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Anatomy of a play: Dolphins vs Chargers

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Five plays that helped change the outcome of the Dolphins 19-17 victory over the LA Chargers.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Much like last year’s team, the 2017 Miami Dolphins appear to have a knack for winning close games. Sure, it seemed like there were several times the game could’ve been put out of reach, but the team continued to battle until the final whistle. Here are five plays that had a significant impact on the Dolphins 19-17 victory over the Chargers.

Run Ajayi, Run!

For those who have followed my work here at The Phinsider, you know the love affair I have with running back Jay Ajayi. Perhaps he reminds me of a young Ricky Williams, bullying defenders on his way to the end zone. Maybe it’s the dreads, or his British accent. No matter what the reason, Jay Ajayi is good. Very good.

Here, you see Ajayi’s ability to find the hole, weaving in and out of traffic. He’s a physical running back who posses a rare mixture of speed and strength. The outside stretch play has become a staple in Gase’s offense and allows the running back to run east and west, before exploding through the hole. His vision is impressive, but even more so is the pancake that RT Ja'wuan James lays on his opponent. Ajayi finished the game with 28 carries for 122 yards.

DVP! DVP! DVP!

Throughout the offseason, we heard time and time again what type of playmaker DeVante Parker would be this season. He started eating breakfast and became the type of professional the team had hoped he’d be when they selected him 14th overall in the 2015 draft. At 6’3 212 lbs., DeVante Parker has the mold of a true #1 wide receiver. In fact he’s so good, Dolphins’ QB Jay Cutler referred to him as a faster Alshon Jeffrey.

Here, you see what the Dolphins plan to do with Parker in 2017. If Cutler sees Parker in man coverage on the outside, expect him to take a shot early and often. Was that Randy Moss wearing a #11 jersey? It sure looked like it.

Here’s another instance in where Jay Cutler is looking for his favorite wide receiver. After the initial pressure up the middle, Cutler rolls to the outside. He waits, waits and then fires a perfect pass over Parker’s right shoulder for the 31-yard gain. I’m not sure you will ever see a better pass than this. Beautifully placed into the awaiting arms of DVP. Expect to see Cutler to Parker a lot in 2017.

Cutler to Stills for 6!

Ryan Tannehill’s pocket presence improved last season, but it has never quite been as good as Smokin’ Jay’s. Here, you see Cutler step up in the pocket as Melvin Ingram gets pressure from the left side. As he rolls to the right, he keeps his eyes down field and throws a bullet to Kenny Stills in the endzone for a touchdown. Yes, #57 is a linebacker, which made this a mismatch from the very beginning. Ja'wuan James again looked impressive, baiting Bosa to the outside before taking him to the ground. If Miami can stay healthy, the skies the limit for the 2017 Dolphins.

In Cody Parkey We Trust

As we all know, the Dolphins released Andrew Franks prior to the start of the 2017 season. And although he made one hell of a kick vs the Bills last season, he was never a kicker you could depend on. Cody Parkey is the complete opposite and is now a perfect 6-6 in field goals over 50+. This was his first attempt from 50 yards and it just so happened to be the game winner.

Cody Parkey has ice in his veins.

Younghoe Koo does not.