The Dolphins young squad did a lot of growing up on Sunday, and it was led by their rookie quarterback who deserves a game ball.
Ryan Tannehill and the Fins offense put up 17 fourth quarter points, the final three on a Dan Carpenter 43-yard field goal as time expired, as the Dolphins topped the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 at Sunlife Stadium.
Tannehill threw for 253 yards with a touchdown and directed a 65-yard drive in seven plays over the final 1:32 for the winning score.
The run game got a huge boost as Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas combined for 147 yards with a touchdown apiece on the ground for the Dolphins.
Miami runs their mark to 5-6, and more importantly put a three-game slide to bed.
The Dolphins took over at their own 10 with just 92 seconds left and Tannehill quickly went to work. He threw a 19-yard pass to Davone Bess, scrambled for 15 yards and hit Bess again for 25 yards to the Seattle 36 with 46 seconds to play.
“It was a team effort, the line gave me time to see down field and make the throw,” said Tannehill. “Davone got open a couple times and everyone just did their job. That’s the thing you come to find out, if everyone does their job and does it well you’re going to execute.”
After fullback Charles Clay caught a pass for seven yards, Thomas ran up the middle for four yards and the Dolphins called their final timeout with four seconds left before Carpenter nailed the game-winner with zeros on the clock.
Tannehill completed 18-of-26 passes Sunday, with Bess catching seven balls for 129 yards. The Miami rushing game returned as Bush finished with 87 yards on 14 carries and Thomas added 60 on nine attempts. The Dolphins finished with 189 yards on the ground — nine fewer than the team compiled in the past three games combined.
The Seahawks (6-5), unbeaten at home this year, lost for the fifth time in six road games, and coach Pete Carroll said he made poor use of last week’s bye.
”I’m disappointed in all phases of the game,” he said. ”We didn’t do the things we needed to do in the week off to get prepared. I screwed it up.”
Tannehill and Miami caught a break with Seattle leading 14-7 early in the fourth quarter. Bobby Wagner intercepted a pass by Tannehill in the end zone, but the turnover was negated by a penalty on safety Earl Thomas for roughing the passer.
”I can’t stop in midair like magic,” Thomas said. ”The NFL, they need some goggles.”
Carroll called the penalty on Thomas questionable.
”He jumped up to block the pass and came down on the quarterback with no intent to hit him,” Carroll said. ”It was a very big call to make at that point in the game.”
One play after the penalty, Thomas scored the tying touchdown on a 3-yard run. Tannehill chuckled when asked about the officials negating his turnover.
”They were looking out for me today,” he said.
Leon Washington returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the eighth time to tie the NFL record and put Seattle ahead with eight minutes left. Miami answered with an 80-yard drive capped by Tannehill’s 29-yard pass to Clay, making it 21-21.
The Seahawks lost yardage on their final three plays and were forced to punt from midfield, allowing the Dolphins to start at their own 10 with 1:32 left.
”There was no panic,” Tannehill said. ”Everyone felt confident out there.”
It was a grown up effort for a young team, and hopefully one that will turn the season around for the final five games of 2012.
The Dolphins will host the Patriots next Sunday.