The Dolphins (6-10) finished off the 2011 season and Jason Taylor finished off his career with a 19-17 come-from-behind win over the rival New York Jets (8-8), who were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Taylor nearly had one final iconic moment late in the fourth quarter, as he recovered an apparent fumble by guard Matt Slauson (who legally caught the ball off of a deflection) and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown, but after a wild endzone celebration, the play was reversed as it became clear Slausen was down by contact before the ball came free.
The Dolphins saw a 17-0 halftime lead disappear in the second half and then saw a valiant comeback effort fall just short, as the Patriots picked up a 27-24 win to complete the season sweep of the Dolphins.
Trailing 27-17, the Dolphins got the ball back with 2:56 to go in the fourth quarter and moved 80 yards in just over a minute to pull within one score.
Reggie Bush cemented his status not only as an every-down back, but as one of the stars of the 2011 NFL season, as the Dolphins (5-9) completed the season sweep of the Bills (5-9) thanks to a 30-23 win at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Bush finished the day with 203 yards rushing, the most of his career, the most by a Dolphin since 2002 (Ricky Williams 216 vs.
QB Matt Moore, LT Jake Long, CB Vontae Davis, and LG Vernon Carey were all lost for at least part of the game after suffering injuries as the previously relatively healthy Dolphins couldn’t overcome those injuries or three turnovers in a game that took far longer than the average NFL contest.
Kevin Burnett intercepted a Carson Palmer pass and ran it back for a touchdown–the first Dolphin to do so since Vontae Davis against Buffalo in 2009–to cap the Miami scoring, as the Fins did Jim Mandich proud on the day that the Mad Dog was put up in the team’s Honor Roll.
Rookie Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired and the Cowboys took the fifth and final lead change of the day into the win column.
Down 19-17, Dallas got the ball back with 2:59 to go and moved down the field in 10 plays before kicking the field goal.
The Dolphins (3-7) won their third consecutive game today, defeating the Buffalo Bills (5-5) 35-8 at Sun Life Stadium. The win made the Fins the first team ever to go from 0-7 to 3-7 and just the third team in NFL history to start off at least 0-7 and then have a three-game winning streak (1978 Cardinals & 1986 Colts).
Miami dominated from the start and had a 28-6 halftime lead–their largest through two quarters since Week 1 of 2002 and never even thought about looking back.
The Dolphins (2-7) picked up their first home win since Week 10 of last year, 364 days ago, and also won consecutive games for the first time since the first two games of 2010, thanks to a 20-9 win over the Washington Redskins (3-6) this afternoon.
Reggie Bush didn’t have as big a statistical day as he did last week, but he scored both of Miami’s touchdowns and Dan Carpenter added a pair of field goals as the Dolphins kept the Redskins at arm’s length most of the day.
Not only did the Fins score more points than they had in any game this season, they allowed fewer than they had in any game, making a perfect recipe for victory. The three points, in fact, were the fewest allowed by the Dolphins’ defense since December of 2008 against the Bills (in Toronto).
The Fins held a halftime lead for the third time this season, but were unable to close it out, as they scored just three points in the final two quarters and watched a 14-10 lead after two disappear.
QB Matt Moore was a standout in the first half, but the Giants defense seemed to adjust and held the Miami offense in check for much of the second half.