Miami Dolphins

Kenyan Drake was the hero. But Ted Larsen might have been Dolphins’ real MVP Sunday

Go back and watch the play again.

Yes, it might be for the 10th, 100th or 1,000th time.

But there’s something critically important you might have missed:

Ted Larsen, the Dolphins’ starting left guard, laid a lick on Patrick Chung 40 yards downfield.

Without it, Kenyan Drake probably goes down far short of the goal line.

And the Dolphins probably lose.

And their playoff hopes probably die.

Instead, Drake found a crease Larsen helped create, leaving just Rob Gronkowski between him and the end zone.

We all know how that panned out.

So celebrate Larsen, who probably was only on the field because Jake Brendel could not play due to a calf injury.

“It looked like we had a little action,” Larsen said. “You just try to get down there. I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t pitch me the ball. I was looking forward to making the block. I ended up making the block and it worked. He had a great run.”

And Larsen had easily the biggest block of his Dolphins career, if not his NFL career.

He would quibble with the latter, as he was on the field for a similar play that helped the Cardinals win a playoff game a few years back.

“You practice it lightheartedly, but it legit has a shot,” Larsen said. “You’ve seen it work. You might be kind of joking about it Friday or Saturday practice, but you know you’ve got to get down there and cover so the skill players can make a play.”

When did he think the most unlikeliest of plays had a chance of succeeding?

“When I sprinted down there and [DeVante Parker] pitched it to Drake, it looked like we had a bit of action. ‘This might happen.’ I blocked Chung. He kind of came around. He had to beat Gronkowski and [Duron Harmon]. He did a great job. Gronkowski kind of got back on his heels, Drake made a great play to get in the end zone. Eight yards, he had to kind of sneak it in there. It was a heck of a run by Drake.

Once Drake crossed the plane and the celebration began, Larsen cut loose. He ripped his helmet off in pure bliss.

“You work so hard in this sport,” Larsen said. “When you get a chance to celebrate, you really have to enjoy it, especially a win like that. You don’t think you necessarily have a shot with six seconds, seven seconds left and you’re on the 30. You try to appreciate those because those moments are few and far between.”

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