The Miami Dolphins beat the San Diego Chargers 37-0 on Sunday, demolishing the visiting Chargers in all three phases of the game. On Monday, we asked you for your nominees for the best play of the game from the Dolphins. Now, we ask you to vote for your favorite.
The nominees for the Dolphins' Week 9 Play of the Week are:
Reshad Jones tackle for loss
Talk about setting the tone early. The Chargers began the game by taking the opening kickoff and marching 58 yard down the field on 12 plays. The Dolphins defense was bending, but, it was not about to break. On a third-and-17 play from the Miami 38-yard line, the Chargers gained 16 yards, setting up a major decision for the San Diego coaching staff. Rather than attempt a 40-yard field goal, they elected to go for it on 4th-and-1. San Diego came out in a jumbo package, with Miami lining up nine players in the box. A handoff to Branden Oliver would never get near the line of scrimmage, let alone close to picking up the first down. Miami safety Reshad Jones, originally lined up just three yards behind the line of scrimmage, literally flew through the Chargers line, with no one blocking him, and made a shoestring tackle of Oliver for a 1-yard loss. (Of note on the play, Oliver did not stand a chance even if Jones did not make the spectacular play as Brent Grimes was coming off the far edge, right where oliver was trying to run, unblocked as well.)
Ryan Tannehill to Charles Clay for the touchdown
The Dolphins had just stopped the Chargers on fourth-and-one and were now driving down the field. On third-and-three from the San Diego six yard line, Tannehill lined up in the shotgun, with Mike Wallace motioning from the left of the formation to the right. Clay was on the left side of the offensive line, while Gator Hoskins was on the right. Lamar Miller lined up next to Tannehill. At the snap, Miller leaked into the left flat, Hoskins ran a crossing route Wallace ran a skinny post route into the endzone, and Brian Hartline, who was spread far right, ran a three-yard hook route. Clay, Tannehill's first read on the play, ran a corner route, with Tannehill throwing the ball as Clay broke to the corner. A perfectly placed ball cleared the defense and settled into Clay's arms for the team's first touchdown of the game.
Reshad Jones interception
The Dolphins scored for the second time on the day at 11:14 mark of the second quarter, and the Chargers were in need of an answer. After the kickoff, the Chargers set up shop at their 30-yard line, with quarterback Philip Rivers dropping back to pass. On a deep ball intended for Malcolm Floyd, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones skied for the ball, grabbing the ball that looked like it was overthrown over everyone.
Ryan Tannehill lazor to Mike Wallace
(See what I did there?)
The Dolphins once again had the ball inside Chargers territory, this time on a 3rd-and-12 play witrh 3:55 to go in the first half. A shotgun formation with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline bunched to the offense's right, Brandon Gibson to the offense's left in the slot, and Daniel Thomas spread wide left before motioning back into the backfield with ryan Tannehill. Hartline and Wallace immediately cross following the snap, with Hartline going outside and Wallace toward the middle of the field. Clay starts working up the seam from his tight end position while Gibson comes across the field on a slant route; Thomas stays in to pass protect before moving out as another receiving option, setting up short in the middle of the field. Then, something we have not seen out of Tannehill very often happened. A bullet through coverage finds Wallace 16 yards down the field. The throw had no business making it through the double coverage, with the defense also having top coverage to assist on the routes of both Hartline and Wallace. Yet, Tannehill, a quarterback with a cannon for an arm, and, more importantly, a quarterback playing with confidence in this game, threads the ball through the coverage and Wallace is able to shake a tackle and work up field for a 38-yard gain.
Ryan Tannehill to Rishard Matthews for the touchdown
Miami opened the second half with the ball and a 20-0 lead. They kept their foot on the peddle, and quickly moved back down the field and into Chargers' territory. On a second down play from the 21-yard line, the Dolphins lined up in a shotgun formation with a 12 package on the field (one running back, two tight ends, two receivers). Brian Hartline is spread to the left, with Gator Hoskins on the left end of the line and Charles Clay on the right side. Rishard Matthews starts spread wide right, but motions back to the left before the snap. Lamar Miller, who had been lined up next to Tannehill, runs into the flat as the play begins, with Hoskins running a crossing pattern five yards down the field and Clay running an out route at ten yards. On the offense's left, Hartline is running a five yard in route, while Matthews has a ten yard in. Then, everything breaks down. The pass rush gets to Tannehill, who appears to be destined to be sacked. Instead, he somehow works his way out of the pocket, moving to his left. With his eyes never dropping from his receivers, he continues to cross the field waiting for someone to get open. Both Hartline and Matthews begin to work back toward the left sideline, but Hartline slips. Matthews, however, breaks away from his coverage and is wide open as he comes back to help his quarterback. Tannehill fins him for the 21-yard touchdown.
Brent Grimes' first interception
The Dolphins had just opened the second half with a touchdown drive, and San Diego was looking to finally find some rhythm. After a 3rd-and-11 conversion, the Chargers were facing a second third-and-long. As Philip Rivers dropped back to pass, he targeted Keenan Allen. Miami cornerback Brent Grimes, however, had other plans as he perfectly read the pass, stepped in front of Allen and picked off his first of two passes on the day.
Ryan Tannehill to Jarvis Landry for the touchdown
Late in the third quarter, Miami had the ball on the San Diego 13-yard line after a San Diego fumble. With Tannehill under center, Brandon Gibson was spread left, Jarvis Landry in the slot left, Charles Clay lined up on the offensive line's right, and Mike Wallace spread to the right. At the snap, Gibson and Wallace both run corner routes, with Landry on a short out, and Clay stayed in to block. Tannehill connected with Landry on the play, with the rookie immediately turning up-field and tight rope walking his way down the sideline. Originally called out of bounds, the play was challenged by the Dolphins and correctly changed to a touchdown.
Cameron Wake sack
Any time Cameron Wake gets a sack, it's a big play. This one is no different. Late in the third quarter, the Chargers pulled starting quarterback Philip Rivers in place of Kellen Clemens. Three plays later, Wake exploded on the snap and met Clemons at the back of his drop, welcoming him to the game and planting him for the sack and a nine-yard loss.