Thursday night’s preseason finale essentially meant nothing for the Dolphins. Neither of their first-team units took a snap, excluding right guard John Jerry. But for many players on the roster bubble, it was a game that meant everything. And several fringe types stepped up in a big way in the Dolphins’ 24-21 victory over the Saints.
There were some missed opportunities and two turnovers on offense, but the defense was stingy early on and produced four takeaways. Quarterback Pat Devlin, who was frighting for his roster life, threw two picks and missed some open receivers, but his late-game heroics gave Miami the win, hitting Marvin McNutt for a 56-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.
Those who made plays tonight can only hope their efforts will be enough to warrant a roster spot. Many of those who didnt, may have just missed their last opportunity to find employment in the NFL.
Nevertheless, it was a good win for the Dolphins’ second and third-teams, whose play during the first four preseason games left something to be desired. But it’s finally time to close the book on exhibition football. Now, the real fun begins.
Cleveland in nine days.
Fab Five Fins
1. Marvin McNutt: Say hello to the Dolphins’ fifth receiver. McNutt likely won himself a job tonight with four catches for 99 yards and the game-winning score. The fact that Miami has lined him up in the slot has also been very telling.
2. Vaughn Martin: A half sack and solid play in the trenches may have won Martin a spot on the Dolphins’ crowded defensive line.
3. Kelcie McCray: It was a good showing for McCray, who made four tackles and defensed a couple passes. He’ll make the team if the Dolphins choose to keep four safeties.
4. Dion Sims: The rookie tight end looked the part of potential starter for the Dolphins tonight, catching four balls for 36 yards and a touchdown. I wouldn’t surprised if he eventually surpasses Charles Clay on the depth chart this season.
5. Caleb Sturgis: The rookie kicker finished a perfect preseason with a three for three effort against the Saints, which included a long of 43 yards. So far it seems the Dolphins made the right call to cut lose Dan Carpenter.