The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 1, 1997 · Page 36
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December 1, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 36

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Monday, December 1, 1997
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Page 36
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6C ! THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1997 s c Dolphins 34, Raiders 16 ' sacks all at opportune times Dolphins (9 Tt f Notebook '.. ! : - 1 1 1 its . . a i K V 1, . . & I fell," Madison said. "I respetj him but I don't respect him that much. He said to me, 'Keep play-ing, rook.' That's what I did." I Madison, who played with sore ankle he turned in the secong quarter, got his first interception with five minutes remaining, cut ting in front of Brown to steal a Jeff George pass. f ; "I kind of baited hire (George)," Madison said. "I knew-he was looking for Brown and I ; knew he (George) didn't see me.i kept the ball." f: Injuries: Bracey Walker, a reserve safety, broke his left fibula on the Raiders' final possession". ... Running back Karim Abdulr Jabbar has a contusion of his left quadriceps and fullback Jim Kitts ; strained his groin . on special teams. ;' Noteworthy: Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie caught four passes, moving past; Bruce Hardy into sixth place on the Miami career list for recep-tions with 258. . . . Running back ; Irving Spikes was inactive for the second consecutive week. ?; clearly thought they could wear Oakland down. "They have James Jett, then they bring in Kenny Shedd, world-class sprinters," Dolphins corner-back Terrell Buckley said. "Then they run them both deep. That's not fair, man." Secondary education: Rookie Sam Madison got a crash course in NFL abuse from wide receiver Tim Brown and not only survived but prospered some. . Brown burned Madison for a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter, turning a quick out into an easy run into the end zone when the cornerback slipped trying to make the tackle. "He's a Pro Bowl player. I was in great coverage but I feel he pushed off," Madison said. "He's a veteran and knows how to do that." Madison's revenge came later when Brown, annoyed by the rookie, knocked him to the ground after an incompletion in front of an official and was assessed a personal foul penalty. "It was a little acting job when By Ethan J. Skolnick and Dan Moffett Palm Beach Post Staff Writers T OAKLAND, Calif. After the Miami Dolphins' defense turned in its best pass-rushing effort of the season, defensive end Jason Taylor made a point about pressure. "It doesn't take one guy, or two guys, or three guys," Taylor said. "It takes 11." Sunday, six players had sacks of Jeff George, invariably at the most important time. Tim Bow-ens' came on a third down on the opening series. Jerry Wilson's came on a safety blitz with the Raiders driving, and forced a field goal. Trace Armstrong's came on a fourth-and-10, with Oakland down 21 and desperate for points. "One on one with a tight end, you've got to win those battles," Armstrong said. But the Dolphins haven't always done so. On the biggest sack of the day, blitzing linebacker Zach Thomas beat 5-foot-9 halfback Napoleon Kaufman, and combined with Bowens on a forced fumble in the end zone. "We looked at films," said Bowens, whose fumble recovery made it 31-10 Dolphins. "Every other team is getting pressure. We're no different from any other team. That's the thing that's hurting us now, we're not doing it every week." If he did it every week, he could practice his moves. "I've been saying if I got one (a touchdown), I would do that dance," Bowens said. "And I got one." "That was a big touchdown for us, because it gave us a little bit of a cushion," Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson said. Nice surprise: After the game, Johnson gave the Dolphins today off. "That's the third time," defensive end Trace Armstrong said. "I've never had that many days off." Gifted, not able: The Dolphins left with an appreciation for the Raiders' ability, though they I v v' ; , ' - ASK t J 1 V ' - JL t; " l -.1' V 1 i V -.,,,., - . .3 1 1 H y ! xV SCOn WISEMANStaff Photographer Zach Thomas' sack of Jeff George in the third quarter was one of six on the day by six Dolphins. .Dolphins ransack Oakland futility (F Vv'V i . , 1 -fz ,x . v IJ n f y ' jrvi J W: ' :: .;.', -'- ' v j i hv - i w o I I f R v i fill! r" f- ' t ; , "v ' ( III I DOLPHINS From 1C defense, applier of sporadic pressure this season, sacked Jeff George six times, one creating a fumble and Dolphins touchdown. The maligned offensive line helped Karim Abdul-Jabbar (85) and Bernie Parmalee combine for 131 rushing yards. "We worked really well together today," left guard Jeff Buckey said. There were more offensive formations than the Raiders could keep track of four wides, two tights, rotating fullbacks. It wasn't perfection, just persistence. Rookie cornerback Sam Madison, who was pushed aside on Tim Brown's 24-yard touchdown catqh to start the scoring for Oakland, helped finish the Raiders late with his first career interception. The Dolphins' first lengthy drive was extended by a successful fourth-and-4 conversion, and would have ended in a 6-yard touchdown catch by Jerris McPhail ... if Richmond Webb hadn't held Anthony Smith. Instead, Olindo Mare kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 7-3. Not for long. On their next possession, Lamar 'homas ran a comeback route for a 12-yard gain on third.-and-lO and O.J. McDuffie snagged a Dan Marino pass in a tight spot for 11 yards. Thomas had a 19-yard catch, and a bobble and hold by Drayton got 14 . more. On third-and-goal, Jordan ran a slant into the end zone; where Marino found him for a 10-7 lead. "We made plays when we had to," said Marino, who had something to prove. He threw1 three interceptions last year in Oakland, and last week in New England. Sunday, he threw just one. That was on a tipped ball in the third quarter, with the Dolphins leading by 10. Miami led 17-7 at intermission. The lead was built on a 44-yard catch by Jordan with 1:59 left in the first half. Jordan caught the pass in front of Eric Turner, then turned around James Trapp, and sprinted to a touchdown. Marino complimented Jordan. Johnson praised Marino as lavishly as he ever has. "Marino's playing outstanding," Johnson said. "I think that Dan Marino is playing better this year than he did last year." From then on, the Raiders were playing catch-up, with George forced to play duck-and-chuck. The quarterback went to Brown three times for 48 yards on the final drive of the half, which stalled when reserve cornerback Jerry Wilson made his second big sack in three weeks. Shane Burton's sack ended the Raiders' first drive of the second half. Cole Ford took advantage of Lorenzo Lynch's interception of Marino by kicking a 44-yard field goal on Oakland's second drive of the half to make it 17-10. Lynch was in the right place after Drayton and Abdul-Jabbar (the intended target) tipped a pass. Shortly after, the Dolphins turned even tipped balls into an advantage. Miami on a perfectly lofted timing throw from Marino to Jordan for 23 yards and a 20-yard pass interference call drawn by Thomas had moved to the Raiders' 29-yard line. After two incompletions, Marino threw behind McPhail, but the ball popped up to Jordan, he of the questionable concentration. He hung on for 17 yards. Another pass interference call, and an Abdul-Jabbar 2-yard run, and it was 24-10. , Two scrimmage plays later, it was 31-10. Zach Thomas blitzed past tailback Napoleon Kaufman to sack George. The ball squirted over to Tim Bowens, who gathered it in for a touchdown. "The ball was laying in the end zone and I fell on it," Bowens said. GREG LOVETTStaff Photographer Dolphins guard John Bock (60) keeps Raiders tackle Russell Maryland (67) off balance as Dan Marino gets some time to throw on Sunday. Who'll land the other AFC playoff positions? Denver has clinched a playoff spot. The top tiebreakers are head-to-head (h), division record (d) and conference record (c). -indicates current division leader (including tiebreakers). The Dolphins watched the Chiefs trounce the 49ers before taking the field, and were aware the Jets were losing. "They were flashing scores every 10 seconds," cornerback Terrell Buckley said. "We were in control regardless, but it was nice Buffalo helped us out." The Dolphins haven't always helped themselves (see Chicago). That's why Johnson was so displeased that Miami "let them come back," when Raiders receiver James Jett made two big plays including a 27-yard TD reception for the final margin. But, ultimately, as Buckley said, "we wore them out; we basically beat them in every situation." And they had some fun against a team with a commitment to ambivalence. Calvin Jackson and Zach Thomas taunted. Bowens did a mock mile-high salute. "We knew they would have a lot of pressure on them, that they would come out burning, and they did," Thomas said. "But we kept our composure." They stayed on the tracks. VS. REMAINING COMB. CURRENTLY HOLDS TEAM REC. AFC SCHEDULE REC. TIEBREAKER EDGE OVER .. . '-Denver 11-2 8-2 Pit SF SD 24-15 Pit(c), Jax(c), NE(h), Jets(c), Tenn(c) Kansas City 10-3 7-3 Oak SD NO 13-26 Den(d), Pit(h), Jets(c), Tenn(c) -Pittsburgh 9-4 7-2 Den NE Ten 26-13 Jax(d), Jets(c), Tenn(h) Jacksonville 9-4 7-2 NE Buf Oak 18-21 KC(h), Jets(c), Tenn(h) -New England 8-5 7-2 Jax Pit Mia 26-13 KC(c), Mia(h), Jets(d), Tenn(c) Miami 8-5 8-2 Det lndNE 16-23 KC(h), Pit(c), Jax(c), Jets(h), Tenn(h) N.Y.Jets 8-5 6-5 Ind TB Det 17-22 Tenn(c) Tennessee 7-6 3-6 Cin Bal Pit 17-21-1 no contenders If the playoff started today, Denver and Pittsburgh would have byes, Miami would Dlav at New CTnrfliriH lfy ills-. ...n..l4 -J-.., n m. . " 3

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