Miami finished the season with a 5-3 record at Sun Life Stadium, with back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Jacksonville making it a reality. The Dolphins outscored the Jaguars and Bills by a combined 48-13 and sit at 7-8 with a road game at New England all that’s left.
“I thought it was a good team win,” Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “It was great to get a couple of takeaways on defense and not give the ball away on offense. I thought our guys played hard. I was pleased with the way some of the guys who just got here stepped up. We had five new starters who didn’t start the game on December 2nd three weeks ago here when we played New England, so I thought our staff did a great job in getting those guys ready to play.”
Bush’s first touchdown came on a 17-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter after his defense forced the first of four Buffalo turnovers. Rookie quarterback
“The first one was just kind of a quick-hitter where the running back fakes the run and immediately runs out into the flat,” said Bush, who has eight total touchdowns on the season. “I thought the safety was going to come down and cover but I ran right past me. Ryan got me the ball and all I had to do was start up the field and score, so it was pretty easy. I think the last touchdown was more a perfect pass by Ryan. He really threw that ball where nobody else could catch it and it was pretty easy to catch.”
Rookie running back
Bush talked about how the offense has been feeding off of the defense these past two weeks, this week with the four turnovers and last week with three fourth-down stops in the red zone. Middle linebacker
“It felt great and we did it all week in practice. Heck I had three interceptions in practice,” he said. “It’s just carrying over and getting contagious. Everybody’s going for the ball, trying to poke it out and clawing for it and we knew we needed to make turnovers in order to win this ballgame today and we did that.”
Tannehill completed 13-of-25 passes for 130 yards with two touchdowns and a 93.8 passer rating and he also added 44 rushing yards on six carries. His 31-yard run, the second longest ever by a Miami quarterback and his second run of 30 or more yards in as many weeks, set up Bush’s 1-yard touchdown run. Tannehill dove for the pylon and had the ball knocked out, so Bush joked about how he needs to work with his quarterback on that move.
With wide receiver
“They did a great job the entire game. They were able to open up some holes,” said Tannehill, who surpassed 3,000 passing yards on the season (3,059) and stretched his consecutive passes without an interception to 137. “We did a little bit of read-option to keep them off balance and they were consistent throughout the whole game of establishing the line of scrimmage and getting our backs room to run.”
Even though the Dolphins were officially eliminated from the playoffs, they are motivated to give their best in New England and see if they can finish with a non-losing record since 2008.