Having not seen NFL football live since last October (New Orleans Saints v San Diego Chargers at Wembley Stadium) it was with an overwhelming feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation that I (and my lovely wife) settled into our seats in section 107 of the lower tier of Land Shark Stadium to see the Miami Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills.
With the Bills at 1-2 and the Dolphins at 0-3 AND with 2nd year QB Chad Henne making his first start ever in the NFL I did think this could be a rather ugly festival of field goals – ending something to the tune of 9-6.
Well after my wife shelled out for the tickets for my birthday I thought regardless of the score it would be an amazing experience, and after all the sun was shining and I was in Florida in October, not in the wet and cold West Midlands.
The game began with a short pass from Bills QB Trent Edwards to Terrell ‘TO’ Owens, one game too late, as he had his huge consecutive catch in a game streak snapped in Week 3.
That pretty much was the highlight of the first quarter, as a side from a Rian Lindell missed field goal it was a battle of field position, as the two division rivals poked and prodded each other but no-one managed to throw a proverbial connecting punch.
Thankfully the second quarter saw some early fireworks, and following an opening field goal for the Dolphins Trent Edwards did what he does best and threw an interception.
Rookie Miami CB Vontae Davis took the pick to da house and in the blink of an eye the Dolphins were 10-0 up and the home crowd were rocking.
It sure was fun seeing the 2008 overall #1 pick in the draft Jake Long #77 (far left of my picture above).
I always take time to follow individual players in games as well as following the ball. Seeing some of the key matchups in the flesh is terrific fun, and watching Jake block anyone who gets near him proves that not every team’s superstar is a QB or a gobby WR.
The Bills did pull back with a fg in the second but the Dolphins running game was beginning to dominate and Ronnie Brown went in from a yard out to establish a 14 point lead.Miami again had the lions share of possession with over ten minutes of ball control in the second quarter.
Halftime – Dolphins 17-03 Bills.
During week 4 players and coaches wore pink items to promote breast cancer awareness the NFL supported a campaign to get women to have breast cancer screenings.
If you look closely at my pictures you will see the players gloves, shoes and sweat bands feature the colour pink.In this world of commercial greed this was one advertising campaign that had universal approval.
The cheerleaders also wore pink to raise awareness of the screening programme, and the giant HD screens promoted the initiative too.The screens also had some fun videos from the likes of Fegie from the Black Eyed Peas telling the fans to ‘Fin up’ and give it some boom boom pow.
With Fred Jackson continuing to get most of the snaps at running back in the second half the Bills tried to claw back some of the deficit but Trent Edwards continued to stink as he threw three interceptions in the game and was sacked more than cheetos on a Walmart.
The stadium was not quite full but considering the two teams had combined for one win between them in three weeks it was still a very good crowd of over 65,000.
This game was fun to watch and is the highest amount of points I have seen scored in an NFL game in USA that I have had the honour of attending.