Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ted Ginn Jr. sparks Miami Dolphins' victory against Jets

Miami Dolphins returner Ted Ginn Jr. outraces defenders on his second kickoff return for a touchdown of the third quarter in a game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009 at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

From Jeff Darlington's "Ted Ginn Jr. sparks Miami Dolphins' victory against Jets"

November 2, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- He had no place to go. No space to move.

As a pair of Jets defenders began to suffocate embattled Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., his feet were suddenly moving in the same direction as his career: Backward.

``I was like a mouse trapped in a corner,'' Ginn said. ``You always wonder how that mouse gets out.''

He hopped backward to the left. Then, he hopped backward to the right. Then, during a kickoff return that would define Miami's 30-25 win against the Jets on Sunday, Ginn did the very thing that got him to the NFL in the first place.

He ran like his career depended on it. All the way to the end zone.

``I really felt like I was trapped,'' Ginn said, a comment that could describe the state of his life as clearly as it described his second touchdown of the day. ``I just tried to use my feet. Once I get that opening, once I turn on those burners, I'm gone.''

How dramatically appropriate. How fantastically fitting.

In a season of strange twists for the Dolphins, Ginn would wait until the day he was demoted at wide receiver to become the first player in team history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns, both in the third quarter Sunday.

``It's probably one of the toughest weeks I've ever experienced playing football,'' Ginn said. ``Last week was one of my toughest games I've ever had, the worst game in my career.''

He can now call this occasion one of his finest.


Because of Ginn's pair of third-quarter scores (the first went for 100 yards and the second for 101), the Dolphins were able to sweep the Jets despite a lackluster offensive performance that accounted for a measly 104 total yards.

``I don't think anyone is happier than our team to have Ted come out with that type of game,'' said quarterback Chad Henne, who completed 12 of 21 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. ``It's great to be his teammate. He was just ready to go.''

Ginn's two touchdowns inspired an afternoon that desperately needed a heavy dose of stimulation in the wake of a weak first half. Without him, it's difficult to imagine Miami winning a game during which New York had the ball for nearly eight more minutes than the Dolphins.

``All week long, we had a bad taste in our mouth from the New Orleans game,'' coach Tony Sparano said. ``There were some questions about my team this week, and whether or not they were tough. I'm not saying we answered them all, but we made a good dent.''


``Everyone in the huddle knew who the blame would fall on if we couldn't make the stops,'' Porter said. ``We had every opportunity to win the game on defense. And to finally get it done was a good feeling.''

The Dolphins' win Sunday wasn't always as exciting as Ginn's kickoff returns. It wasn't always pretty, either. But it still managed to do something critically important for a beleaguered wide receiver and a squad facing embattlement: It gave them confidence.

And confidence, as Ginn surely knows, can go a very long way.

``I feel at peace more than anything,'' Ginn said. ``I made plays for my team. I stayed confident. My team believed in me. To make them see that smile and have that happiness, to go from 2-4 to 3-4, that's great.''

It's also one quick step in the right direction: Forward.

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