The Miami Dolphins welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs into Sun Life Stadium today. The Chiefs, however, were not willing to return the hospitality.
The Dolphins received the opening kickoff, with rookie Jarvis Landry returning the ball 40-yards to set up Miami with good field position. Unfortunately, the team could not use the field position to their benefit. After a nice bubble screen to Mike Wallace for seven yards and a good third down conversion from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to Brian Hartline, the Dolphins ran the ball on first down for three yards. Tannehill was sacked on second down, followed by a draw attempt to Lamar Miller, who gained four yards before the team had to punt.
Will Davis was able to down the Brandon Fields kick at the two yard line.
Miami forced the Chiefs into a third-and-seven play from their own five-yard line, only to have former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano pick up the conversion. Miami was then hit with a rare unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the bench for a referee running into a coach. The Dolphins nearly got a turnover after a 11-yard reception from Dwayne Bowe, when the Chiefs tried to run a reverse, but the toss on the second half of the run bounced 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, rolling out of bounds just as Jared Odrick nearly came away with the recovery. The Chiefs would have to punt.
Landry would then cancel out his 40-yard return, fielding the punt at the Dolphins' own two-yard line. Starting inside their own 5-yard line, Miami started the drive with a 17-yard run from Miller. Wallace and Landry would drop the next two passes from Tannehill before Hartline was able to make a 15-yard catch to move the chains again. Miller again broke a long run after the conversion, only to have it called back because of a holding penalty on left tackle Branden Albert. The drive stalled after that, with a short run from Damien Williams, an incomplete pass, and a short completion from Tannehill to Landry.
After the punt, the Dolphins defense took charge for the next possession, recording two sacks on three plays. On first down, Alex Smith was pulled down five yards behind the line of scrimmage by Derrick Shelby and Randy Starks. Then on third down, Olivier Vernon was able to get to Smith and force the punt after a three-yard loss.
The Dolphins would pick up a first down on their first play of the next possession, only to then stall. An incomplete pass, a five-yard Daniel Thomas run, and an incomplete pass led to another Dolphins punt.
The second quarter of the game started with the Chiefs facing a 4th-and-1 play, one they easily converted. The play kept a drive alive that started with a 33-yard punt return, but was not able to to keep it going as they would lose three yards on a Knile Davis run, followed by a four-yard gain from Davis, and, finally, Miami's third sack of the game, this one credited to Jason Trusnik. The Chiefs would punt, with the ball downs at the Miami 17-yard line.
The Dolphins came out on the next drive and moved the ball through the air, with Mike Wallace beginning to have an impact. On first down, Ryan Tannehill connected with him for a 30-yard gain on the catch and run, then Tannehill came right back to Wallace on the next play, connecting for another 15 yards. Lamar Miller added five yards on the ground, followed by another dropped pass, the third on the day for Miami receivers, this time from Brandon Gibson. Gibson would catch the next pass for three yards, but Caleb Sturgis would miss a 48-yard field goal.
The Chiefs would not miss on their first real scoring opportunity, taking the ball straight down the field on Miami. After a run for no gain from Davis, Alex Smith connected with Dwayne Bowe for a 16-yard completion down to the Miami 46-yard line. A couple of plays later, Davis made up for his no-gain play with a 21-yard touchdown run, giving Kansas City the 7-0 lead.
Miami's offense again came out and did nothing on their next possession, with one good run from Miller who picked up 20 yards on a 2nd-and-10 run. Tannehill was sacked on the drive, fumbling the ball, but luckily having it bounce back to him. One incomplete pass later, and the Dolphins were punting for their fourth time on the day.
Kansas City resumed their march against the Miami defense on the next drive, going 76-yards in eight plays. They scored on a 20-yard pass from Smith to Travis Kelce, who dove for the pylon after a weak tackle attempt from Miami cornerback Cortland Finnegan. The score extended the lead to 14-0.
The Dolphins offense came out in the two-minute offense and actually found some rhythm. Tannehill connected with Miller, Wallace, Landry, and Thomas on the drive, as well as running for nine yards, on a drive that moved 74 yards in eight plays in a little over a minute-and-a-half. Sturgis connected on the 22-yard field goal as time expired to make the halftime score 14-3.
Kansas City received the second half kickoff, gaining two yards on the first two plays before the Dolphins were able to record their fourth sack on the day. Jared Odrick was able to get to Smith, stripping the ball from his hands, a fumble Derrick Shelby was able to recover at the Chiefs' 19-yard line.
Miami immediately went to work, pulling the Chiefs offsides, then gaining 10 yards on a Miller rush, setting up 1st-and-goal from the four-yard line. After an incomplete pass and a Miller three yard gain, Tannehill faked a handoff, rolled to his right, then found Hartline in the endzone to cut the Chiefs' lead to 14-10.
It would not stay that way for long, however, as the Chiefs responded with a touchdown scoring drive of their own. Smith was able to find Joe McKnight for the 11-yard score.
Landry exploded on the kickoff return, taking the ball back 74 yards and into Chiefs territory. Starting at the Chiefs 33-yard line, the Dolphins would fail to move the ball after an incomplete pass to Wallace, a Miller run for no yards, and another incompletion targeting Wallace. Sturgis would connect from 51 yards to cut the Chiefs lead to 21-13.
After the track meet that opened up in the second half, both teams seemed to take a break on their next possessions, both going three-and-out.
After Miami's punt, the Chiefs were pinned back at their own one-yard line after an illegal blocking penalty was called on the return. Alex Smith dropped back to pass from the endzone, with Randy Starks and Jelani Jenkins collapsing on him to split the sack and record the safety.
Cutting the lead to 21-15, Miami got the ball on the free kick, but could not move it and punted again. Dolphins Pro Bowl punter Brandon Field boomed the kick 44-yards and Will Davis downed it at the Chiefs' three-yard line.
The fourth quarter opened after Kansas City was able to gain seven yards on first down before switching ends of the field. Miami was able to again force a punt from the Chiefs, and Landry was forced to let it bounce, where Kansas City downed the ball at the 32-yard line.
Miami picked up a first down on a four-yard third-down pass from Tannehill to Landry, but then were forced to punt from the 50-yard line. Frankie Hammond fielded the kick from the Chiefs' one-yard line and returned it to midfield. A penalty then added five yards when Miami was caught with an illegal substitution.
The Chiefs then ran the ball straight down the Dolphins' throats, scoring a touchdown and sealing the game for Kansas City. Missing the two point conversion, the Chiefs led 27-15 with the score.
After turning over the ball on fourth-down, the Dolphins were able to get one more chance at staying in the game when Brent Grimes was able to strip the ball from Davis, with Jason Trusnik recovering. Miami would turn the ball over on downs again.
The Chiefs added a late touchdown as they worked to run out the clock, with Cyrus Gray scoring from the six-yard line. Kansas City won by the final of 34-15.
At the end of the day, the Dolphins simply were out played by the Chiefs. The team continues to open the game flat, then try to make something happen in the second half, and it kills them. Tannehill was inconsistent again, completing less than 50-percent of his passes. The wide receivers continue to have problems holding on to the balls he is able to get to him. The offensive line allowed pressure all day, including four allowed sacks.
If there was a highlight on offense, it was Miller, who ran for 108 yards on 15 carries, giving him a 7.2 yards per carry average.
The Miami defensive line was able to do what they normally do, pressure quarterbacks and bring them down. Alex Smith was sacked five times during the game, including one for a sack. But, it did not mean anything at the end of the day. Miami drops to 1-2 on the year, while Kansas City picks up their first win of the year, improving to 1-2.
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