Miami Dolphins

Quarter-by-quarter analysis: Miami Dolphins’ 37-35 win over Minnesota Vikings

Miami Dolphins defensive end Terrence Fede (78) celebrates after blocking a punt by Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke (18) for a safety in the fourth quarter as the Miami Dolphins play host to the Minnesota Vikings at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.
Miami Dolphins defensive end Terrence Fede (78) celebrates after blocking a punt by Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke (18) for a safety in the fourth quarter as the Miami Dolphins play host to the Minnesota Vikings at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

▪ Impact player: Minnesota running back Matt Asiata ran the ball on five of the last six plays of the drive to his touchdown and caught a check-down pass for 6 yards on the other play.

▪ Highlights: Lamar Miller broke off a 12-yard carry on the second drive and had an 18-yard catch on the first drive, the major chunks of 49 all-purpose yards in the quarter.

▪ Lowlights: Instead of making a rookie quarterback playing in his hometown drive the length of the field, the Dolphins tried a 56-yard field goal. After Caleb Sturgis missed, the Vikings drove 54 yards to Asiata’s 1-yard touchdown plunge. The Dolphins first drive stalled on a play where only Ryan Tannehill and center Mike Pouncey seemed to know the snap count, resulting in Tannehill being sacked.

▪ Impact player: Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went 4 of 8 for 85 yards and one touchdown as the Vikings expanded their lead to 17-7.

▪ Highlights: Needing to conjure points down 14-0, the Dolphins drove 92 yards in 12 plays to a 14-yard Tannehill-to-Dion Sims touchdown pass.

▪ Lowlights: Another Tannehill blocked pass, this time by safety Harrison Smith, turned into an interception by Smith that set up a 21-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Greg Jennings. With the Vikings willing to just run out the clock, the Dolphins used their timeouts, then gave up Joe Banyard’s 16-yard, third-down run. Now with time, the Vikings drove to a field goal to end the half.

▪ Impact player: Tannehill completed 7 of 8 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

▪ Highlights: Getting a defensive three-and-out set the tone for the Dolphins. The offense then rolled 80 yards in six plays, 41 yards on a Tannehill-to-Charles Clay bomb up the right sideline. Mike Wallace made a nice double-clutch catch of a throw tipped by Minnesota safety Xavier Rhodes, then spun into the end zone. Defensive end Derrick Shelby intercepted a tipped pass, and the Dolphins moved smartly up the field to the Vikings’ 1-yard line.

▪ Lowlights: Minnesota converted a third-and-13 from its own 17 when Bridgewater hit Jennings for 24 yards.




▪ Impact player: Third-string defensive lineman Terrence Fede, off a scheme designed to set up a big punt return, blocked a punt for a safety and the game-winning points with 41 seconds left.

▪ Highlights: Miller’s touchdown on the first play of the quarter gave the Dolphins their first lead 21-17. Tannehill found Wallace for a 7-yard touchdown. After the Vikings took a 35-28 lead, Tannehill moved the Dolphins 80 yards in 11 plays to a 3-yard Damien Williams’ touchdown catch. A sack by Cameron Wake had the Vikings punting from their own 11. Then, Fede’s block.

▪ Lowlights:Up 28-20, a squib kick gave the Vikings the ball at their 40, and they went 60 yards in five plays for a touchdown. Asiata got the two-point conversion after two Dolphins offside penalties. He also got the touchdown after Jarvis Landry fumbled the kickoff back to the Vikings.

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