Today’s matchup against the San Diego Chargers held major playoff implications for both squads. Both teams entered the game with a 4-5 record each only a game back in the uber-competitive race for the AFC’s second wildcard spot.
The Dolphins came into the game off of an embarrassing Monday night loss to a previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team and on the heels of their nationwide bullying scandal. To add insult to injury and further decimate their offensive line, center Mike Pouncey who has quickly become recognized as one of the best pass blocking and pulling linemen in the league was sidelined with an ailment on Friday and was unable to play in Sunday’s matchup.
Only serving to add more importance to the game, both the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets fell to their opponents earlier in the day which further opened the door in the AFC’s wildcard race.
The first half was relatively quiet for both teams as there was a major dearth iof big plays from both teams. Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace continued their struggles to hook up on a big play when Wallace got behind his man but was underthrown by at least three yards. The first half ended tied 10-10 with neither team taking any kind of decisive control in the contest.
The second half opened with a short 8 play drive for the Chargers when they were forced to punt after multiple penalties.
The Dolphins were able to capitalize on their next drive, scoring on a ridiculous 39 yard touchdown to Charles Clay who ran over two Chargers defenders on his way to the endzone.
The game ended 20-16 after a failed two-minute drill which was squelched by one Cameron Wake sack and ended on a beautifully defended last second pass by cornerback Brent Grimes.
The Dolphins are now tied with the Jets at 5-5, only being held out of the playoffs by virtue of the Jets’ division record.