NOTEBOOK: Fake Punt The Turning Point In Victory

Posted Oct 14, 2012

Clemons' three-yard run helps key Dolphins win.

Head Coach Joe Philbin and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi got together for the gutsiest call of the game with Miami holding a tight three-point lead with a fake punt on 4th-and-1. Safety Chris Clemons took the direct snap from John Denney and sprinted three yards for the first down to extend the drive and eat up more clock. There was 4:15 left in the game and the offense was able to chew up almost three more minutes before punting it again and making it tougher for the Rams.

Statistical Milestones

Tannehill’s 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano to start the second half was his second of the game and his first multi-touchdown pass game of his career. … Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess passed former tight end Randy McMichael and moved into seventh all-time on the franchise receptions list with his second catch of the game and 284th catch of his career. … Wide receiver Marlon Moore set a new career-high in receptions with his third catch, the 29-yard touchdown pass, surpassing his previous high of two receptions against the Chicago Bears on November 18th, 2010. … Clemons had his first career carry on the fake punt Eye In The Sky

Interior run pressure from defensive tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai altered the strategy of the Rams and forced them to call running plays to the outside the remainder of the first half. On one early rush by Steven Jackson in the shadow of his own end zone, Starks got to Jackson’s ankles and slowed him up enough for Jared Odrick to drop Jackson for a 3-yard loss. … On the flip side, rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin staved off Chris Long on Tannehill’s 29-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter after earlier giving up a sack. He and the rest of the line made up for a tough day run blocking by protecting Tannehill for the most part, especially on the touchdown drive to start the second half.

Fantastic Fins

Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill With the Rams taking away the run, Tannehill had to put the ball in his hands and he succeeded with two clutch touchdown drives, finishing the day 21-of-29 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a career-best 112.0 passer rating.

Safety Chris Clemons – The fifth-round draft pick out of Clemson tied with Karlos Dansby for the lead in tackles with nine (seven solo) and a tackle for loss, but his biggest play came on special teams with the fake punt. It was his call to make if he saw the opening and on 4th-and-1 he went straight ahead for three yards to get the crucial first down.

Wide receiver Marlon Moore – With St. Louis intent on not letting Brian Hartline get free in the passing game, Moore stepped up with three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half. His 29-yard touchdown reception gave the Dolphins their first lead at 7-6.

Rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon The former Hurricane and third-round pick in April’s NFL Draft made the biggest defensive play of the game with his 3-yard sack of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. That forced the Rams to try an ill-fated 66-yard field goal as time expired, and Vernon added another sack in the first half.


The Dolphins have their bye week coming up and then travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Jets on October 28th.

Latest Headlines

Game Pass: Miami Dolphins