This win streak started with the offensive line and nearly ended with it, add to that rain in Southern California and it was an almost insurmountable hole to climb out of playing against a Rams’ defense that ranked top ten across the board but the Miami Dolphins prevailed.
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From the deepest despair the Miami Dolphins somehow found a way to push out of it, starting with pushing the pile while Landry scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:02 left. The win seemed surreal from seeing so much melancholy play with 10 punts and an interception leading up to the point of the last two TD scoring possessions. The Dolphins got their first third-down conversion of the game with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter and Ryan Tannehill was sacked four times and took eight hits.
The line played a part in the first TD by pushing the pile although there wasn’t much pushing to open up a running game this would be the turning point in the game. This might be an example of addition by subtraction with Thomas, Turner and Douglas out and Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik and Sam Young in. Ryan Tannehill needs a few seconds in the pocket to throw and it was there late in the game, maybe the defensive front who some say were the best there is had become winded. They did tee off on Ryan Tannehill at times but it was RB Williams that allowed the hit that looked like Tannehill would be unable to go on from and for most QB’s that would have been the case.
The play calling looked suspect and Gase even stated so, however the steady rain compounded things. An early fake hand off to Jay Ajayi passing play for Dion Sims on the short left looked promising and something to build on but that changed to a steady diet of bubble screens that were not effective most of the game. It wasn’t until late in the game when the offensive line meshed and more time was allocated for passing plays that took a little time to develop could work.
On the first drive there was time for Ryan Tannehill to throw and he did so on a wheel route to Williams trying to convert the first down but the ball bounced off his fingertips in the rain. A lot of players were slipping and sliding on the rain-soaked field. This is the play there was almost a call made for pass interference from a what may have looked like a pick.
The line did well vs. DT Aaron Donald on the first series, it seemed to be a guessing game for coach Gase to figure out which side Donald was coming from and play to the other side. Jay Ajayi had his longest run on the left side for 36 yards where the replacements played on the offensive line.
A drive not long after had them near the red zone but got backed up by the Rams’ stout defense having to punt.
Penalties didn’t seem to be a big hindrance but they did creep up at bad times. There was a pass interference called on DeVante Parker, negating a first down.
Injuries played a part with Laremy Tunsil going out with a shoulder injury and Sam Young having to come into the game. Jarvis Landry had gone to the locker room but returned not long after. He did play hard despite any lingering injuries he might be ailing from.
Move that pile for the first Jarvis Landry TD. This is first time all season the Dolphins had been held scoreless at halftime.
A FG would have tied the game, this ended up being the game winning TD to DeVante Parker. He also made a great scoop catch on a low pass that got them into FG range. Miami took the lead 13-10 with :36 seconds left to play.
First Downs 17
Net Pass Yards 142
Total Yards 240
Third Down Conv. 1-11
Fourth Down Conv. 0-0
Time of Possession 28:41
Dolphins drive chart
MIA 19 5 2:09 7 Punt
MIA 25 5 2:19 9 Punt
MIA 30 9 4:47 29 Punt
MIA 12 4 2:18 -2 Punt
MIA 13 9 4:19 39 Punt
MIA 23 8 1:38 11 Punt
MIA 25 5 1:40 3 Punt
RAM 37 1 0:11 0 Interception
MIA 12 5 1:42 8 Punt
MIA 13 7 2:28 -2 Punt
MIA 17 4 0:57 -10 Punt
MIA 23 9 2:38 77 Touchdown
MIA 25 10 1:35 75 Touchdown
• The Dolphins are the 1st team to win back to back road games in Southern California in 29 years.
• Dion Sims was used on every offensive play and even a few on special teams.
• The last time the Dolphins were shut out was in 2010, a 16-0 loss to the Bears on November 18.
• There was a 3rd and long play Ryan Tannehill threw what should have been an interception Kenny Stills broke it up. He also broke a streak of no dropped passes going back to game one.
• Ryan Tannehill completed 12 of his last 13 passes for 115 yards and 2 TDs. After going 12-21 for 57 yards and an INT.
• On the after game TV wrap up Jimmy Johnson on Tannehill: “He has shown he’s a franchise quarterback.”
• “It was ugly on offense for most of the game. Defense kept us in the football game and we found a way on that last drive,” Tannehill said.
Continuity is so important in playing winning NFL football it can’t be overstated. The team as a whole must work together, each unit acting in unison. It is very rare that a single player at almost any position can make such a difference as to change the outcome of a game and it can be detrimental to make those comparisons as they are so rare. In this win many will do so toward Ryan Tannehill as well as DeVante Parker but don’t forget this make shift offensive line. Adam Gase now has a heavy burden to make something out of this line.
There still is work to be done in order to find plays that receivers can get open quickly on from not having the regular offensive line and the extra time they bring and also account for harsh weather and the fact that it can hinder receivers from running crisp routes, maybe plays designed to get a receiver in protection.