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Chargers at Dolphins first half recap: Miami dominates to 20-0 halftime lead

The Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers have completed the first half of their Week 9 game.

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Dolphins came out fast to start their game against the San Diego Chargers and the first half score reflects it.

The Chargers took the opening kickoff and began to find some success following a first down sack of quarterback Philip Rivers by Miami defensive tackle Randy Starks. Rivers would direct a 13 play drive, gaining 57 yards and into Miami territory. On 4th-and-1 from the Miami 22, San Diego decided to go for it, but Dolphins safety Reshad Jones blew the play up in the backfield, tackling Brandon Olivier for a one-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

Miami's offense, which has consistently opened slowly this year, broke that streak on their opening drive. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill opened the drive with a nine-yard pass to Jarvis Landry. After a seven-yard run from Lamar Miller, Tannehill then found tight end Charles Clay for 24 yards. Another Miller run was followed by Tannehill to Mike Wallace for five yards. After a San Diego penalty, then a Dolphins penalty, Tannehill again found Landry for 13 yards, followed by a six yard run from Miller. Back to the pass on 1st-and-10 from the Chargers' 13-yard line, Tannehill found Brian Hartline for six yards. A run from Miller on 2nd down gained one yard, before Tannehill connected with Clay in the back of the endzone for the touchdown and a 7-0 Miami lead. The Dolphins drove 77 yards in 10 plays over 5:56 for the score.

San Diego took control of the ball at their own 26-yard line following the kickoff, and would go three-and-out, punting on the first play of the second quarter.

The Dolphins continued their fast start after the punt, this time primarily using Tannehill. A first down run for four yards was followed by the first incompletion of the game for Miami's quarterback, coming on a bad drop from Lamar Miller. Then Tannehill hit Landry for seven yards and Clay for 18 yards before a 22 yard run from Tannehill. He then connected with Miller for eight yards on 1st-and-goal from the Chargers 10-yard line.  On second- and third-downs, Miami turned to Miller, who ran for no gain on his first carry of the drive followed by a two-yard touchdown run. With the Caleb Sturgis extra point, Miami took a 14-0 lead after the eight play, 61-yard drive over 3:42.

The Chargers early struggles would continue when Rivers threw an interception to Reshad Jones on the team's first play of their next possession.

Miami would move 23 yards after the pick, getting down to the Chargers eight yard line before Sturgis connected on a 26-yard field goal. Miami took a 17-0 lead with 8:53 remaining in the first half.

The Chargers were able to connect on a 15-yard pass from Rivers to Keenan Allen on first down of their next drive, but would fail to gain another first down and would punt back to Miami.

The Dolphins would again move the ball on the Chargers' defense, with Tannehill throwing the ball all over the field, and to every potential receiver available.  After 11 plays and 63 yards, Miami again turned to Sturgis who connected from 25 yards to give the Dolphins a 20-0 lead.

San Diego again would pick up one first down before punting the ball back to Miami with just over a minute to play. in the half. The Dolphins would take the ball back down the field, but Sturgis would miss this time, pushing the ball wide right.

Miami leads 20-0 at the half.

Tannehill ended the first half with 208 yards passing on an 18-for-25 performance with the touchdown pass and a 110.1 passer rating. He has also run for 36 yards on three carries. Lamar Miller has added 33 yards on seven carries. Tight end Charles Clay leads the team with 48 yards receiving on three catches, followed by Mike Wallace with 43 yards on two receptions.

The Dolphins get the ball to start the second half.