Friday night the Dolphins put on a good show for the home town fans. Gave them something to cheer about for the first time in a long time. Before I go any farther, two things. First, this was a pre-season game, and just like last week when I didn't cry the sky was falling, I'm not declaring the Dolphins to be contenders. Secondly, this was the Carolina Panthers. The 2-14 Carolina Panthers with a rookie QB. So take it for what it's worth.
That being said, there was a lot of good to come from this game. It's a game that surely had to bolster Chad Henne's confidence. Brandon Marshall had some good things to say about Henne. He said he loves how Chad Henne has taken over the offense and that he's done a tremendous job of taking over the huddle. Good to hear things like that. These two were definitely not on the same page last year. Henne looked sharp last night, spreading the ball around and scrambling once for a big gain. By my account, I saw 1 bad pass out of the 24 he threw.
It's good to see the Dolphins taking shots down field also. And I was impressed with Clyde Gates speed. The kid was open twice on long throws, but was overthrown twice, once by Henne and once by Matt Moore. He's got burners, no doubt about that.
Reggie Bush had a big night running and catching the ball. 2nd round pick Daniel Thomas had a good night, with 52 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Henne was hardly touched as the offensive line performed well. The Dolphins held the ball for over 22 minutes in the first half!
The defense looked sharp, limiting Carolina to 90 yards of offense and 3 first downs in the first half. Jason Taylor made his 2011 debut and looked like his old self. At 36 it looks like he has something left in the tank.
Over all it was a good night for the Phins. They really needed a performance like this, if not to make the fans happy for their own confidence, especially Henne. Hopefully they can keep it going next week when they travel to Tampa to face the Bucs. Tampa Bay is a much better test than the Panthers. The Bucs were 10-6 last year and have a much better defense than Carolina. If the Dolphins can repeat last night's performance it would be an even bigger confidence boost.