The Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins have completed an ugly game featuring two teams that, heading into the week, were both winless.
Redskins 17 - Dolphins 16
The Dolphins started with the ball in the second half but were unable to accomplish anything. They picked up four yards with a run from Mark Walton, then Josh Rosen threw to DeVante Parker for five yards. On a 3rd-and-1 play, Isaiah Prince was called for a false start and Miami backed up into a 3rd-and-6 play. Rosen’s pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage after that, giving Miami a three-and-out to start the period.
The Redskins looked more in sync coming out of the locker room, with Adrian Peterson picking up five yards on first down, then eight yards on second down. On the next first down, Peterson added a yard before Case Keenum found Trey Quinn for seven yards. Jomal Wiltz broke up a pass to Quinn on 3rd-and-2, but a facemask call on Wiltz before the pass gave Washington a first down. Steven Sims, Jr., then picked up one yard, with Miami defensive end Avery Moss injured on the play. Keenum then looked deep for Terry McLaurin, scoring on the 33-yard touchdown. Washington 14-3.
Miami started their next possession at the 25-yard line after the kickoff, with Rosen throwing an incomplete pass targeting Albert Wilson. Walton picked up one yard on the next snap, but a holding penalty negated the play, setting up Miami with 2nd-and-20. After Drake picked up four yards, Rosen looked deep for Isaiah Ford, only to have the pass intercepted.
Peterson ran for four yards on Washington’s initial play of the drive, with Moss returning to the game and being injured again. Keenum then found McLaurin for 10 yards, then Peterson picked up four yards on the ground. Keenum threw a bubble screen to Peterson next, who turned up-field for 13 yards; cornerback Ken Webster was injured on the play. Set up with 1st-and-Goal from the Miami three-yard line, Peterson picked up two yards. The exchange between Keenum and Peterson failed on the next play, with Peterson falling on the lose ball. On 3rd-and-Goal, Peterson looked for Peterson at the goal line, with Bobby McCain able to break up the pass and prevent the score. Washington settled for the 21-yard field goal. Washington 17-3.
Miami again reinforced the inability for the team to play in the second half of games. Drake ran on first down, picking up three yards. Then Rosen threw an incomplete pass, then was sacked again. Miami completed the three-and-out with a punt.
Peterson again started the drive for the Redskins, gaining five yards on first down. Then he added another two yards on second down. Keenum threw to Jeremy Sprinkle on 3rd-and-3, picking up 19 yards. Then Paul Richardson, Jr., rushed for no gain, followed by a Keenum incomplete pass. Keenum then threw a screen to Quinn for one yard, leading to a field goal attempt after the change of quarters. Washington missed the kick.
Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Rosen on the next drive, with Drake starting the possession with a nine-yard gain. Fitzpatrick then connected with Wilson for eight yards, followed by a five-yard run from Drake. Fitzpatrick then threw to the flat for Walton, who picked up 18 yards. Fitzpatrick looked to Mike Gesicki in the endzone on 1st-and-10 from the 15, but it was incomplete. Fitzpatrick then found Drake for nine yards, followed by Drake for three yards. After an incomplete pass was negated by a defensive holding penalty on Josh Norman, Miami had 1st-and-Goal at the one-yard line. After a Kalen Ballage run was stopped for no gain, he finished the drive and scored Miami’s first second-half points of the year. Washington 17-10.
Miami tried the onside kick, and recovered it, but touched the ball before it had traveled ten yards and were forced to rekick after a five-yard penalty. They kicked deep that time. Keenum looked deep to McLaurin who was wide open, with Chris Lammons trailing the play, but the receiver dropped the pass. Wendell Smallwood then picked up four yards before a Keenum pass to Quinn fell incomplete with Wiltz in coverage. Washington punted on the three-and-out possession.
Fitzpatrick came out throwing on the next drive, picking up 21 yards on Preston Williams’ first catch of the game. A check down to Drake on the next play gained no yards. Fitzpatrick then connected with Allen Hurns, who returned from a concussion he suffered in Week 3, for five yards. On 3rd-and-5, Fitzpatrick targeted Gesicki, but the pass fell incomplete and Miami was forced to punt.
The Redskins started with a two-yard run from Peterson on first down. A five-yard pass from Keenum to Sprinkle was then followed by an incomplete pass. Washington punted after another three-and-out possession.
Miami started with Fitzpatrick looking to Wilson for a one-yard gain. On 2nd-and-9, Fitzpatrick scrambled then threw a deep pass looking toward DeVante Parker, but the pass traveled out of bounds. On 3rd-and-9, a faulty snap rolled the ball back to Fitzpatrick, who was in the shotgun, with Drake able to jump on the ball. Matt Haack beautifully punted the ball 47 yards down to the one-yard line, where Walt Aikens downed it.
Starting at their one, the Redskins saw Peterson gain nothing on first down. Then Keenum looked deep to McLauring, picking up 32 yards. Peterson then gained six yards. Peterson picked up five yards on second down, with Miami calling their first timeout after the play. Peterson ran for three yards on the subsequent first down, with Miami calling their second timeout. Keenum then picked up two yards on a rollout run, before an incomplete pass led to a Washington punt.
Miami started the drive at their own 25, with 2:02 remaining. Fitzpatrick threw incomplete to Drake on the first play, leading to the 2-minute warning. Fitzpatrick then threw deep to Mike Gesicki, who double clutched the ball but came down with it for 30 yards. A deep pass attempt to Williams floated out of bounds before Fitzpatrick could find Drake for eight yards. Fitzpatrick then scrambled up the middle for five yards, before throwing to Allen Hurns who carried defenders forward to pick up 11 yards. Miami called their final timeout with 26 seconds remaining. Fitzpatrick then looked to Williams for ten yards, but the receiver fought forward instead of going out of bounds. Miami spiked the ball, setting up a 2nd-and-10 from the 11 with 10 seconds remaining in the game. Miami then scored on a pass from Fitzpatrick to DeVante Parker. Miami elected to go for the 2-point conversion, with Washington then calling timeout. After the timeout, Miami again lined up for two, with a bubble screen to Drake, but the running back attempted to run before catching the ball and dropped the pass. Washington 17-16.
Miami attempted the onside kick, but did not recover it and Washington knelt to kill the clock.
The Dolphins look exactly like they have all year in the second half of games - lackluster and unable to do anything.
Rosen is starting to hold the ball too long and trying to force passes into spots they do not need to go. He wants to show he is the franchise quarterback for the team, and he wants to win, but it is causing turnovers and Miami cannot afford it.
The coaches made the right move in benching Rosen and inserting Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick struggled in the first two games of the season, but he provided a spark the team needed.
The two-point conversion attempt was an odd decision, but it was aggressive and Brian Flores was trying to win. Not sure I would have made the same call, as getting to overtime could also give the team a chance to win, but they thought they could do it.