How about them D-O-L-P-H-I-N-S!!!!!!!!
It was a FAST PACE, ACTION-PACKED, GUT-WRENCHING GAME, that saw the Dolphins’ comeback with 4:46 minutes to beat the Falcons 27-23.
It was Ryan Tannehill to Backup Rookie Tight End Dion Sims for a 1 yard touchdown. Sims’ first catch and 1st Touchdown his career. http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlight_Sims_Hauls_In_GameWinning_Touchdown/0fd56f74-70cc-4dbe-b14e-87e951d0b3f3
Then Cornerback Jimmy Wilson with 0:38 seconds left, picked Ryan off to end the game.
What a Game!!! I went to Houligans’ restaurant with my wife to celebrate her birthday and watch the game.. We were in for a real treat, and saw Ryan Tannehill deliver on the final drive, after Matt Bryant, place-kicker of the Falcons missed a yd FG. Houligans’ was all for the Dolphins!!! Cheers of EXCTASY filled the restaurant. It felt we were at the stadium amongst the 70,660 people in attendance.
3-0 for the 1st time since 2002.
Afterward, owner Stephen Ross left that very locker room and announced, “We got a damn good football team.” http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/
Tannehill won the matchup with these stats: 24-35, 236 yards, 2TD’s, INT, fumble lost. Ryan went: 23-38, 231 yards, 2TD’s, INT.
The Falcons dominated the Dolphins in rush yards (146 to 90), 1st downs (24 to 16), sacks (5 to 0), time of possession (37:09 to 22:51), but the Dolphins got the last laugh.
All stats provided by: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=330922015
The 1st half went by like a shot. The Falcons right the start took the ball 80 yards on 14 plays, 8:48 off the clock. It ended with Matt Ryan 7 yard touchdown to Runningback Jason Snelling. He targeted Julio Jones (2 catches, 18 yards) and Tony Gonzalez (3 catches, 13 yards), and connected with precision. Jacquizz Rodgers starting for injured RB Steven Jackson ran the ball hard (4 carries, 22 yards).
So, the Dolphins finally get the ball halfway through the 1st quarter, and on 3rd down and 2 from their own 28, Tannehill met All-Pro Defensive Osi Umenyiora for 6 yard sack. Osi stripped the ball, but Tannehill recovered it.
The Falcons’ next drive, they pounded the Dolphins with Rodgers again (4 carries, 16 yards). The drive went 11 plays, 41 yards, 5:58 off the clock. That setup a Matt Bryant 52 yard FG (1st of 3 on the day).
I was there by myself; My wife on her way (had to drop the kids off at my mom’s). 10-0 on 2 drives. I am thinking, will our offense get going. You can’t fall too far behind the Falcons. So, on their 1st play of their 2nd drive, with 13:08 left in the second quarter; Lamar Miller from his own 20, took the handoff, and showed his rocket-like speed for a 49 yard run to the 31 of the Falcons. That got everyone’s attention. Watch here: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlight_Lamar_Miller_49Yard_Run/412f0c57-e615-4942-82f2-378e5835f0eb, and http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlights_Falcons_vs_Dolphins/bc0d7ace-893f-48d6-a304-3453d81b82c5
Miller’s 49 yard run was the longest of his career, and is tied for the eighth longest non-touchdown run in team history. http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Postgame-Notes-Dolphins-Vs-Falcons/c2723b1f-4392-471a-955e-b996d1edb833
2 plays later, Tannehill connected with Brandon Gibson for 19 yards to the Falcons 11. Then Daniel Thomas run 6 yards, and then on the next play, 2nd and 5 from the Falcons’ 5, Daniel Thomas took the handoff and made a nice move and scored for the Dolphins’ 1st TD off the game. Falcons up 10-7. Thomas had an easy lane to run through, thanks to Jonathan Martin’s beautiful block. Watch Thomas’ TD, with the help from Martin: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248511/Thomas-5-yard-touchdown
That was Thomas’ 2nd rushing touchdown this season, an the 6th time in his career, he scored from 5 yards. http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Postgame-Notes-Dolphins-Vs-Falcons/c2723b1f-4392-471a-955e-b996d1edb833
Up 10-7, the Falcons marched downfield for another long drive: 13 plays, 78 yards, 8:02 off the clock. Good grief, it was the Jason Snelling show on that drive. He bullied his way in the drive for (38 yards on 6 carries). That helped setup a Matt Bryant 20 yd FG (2nd of 3).
My wife had come at that point. With 2:04 left in the half, Tannehill showed his poise from his own 12, and helped get the Dolphins’ 3 points. He connected with Wallace for 11 yards, connected with Gibson for 6 yards. He scrambled for 8 yards. He connected with Thomas for 16 yards. He connected with Hartline twice (7, 11). That setup a Caleb Sturgis 46 yard FG (1st of 2), which went perfectly.
At halftime, Falcons up 13-10.. Dolphins will get the ball to start..
It was an ugly start to the 3rd quarter. 2 plays in, Tannehill gets sacked by Umenyiora again, and for 9 yard loss, fumbles the ball and DT Peria Jerry (brother of Dolphins’ OG John Jerry) recovers at the Dolphins’ 12. Watch here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248639/Osi-Umenyiora-forces-fumble.
The Falcons cashed with a 4 play drive, resulting in a Matt Ryan to backup Rookie Tight End Levine Toilolo for a 2 yard Touchdown (1st of his career). 20-10 Falcons..
12:40 left in the 3rd quarter, Tannehill lead the guys to 3 points in a 9 play, 47 yard drive, 3:28 off the clock. 2 big plays in the drive: A 20 yard completion to Hartline, and a 14 yard completion to Rishard Matthews (1st catch of the year). Sturgis connected again, this time from 50 yards. Sturgis joins Uwe von Schamann as the the only rookie kickers in Dolphins history to have two field goals of 50 or more yards in a season. Von Schamann booted kicks of 53 yards (10/21/79 at New England) and 51 yards (11/5/79 vs. Houston). http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Postgame-Notes-Dolphins-Vs-Falcons/c2723b1f-4392-471a-955e-b996d1edb833
20-13 Falcons at that point. The Dolphins stop the Falcons on the next drive, and start their drive at the 50. 5 plays later from the Falcons 37, Tannehill overthrows Charles Clay over the middle and gets picked off by Safety Will Moore at the 16. It didn’t hurt the Dolphins because they stopped them on the Falcons’ drive.
At 6:01 pm, I tried sending a text message to my best friend saying, “We need you. Need some new juju.” It didn’t go through. My buddy couldn’t come to Houligans’ today.
If you believe in superstitions, then that it worked for Miami because:
The turning point of the game happened after the Dolphins went 3 and out. This play got the crowd going, and Houligans’ ERUPTED. I ERUPTED!!! I got out of my seat and screamed!!!! Brandon Fields punts to the Falcons 22, Punt Returner Harry Douglas waves everyone off, fields the ball and GETS CLOCKED = I MEAN CLOCKED, JACKED UP by ROOKIE SPECIAL TEAMER DON JONES for a 1 yard loss. Douglas fumbles the ball and it is recovered by Dolphins’ long snapper John Denney, who was “JOHNNY ON THE SPOT!!” to recover at the Falcons’ 19 with 1:45 left in the quarter. Watch this shot: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248708/Don-Jones-powerful-tackle-forces-fumble
Some new juju, NEVER HURTS!!!!
A little note on Denney, he has now played in all 131 games of his nine-year career with the Dolphins. He has now passed Jason Taylor for first place in Dolphin history for most consecutive games played. http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Postgame-Notes-Dolphins-Vs-Falcons/c2723b1f-4392-471a-955e-b996d1edb833
That fumble got the Dolphins back in business. So 3 plays later from the Falcons’ 18, Tannehill connected with Hartline for a 18 yard touchdown strike. It was an ABSOLUTE LASER BEAM to Hartline for the touchdown. Hartline did a pretty cool little dance after the score. A baby version of the Falcons’ dirty bird. Watch here: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlight-Brian-Hartline-18-Yard-Touchdown/a92401d7-93f9-4154-b6f7-49c4ce03c67c
Hartline’s touchdown was the second scoring catch of the season for the fifth year pro. Hartline’s career high for touchdown receptions in a season is three which he accomplished during his rookie season in 2009. http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Postgame-Notes-Dolphins-Vs-Falcons/c2723b1f-4392-471a-955e-b996d1edb833
20-20 all with 0:56 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. Brand new ballgame.
After the TD, the Falcons go 11 plays, 65 yards, 4:17 off the clock and Bryant kicks a 33 yard FG (his 3rd of the game). 23-20 Falcons.
At the 10:14 mark, the Falcons get the ball and rip off a 9 play, 64 yard drive, taking 5:28 off the clock, but Bryant MISSED a 34 yard FG. I ERUPTED, as did Houligans!!! The Dolphins’ defense would couldn’t get to Ryan all day; were able to flush Ryan out of the pocket on 3rd and 4, and force and incomplete pass. Dannell Ellerbe and Dion Jordan were there.
TIME FOR TANNEHILL’S 2ND COMEBACK WIN OF HIS CAREER:
With 4:46 left at the Dolphins’ 25, Tannehill took over.. Watch the drive here:http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlights_Falcons_vs_Dolphins/bc0d7ace-893f-48d6-a304-3453d81b82c5 and http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248818/Tannehill-leads-game-winning-drive
1st and 10, Miller runs 2 yards. The next two plays, he connects with Matthews (7, 9). 1st and 10 from the 43, he overshoots Gibson. 2nd and 10, he connects with 2nd year backup TE Michael Egnew for 8 yards (his 1st catch of his career). Then 3rd and 2, he connects with Gibson for 10 yards to the Falcons’ 39*. Then, Miller runs 6 yards.
This next play could have been the game winner. Tannehill through a beautiful lob pass to Miller out of the backfield. Had Miller caught it, he more than likely would have scored. It didn’t hurt Miami, because they did score and with hardly anytime on the clock. Had Miller scored, it would have given the Falcons a little more time. Miller would have loved to have scored, but they did win*.
On the next, he connects with Gibson again, this time for 4 yards to the 29. He got hit past the first down marker, got pushed backward, stayed in and got out of bounds. He still got the 1st down. 2 plays later, he connects with Clay for 21 yards to the Falcons 8*. The play before, Clay dropped a easy pass.
Then Tannehill connects with Gibson on 1st and 8, for 7 yard gain all the way to the Falcons 1*. Timeout Falcons with 0:43 seconds left.
So, with 2nd and 1 from the Falcons 1; you would think they would run it, Tannehill drops back and finds Dion Sims for the Game-Winning Touchdown. He threw an ABSOLUTE BEAUTIFUL LOB, WITH PERFECT TOUCH, PRECISION, AND ACCURACY over Linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Even more REMARKABLE than that, was the catch. It was a ONE-HANDED (LEFT -HAND). Sims’ 1st catch and touchdown of his career*.
The * means in the highlight package.
He gave an interview after the game taking about the catch, watch here: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Sims_On_GameWinning_Grab/82f57684-2b72-44cc-9d72-8ab09563f940
Dion Sims has a flare for the dramatic, I’ll give him that.
That game winning catch? One handed.
That game winning catch? The first of his career.
Sims is a very quiet kid. He was asked his thoughts as he’s making that important catch.
“I didn’t really think about the situation,” he said. “I knew it was crunch time and I just wanted to go out there. We ran that play in practice. I knew it was coming.”
It felt like I and Houligans were about to explode. I WAS SCREAMING, HIGH-FIVING PEOPLE!!
27-23 Dolphins with 0:38 seconds left.
Falcons get the ball at the 20 with 0:38 seconds left, and on the 1st play, Ryan tried to throw to Jones but it was incomplete.
Next play, Ryan under threw Douglas and Jimmy Wilson snagged at the Falcons’ 39, and stepped out of bounds at the Falcons’ 41 for a 2 yard loss. Game Over!!!! Watch Wilson’s pick: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlight_Wilson_Picks_Off_Ryan/33710737-9070-4b16-bc85-1f56d450ff44 and http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Highlights_Falcons_vs_Dolphins/bc0d7ace-893f-48d6-a304-3453d81b82c5
What a Game and how AMAZING is Tannehill. Espn.com has a great article about him here:
Tannehill, who is growing as a leader, said he had a clear message to his offense in the huddle on the final drive.
“I said it doesn’t matter what happened before now,” Tannehill explained. “All that matters is what you do right now.”
Tannehill said that before the final score, he went to Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman during a Falcons timeout and suggested a play-action pass. Sherman agreed, trusting his second-year quarterback. The result was a touchdown pass to rookie tight end Dion Sims.
Tannehill’s conversation with his coach showed both growth and confidence. The Dolphins are winning as a team, but Tannehill’s improvement is the single biggest reason Miami is taking the next step. Tannehill improved to 10-9 as a starter and has a stellar 94.3 passer rating in the first three games of this season. http://espn.go.com/blog/miami-dolphins/post/_/id/1069/fins-fans-are-back-with-fast-start-to-13
Yes, it was Tannehill that suggested that one-yard pass to tight end Dion Sims to take the lead.
“The original call was something else and I suggested that one,” Tannehill said. “It’s something I liked. Coach [Mike} Sherman agreed and thought it was a great idea. It's a play we know very well, and Dion stepped up and made a great play."
(On if he thought Harry Douglas would be returning the punt where he tackled Douglas for the fumble after he waved off his team) – “Actually I didn’t see him wave it off because I was fighting all the way down the field trying to get my defender off. I finally found him. I looked up, and he was right where I was. I tackled him, and I looked up and he was on my shoulder. I decided to go on and dunk him. So it turned out to a pretty good play that a better team could get out and get a win."
(On if he felt the energy changing on the sideline after the play where he forced the fumble) – “Yes, most definitely. I think they gave us a lot more hope. I think it got the offense rolling a little more. Then after that, we came out and finished the game well and finished the game like Coach (Joe) Philbin had been talking about all week. We finished it out pretty good."
(On if he felt like Harry Douglas didn’t see him coming) – “He glanced at me bug-eyed. I don’t think he knew I was coming at him that fast. As soon as I got the chance, I just dived at him and caught him in my shoulders. I scooped him up and threw him down. It was a big play."
(On if he knew the ball had popped out) – “No sir, I was just so happy I was running to the sidelines celebrating. Then I looked and everyone was pointing back and I was like, ‘We just got the turnover.’ It was a big play I really needed. I just need to keep improving and listening to my coaches every week."
(On how it impacts his confidence making a big play) – “My confidence went through the roof. Now I feel like I could go down there and do that all the time, which I know I’m capable of. I just got to keep on working and keep on working, keep on getting coached up every week and after that everything will be good."
(On if he feels like he’s on the team because of special teams)– “Oh yes, most definitely. If it wasn’t for special teams I probably wouldn’t have made the 53 (man roster). I would probably be on practice squad.”
(On the week leading up to the game) – “It was emotional. It was a crazy game, it came down to the home stretch and it was a great win. To win a game against a team who has been good in this league for a while now, that’s big. It was our home opener, we’re 3-0; it was just a big win. It didn’t mean that much just because it was the Atlanta Falcons."
(On QB Ryan Tannehill on the last drive) – “If you heard me on the sideline, I said I know we’re going to score. It just had that feeling. He moved the ball down the field and made some big throws, the team made some big catches and we got going."
(On whether it was a big win) – “I knew we have a lot of potential on this team and we’re doing some good things out there and we just want to keep it going. We’re only 3-0, we have a lot of positives, but we have a lot of work to do."
(On the DE Cameron Wake’s injury) – “We just know everybody is going to give their best effort. You never want anybody to go down, but you know it’s bound to happen in this game. You have to have people step up and we did that, everybody was talking on the sideline. We were all picking guys up telling each other to keep it going. We made a bunch of stops when we had to."
(On the feeling at halftime) – “We knew that this was the kind of game we were in for, so we didn’t panic; we knew we had to make adjustments and we had to get back to doing our fundamentals and play football how we know how to play. Then things started going our way in the second half."
(On whether this win says something about the team) – “I already knew it about my team. We got in here on April 15 and all the guys are all in. That’s what we to and nobody doubted it.”
(On protecting the quarterback) – “He had five sacks. It’s getting repetitive, you’re probably tired of hearing me say it, but the starting point in any passing game is protection. It’s tough for any defense to cover guys all across the field – it’s 53⅓ yards wide, I believe, and 120 yards long when you count the end zones – and if you can’t protect the quarterback, or if you get pressure on the quarterback, you help your pass coverage a lot and we have to do better.”
(On grading the pass protection) – “How we did on the last drive? [Overall.] Not very good. Not good. You want me to give a grade scale? A, B, C, D…it just wasn’t very good. The last grade was a B-plus.”
(On the play of QB Ryan Tannehill so far this season) – “It’s important. We talk all the time about how quarterbacks have to make great decisions. They have to throw the ball accurately and they have to make plays at critical times in the game. Obviously, that drive, as I mentioned before, we had to have points on that drive, and he was able to do that. Just as the gentleman who just exited [Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner Stephen Ross] just said, you can’t do it by yourself. We caught the ball well, we gave him good protection, and he had a chance to do his job.”
(On playing before 70,660 in attendance) – “The crowd was outstanding. They were a huge part of the win. We’re going to need them every single week. They were fantastic. I think it was a thrill for our guys to play in front of a crowd like that.”
(On the play of the defense) – “The guys stepped up and made plays. One of the things that we had mentioned to the ball club all week was that we wanted to do a better job of building momentum and building off of one another. If the offense gets a score, let’s get a three-and-out or a takeaway. That was a great example at the end. We needed it at the end and came up with a play. You never know what can happen offensively. A guy breaks a tackle and takes it to the house…we were able to, last week, stop a team on downs, and this week get a takeaway. That’s good stuff.”
(On RB Lamar Miller’s late incomplete pass) – “We got right back to work. Mike [Sherman] just sent in another good play and off we went.”
(On the team’s performance today)– “Like I said, we had a lot of confidence in those guys. They demonstrated that they love to play the game, they love to compete. They’re a team. It was a good step again in the right direction.”
About the Author
Written by Daniel Saviuk
My name is Daniel. I love the Miami Dolphins (been a fan since I was 10)...