Another day, another devastating Dolphins loss.
The Panthers came into Sun Life stadium on the heels of a 6 game winning streak, while the Dolphins had just defeated the San Diego Chargers in a game that held major playoff implications for the AFC’s second wild card spot.
Miami started the week tied with the Jets for that spot, and if the playoffs started after last week, The Dolphins would have narrowly missed the postseason because of their poor division record.
The Dolphins started the game with a typical misstep as Tannehill threw an interception that was tipped around at least five times before being pulled in by a Panthers defensive back. However they would recover from their miscue by holding strong on defense and blocking the Panthers’ field goal attempt.
Miami would go on to dominate the first half and actually managed to capitalize on a 56 yard deep ball from Tannehill to Wallace for a touchdown (the first of its kind all season), and led the game 16-3 at halftime.
But, and stop me if you’ve heard this story before, the Dolphins went on to completely fall asleep in the second half as the Panthers went on an 8 minute touchdown drive to start the 3rd quarter. 16-10, and it was all downhill from there.
As has been the case most of the season the Dolphins run game was completely inept and without it the Panthers began to key in on Tannehill and the passing game. Also, the Panthers established a run game of their own, taking advantage of what has been one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses, despite boasting a defensive line which features three pro bowlers.
Unable to run the clock out, the Panthers were given plenty of time to field goal the ‘phins to death and put the final nail in the coffin on a last minute drive and a defensive implosion by the Dolphins complete with a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty on Cam Newton as the elusive QB scrambled out of bounds.
However the Dolphins weren’t done ripping their fans’ collective heart out as they threw a would-be hail mary touchdown with under 30 seconds left, only to be dropped by $60 million dollar free agent acquisition Mike Wallace which would have essentially placed the team firmly in the last AFC wild card spot.