secure until Sam Madison returned a Byron Leftwich interception 29 yards for a score with 1:28 remaining.

Making his third career start, Leftwich showed what an up-and-down season this could be for him. After a nearly flawless 336-yard performance against San Diego last week, he was 24 of 42 for 256 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. He also ran eight yards for his first career touchdown.

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