Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler and coach Dave Wannstedt silence the critics, if only for a game. DOLPHINS 31, RAMS 14
By wire services
Published October 25, 2004
MIAMI - Jay Fiedler threw a clinching touchdown pass Sunday, then sprinted the length of the field to join his teammates in an end zone celebration, waving his index finger as he ran. No, the Dolphins aren't No.1. But they do have win No.1.
Winless no more, Miami jump-started its sputtering offense with a succession of big plays and occasional trickery to beat the explosive Rams at their own game.
"You almost forgot what it felt like," Fiedler said. "We were down in the dungeon of the NFL, and we were able to play a full game. This is a big victory for us."
After enduring the worst start in their 39-year history, the Dolphins took out their frustration on the Rams, who had at least five players hurt. The much-maligned Fiedler had two touchdowns, embattled coach Dave Wannstedt made some risky calls that paid off, and Miami held the Rams' high-powered offense in check.
"Enough is enough," said defensive end David Bowens, who said last week he expected Miami to win its final 10 games. "At some point you've got to draw a line in the sand and be a man about it."
The Dolphins are the last NFL team to win this season.
"Every dog has its day, and (Sunday) was their day," Rams defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "You never know. They could run off six straight wins now. That's the NFL."
Fiedler was booed during pregame introductions, then went 13-for-17 for 203 yards. He shrugged off five sacks and threw touchdown passes of 42 yards to Randy McMichael and 71 yards to Chris Chambers, with the latter clinching the win.
The conservative Wannstedt called some trick plays, including a fake punt and a halfback pass.
"We opened up the playbook," tight end McMichael said. "Coach Wannstedt said he was going to run them all, and they all came out positive."