JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)—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 unique, though.
Fiedler threw a beautiful cut block to spring Ricky Williams for a touchdown, and McMichael scooped up a fumble for the go-ahead TD. 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 after 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 one of the most bizarre, embarrassing episodes in NFL history.
“I’m not even going there,” Del Rio said when asked how Hanson’s loss affected the kicking game. “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 just 12 minutes.
But Madison wasn’t the defensive star of this game.
That honor was split between Taylor, the two-time Pro Bowler, and Ogunleye, a third-year veteran out of Indiana. Ogunleye finished with three sacks, two pass deflections and a forced fumble. Taylor, who came in without a full sack this season, finished with a sack, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a hit on Leftwich’s arm that resulted in an interception by Jeff Zgonina.
The Dolphins scored a field goal off Zgonina’s pick to go up 10-0. Moments earlier, Miami took the lead when Williams got bottled up on a sweep, completely reversed field, then used a devastating—and legal—cut block from Fiedler for a 14-yard score.
Fiedler dove right at Tony Brackens’ knees, and upended him so badly that he felt compelled to go to the defensive end after the play to ask if he was OK.
“I wasn’t going to take him up high, and knew I better go down low,” said Fiedler, who played for the Jaguars in 1999.
The block was Fiedler’s best play on a day in which he went 14-for-27 for 147 yards. Williams ran for 75 yards on 19 carries.
Miami took the lead for good early in the fourth thanks to a heads-up play by McMichael, who grabbed Obafemi Ayanbadejo’s fumble at the Jacksonville 2 and ran a few more feet for the cheap TD.
Del Rio challenged the play, saying Ayanbadejo was down, but the replay showed he wasn’t.
“If his knee had been down, maybe we stop them, and it’s a whole different game,” said Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith (six catches, 65 yards). “But had we not turned the ball over all day, it’s a different game, too.”
The Jaguars committed five turnovers, which led to 17 Miami points.
“I wanted to cry on the sidelines,” Fred Taylor said, referring to his first-quarter fumble that led to Miami’s first score.
Making his third career start, Leftwich showed what an up-and-down season this could be for him. After a near-flawless 336-yard performance against San Diego last week, he went 24-for-42 for 256 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. He also ran 8 yards for his first career touchdown to tie the gameat 10 late in the third quarter.
Jaguars CB Jason Craft strained a knee ligament and left the game in the second half. … Williams scored his first two career touchdowns at Alltel Stadium in Week 11 of 1999, when he was with the Saints. … Del Rio went 0-for-2 on replay challenges. … Former Dolphin Mark Royals punted once for 42 yards in place of Hanson. Del Rio said Royals’ hold had nothing to do with SethMarler’s miss from 31 yards.
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