With six seconds remaining, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who came in for the benched Josh Rosen, connects with wide receiver DeVante Parker for what looks to be the game tying touchdown in Sunday’s “Winless Bowl” between the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.
However, instead of kicking the extra point and heading to over time, Miami elected to go for a two-point conversion and the win.
It miserably failed.
Last-second two-point conversion fails
The Dolphins telegraphed their two-point conversion play the second they decided to go for it. They elected to go for a screen pass to running back Kenyan Drake, but four Redskins defenders lined up unmarked between Drake and the goal line.
Not even a perfect execution would’ve seen Drake scamper across the goal line. Before Drake even got the chance to take on the defender wall, he didn’t even catch the pass from Fitzpatrick and the play was over before it began.
Kenyan Drake accepts blame
“I have to hold my end of the bargain up. Everyone has their job to do, their 1/11th, and my job is to catch the ball and get in the end zone. Regardless of what the situation was, I have to make sure that I hold my end of the bargain up and make the play that needs to be made, especially when (Head) Coach (Brian Flores) puts us in that situation to go and get the win,” Drake said.
Dolphins defense improves for fifth time in five tries
The Dolphins found themselves in a 17-3 hole entering the fourth quarter despite playing a relatively sound game on defense. Miami forced numerous three-and-outs and held its opponent to its lowest points against, 17, for the fifth time in five weeks.
“It’s sick because you work so hard in practice each and every day with ‘Coach Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) and (Defensive Line) Coach (Marion) Hobby and ‘Coach P.G.’ (Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham). When you can’t come out with a win, it’s sick,” defensive tackle Davon Godchaux said.
Miami couldn’t contain Peterson, McLaurin
However, the Dolphins struggled once again containing the run and the big plays through the air. However, on the bright side, this is the first game this season that Miami hasn’t allowed a rushing TD, despite allowing Washington RB Adrian Peterson to rush 23 times for 118 yards.
The Dolphins were clearly burned on the big-play ability by rookie WR Terry McLaurin. Although he had just four catches, McLaurin posted 100 yards (25-yards-per-catch average) and the two TDs on the day for the Redskins. McLaurin has TDs in four of five games played in his rookie campaign. On the flip side of the ball, Miami’s number one receiver, in terms of yards, had only 51 yards in the game.
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Washington had no problem running the ball, whereas Miami once again struggled. All four Dolphins who ran the ball rushed only 21 times, two less than Peterson’s on the day. Miami also had just 84 yards on the ground, compared to the Redskins’ 145.
Mark Walton as RB influence should remain in game plan
However, rookie RB Mark Walton got the surprise backup nod to Drake in this game. Before the season began, it looked as though Walton would be away from the team amid NFL investigations. But he is currently with the team and making the most of his opportunities in practice and games.
Walton had just eight yards less than Drake on the day, but by far had the best yards per carry. His 5.3 YPC was 1.3 better than Drake’s and double that of former backup Kalen Ballage. Not only is he emerging as a rushing option for Miami, but a leader as well in game situations.
“We’re just trying to win a game. We’re just trying to get something going over here. We went for two. We could have went for a field goal and went to overtime, but we’re trying to win the game,” Walton said. “It just came up short, but I like the way everybody came out and competed and worked hard, and pushed through the final quarter and started fighting back. I think we’re just moving step by step and we just have to keep going.”
Flores confident in conversion call, but knew it’d fail upon line-up
Despite the team’s decision to go for the win in the end, Flores knew from the moment the Dolphins lined up, the play likely wasn’t going to work. However, he said he went for the win because it was a play the team had practiced throughout the week, but Washington ultimately lined up correctly for it and it cost them the game.
“We felt good about the play. It’s something we worked on all week. We thought we had an opportunity to win the game, and that was the thought process there,” Flores said. “It looked like they played it pretty well. Drake would have had to make a pretty spectacular play, break a tackle – which he’d been doing a good job breaking tackles all day. I think obviously the first part of it is a good throw (and) a good catch. If you don’t have that, then the rest of it is a moot point.”
Buffalo is calling
Miami will pack its bags and head to division-rival Buffalo still searching for its first win of the season in week seven. The 4-1 Bills are coming off their bye week, giving the Dolphins that much more of a hard task. For a team who has struggled scoring, Buffalo has allowed just 14 points on average per game this season.