“The pressure mounts, but I think that’s what brings the best out of a good quarterback,” said Tannehill, who found Hartline four times for 59 yards. “I try to take advantage of those situations and make plays when I have the chance.”
Dalton, meanwhile, struggled against Miami’s shorthanded secondary. Richard Marshall didn’t play because of an injured back, and Nolan Carroll left with a head injury on the first play of the third quarter, although ultimately he returned.
Still, Dalton misfired on 17 of his 43 passes and threw the two picks. He finished with 234 yards and also had a 2-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green.
Meanwhile, neither team ran the ball particularly well. The Dolphins had a combined 68 yards on 35 carries, including 19 for 48 for Reggie Bush. But both Bush and Daniel Thomas tallied touchdown runs, and Dan Carpenter nailed a 46-yard field goal to give Miami just enough scoring to set up the late drama.
It was a situation Philbin prepped his group for in a team meeting Saturday evening. The Dolphins’ first-year coach — who won on the road for the first time Sunday — told his players that Sunday’s game wouldn’t come down to scheme or play calls.
Instead, it would come down to “the team that has the most desire and believes they’re going to win,” he said.
On Sunday, for the first time in nearly since mid-September, the Dolphins were that team.
“We’ve been through some tough losses, and I think I kind of learned from it, and it showed [Sunday],” tight end Anthony Fasano said. “All the odds were against us, we could have made a ton of excuses, but we didn’t let that seep into [Sunday].”