On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins' frantic comeback bid in their 33-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs fell short. After being down 30-10 with 14 minutes left, a heroic fourth-quarter effort by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa wasn't enough to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions.
A close loss against the best team in the NFL is nothing to hang your heads about, but giving up 30 consecutive points after being up 10-0 was an especially painful way to lose a game that ended up being close.
The Dolphins losing will be the story most talk about today, but we here at New Times like to dabble in positivity and silver linings when others harp on the negativity. We'd like to think the good plays in a loss are the friends we made along the way.
With that in mind, we'd like to take a look at a play that turned a Dolphins' probable morale-killing blowout loss into a moral victory that featured the best game of a young quarterback's career.
The play we're talking about is the other-worldly interception of Patrick Mahomes that Xavien Howard pulled off in the Dolphins end zone in the fourth quarter.
XAVIEN HOWARD ???? pic.twitter.com/YfbNNXay5f— Athlete Tweets ????? (@AthleteTweetts) December 13, 2020
Xavien Howard is a MONSTER pic.twitter.com/xDzFYYHSXb— Dolphin Nation (@Dolphin_Nation) December 13, 2020
The best CB in the NFL and the DPOY making another incredible play today. X going to give it to you. pic.twitter.com/982pMnd9LD— Daniel (@DanielEliesen) December 14, 2020
If the Dolphins had made a comeback to win on Sunday, this Xavien Howard play would have been the reason. Against any cornerback that wasn't Howard, this play would have ended in the Chiefs being up 27. Instead, the Dolphins got the ball back, scored, and ten minutes later were down only six points.
The Dolphins didn't come back, though, so we're just going to sit back and reminisce about how beautiful this athletic effort was. As the Dolphins' Twitter account said, that's art. Put it in the museum.
The incredible interception tied Howard with ex-Hurricanes great Ed Reed for the most interceptions a player has ever had through 53 games. Howard will undoubtedly make the Pro Bowl this season and likely be named an All-Pro. The only question at this point is if he is the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
As for the Dolphins, the loss dropped them to 8-5 heading into next weekend's matchup with the New England Patriots. The Dolphins are quickly losing any chance at catching up to the Buffalo Bills for a shot at winning the AFC East, but their playoff chances are still looking good if they can go 2-1 in their last three games.
Historically, a ten-win season gets teams into the playoffs, and in a year where there's an extra spot, that seems even more likely.
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