MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Dolphins got a much-needed win on Sunday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.READ MORE: Storms Causing Flight Delays At South Florida Airports
For interim coach Dan Campbell and first-time play-caller Zac Taylor, 32, who helped the Dolphins hold off the Baltimore Ravens 15-13 on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium, it was “mission accomplished.”
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed only 9 of 19 passes for 86 yards, his lowest passing total since he had 82 in a 10-0 loss at Buffalo in 2013.
“Today, 15 points was enough,” Tannehill said. “Next game, 15 points may not be enough.”
The Dolphins scored all their points within 20 seconds in the second quarter but nearly gave away their 15-point lead.
Dolphins running back Lamar Miller fumbled at his own 41 with 4:16 left in the game. But Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was wide right on a 55-yard field goal try that would have given Baltimore a 16-15 lead with 2:37 remaining.
“Take away the fumble, and I thought Lamar had a hell of a game,” Campbell said of Miller, who ran 20 times for 113 yards.
The Dolphins had 26 rushing attempts. Since 2004, the Dolphins are 10-0 when running the ball at least 24 times.
Meanwhile, it was another close Ravens game. Baltimore is the first team in NFL history to have its first 12 games decided by eight or fewer points. Ravens rookie running back Javorius Allen had 170 yards from scrimmage, and quarterback Matt Schaub passed for 308 yards. But Schaub also took three sacks and was intercepted twice.
“It was a tough game,” Ravens receiver Kamar Aiken said. “We didn’t do enough to get the W.”
The Dolphins (5-7) remained on the fringe of the AFC playoff picture. Baltimore (4-8) is virtually out of the race.
Besides the commitment to the running game, the other big story line for Miami was the contribution of two rookies making their first NFL starts – wide receiver DeVante Parker and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
Phillips, a second-round pick, had the key tackle on a Miami goal-line stand and also had a deflection that led to an interception by safety Reshad Jones. The goal-line stand came on a fourth-and-one quarterback sneak by Schaub at the Miami two with 6:44 left in the second quarter.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh felt Schaub had the first down.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 5,520 New Cases, 9 Deaths Reported On Sunday
“Whenever you get a surge, and the quarterback’s got the ball right there up in his chest, and he’s behind the offensive line, that’s a first down in football,” Harbaugh said. “Always is and always has been.”
Parker, a first-round pick bothered much of the year by a foot injury, leaped high to grab a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, snapping a scoreless tie with 1:47 left in the first half. That play immediately followed the Jones interception deflected by Phillips.
“That’s what I do best,” Parker said, “high-point the football.”
Twenty seconds after Parker’s score, Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby deflected a Schaub pass. The ball went high in the air, Shelby grabbed it and raced 22 yards for another touchdown.
It was the 14th career pick-six for Schaub, his seventh since 2013 and his second in the past two games.
After two off-sides penalties on Baltimore, Miami opted for a two-point try, converting on a run by Jay Ajayi for a 15-0 lead.
Baltimore finally scored on Tucker’s 38-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Ravens cut their deficit to 15-10 with a third-quarter score by running back Javorius Allen, who took a short swing pass and completed a 41-yard touchdown play.
Tucker’s 31-yard field goal with 10:17 left in the fourth quarter cut Miami’s lead to 15-13. But Miami’s defense held up after Miller’s fumble to preserve the Dolphins win.
“It shows the character of our defense,” said Jones, who also praised Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon, who had 2.5 sacks. “We were going to continue to fight and claw until we found a win.”
NOTES: Ravens PK Justin Tucker had seven points to become the fastest kicker in NFL history to reach 500 points. … Ravens LT Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and TE Maxx Williams (concussion) sat out. LT James Hurst started in place of Monroe. … Ravens starting TE Crockett Gilmore hurt his back in the first half. … Baltimore has 17 players on injured reserve, including QB Joe Flacco, WR Steve Smith, OLB Terrell Suggs and RB Justin Forsett. … Miami was without three starters: RT Ja’Wuan James (toe), WR Rishard Matthews (cracked ribs) and DT Earl Mitchell (calf). … RT Jason Fox made his fifth straight start in place of James. … Miami second-year WR Matt Hazel made his NFL debut.
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