Dolphins Win The Game, Miss Playoffs: 3 Things We Learned
Ryan Tannehill looked like the quarterback the Miami Dolphins had envisioned him to be three years ago on Sunday.
The former Texas A&M signal caller showed he could lead his team back from behind in a 37-35 win over the Minnesota Vikings on of all things a safety in the final two minutes of the game in Miami on Sunday. While the win was much needed for the 8-7 Dolphins, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention with Pittsburgh beat Kansas City. And after speculation about his job for many weeks, it was announced that head coach Joe Philbin will be back in south Florida next season.
The Dolphins will sit out the playoffs for the sixth year in a row despite Sunday's victory over the Vikings, but afterward team owner Stephen Ross announced Joe Philbin will return for a fourth season as coach.
"We're building something great here," Ross said in the locker room. "He's the right guy. ... I believe in this team. I believe in the coach.”
Ross said his decision wasn't based on what happened Sunday, but the win certainly helped the Dolphins' mood after dismal back-to-back losses spoiled their playoff hopes.
Rookie Terrence Fede blocked a punt for a safety with 41 seconds left, and Ryan Tannehill threw four touchdown passes, the most by a Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino in 1998. Miami outscored the Vikings 23-18 in a bizarre fourth quarter.
Here are three things we learned from Sunday win.
TANNEHILL WAS TERRIFIC
Ryan Tannehill threw a season-high 396 passing yards Sunday, the 2nd-highest total in a game of his career. Tannehill was 27-of-33 for 323 yards and 4 TD when the Vikings sent 4 or fewer pass rushers, career-best totals in completions, passing yards and touchdowns against standard pressure.
Ryan Tannehill is the first Dolphins QB to throw at least 4 TD passes in game since Dan Marino, 1998 Week 16 vs Broncos
Ryan Tannehill was 9-of-13 for 217 yards and 2 TD on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield, tying or setting season highs in completions, yards and touchdowns on those throws.
VIKINGS SHOW THEY ARE REAL
Matt Asiata's rush TD was his 8th this season... The only players with more rush TD than Asiata this year are DeMarco Murray (11), Marshawn Lynch (10) and Jamaal Charles (9).
The Vikings, who squandered a two-touchdown cushion in a loss at Detroit last week, couldn't hold their leads against Miami, either. Lamar Miller's 1-yard plunge on third down at the start of the fourth quarter put the Dolphins ahead for the first time.
Vikings LB Chad Greenway hurt his knee in the first half. He was playing following the death of his father during the week. ... Dolphins DE Derrick Shelby had an interception but hurt his ankle in the third quarter. ... Miami's Jarvis Landry broke Terry Kirby's team record for receptions by a rookie with 79. ... The Vikings haven't won in Miami since 1976.