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Dolphins make shocking comeback to steal win in Los Angeles

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What the hell just happened?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How? What? Did that really happen?

The Miami Dolphins looked out of sorts, out of rhythm, and out played on offense against the Los Angeles Rams. Yet, that final score seems to say Miami 14, LA 10. The Dolphins let the first 53:30 of the game go by without accomplishing anything - literally. Up until that point, the team’s possessions were:

  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Punt

And that was just the first half. It then went:

  • Punt
  • Interception
  • Punt
  • Punt
  • Punt

Then, with 6:30 remaining in the game, Miami figured something out. The offensive line started blocking, the offense started clicking, and magic started happening. Ryan Tannehill found Kenny Stills for seven yards, he found Jarvis Landry for five yards, then Landry again for 12 yards, then DeVante Parker for 15 yards, then Parker again for 12 yards, then Jay Ajayi for one yard, and, finally, Landry for 12 yards and a touchdown.

An offense that had done nothing all day took a 10-0 deficit and cut it to 10-7.

And it was not done. After the defense - more on them in a second - held the Rams to a three-and-out, Tannehill again put the team on his back, and, with a lot of help from Parker, went to work. With 2:11 remaining in the game, Tannehill found Stills for 15 yards, then Ajayi lost two yards on a run, then Tannehill to Parker for 12 yards, and again for 9 yards, then Ajayi picked up 9 yards, then Tannehill to Ajayi for 9 yards, and, finally, Tannehill to Parker for 9 yards and a touchdown.

Down nearly the entire game, Miami suddenly had a 14-10 lead with 26 seconds remaining.

A defense that had kept Miami in the game all day was not about to let that lead slip away.

The defense repeatedly came up big in this game. They recorded a forced fumble and recovery (both for Kiko Alonso), Cameron Wake had another sack, they forced eight punts, with three 3-and-outs. The defense bent, but rarely broke. They forced the Rams into a long field-goal attempt just before the offense found their rhythm, a field goal attempt that bounced off the left upright and left LA with no points.

Miami’s defense fought through an offense that could not convert on third down (they were 1-for-11, with that one coming on the third play of the first touchdown drive) and through another game filled with penalties (eight more). Yet, it will be the offense that gets the majority of the mentions after this game.

The Dolphins chugged along throughout the game. Things were not working, so the team kept chugging. They changed things. They dealt with the rain. They dealt with the injuries. And they kept chugging. Finally, the chugging turned into humming and the engine fired on Miami’s offense. They finished the game with 240 total yards - 14 more yards than the Rams - and 142 passing yards (172 yards for Tannehill who, despite struggling most of the game, recorded a decent 89.3 passer rating and put together the two scoring drives).

I don’t know what I watched this afternoon. I was resigned to the fact that the injuries to the offensive line and the rain was too much to overcome. Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn were playing like the Pro Bowlers they are, and Miami was in trouble. But, I did not count on the magic that Adam Gase seems to have brought to this team. Every week, it seems Miami finds a new way to win, and they now have a five-game winning streak and are two-games above .500.

The Dolphins may not be able to sustain this the rest of the year, but you know what? What cares? This is an awesome ride and, wherever it ends up, the Dolphins just need to keep chugging.