The Dolphins Ran the Ball Right Up the Patriots' Asses in Season-Saving Win

The second half was all about the run game.
The second half was all about the run game. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty
When it was announced a couple of hours before kickoff that the Miami Dolphins would be heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots without DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and Jakeem Grant, fans let out a collective gasp knowing that Tua Tagovailoa — short on offensive weaponry on a good day — would be playing a must-win game without his top three playmakers on offense.

That seemed bad. After Miami spent half of the game with exactly zero points, not having enough good football players was confirmed to be bad.

Then, the Dolphins came out of halftime looking like a pound-the-rock-up-your-asses, leather-helmet-era juggernaut. The Patriots had no answers for it, so the Dolphins just kept running it.

After the dust settled on one of their best rushing attack performances in years, the Dolphins had turned a 6-0 halftime deficit into a 22-12 win.

Phewwwww. That was almost so bad!
The Dolphins' season-saving second half of offensive output turned what looked to be a disappointing loss that would have all but eliminated them from the postseason into a win that moved them to 9-5 and in control of their own destiny.

If the Dolphins win their last two games and finish 11-5, they're in the playoffs. No help needed. No Steve Kornacki and his magic maps required.
The second half was all about the run game. Salvon Ahmed — a running back for the Miami Dolphins — went over 100 yards rushing on the day, something no running back has done in two seasons. Matt Breida, the backup running back, had over 70 yards himself.

But the most important drives were sealed by Tua touchdowns. Just how Dolphins fans like it.

The Dolphins have the Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills left on their schedule. They need to beat both to make the playoffs. The Raiders are pretty bad and will likely be without their starting quarterback. The Buffalo Bills, having wrapped up the AFC East this weekend, will likely have little to play for and may rest their best players.

All the Dolphins need is to stop losing all their best players to injury, and this might actually happen. The Dolphins may play actual NFL Playoff football. Sunday was step one of a three-step process of getting there. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.