LOS ANGELES -- The fourth quarter began Sunday after with the Miami Dolphins trailing 10-0. And the game felt horribly, desperately, sadly out of reach.
Because it was.
Because on this day the Los Angeles Rams had dominated the Miami offense. Because this day the running game wasn’t consistent enough. And the rollout of quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t work. And neither did the screens to running backs. Or bubble screens to receivers.
Or anything else.
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It wasn’t so much that the Dolphins didn’t make plays against the Rams. They didn’t. They didn’t with Kenny Stills dropping a pass and Jarvis Landry gaining nothing on the bubble screen and DeVante Parker perhaps jumping too early on a pass at the goal line that was intercepted.
It wasn’t so much that Jared Goff outplayed Ryan Tannehill, either, although one QB was making his first career start and one is supposed to be a wily veteran now.
The most frustrating thing was that the Dolphins didn’t seem to have a clue about how to attack the Rams.
Got all that?
And then the final five minutes of this game happened.
The final amazing, heroic, winning five minutes for the Miami Dolphins.
In those final five minutes the Dolphins managed two back to back TD drives when all their previous drives save one had ended in punts. The one drive that hadn’t ended in a punt, did so in an interception.
Anyway, so what seemed like a hopeless situation suddenly turned.
Tannehill started connecting. The pressure up front got addressed by the Miami offensive line.
Landry caught a TD pass. Parker caught a TD pass. Stills caught clutch passes to extend drives. A roughing the pass penalty also helped.
These Dolphins, left for dead after 55 minutes of play, recovered. Resurrected.
The Miami defense that didn’t play poorly all day held the final minute to seal the win.
The Dolphins stole one, folks. This is what playoff teams do.
The Rams choked, folks. This is what losing teams do.
The Dolphins are 6-4. They have won five games in a row.