After a close game yesterday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins beat the Arizona Cardinals at home with a score of 26-23 after kicker Andrew Franks made a last second field goal in the pouring rain at Hard Rock Stadium. Even though this was a moral victory for the Dolphins with the season coming to a close, it did not have the exact ending that the Dolphins may have preferred.
Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill got injured in the third quarter after a hit to the knee by Arizona Cardinals defensive end, Calais Campbell. The hit caused Tannehill to head to the locker room and return later, but in street clothes, rather than his football uniform. Furthermore, Tannehill received hugs from his fellow players which made for an extreme scene on the sideline, as he could not hold back tears. For the remainder of the game, Tannehill sat on the sideline with his leg elevated while watching the game on the jumbotron.
It was later found that Tannehill suffered a sprain to his MCL and ACL. A timetable has not been given for this return but the team is hopeful he will not require surgery. The Dolphins quarterback, who has been the subject of scrutiny from fans and analysts, seemed to finally come into his own and seem capable of leading a playoff-caliber team.
When Tannehill exited the game, the Dolphins’ 23-9 lead began to diminish quickly. The game would be tied at 23 with a little over three minutes left to play. The Dolphins offense stalled in their first drive without Tannehill but directly after, the Dolphins defense was able to force Arizona to punt. After an exceptional punt return by Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, the Dolphins were in favorable field position. Backup quarterback Matt Moore made an excellent pass to wide receiver Kenny Stills, which set up the Dolphins with a first and goal on the three-yard line.
Dolphins running back Damien Williams was afterwards handed the ball so that he could run off some of the remaining 11 seconds on the clock, however, this almost backfired when he mistakenly almost ran out the clock before finally going down with one second left. Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks then made his first game-winning field goal and the stadium let out a collective sigh of relief.
The question now is whether the Dolphins keep it up in the absence of Tannehill? With three games remaining against division rivals and an 8-5 record, the Dolphins will need to play their best football of the season without the leader and starting quarterback of the team healthy.