It was unlike any win we saw this season.
In a day that was plagued by injuries, Akeem Spence getting tossed, and the men in black and white being a bit more generous to the opposition, the Dolphins did the unthinkable.
They found a way to win late, in remarkable fashion.
Miami trailed heading into the 4th quarter, but that would change in the blink of an eye.
After an Oakland Raiders’ punt that gave the Dolphins good field position, Ryan Tannehill scrambled for a first down. The very next play, Adam Gase dug deep into his arsenal of tricks, and called a play that would put the infamous “Philly Special” to shame. First, Frank Gore took the hand-off from Tannehill, he quickly tossed the ball to wide receiver Albert Wilson. Wilson then squared up and threw a beautiful 54-yard pass to Jakeem Grant for a touchdown. This gave the Dolphins a 21-17 lead.
Oakland would drive down field on the shoulders of running back Marshawn Lynch, but it wasn’t enough to put the game away. On a first down inside the Dolphins’ 20, Derek Carr threw a 50-50 ball in the corner of the end zone. Xavien Howard -who has been playing lights out throughout the first three games-would leap up and make the game-altering interception. His third in as many games.
A few plays later, Albert Wilson would take a shovel pass from Ryan Tannehill 74 yards, putting the game out of reach.
Miami is STILL undefeated
After such a remarkable win, which of these players deserves the game ball?
Let’s take a look at this week’s nominees.
Howard continues to look the part of one of the NFL’s elite. Over his last eight games, Howard has recorded 7 interceptions. He got another two today, when he picked off Derek Carr. One on an errant throw early in the second half, and the other on a sensational play in the corner of the end zone to prevent the Raiders from taking the lead late. He shadowed Amari Cooper all day and made it difficult for him to sustain any success. Xavien Howard is the real deal, and it’s time for the entire world to take notice.
Not many people knew who Albert Wilson was when the Dolphins inked him to a 3-year, $24-million deal in the offseason. He was brought in to help ease the transition from that guy in Cleveland, and believe it or not, he’s been better early on.
In just 10 snaps on Sunday (Mr. Gase, this needs to change) Albert Wilson recorded 2 receptions for 74-yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 54-yard touchdown to Jakeem Grant, which ultimately put the fork in the Oakland Raiders. Wilson has proven he can do it all, and should earn more snaps as the season progresses.
In his last 11 starts, Ryan Tannehill is a remarkable 10-1. Furthermore, he has been as good as advertised early on in 2018, and currently holds one of the NFL’s top passer ratings through three games. Tannehill isn’t just doing it through the air. For the second straight week, the 30-year old veteran quarterback led the team in rushing yards.
Throughout the first three games, Tannehill has completed 54/74 attempts for 687 yards, 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He’s been good... very good.
Last but not least, is the man nicknamed Mighty Mouse.
Jakeem Grant has been incredible when given the opportunity, and made the most of his 9 snaps on Sunday. That’s right, just 9 snaps for one of the Dolphins’ most explosive playmakers. In those 9 snaps, Jakeem Grant managed to score on both of his receptions.
The first, an 18-yard “pass” from Tannehill that cut the Raiders lead to 3. The other? The 54-yard touchdown pass from Albert Wilson. Every time Grant was on the field, big things happened. This season, Grant has 9 receptions for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff vs Tennessee in Week 1. Adam Gase NEEDS to find a way to get both Grant and Wilson more involved in the offense going forward.
Who do you think deserves the game ball for the Dolphins 28-20 victory over the Raiders? Vote in the poll, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. (If you are reading this on Apple News or Google AMP, you probably will not get the poll. Sorry.)
Who deserves the game ball for the Dolphins victory over the Raiders on Sunday?
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This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!