Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins’ 10 most meaningful plays this season

Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (47) and quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrate after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is stopped from scoring in the final seconds of the game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, November 27, 2016.
Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (47) and quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrate after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is stopped from scoring in the final seconds of the game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, November 27, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

To commemorate the Miami Dolphins’ first 10-win season since 2008 (when they went 11-5), here’s a look back at the 10 most meaningful plays of the year:

 
Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks, right, celebrates with punter Matt Darr after hitting a game-tying field goal against the Bills. AL DIAZ / adiaz@miamiherald.com

▪ Andrew Franks’ 55-yard field goal to tie the Dec. 24 Buffalo game as time expired in the fourth quarter. This is why that was the most meaningful play of the season: If Franks had missed the kick – and if every Week 17 result had happened just as it happened (a big if) – Miami would have missed the playoffs.

 
Kiko Alonso returns an interception to lead the Dolphins to a 31-24 win over the Chargers. DENIS POROY / AP Photo

▪ Kiko Alonso’s 60-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:01 left in the Nov. 13 game at San Diego, breaking a tie and giving Miami a 31-24 win, its fifth in a row.

 
DeVante Parker celebrates with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross after Parker caught a game-winning touching against the Rams. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ Ryan Tannehill’s 9-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker with 36 seconds left in the Nov. 20 Rams game completed Miami’s stunning late rally from down 10-0 and gave the Dolphins a 14-10 win, its fourth victory in a row.

 
Ndamukong Suh tackles Colin Kaepernick to save the game for the Dolphins. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ Ndamukong Suh tackled Colin Kaepernick two yards short of the goal line as time expired in their Nov. 27 game, preserving the Dolphins’ 31-24 win over San Francisco, Miami’s sixth consecutive victory.

 
Teammates celebrate with Kenyan Drake after he scored on a 96-yard kickoff return. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ Rookie Kenyan Drake scored untouched on a 96-yard kickoff return with 5:15 left in the game, overcoming a late Dolphins deficit and spearheading Miami to a 27-23 win over the visiting Jets on Nov. 6.

 
Jay Ajayi’s 57-yard overtime run helps set up the Dolphins for a Christmas Eve win against Buffalo. BILL WIPPERT / AP Photo

▪ Jay Ajayi’s 57-yard overtime run, to the Bills’ 28-yard line, set up Franks’ 27-yard game-winning field goal in the Dolphins’ 34-31 overtime win at Buffalo on Christmas Eve.

 
Jay Ajayi scores in overtime to help the Dolphins win their first game of the season. AL DIAZ / adiaz@miamiherald.com

▪ Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run with 8:26 left in overtime, and the Dolphins escaped with a 30-24 win over the Cleveland Browns for their first win of the season and Adam Gase’s first as a head coach.

 
Damien Williams drags Bills defenders into the end zone. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ With Ajayi sidelined by cramps, Damien Williams carried Bills defenders into the end zone with a powerful 12-yard run with 3:56 left that rallied Miami from a 17-14 deficit and put the Dolphins ahead for good in a 28-25 victory against the Bills on Oct. 23. On Miami’s next possession, Tannehill sealed it with a 66-yard TD pass to Kenny Stills.

 
Kenny Stills celebrates after catching a pass from Matt Moore in the fourth quarter against Arizona. DAVID SANTIAGO / dsantiago@miamiherald.com

▪ Matt Moore, in relief of the injured Tannehill, threw a 29-yard pass to Stills, to Arizona’s 1-yd line, with 43 seconds to set up Franks’ game-winning field goal in a 26-23 victory on Dec. 11.

 
Matt Moore chats with Dolphins coach Adam Gase after beating the Jets. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ Moore’s 52-yard pass to Stills with 1:58 left in the first half overcame a 7-6 deficit and got the Dolphins rolling in a 34-13 win against the Jets on Dec. 17 in New Jersey.

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