Miami Dolphins

Keys to the Miami Dolphins’ 37-35 win over the Minnesota Vikings

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick (98) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) 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 tackle Jared Odrick (98) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) 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

Dolphins defense vs. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater

Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: Although the rookie Bridgewater often made plays scrambling and finding open receivers, the Dolphins pass rush made the big plays on what ended up being Minnesota’s final drive. With the score tied at 35 with 1:05 left, the Dolphins forced a punt by putting pressure on Bridgewater on each play. Although he escaped a sack on first down, Bridgewater hurried his throw on second down and was sacked by Cameron Wake on third down. The ensuing punt was blocked by Terrence Fede, resulting in a game-winning safety.


Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill vs. Vikings defense

Who won: Tannehill.

The impact: Tannehill made some good throws on what turned out to be a very prolific day and helped the Dolphins win what turned into a shootout with the Vikings in the fourth quarter. Tannehill threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns and was sacked only twice, often evading pressure. His lone interception could have just been a knocked down pass, had Harrison Smith not made a tremendous play to cradle the ball in and hang on to it as he was landing. Tannehill made a couple of nice throws on the run to Charles Clay at key moments.


Dolphins special teams vs. Vikings special teams

Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: The edge here nearly went to the Vikings after they recovered a fumble by Jarvis Landry on a kickoff return with 4:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. The miscue gave Minnesota a 35-28 lead five seconds later. But after that the Dolphins tied the score when Fede shot through the line and blocked Jeff Locke’s punt. The Vikings’ low snap on the punt gave Fede enough time to reach the ball and clinch the win for the Dolphins, who took possession for good with 41 seconds left after Minnesota failed to recover an onside kick.

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