While Carson Palmer was struggling through a miserable afternoon, Ryan Tannehill had an efficient, three-touchdown performance (15 of 21 for 195 yards) before getting injured. The major exception was when the ball slipped out of his hands for a lateral that resulted in a 21-yard loss. But Tannehill was far from alone in having trouble hanging onto the ball on a stormy day.
Matt Moore came in and led the winning drive of six plays over 44 yards.
A word, now, about Damien Williams. He got overlooked amid the hoopla over the Jay Train and his 200-yard games, but defenses cannot afford to ignore him, especially in the red zone. Sunday, Williams caught a 3-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill and walked into the end zone, easily beating linebacker Zaviar Gooden. At that point, Williams had six touchdowns in 45 touches this season. That’s big, especially on a quiet day for Ajayi.
Kenny Stills kept up his unique pattern of catching a touchdown pass in every other game this season (with just one exception).
TE Dion Sims walked in for a touchdown on a legal pick play.
Jarvis Landry was called for an avoidable conduct penalty after Damien Williams’ 3-yard TD catch.
LT Branden Albert, coming off wrist surgery, started but missed time late in the second quarter.
C Anthony Steen committed a holding penalty that nullified a 3-yard TD run by Jay Ajayi. He also was guilty of a false start.
A week after Joe Flacco was given freedom to do as he wished, the Dolphins’ defensive front was all over Carson Palmer, leading to two interceptions and a first-half passer rating of 11.6. (That’s no typo.)
Ndamukong Suh was guilty of an offside penalty but quickly rebounded, body-slamming David Johnson for no gain.
Cameron Wake caused a fumble and had a sack. Jason Jones, back from a two-game NFL suspension, pressured Palmer on an interception. Earl Mitchell, back from a long absence with a back injury, forced a fumble.
Pretty strong contributions all the way around.
Mike Hull, starting for Kiko Alonso, was billed as a hyperactive linebacker by coaches and lived up to that by making a quick interception to set up a touchdown and set the early tone for a patchwork unit that badly needed a lift.
Spencer Paysinger couldn’t shed a block by TE Darren Fells on the 56-yard touchdown run by J.J. Nelson. But Paysinger later had a fumble recovery. He later was called for holding.
What looked like a solid outing began to come apart around the time Ryan Tannehill was injured. The Dolphins gave up a 99-yard touchdown drive, then a second score, and then a two-point conversion to allow the Cardinals to tie the score at 23.
Bacarri Rambo stepped in and had an interception.
Walt Aikens made an outstanding play to stop a Matt Darr punt from bouncing into the end zone. Aikens downed the 40-yard punt at the Arizona 1.
But Aikens wasn’t done. After Jordan Phillips blocked an extra point, Aikens scooped it up and ran down the sideline for a defensive two-point conversion and a 23-15 lead.
Kenyan Drake and Jarvis Landry collided on a punt return, resulting in a fumble lost by Landry, giving the Cardinals the ball on the Miami 47 late in the third quarter.
Landry had a 20-yard punt return to set up the winning field goal, a 21-yarder by Andrew Franks on the final play.
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