If Dolphins fans wrote the script for this season they’d say the Dolphins are destined for the playoffs and would finish 11-5.
They’d say that head coach Adam Gase is the next coming of Don Shula, but he’s looking more like a nicer Nick Saban. Shula works right about now though. Maybe the nostalgia is kicking in for most Dolphins fans who have been around long enough to remember Super Bowl VII.
Right now, there is a chance the Dolphins can do just enough to get in, with a little help, they could be in the playoffs.
Once again the Dolphins got started with several drives stalled and several 3rd and long plays. With the rain coming down and the footing slipping from beneath both teams’ offensive players, the Dolphins won despite not having enough of an offensive line to protect Ryan Tannehill.
Injuries to rookie tackle/guard Laremy Tunsil and the news of losing Mike Pouncey threatened to ruin the Dolphins recent run as well as Branden Albert’s surgery and being sidelined indefinitely.
Yes, the Coliseum showed its esthetically ugly side with reddish pink painted walls and empty seats at the upper levels. With a lack of protection from the elements and a poorly sodded field, the Dolphins still managed to persevere.
With the Rams getting into the end zone early on a 24 yard Todd Gurley run, the Dolphins had no answers and punted 10 times until finding a rhythm late in the fourth quarter. It appeared the Rams would roll and find their running game and steamroll the Dolphins d-line missing Mario Williams and linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
It seems on this five game winning streak, the Dolphins have been able to come back and get back into the game nearly every game, but trailing 10-0 in the 4th quarter had yet to happen.
Down 10-0 late in the fourth quarter and inside of 7 minutes, the Dolphins’ Jarvis Landry caught a pass on the five yard line and refused to go down as a group of Dolphins offensive linemen and running back Damien Williams helped will him across the goal line for the Dolphins first score of the day.
Then after a defensive stop where it appeared the Dolphins were going to give up a big run for a first down, one badly needed by the Rams to win the game, the Dolphins got a key false start on receiver Brian Quick and found themselves defending a 2nd and 10.
Despite all the negative plays, battling the nuisance SoCal rain, the Dolphins got a gift in the form of a missed kick by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (reminiscent of their last meeting back in 2012). It seems the Rams second guessed the abilities of rookie quarterback Jared Goff on 4th and 1 and then opted for the Greg Zuerlein field goal which gave the Dolphins that missing juice after the missed kick and new life.
After not having crossed into the red zone until late in the 4th, the Dolphins moved the ball down the field with precision as Ryan Tannehill engineered a drive hitting Landry, Stills, and DeVante Parker for first downs.
Parker finished with 8 catches for 79 yards and one touchdown, the game winner.
Ryan Tannehill, who battled the pass rush and lack of a running game, finished the game 24 of 34 for 172 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.
Tannehill for the season has 10 TDs to 7 INTs, but he’s leading this team to wins (6) and that’s most important at this point in time. Tannehill hadn’t thrown a pick for 5 weeks until today when he lofted a pass deep intended for Parker who couldn’t snatch it out of the air and landed into the hands of Rams corner Maurice Alexander.
All in all, this was one heck of an effort by a Dolphins team who continues to find different ways to win on this five game winning streak.
This was the first time the Dolphins have won after being shutout for three quarters. That’s 0-31 until today.
The Dolphins won and next up is the 49ers who are not the same dominant 49ers, but don’t be so quick to judge as anything can happen in the NFL.