Dolphins win takes heat off Sparano

Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (left) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead...

Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (left) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. (Reuters)

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:47 PM ET

The Miami Dolphins are no longer tied with Indianapolis in the Suck for Luck race to the bottom.

Taking a page from the St. Louis Rams who escaped the winless ranks a week ago with a shocking win over New Orleans, the Dolphins provided one of their own on Sunday.

After dropping their opening seven games, the Dolphins got off the schnied in a big way by hammering the Kansas City Chiefs 31-3 on the road.

Although they came into the game with a 0-7 record, the Dolphins have been in contention in half of their games and ended up with losses in two games after blowing halftime leads.

This day, though, they simply blew the doors off the Chiefs, who came into the game on a four-game win streak.

“I’m just happy for the guys in our locker room,” Miami coach Tony Sparano said. “All I’ve wanted to do for seven weeks is see these guys smile.

“This is all about the players. These guys did a super job all week long of putting all the garbage behind them.”

The Dolphins rolled over the Chiefs with a balanced attack as quarterback Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to tight end Anthony Fasano, while running back Reggie Bush pounded out 92 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Bush has come alive the past two games and who could have seen that coming?

The victory should scatter the buzzards that have been circling Sparano all year and put off talk of his immediate dismissal for at last a week.

The Dolphins can now look to build on their win next week when the play host to the sinking Washington Redskins.

With the victory they may have removed themselves from a shot at drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in next spring’s draft.

With the way the Colts are playing, it’s doubtful they could eke out a victory over the Toronto Argonauts.

Even in the face of their disastrous season the Dolphins could never be accused of quitting.

Now they’re on a win streak.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

As a quarterback, Philip Rivers is doing a pretty good job moonlighting as an undertaker.

The San Diego quarterback, who has mystified fans with his indifferent play this season, buried his team in the opening quarter when two of his passes were picked off and returned for Green Bay touchdowns.

The hole he dug his team proved too deep for Rivers and the Chargers to crawl out of even though they gave it the good old college try.

Trailing 45-24 midway through the fourth quarter, Rivers and the Chargers struck for two quick touchdowns — the second one following a successful on-side kick — to make it a 45-38 game with 6:25 left to play.

But it was not to be as with 38 seconds left in the game and second and 10 from the Packers 41, Rivers was intercepted for the third time and that was that. It was San Diego’s third consecutive loss.

The victory for the Packers kept them undefeated at 8-0.

While Rivers struggled, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers once again soared. On the day Rodgers was good on 21 of 26 passes and threw four TD passes with no interceptions. On the season he has 24 TD passes against three interceptions and is by far the front runner for MVP honours.

Rivers was 26-for-46 for 385 yards, four TDs and the three picks. He now has thrown 14 interceptions this season, tops in the league.

About the only question left for the Packers is can they remain undefeated the remainder of the season?

The Packers toughest remaining challenges will be back-to-back road games Nov. 24 at Detroit and a Dec. 4 game in New York against the Giants.

PALMER IS NO SAVIOUR

In Oakland the fans are quickly discovering what Cincinnati fans know too well — Carson Palmer is no hero, he can only break your heart.

Making his first start and second appearance for the Raiders following his trade from the Bengals, Palmer found himself on the losing end of a 38-24 score against the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos.

Palmer connected on 19 of 36 passes for 332 yards, threw three TD passes but was also intercepted three times. In the final quarter, he was unable to move his team. So it’s two games for Palmer as a Rider and two losses. No saviour there.

Tebow wasn’t the star of the day for the surprising Broncos as those honours went to punt returner Eddie Royal, who broke a 24-24 tie with an 85-yard punt return for a TD and running back Willie McGahee, who crunched out 163 yards including a 60-yard TD run.

Tebow managed to throw two touchdown passes but on the day was more off the mark than on. He finished with 10 receptions on 21 attempts for 124 yards and the two touchdowns. He was more of a running threat as he gained 117 yards on 12 carries.

Tebow is totally unorthodox as a quarterback, has poor throwing mechanics and mediocre to poor passing stats. But somehow he seems to wins and as a starter is now 2-1 in that department

SURPRISE THRILLER

If a punt returner zooms 99 yards for a game-winning touchdown in overtime and nobody sees it, does it still count?

We’re betting that other than family members and degenerate gamblers, no eyes tuned into the late afternoon game between the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, two 1-6 teams.

Though both teams have been colossal disappointments this season, they came up with a dramatic gamble, one that ended when the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson bobbed and weaved his way through the Rams to score the decisive touchdown and provide Arizona with a stunning 19-13 overtime win. It was his third punt return for a TD this season.

Big plays were the Cardinals speciality as they came up with a blocked field goal on a 42-yard Rams attempt on the final play of regulation time. Calais Campbell, all 6-foot-8 of him, stuck a paw up to swat Josh Brown’s field goal attempt away.

The Cardinals played the game without the services of No. 1 quarterback Kevin Kolb, who was out with turf toe. He was replaced by John Skelton who connected on 20 of 35 passes for 22 and one TD. His day was made noteworthy by being the first quarterback since Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart (Oct. 3, 1999) to allow safeties on consecutive plays. Both occurred in the third quarter.

Sam Bradford had missed the past two games for the Rams with a high ankle sprain but made the start after a game-time decision. He was good on 23 of 36 attempts for 255 yards but no TDs.


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