1:00 PM ET, December 30, 2007
MIAMI (AP) -- When rookie quarterback John Beck came off the bench for Miami in the third quarter, he dropped the snap on his first play, and the ensuing scramble ended with the Cincinnati Bengals scoring on a 54-yard fumble return.From a press box suite, Bill Parcells saw the whole thing unfold and sat speechless, his expression blank and slightly dazed.Watching the Dolphins tends to have that effect.Four days into the Parcells era, the Dolphins remained wretched. They allowed 316 yards passing by Carson Palmer and staggered to the end of the worst season in franchise history Sunday, losing 38-25 to the Cincinnati Bengals.The Dolphins became the eighth team to finish 1-15 and flopped in their audition for Parcells. He started work Thursday as executive vice president of football operations and watched the game with retired Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf."You can't help but know Parcells is here, with the Jumbotron flashing up above, and you see Parcells and Ron Wolf sitting next to him," defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said."Interesting. You know there's going to be some change. You know things are going to get moving in the right direction. It's just a matter of who's going to be a part of it."The biggest question is whether coach Cam Cameron will return for a second year. He's expected to discuss his status with Parcells soon."We'll meet this week and see where it takes us," Cameron said.General manager Randy Mueller's future is also uncertain. Parcells declined to talk to reporters.Everyone agrees sweeping change is needed for a team that avoided the NFL's first 0-16 season thanks to an overtime win against Baltimore two weeks ago."I need a vacation," said receiver Marty Booker, dressing quickly at his locker. "When everything is this dismal, being frustrated every week, of course it takes a toll on you. I'm spent. It's over. All that's left now is to sit around and see what happens."The Bengals' offseason also may be eventful. They finished 7-9, their first losing season since 2002, the year before Marvin Lewis took over as coach."There are things around here that are a little stale," Lewis said. "Get rid of them. You know how you go to your garage and say, 'I've got to get rid of this junk.' We just need to freshen up a bit."One keeper is Palmer, who went 23-for-32, threw for three scores and finished with 4,131 yards passing to break the Cincinnati record of 4,035 he set last year.T.J. Houshmandzadeh made nine receptions to tie New England's Wes Welker for the NFL lead with 112, a Bengals record, but dropped the final pass thrown to him."The coaches were trying to help me," Houshmandzadeh said. "I should have caught the last one. It's a catch that I make every day in practice."Chad Johnson had four catches for 131 yards to reach 1,440 yards, another team record. Playing in his hometown for the first time since turning pro, Johnson caught touchdown passes of 2 and 70 yards.Palmer also threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Antonio Chatman with 4 seconds left in the first half to put the Bengals ahead 21-10. They won in Miami for the first time since 1968, and they had plenty of help.Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon left the game in the third quarter with a bruised hip. On the next play, Beck fumbled a snap from the shotgun, and Chinedum Ndukwe scooped up the ball and ran for a touchdown.The play was Beck's first since his fumble was returned for a touchdown at Buffalo three weeks ago.The rookie settled down to finish the season in encouraging fashion. He directed the first two touchdown drives of his career, capping the second by throwing a 22-yard scoring pass to Derek Hagan with 28 seconds left.Beck also hit Hagan for a 2-point conversion."I have a lot of room for improvement," Beck said.His comment summed up the state of the Dolphins.
Chatman hurt his ankle in the third quarter. Dolphins T Vernon Carey hurt his back in the second half. ... The Bengals allowed 17 sacks this season, breaking the club record of 21 set in 2005. ... Cincinnati K Shayne Graham went 31-for-34 in field-goal attempts, a team record.
This was the Carson Palmer we expected to see all season. He threw strikes against the Miami linebackers and secondary. He displayed a strong arm or soft touch as needed. He was patient, especially on a pass to Antonio Chatman, who worked inside before cutting outside on the goal line and hauling in the perfectly placed pass. Palmer spread the ball around but kept his stars involved, finding Chad Johnson for a pair of touchdowns. Although it was a disappointing season for Palmer and the Bengals, they at least ended on a good note.
-- Marwan Maalouf, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||7.0||4.9|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|FG||11:16||Jay Feely 49 Yd||0||3|
|TD||03:53||Chad Johnson 2 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick)||7||3|
|TD||07:03||Ted Ginn Jr. 5 Yd Pass From Cleo Lemon (Jay Feely Kick)||7||10|
|TD||06:27||Chad Johnson 70 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick)||14||10|
|TD||00:04||Antonio Chatman 4 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick)||21||10|
|TD||13:12||Chinedum Ndukwe 54 Yd Fumble Return (Shayne Graham Kick)||28||10|
|TD||12:21||John Beck 2 Yd Run (Jay Feely Kick)||28||17|
|TD||10:03||Kenny Watson 2 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick)||35||17|
|FG||02:16||Shayne Graham 30 Yd||38||17|
|TD||00:28||Derek Hagan 22 Yd Pass From John Beck (John Beck Pass To Derek Hagan For Two-Point Conversion)||38||25|