With a 23-0 second half run, the Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots this past Sunday. The Miami defense incessantly attacked Tom Brady, the offense corrected the turnover problem that saw three possession prematurely end in the first half, and the rushing game made a surprise appearance after nearly two years of being absent. It was an impressive game, and the Dolphins deserved the 33-20 win.
The NFL appears to have recognized Miami's performance with nominations in three of the four weekly fan-vote awards. The Dolphins are represented in the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award, the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award, and the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week award. The only category missing is the FedEx Air Player of the Week.
The Ground Player of the Week nominee for the Dolphins is Knowshon Moreno. The free agent acquisition ran for 134 yards on 24 carries, giving him a 5.6 yards per attempt average. He score a touchdown late in the game, while being the workhorse through the Dolphins' 23 point explosion. He enters Week 2 of the season as the NFL's leading rusher. He is up against the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'veon Bell, who carried the ball 21 times for 109 yards and a touchdown.
You can vote for Moreno at NFL.com/FedEx until Thursday at 3pm ET.
Undrafted free agent Chris McCain picked up the nomination for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week after an impressive performance for any player, let alone a UDFA rookie. McCain started the game with a blocked punt when the Patriots were forced into a three-and-out on their opening drive. At the end of the third quarter, McCain upped his performance by coming away with his first NFL sack. He recorded two tackles during the game. Nominated with McCain are Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby, who tallied seven tackles and three passes defensed, Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns, who recorded four receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and San Diego Chargers linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, who had three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt.
You can vote for McCain at NFL.com/rookies until Friday afternoon.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill picks up the third nomination, though it is really for the entire team. The GMC Never Say Never Moment nomination is for the Dolphins overcoming their 10-point second half deficit to the Patriots. The write up for the nomination reads:
Entering Sunday, New England had prevailed in 16 of its last 17 games where it held a double-digit edge at intermission. Down 20-10 at the half, the Miami Dolphins emerged from intermission able to push aside the Patriots and their recent history with a second-half offensive onslaught en route to a 33-20 victory. New Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno scored the fourth-quarter touchdown that sealed the victory. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill added two touchdown passes as the Dolphins dealt the Patriots their first season-opening loss since 2003
The Dolphins are nominated alongside the Philadelphia Eagles' rally from 17-0 to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17 and the Pittsburgh Steelers holding off a comeback attempt from the Cleveland Browns.
You can vote for the Dolphins at NFL.com/GMC until Friday afternoon.
Can we help the Dolphins sweep all three awards? It is up to you to vote.