It wasn’t supposed to end this way. These Dolphins who committed the most penalties in the game and surrendered several first downs to the Chargers shouldn’t have won, statistically.
However, led by the Dolphins defense, assignment football won out.
Tony Lippett who fans wanted to discard week 4, earned his way into Dolphins lore with two picks.
Correction, four costly picks in the second half that sent the Chargers to 4-6 and the Dolphins to 5-4 riding a four-game winning streak into the middle of November.
The Dolphins haven’t won four in a row since 2008, their last playoff season.
After trailing 10-0 into the second quarter something had to give.
Jay Ajayi who was being harassed by the Chargers defense couldn’t get anything going but still finished with 79 yards on 19 carries. The more Tannehill dropped back, the better the Chargers could key in on him and make him beat them with his arm, except Tannehill refused to succumb to the intense pressure.
However, Ajayi ran for running sake. That is, he delivered when it counted, but mainly just moved the pile a little bit at a time. Leading to the most beautiful pass we’ve ever witnessed Tannehill throw-a 39 yard bomb on a play action pass to an open Stills to make it 10-7 San Diego.
The quick answer was shot of adrenaline the Dolphins fan base needed.
The quick score setup a strong outlook at the half with more heroics to come.
To start the half, Ajayi capped the ensuing drive with a 40 yard run leading to a 2 yard bruising run into the end zone by Damien Williams.
Williams later got open in the end zone and made an acrobatic touchdown catch.
What’s more, the final touchdown began to drive the nail in the coffin more heading into the fourth quarter at 21-17. That is, until, rookie receiver Jakeem Grant gifted the Chargers on a muffed punt, the ball at the 5 yard line.
However, nothing would describe this Dolphins more than their resilience at the end of the game and the big play by CB Tony Lippett to abandon his man and intercept Phillip Rivers for a touchback and breathe new life into the Dolphins.
After a failed drive and a 51 yard pass to Tyrell Williams, the Dolphins appeared done and close to buried.
No one counted on the next drive being special. It took a special call and great execution to get De Vante Parker the football. DVP finished with 5 catches and 103 yards, but the one from Tannehill showed how important he is to Adam Gase’s offensive blueprint.
As Tannehill dropped back he heaved a well-thrown rope over the shoulder to the waiting arms of Parker who ran and almost outran the Chargers safety to take the lead before being tripped at the 25. A big play that would set up Andrew Franks for a 27 yard field goal and a tie game at 24 all.
With Rivers coming back and the Dolphins defense getting shredded, the play of the day came on assignment football. It took everything that Kiko Alonso had to read Rivers and gamble that he was looking and throwing to Tyrell Williams. Alonso peeled off the line and scurried over to Williams and jumped the route and took the interception to the house for six.
The Dolphins with less than a minute put the NFL on notice. Kiko Alonso was the hero fans have been clamoring to be since his offseason trade. Alonso shutdown the Chargers fans who were bracing for a victory. Instead, Alonso flashed his speed on the 60 yard sprint to pay dirt.
Dolphins 31 Chargers 24.
That’s all we needed on Sunday. We all just needed to win.
Seeing it live was special, but being 5-4 is turning out to be this unknown storyline that no one saw.
Here’s to making it five next week versus the Rams!