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NFL

Short-handed Dolphins win, race home

By Associated Press
Published September 4, 2004

NEW ORLEANS - Jay Fiedler threw for one touchdown, Sage Rosenfels threw for another and the Dolphins got a victory in a game they did not want to play, beating the Saints 20-19 Friday night.

New Orleans nearly delayed the Dolphins' trip home, scoring a touchdown with 1:59 left, but it missed the two-point conversion, allowing Miami to get out of town quickly.

With Hurricane Frances headed to Florida, the Miami players asked the NFL to cancel the game, but the league refused. It did move up the starting time 30 minutes.

Nine players did not make the trip. Some were excused for medical reasons. At least one, wide receiver Chris Chambers, did not make the trip because he did not know about the flight being rescheduled for Friday.

After the game, coach Dave Wannstedt refused to identify players who stayed home without permission or say what sanctions they might face.

"There's one or two guys that I need to speak with," Wannstedt said. "I will deal with it in-house, and that will be the end of it."

When the original Thursday flight was canceled, players thought the trip was off. Team officials could not contact all the players Thursday to inform them the team was flying out Friday, said Harvey Greene, Miami's senior vice president of media relations.

The Dolphins planned to fly out as soon after the game as possible. They hoped to land in Fort Lauderdale. If not there, Greene said they would try for Miami or West Palm Beach.

"If we can't get into one of those we'll probably try Fort Myers," Greene said. "We did that a number of years ago and bused across the state."

Fiedler and A.J. Feeley did little to resolve the question of who will be the starting quarterback.

Fiedler, the starter the past four seasons, went 2-of-2 for 14 yards and a touchdown in the series he played.

Feeley completed three of his seven for 20 yards before giving way to Rosenfels early in the second quarter.

REDSKINS 27, FALCONS 0: Mark Brunell and host Washington thumped the Falcons, who might have pulled off the most useless road trip of the preseason. Brunell, looking for some confidence to take into the regular season after winning the starting job over Patrick Ramsey, went 4-for-6 for 51 yards on a 78-yard opening drive. Ladell Betts finished the drive with a 5-yard run to kick off a 24-point first quarter. Atlanta's Michael Vick opened with an interception and didn't produce a play for positive yardage - Atlanta had minus-9 yards of total offense in Vick's three series.

BENGALS 16, COLTS 13: Other than a premature touchdown celebration on a goal-line fumble, Carson Palmer looked like an up-and-coming quarterback for host Cincinnati. The former Heisman Trophy winner from USC, who didn't take a snap last season as a rookie, looked ready to go in his final preseason game. He went 10-of-14 for 106 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown to fullback James Lynch. Peyton Manning went 3-of-4 for 56 yards, including a 38-yard TD to Reggie Wayne.

JETS 28, EAGLES 27: Rallying from a 27-7 deficit, host New York scored three touchdowns in the last 5:14 under the guidance of quarterback Brooks Bollinger. After replacing Quincy Carter, Bollinger made a case to remain Chad Pennington's backup by going 11-for-20 for 168 yards.

TITANS 27, PACKERS 7: Cornerback Samari Rolle didn't need much time to prove his sore right ankle is feeling better. He tipped a pass to linebacker Keith Bulluck, who returned the interception 70 yards for a touchdown, then picked off a Brett Favre pass to help lead host Tennessee. Rolle, who didn't play in the first three preseason games, played only the first two series.

BROWNS 24, BEARS 10: Jeff Garcia overcame several penalties and a few drops to throw his first touchdown of the preseason for host Cleveland. Former Gator Rex Grossman went 2-of-9 for 31 yards in his abbreviated evening for the Bears.

[Last modified September 4, 2004, 01:18:38]


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