The game opened with the Dolphins receiving the opening kickoff, and immediately moving down the field. After a touchback, Miami began attacking the Broncos' defense, using running back Lamar Miller and quarterback Ryan Tannehill to get the ball down into the redzone. Highlight by big plays, including a 22-yard run from Miller, a 16-yard pass from Tannehill to tight end Dion Sims, starting in place of the injured Charles Clay, and a 20-yard catch and run from Tannehill to rookie receiver Jarvis Landry, the Dolphins would move to the Denver three yard line. On a carry on second down, running back Daniel Thomas was able to punch the ball in for the score.
The touchdown marked the first opening drive score allowed by Denver in their last 13 games.
The Broncos would find early success as well, taking the attack straight at the Miami defense. The Dolphins repeatedly missed tackles on the drive, which moved 53 yards in 12 plays before Jamar Taylor was able to shut down the drive with a one-yard tackle for a loss on a 3rd-and-5. The Broncos would settle for a 38-yard field goal, bringing the score to 7-3.
The Dolphins and Broncos would then trade three-and-out possessions.
Miami would start their third drive at the Denver 47-yard line after a 17-yard punt return from Landry. Tannehill would again direct a scoring drive, running for seven yards, then passing for six before giving the ball to Lamar Miller for nine yards as the first quarter ended. The second period opened with an 11-yard gain from Miller, followed by a 10-yard pass from Tannehill to wide receiver Mike Wallace. After a three-yard pass to Sims, ending at the Broncos' one-yard line, Tannehill ran the 2nd-and-1 play into the endzone for the score and a 14-3 Miami lead.
Denver would again answer, taking the ball at their own 23-yard line and working it back down the field. Working primarily out of a no-huddle shotgun, the Broncos would cover the 77 yards in 11 plays, with Manning finding Demaryius Thomas for a five-yard score.
The end of the first half turned into a shoot out, as Miami again came out and score, going 87 yards in 10 plays to score on a Tannehill to Wallace pass for 10 yards. The Broncos would then respond with a 8-play, 80-yard drive capped with another Demaryius Thomas score, this one from 14-yards out.
The second half opened with the Broncos driving deep into Miami territory. Once again going no-huddle, the Broncos utilized Anderson and Juwan Thompson to run straight at Miami. A Jelani Jenkins sack of Manning on 3rd-and-1 from the Miami seven-yard line, however, killed the drive. Attempting a field goal on fourth down from the Miami 15-yard line, the kick would hit the upright and fall for no points.
Miami would not find much more success in the first drive of the second half, punting after an 8-play, 13 yard campaign. On a 52-yard punt from Brandon Fields, though, the Broncos would fumble and Miami long snapper John Denney came away with the recovery, giving Miami a short field.
Five plays after the fumble, Tannehill would connect with Landry for a five-yard touchdown and a 28-17 lead.
In a nine-play, 60-yard drive starting in the third quarter and ending in the fourth, Manning would quickly answer the Miami score. Manning again connected with Demaryius Thomas for a five-yard touchdown, then found Emmanuel Sanders for the two-point conversion. The Broncos pulled within three points with the conversion, trailing now 28-25.
Miami would look to extend their lead on their next drive, but would only pick up one first down before having to punt.
Denver then picked up exactly where they had left off, again going at the Dolphins on the ground. Anderson again began to gauge the Dolphins, with Manning picking up chunks through the air, including back-to-back passes to Sanders gaining 17- and 12-yards, respectively. Thirteen plays later, Anderson found the endzone, and Denver's first lead of the game, on a 10-yard run. With the extra point, Denver overtook Miami 32-28.
An interception on the third play of Miami's next possession on a ball that bounced off Jarvis Landry's hands and into the air where T.J. Ward came away with it, set up Denver with the ball at the Miami eight yard line. Manning would connect with Wes Welker on a two-yard score a couple of plays later, pushing the score to 39-28.
Miami would add a touchdown with 1:34 remaining in the game, with Tannehill connecting with Landry for the second time in the endzone. The Dolphins could connect on a two-point conversion, to pull to 39-36, but they would not be able to recover the onside kick.
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