With less than three minutes to go in the third quarter Thursday night, the Miami Dolphins – who were playing at home on national television – trailed the Buffalo Bills 9-3. That’s right. Three points in almost three quarters. The offense looked completely flat.
And then, in an instant, it didn’t. Ryan Tannehill found Brandon Gibson for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:18 to go in the quarter to give Miami a 10-9 lead, thus beginning a 19-0 run to end the game.
It all amounted to a 22-9 Dolphins win.
“I think the offensive line did a great job giving Tannehill time,” Dolphins running back Lamar Miller said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They was opening up the running lanes for the running backs. I think everybody just did their assignments (like the coaches prepared them to do) throughout the whole week. We just tried to play football.”
They did. Tannehill found Jarvis Landry for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 11:35 to go in the fourth quarter to make it 19-9 and effectively put the game out of reach. Tannehill finished 26-of-34 for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s been doing a great job throughout this whole season,” Miller said. “He’s a very tough guy, the leader of our offense. I feel like he’s been improving every week.”
Miller hasn’t been half-bad, either. The 23-year-old Miami product carried the load again this week, rushing 15 times for 86 yards (5.7 yards per carry). As a team, the Dolphins rushed 24 times for 125 yards.
“I think those guys were doing a great job throughout the whole week,” Miller said of the offensive line. “We knew that the line of scrimmage was going to be very important, and I think they did that today with us running the ball. I think they did a great job, and we’re still improving.”
The offensive line did, however, struggle to keep Tannehill upright at times, allowing five sacks, including 3.5 by Mario Williams.
“I think they did a good job of just handling him for the most part,” Miller said.
Either way, the Dolphins got the win to improve to 6-4, and that’s all that matters. While they’d certainly love to catch the Patriots (7-2) in the AFC East, they know that they’re right in the thick of things in the Wild Card race.
Miami has won four of five and next plays at Denver (7-2) on Nov. 23.
“I think we just got to continue to improve,” Miller said. “I think we got to get better and just take it one game at a time.”
Fortunately, the Dolphins still have two games remaining against the two-win Jets, who cost them a playoff berth last season. Miami plays at New York on Dec. 1 and hosts New York in the regular-season finale Dec. 28.
“We’re looking forward to them,” Miller said. “It’s a rivalry. It’s always going to be a tough game, so we just got to take it one game at a time, and once we get there, just play football.”