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For the first time in almost a year, the Miami Dolphins gave their home crowd something to cheer about. Reggie Bush scored the clinching touchdown and emphatically threw the ball into the stands. Bush scored twice and Rex Grossman, who got the start over John Beck this week, was picked off twice as the Dolphins cruised to a 20-9 victory over the Washington Redskins.
This was the second straight victory for a Dolphins team that started the season 0-7. “It was nice to come in this locker room and celebrate a win,” coach Tony Sparano said. “I see 2-7 now as a hill but not a mountain. That’s how our players see it, too.” The Dolphins had a small 10-6 lead going into the half, but were able to put together 70 and 81 yard scoring drives to pull away as they held off any chance of a fourth-quarter comeback by the Redskins.
“The first seven games we were kind of in disarray,” Bush said. “We were trying to find our identity. The difference now is we’re playing 60 minutes and finishing at the end of games.”
Miami was up 13-9 with Grossman driving down the field to the 10 early in the fourth when he threw a pass right at linebacker Karlos Dansby who made the interception to end the drive. The Dolphins then came out and drove 81 yards for the touchdown on a 18 yard run by Reggie Bush, who finished with 47 yards on 14 carries
Vontae Davis, who returned from his one game benching, added another interception. Matt Moore, who had a terrific game against Kansas City last week, had an interception and a fumble but was 20 of 29 for 209 yards. The Dolphins went 8 for 14 on third down despite coming in as the worst in the NFL.
The Redskins dropped their fifth in a row after starting the season promisingly. “It’s frustrating being 3-6,” Grossman said. “We’re better than that.”Grossman was 21 of 32 for 215 yards and two picks. Grossman was the surprise starter this week after he was benched four weeks ago in favor of John Beck.
Shanahan said it had to do with the injuries to the offensive line that he decided to go with Grossman who’s more experienced. “I thought Rex gave us a chance to win,” Shanahan said. “If you have this many guys go down, I didn’t want to go with the inexperienced guy and throw him to the wolves.”
The Redskins’ three scoring drives netted only 48 yards as they were set up close by two turnovers, but had to settle each time for field goals. Washington reached the Miami 20, 26, 5, and 10 yard lines. Graham Gano also missed two field goals form 50 and 49 yards out. The interception by Kevin Barnes set up the Redskins at the Miami 5, but they lost three yards on three plays and settled for a field goal.
On Ryan Kerrigan’s sack forced fumble the Redskins were again set up close at the Miami 24, but again settled for just three points. “You get into the red zone three times, you’ve got to make plays to win the game,” Shanahan said. The Dolphins look to continue their new found success when the Bills come to town on a two game losing streak.
Washington heads home looking to snap the losing streak against division rivals the Dallas Cowboys winners of two straight.
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