I’m not even sure where to begin. I know one thing for certain. Sunday’s game was one of the best games I have ever watched live. Hands down. Not even a debate. My voice is still mostly gone today on this Tuesday morning. I’m exhausted and my face is burnt from the hot South Florida sun and I do not care. Worth every second. I arrived back home in Atlanta yesterday to seeing myself on Twitter.
Dolphins’ playoff odds jump after wild Bears win — and their schedule now softens up https://t.co/bjwGj4aDnU— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) October 15, 2018
I feel like I looked that way throughout most the game. I don’t hate it. Let me back up and say, the entire weekend was a blast. Before I dive into the best parts of the game, plays, and my experience of attending the game, I want to tell share briefly about the weekend leading up to the game.
Fan Club Appreciation Weekend
Last weekend was the Miami Dolphins Out of Town Fan Club Appreciation weekend. Yes, that is a thing now. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a few years back the Dolphins decided to pick one home game each season for fellow Dolphins out of state clubs to come watch a home game. They provide discounted group seating, allow for a post-game on field group picture, and a variety of other events that weekend. It’s a blast! My local Atlanta DolFan Club attends along with many others including NorCal DolFans. There are typically a couple hundred or so of us. I highly recommend joining us one year.
Those of us that showed up early, met up on Friday night at the Lulu’s Bait Shack on A1A/Las Olas Bvd. Many of these fans I haven’t seen since the the Raider’s game in 2017. It was nice to catch up with friends and come together as a DolFan family and just have fun. If you would have asked me or anyone else who you think would win Sunday, most of us would have said that we didn’t know. Honestly, I just didn’t want a repeat of the past two games. It seemed like that was the attitude from most the fans I caught up with. We wanted a good game. That’s all. Well, we all know how that went on Sunday.
On to Saturday night. We had group meetup at Bokamper’s, Ft. Lauderdale Beach. They blocked out most the outdoor patio for us. Good thing they did, because we completely filled it up. I’d say about 200 people showed up between 6-9pm. So. Much. Fun. The attitude was the same as Friday evening as far as the game expectations. Mostly everyone I talked to was unsure what to expect, but was hoping for no further player injuries, our team to show up as a team, and to have fun. These type of weekends are why people attend games. Yes, the outcome of the game is important, but even more so are the experiences and lifelong memories you make. I’ve mentioned this before, but I truly believe we become like a second family. No matter where you live we can all relate to the joy (and many times the heartbreak) of being a football fan.
Now let’s dive into one of my favorite games.
Sunday’s game. Dolphins win 31-28.
Who expected that game? Did anyone? I don’t think so. When I got word that Tannehill was going to be out, while tailgating, I assumed we were done. Let’s be honest, did anyone expect Osweiler to play like he did? If you say yes, I have doubts. We were supposed to be facing one of the best defenses in the NFL. At that point, I told my friend with me that I just hope we don’t get destroyed. I’m typically a very hopeful/positive person when it comes to our team, but realistically we were down several players. It didn’t look good. I was wrong.
You all saw the game. It was amazing! However, if you didn’t attend the game, you may not understand just how different it can be if you’re there in person. Let me set the scene for you. There was a ridiculous amount of Bears fans at the game. It reminded me of a Pat’s game at home. They tend to travel extremely well. Apparently so do the Bears. That being said, the ones I came across were very likable. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect when so many opposing fans show up. Last year for the fan club weekend, it was against the Raiders. Some of those fans weren’t as friendly during the game. These fans were cool. I can’t think of one negative thing to say about them from Sunday. I will say it’s a little disheartening seeing that many in your home stadium. Hopefully, because of the win, it may bring more local fans out to next week’s game. Anyways, back to what it was like being at the game on Sunday. It was loud. The energy in that stadium was amazing. I think because there were so many opposing fans, it made many of us regular attendees be that much louder. Let me point out real quick too, the ushers at the stadium were great. I’ll be first to admit that some Dolphins fans have been told to sit or not cheer as much during games. I didn’t see or hear about that happening on Sunday. Well done ushers.
Our first touchdown set the tone for the energy in that stadium. Here is the view from my seat. Fair warning: LOUD SCREAMING.
I don’t apologize for my loudness, but I do for the moving camera. I was excited. I also dropped my phone. It’s fine. But, that touchdown got our fans excited. Remember, it’s our backup quarterback. We were missing several players. It was exciting to score first. Thanks to our defense (players like R. Jones, Alonso, McMillian) we finished out the first quarter without the Bears scoring. Energy level at the stadium at the time: still really loud and exciting.
Our defense looked good. There was the second sack against Trubisky and that got our fans up and energized. Towards the end of the quarter we recovered a fumble on the goal line, which stopped the Bears from scoring. Awesome! Energy, once again, was a bit insane. I loved every second of it. It was loud in that stadium. Fast forward to the last 30 seconds of the quarter when Osweiler threw that long pass. I think I even covered my eyes for a second yelling, “Oh goodness” because was not sure what would happen. Interception. Initial reaction afterwards was me telling my friend, “Good thing we only have a few seconds until the end of the half and they are way down by the 10 yd line. Let’s go refill our beverages.”
Off to a rough start. The pass interference call, which was a 32-yd penalty hurt. It set up the Bears for their first touchdown of the game. Some of you may have been thinking, “Oh here we go.” It’s ok. I get it. Especially after our team’s last two performances. Penalties can lose games. We’re tied though. Our team is fine. Let’s just get some points on the next offensive drive. Alright, maybe not. Osweiler’s pass is picked off and leads to the Bears’ second touchdown. I will be honest and say at this point, I was thinking this will be a rough rest of the game. Remember, I was at the Bengals game. I didn’t want a repeat of that. Please don’t fall apart Dolphins. Others shared those same thoughts too, right? That being said, did I give up on my team? Absolutely not. It made me cheer that much louder. I knew our team was better than this.
The field goal kick by Sanders, to get us 3 points and bring the score to 14-10, helped lift the energy again. We still had about 7 minutes left of the 3rd quarter. We were fine. Then the Bears scored again to make it 21-10. Dang it. This game was emotional. I’m sure all of you at home were as well. But, I wasn’t giving up. Our team wasn’t either. Gore got us a first down and it seemed we would have a chance to score a touchdown and then the delay of game penalty happened. Can I just say, anytime Gore drives down the field (quite often), the stadium breaks out with fans chanting “U”. I’m not a Hurricane fan, but I support this. Alright, back to the game. Sanders gets us 3 more points to bring the game to 21-13. End of the third quarter.
Bears started off the 4th by driving the ball down the field. Let’s be honest, how many of you assumed if the Bears scored it may be over? The thought went through my mind. It started to not look good. The Bears fans were loud. It was getting intense in that stadium. Well, until that interception to by TJ McDonald.
TJ McDonald with the pick continuing Miami’s ball hawking ways. pic.twitter.com/nkBJPaJmvE— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 14, 2018
If you want a play that got our fans up and loud it was this one. Alright, we can do this Dolphins. By the way, anyone know if Khalil Mack played on Sunday? He did, right? I thought so, but didn’t appear so.
We’re down 21-13 with 9 minutes left in the game. We need a touchdown. Can the Dolphins pull this off? Don’t worry, because here comes Albert Wilson with a 43-yd touchdown.
We need to get the 2 points to tie the game and Brock Osweiler makes it happen. Osweiler. A quarterback that was a laughing joke earlier in the year and off season. We owe you an apology.
We have nine minutes left and we’re tied 21-21. The energy level in that stadium was officially insane. I can’t remember a game that has been that intense. All of us fans were up. We were screaming. We were loud. We’re not giving up. The Bears ended up scoring again with a little over three minutes left in the game. It’s now 28-21. It’s fine. We’ve got this. Our guys were playing with heart. That team out there was a different team than the last two weeks. They weren’t giving up. I hope you all thought the same at home too. We have 3 minutes left and Osweiler passes to Wilson and we all know what happened next.
We’re tied. Our defense was awesome. We have to stop them. Bears have the ball back and just a couple minutes left and they fumble the ball. The stadium erupted when we recovered it. Intensity level was off the charts. What a game. Unbelievable game.
This is the point where we’re going, “I can’t believe we are in overtime.” Nobody was expecting this game. Fans were hot, sweaty, and emotional. All of us in there, no matter which team you were rooting for, felt the same. Onto the game. We’re driving down the field and Frank Gore has another amazing run to bring us from the 40 to inside the 10-yd line.
Frank Gore, you my amazing. Absolutely amazing. We couldn’t have won this game without you. If you want to see a bit more plays like this one, check out this tweet from earlier today that highlights just how talented he is.
We’re lucky to have you. Alright, back to the end of the game. After that play by Gore, Osweiler passes off to Drake. Oh no, he fumbles while running over the goal line. I’m betting you all at home screamed as loud as we did at that. Now, I just came across this today while looking back at highlights. Here is a clip of the announcer making a joke about Drake.
Cold - Announcer makes Drake joke after Kenyan Drake fumbles at the goal line pic.twitter.com/LHkIQasfV6— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) October 14, 2018
Way to stay classy (not sure who the announcer was). Yes, Drake fumbled and it was emotional for him and everyone, but come on. But, hey, who won that game? I don’t think a single announcer/commentator thought we would.
So, the Bears had the ball again. They were unable to make it down to score a touchdown. Here comes their kicker. They just needed to make this to win the game. Were you all holding your breath like I was? I bet. Here it is and it’s wide right! THEY MISSED! I screamed and jumped all over the place. It’s our turn. We drive down the field. Sanders attempts a kick to win.
It’s good! I can’t describe how awesome that game was. I have a video I made of the final kick, but was unable to upload it. However, let’s just say, we were all jumping and hugging everyone (I dropped my phone again). We won! One of the most emotional games I experienced. Absolutely one of the best games!
Final Thoughts and Reactions
I’m still on an emotional high. We weren’t supposed to win that game. We did against all odds. Here is a clip from GMFB giving our team praise.
"Jason Sanders. Brock Osweiler. Albert Wilson. These guys might not be household names or on your fantasy team, but they're the 2018 @MiamiDolphins. And they fight like hell for their head coach. 4-2 is 4-2. No apologies out of South Florida this morning." - @PSchrags #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/hkqIn5nlFc— GMFB (@gmfb) October 15, 2018
Our team 100% earns the right to brag. We didn’t win, because the Bears played that bad. We won because we played that good. Just take a peak at this.
According to the Dolphins, their 541 net yards Sunday were fifth-most in team history, behind four games quarterbacked by Dan Marino. It was also their most yds in a game since Marino threw for 521 and Dolphins ran for 63 in a 1988 game vs. the Jets.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 15, 2018
Osweiler had one of his best games. Albert Wilson was amazing. Gore was amazing. Our offensive line was on point. Ju’Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil deserve props. Just so many positive things to discuss about our game when we were against all odds. One other person who deserves credit. Coach Adam Gase. He doesn’t care what people think about him. I like that about him. I’m also not alone with feeling that way.
He’s a good coach and I’m happy we have him. We’re 4-2. Look at how many people we have lost and/or were out on Sunday.
Seriously, you could say that Miami is the most injury ravished team in the NFL and you folks don’t even notice. Lost two TEs, two starting O-linemen, Wake, Jones, Hayes, Branch, McCain and now Tannehill. Still....this team is 4-2.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) October 16, 2018
What an emotional game for everyone. I love this game. I love this team. We have the Lions this Sunday at home. We should win this game. I really hope I’m back here next week discussing another victory with you all. Enjoy this week and go Dolphins!
P.S. This is my best friend Melanie. I met her 9yrs ago in Atlanta at the Dolphins/Falcons game. We started a yearly tradition ofmeeting up, a few years back, for at least one Dolphins game a year. We have yet to lose a game we attend together. We’re 5-0 so far.