Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sometimes a franchise can take something from a loss that in the long-term may be much better than a single victory. For the Miami Dolphins, that day was Sunday in the team’s 24-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
What Dolphins fans had cleared up for them is that for the first time in a long-time, the team has a quarterback that looks like he is the long-term answer in Ryan Tannehill. The number eight overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft looked and played up to the lofty expectations Sunday.
Tannehill was 26-41 for 431 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. While Tannehill is kicking himself for two bad passes in overtime that set up the Cardinals to win, his passing day was something the Dolphins had not seen in a long time.
Tannehill’s 431 yard passing day is the most ever by a Dolphins quarterback against the Cardinals, besting Dan Marino’s 429 yard performance in 1984. It was also the first time since 2001 that two Dolphins players, Davone Bess and Brian Hartline, had more than 100 receiving yards in a game.
Hartline’s 12 catches for 253 yards was a career high in college or the pros and is his second game of 100 yards or more receiving this year. He also set the Dolphins record for most receiving yards in a game besting a mark held by Chris Chambers of 238 yards receiving in 2005.
Besides Tannehill and Hartline’s spectacular day, the Dolphins defense had a good day as well. The Fins defense didn’t allow a running back to rush for more than 100 yards for the 18th consecutive game, which is the longest streak for the Fins since 2002-2003 when they pulled it off 20 straight games.
Cornerback Sean Smith picked off two Kevin Kolb passes in the game for the first multi-interception game of his career. But that was nothing compared to what defensive end Cameron Wake pulled off in the game.
Wake had three sacks in the first half and finished the game with 4.5 sacks, which was a single-game career high for the defensive end. His 4.5 sacks were the best any Dolphins player since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
Still, despite all of the individual performances, the Dolphins couldn’t pull it out in the end thanks to turnovers. The Cardinals finished off the Fins in overtime, which was the second-straight week the Dolphins lost in overtime.
Arizona is undefeated on the season and Tannehill’s shredding of the Cardinals defense was something not even future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady has been able to pull off in 2012.
But, even though the team lost, the Dolphins franchise and fans finally have hope for the future.