The Miami Dolphins upset the playoff-hopeful Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday behind a huge game from wide receiver DeVante Parker, a few trick plays and a game-ending Hail Mary interception. The Dolphins picked up a 37-31 win and have pushed the down-spiraling Eagles one game back in their own division and to the outside looking in in the NFC playoff bracket.
“We played 60 minutes. This team went and competed. That’s a good team we beat. That’s a really good team. They got a lot of good players; they got good coaches. It was a tough game we just played. We played well today, and it was a total team effort – offense, defense, special teams. We played for 60 minutes, this team – they compete and I’m proud of this team,” Miami head coach Brian Flores said.
The Moment the Game Turned Tides
While there were plenty of exciting moments for Miami (3-9) as a whole on Sunday, there’s one particular play that stood out from the rest.This moment will go down as one of the craziest moments in NFL history.
How It Happened
Dolphins punter Matt Haack took a direct snap in the second quarter on a fourth-and-goal option. He passed the ball to kicker Jason Sanders who was left wide open in the end zone. It was the first time in NFL history that a punter had a passing TD to a kicker. Sanders then stayed on the field to kick the extra point and give Miami the 14-13 lead at the time.
“I rolled out and it felt so fast – four guys were on me real quick, I saw a little window and (Sanders) was wide open. In my head, it was just put it on and don’t give them a chance, really,” Haack said. “If you guys don’t remember, my rookie year I threw an interception on a fake punt, (laughter) so (there was) a lot better feeling on this one.”
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was also a key piece in making the special teams fake field goal play work. With the inconsistency that loomed at QB to begin the year, Wilkins relayed his take on the position.
“So now (Matt) Haack is officially the best quarterback on the team and the best receiver goes to Jason (Sanders). They are 100 percent on passes and catches, so it was good to see that,” Wilkins said.
Fitzpatrick Connects with Parker, Gesicki for Big Day
Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick surely had himself a big game against the Philadelphia (5-7) defense as he finished passing 27-for-39 with 350 yards, three TDs and one interception. Fitzpatrick found Parker, his number one WR, seven times 159 receiving yards and two receiving TDs. One of his TDs came on a fourth-and-four where he scampered for the 43-yard score. The other TD came from 17 yards out in the third quarter to bring the deficit for the Dolphins to 28-20.
“DeVante Parker really stepped up today with some big plays,” Fitzpatrick said. “Some of those balls are 50-50 balls that you want to give your guys a shot (at). DeVante (has) been my guy all year, real consistent with what he has done and really showed up today.”
Tight end Mike Gesicki also caught another TD, the second of his career, and second in two weeks, from 14 yards out with just over one minute remaining in the third quarter. After a failed two-point conversion, Miami trailed 28-26 after the score. Gesicki finished with five receptions for 79 yards.
Philly’s Fighting Not Enough
Carson Wentz had an overall good day, finishing just under 300 passing yards. He finished passing 28-for-46 with 294 yards, three TDs and one INT. His three TDs all went to three different players. No. 1 WR Alshon Jeffery caught his 10-yard score that completed his nine-reception, 137-yard day. No. 3 WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside caught his first TD of his career on a 15-yard TD pass for his only reception, and running back Miles Sanders also caught a 15-yard score, giving him 22 yards on five catches for the day.
The Dolphins will travel to New Jersey for their next two games as they face the New York Jets in week 14 and the New York Giants in week 15. The Jets are coming off a loss to the previously winless Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets have now given the first wins of the season to the bottom feeders in the NFL.