Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill vs. Jaguars QB Chad Henne
Who won: Tannehill.
The impact: Ryan Tannehill played one of the best games of his young career in front of a crowd not much bigger than a preseason contest. Tannehill completed 22 of 28 passes for 220 yards, his highest percentage of completions this season, earning him a career-high 123.2 passer rating. Two of those passes were for touchdowns, marking just the second time that he has thrown at least two touchdowns in a game. Tannehill also had 52 yards on eight carries.
Former Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne passed for 221 yards but completed just 18 of 34 passes and was sacked twice.
Dolphins offense vs. Jaguars defense
Who won: Dolphins.
The impact: Brian Hartline finished with 77 yards receiving and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the season, one of his personal goals. With Davone Bess out of the lineup, the offense had to step up. Besides Hartline, Marlon Moore and Anthony Fasano combined for 89 yards. Reggie Bush rushed for more than 100 yards for the second time this season and the eighth time in his career. He finished with 104 yards on 21 carries. Miami converted 26 first downs for the first time since Oct. 17, 2010. Marcus Thigpen’s 15-yard reception in the second quarter was the first of his career.
Jacksonville has only recorded 15 sacks all season, and couldn’t intercept the Fins passing.
Former Dolphin Nick Buoniconti vs. 2012 Dolphins
Who won: Dolphins.
The impact: Dolphins Honor Roll linebacker Nick Buoniconti made a touching speech at halftime to honor his friend and former Dolphins assistant coach Bill Arnsparger. Arnsparger is the first assistant coach to be named to the Honor Roll for his contributions to the perfect-season team as the architect of the “No Name Defense.” When asked about the current Dolphins team, Buoniconti didn’t hold back. He likened the 1972 team to a shadow that hangs over the current teams as an immeasurable standard to live up to. Of course, the current Dolphins are far from perfect.
“There’s no illusions that this is a good football team. It’s not a good football team,” he said. “There’s certain aspects of the team that is really solid.”
The former linebacker gave credit to Ryan Tannehill for his development as a quarterback, and a good ‘defensive nucleus’. He also credited the organization and coach Philbin for the work they’ve done, noting that surrounding Tannehill with quality players is the biggest opportunity.
But hey, Tannehill launched the imperfect Dolphins to a 24-3 win over the Jaguars on Sunday with help from the defensive nucleus AND the offense.