It’s not just that he delivered a victory and played well overall, but the most impressive thing about Ryan Tannehill is he played his best in the fourth quarter and brought his team back from two deficits and delivered the game-winning drive inside of two minutes to play. Tannehill has failed to do that in recent games, including against Buffalo last time out. But he found the magic this time. Having said that, he got bailed out by a questionable roughing penalty that nullified perhaps his dumbest throw of the season — a throw against his body into a crowd that was intercepted. The penalty erased the interception from the stats, but not from memory. GRADE: B-plus.
Reggie Bush did great work outside. Daniel Thomas was outstanding running between the tackles. It was as if the Dolphins scripted this perfectly and erased any second-guessing about Lamar Miller being inactive for the game. Neither player eclipsed the magic 100-yard mark but both averaged more than six yards per carry and the combination of the two was devastating against one of the better run defenses in the NFL. GRADE: B-plus.
Davone Bess had a career day, literally, as his 129 yards receiving represent his best as a professional. Charles Clay also had a career day with his six catches nearly doubling the production of the first 10 games this season. Clay also delivered an edge-breaking cut block on that helped spring Bush on his touchdown run. Everyone else was playing a role this day. GRADE: B.
Yes, there were glitches. Mike Pouncey had a holding penalty. Jake Long gave up a sack. But the unit had its best day in a long time on Sunday. The Dolphins swept aside a good defensive front for 189 rushing yards, and that included dynamic runs of 22, 20 and 19 yards. Pouncey’s lead block on a sweep — yes, the center got out on a sweep — was impressive. Long recovered well from his one bad moment to overpower Seattle’s vaunted pass rushers. GRADE: A.
The Dolphins turned beastmode to leastmode by clogging every rush lane and limiting Marshawn Lynch to only 2.4 yards per carry. The most effective rusher for the Seahawks was quarterback Russell Wilson and even his 38 yards were modest. Jared Odrick missed a sack on what turned into a TD pass, but collected one later to make up for it. Paul Soliai and Tony McDaniel shared another sack while those two along with Randy Starks simply dominated the interior of the Seattle offensive line. GRADE: A.
Miami’s three leading tacklers? Karlos Dansby, Koa Misi and Kevin Burnett. As it should be. Burnett had good coverage throughout the game but couldn’t make the play to prevent any completions. Misi was used in both coverage and did good work on the edge of the defense. Dansby and Misi each had a tackle for loss. GRADE: B-plus.
Wilson did complete 16 consecutive passes at one point and did finish the game with a 125.9 rating after throwing two touchdown passes. But much of the damage was done with running backs leaking out of the backfield or with passes off play-action to tight ends. Neither Golden Tate nor Sidney Rice hurt the Dolphins to any significant degree. GRADE: C-plus.
When does a field goal trump a touchdown return? When the Dolphins special team gives up a touchdown return to Leon Washington but Dan Carpenter delivers the game-winning kick on a 43-yard field goal as time elapses. Having said that, the Dolphins have given up touchdown returns in two consecutive games. That’s got to stop. GRADE: C-plus.
Mike Sherman ran the ball 28 times and passed 26 times. Perfect balance. Kevin Coyle solved, at least for one week, the leaking defensive line against the run and kept hidden the personnel issues he’s dealing with in the secondary. And Joe Philbin got his team to rebound after three consecutive losses. GRADE: A.
The Dolphins took a big step because Ryan Tannehill took a big step in delivering his first fourth-quarter comeback. Season’s not over. GRADE: B.