Miami Dolphins

Parkey does it again! A closer look at why Mr. Clutch is so good when the pressure is highest

Cody Parkey kicks the winning field goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to help the Dolphins beat the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday.
Cody Parkey kicks the winning field goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to help the Dolphins beat the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Cody Parkey is the most accurate kicker in Dolphins history.

And because he is, the Dolphins are 4-2 instead of 1-5.

Parkey on Sunday kicked his third game-winning field goal in six weeks, drilling a 39-yarder with 22 seconds remaining to lift the Dolphins past the Jets.

His right leg was also the difference last week against the Falcons and in the opener against the Chargers. He is a perfect 8-for-8 since the Dolphins claimed him off waivers in early September.

“I'm absolutely hoping that the game's on me and on us as a special teams unit,” Parkey said Sunday. “... I think this year, I'm just trying to have fun. There's going to be good times, bad times. More good than bad. Just go out there and continue to glorify God whenever I can.”

Kicking game-winners has become so regular for Parkey this year, he has a developed a routine when he has an idea an opportunity is approaching.

He calms himself a few deep breaths, and then gets ready by booting a handful of footballs into the net on the sidelines to get a feel for whether he is kicking well or not. His goal: Hitting the ball’s sweet spot every time.

Then, when it is time for the kick, he picks out an aiming landmark in the stadium, which changes based on the hashmark on which the ball is placed.

“I pick something and that's where I'm looking the whole time,” Parkey said. “So when Matt [Haack, Miami’s punter and holder,]calls for the snap, I'm looking at Matt the whole time and I'm attacking that ball and I'm hopefully swinging right through my target line.”

He did just that in the final moments of regulation Sunday, splitting the uprights with plenty of leg.

▪  Three Dolphins left the game Sunday and did not return: quarterback Jay Cutler (chest), left tackle Laremy Tunsil (left knee) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin).

Jesse Davis, the Dolphins’ do-everything backup lineman, filled in admirably for Tunsil. He also got a few reps at right tackle when Ja’Wuan James left with an unspecified injury earlier in the game.

▪  Byron Maxwell, who is by all accounts relatively healthy, was inactive for the fourth consecutive game. Cordrea Tankersley started in his place and allowed two touchdown passes.

▪  The Dolphins are 9-2 in their last 11 home games, the best stretch they have had since 2001-02.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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