The Miami Dolphins climbed back to beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 yesterday, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill stepping up and showing why he was selected with the eighth overall pick. While the rookie signal caller will rightfully get most of the attention this week, it's the team's embattled kicker who may have taken the bigger step forward yesterday.
Coming into the game, Dan Carpenter was not playing like his nickname, DC$ (D-C-Money), this season. The team's all time most accurate kicker came into the game hitting just 71% of his kicks this year. He was 8-for-8 inside of 39 yards on the season, but was just 5-for-10 from 40 yards out, including 0-for-3 from 50+ yards. It looked like DC$ had lost his leg this year.
Then yesterday showed up. It was a big day for Carpenter. And not because it was his 27th birthday. Carpenter came into the game on his first and only field goal attempt on the day with a tie ball game and four seconds on the clock. Carpenter did not blink and nailed the 43 yard field goal to end the Miami three game losing streak.
Of course, that one kick does not make up for the points the Dolphins have left off the board this year as Carpenter missed kicks that used to be automatic. Games like the first meeting with the New York Jets could have been a Dolphins victory if DC$ had been money. But, Sunday could be the first step to fans forgetting those early season contests.
And Carpenter needed that kick. It was his first game winning kick since 2010. After the game, Carpenter told the media, "It feels like it's been forever."
For Dolphins fans, it's felt like forever as well. Hopefully the now 27 year old kicker will keep it from being that long a gap in the future.