Andre Branch strolled by the scrum of reporters surrounding Cody Parkey in the Dolphins’ locker room Sunday and bellowed, “Parkey for president!”
How about mayor? Parkey’s popularity will never be higher in Miami.
Two weeks to the day after the Dolphins shockingly plucked Parkey off waivers, sending Andrew Franks packing after two seasons, Parkey justified the team’s faith in him.
He was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals in his Dolphins debut Sunday, including a 54-yarder with 1:05 left in regulation that lifted his new team past the Chargers 19-17.
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“It felt pretty good [off the foot],” Parkey said. “I looked up. I needed to visually see it go through before I started celebrating. I had some guys tackling me as I'm trying to look through.”
Parkey said he would have been comfortable with anything 55 yards and in, and obviously knows his range. Adam Gase trusted him, deciding to try the long field goal on fourth-and-5 from the Chargers 36, instead of going for the first down.
Parkey is now a perfect 5-for-5 on kicks of 50 yards or longer in his career. The 54-yarder tied a career high.
It also helped change the narrative surrounding him in Miami. South Florida fans’ only impression of him before Sunday was when Parkey (with the Browns) missed a series of kicks against the Dolphins a year ago, including a would-be game winner at the gun.
Instead, Los Angeles’ Younghoe Koo played the goat, missing two kicks, including a would-be game winner from 44 yards on the Chargers’ final play. Koo pushed that kick right.
“I would just say he toed it a little bit,” Parkey said. “He's a great kicker. He's here for a reason. I've been on that side of the kick. It doesn't feel good.”
▪ Mike Pouncey and Reshad Jones both started for the first time in at least 10 months, completing their long comeback from hip and shoulder injuries, respectively.
▪ Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was excellent Sunday, completing 31 of 39 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown. However, he failed in the fourth quarter like he did in the Dolphins’ win against the Chargers a year ago.
▪ Los Angeles’ Antonio Gates broke Tony Gonzalez’s NFL record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end Sunday. His seven-yard touchdown catch was the 112th of his career.