The Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets basically played a playoff game this past Sunday. The losers would find themselves with a nearly impossible path to a playoff birth. The winners would still get to claim they were in the hunt for another week or two. Only one of these deeply flawed teams was leaving Hard Rock Stadium feeling good.
Then this happened with just a little more than five minutes left in the game:
Rookie Kenyan Drake ran untouched for a 96-yard kickoff return, giving the Dolphins a 27-23 lead they wouldn't relinquish. If you thought it had been a while since the Dolphins did anything that resembled the Drake return, you'd be right.
That was the Dolphins' first kickoff return touchdown at home since 1970. Mercury Morris had the last one.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 6, 2016
After a 1-4 start, the Dolphins have strung together three straight wins to crawl back to .500 and into serious conversations about a wildcard playoff birth. Really, it's not a joke anymore: The Dolphins actually are back in contention. For a Super Bowl. Technically. Thanks to a huge play by a player most Dolphins fans had forgotten existed over the past two weeks as they watched Jay Ajayi set NFL records for rushing.
A month ago, everyone was writing off the Dolphins and looking to next year, but their offensive line got healthy, Adam Gase found some things that have worked on offense, and the defensive line has constantly covered up other defensive weaknesses. This past Sunday, the Dolphins weren't perfect, but instead of sitting idly by as their opponent made a huge play when they needed it most, the Dolphins were the team that delivered the fatal blow.
Kenyan Drake, a rarely used rookie running back out of Alabama, came to the rescue, and fans on Twitter couldn't believe their eyes.
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Kenyan Drake! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroll TIDE.— Jake Winderman (@jakewinderman) November 6, 2016
THIS GAME IS CUCKOOBALLS JACKSON— Roger Paul (@DatRoroKid) November 6, 2016
TOUCHDOWN MIAMI DOLPHINS!— FumbleNaNet Podcast (@fumblenanet) November 6, 2016
TOUCHDOWN KENYAN DRAKE! RETORNO DE KICKOFF DE 96 JARDAS!