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NOTEBOOK: Wallace Goes Deep Early And Often; Other Notes

Posted Nov 24, 2013

Speedy wide receiver got on the same page with Tannehill.



Question upon question has been asked of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace for weeks about the missing deep ball through the first 10 games. Today he gave his desired answer.

Wallace and quarterback Ryan Tannehill connected five times for a game-high 127 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s tough 20-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers for an average of 25.4 yards per catch. His first reception went for a 53-yard touchdown as he sped past Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, adjusted to the ball late and waltzed into the end zone for a 7-3 Dolphins lead with 5:39 left in the first quarter of the game.

“I really had a comeback route but when I was coming off the ball I saw Captain kind of stopped at like 15 yards thinking I was going to run a comeback route,” said Wallace, who enjoyed the third most productive day of his career in terms of receiving yards. “So I just kept going. I just threw my hand up and (Tannehill) just threw the ball up. It felt awesome. I hadn’t been able to score a touchdown in so long and it got the game started and got our team hyped, so that’s always good. I’ve just got to have more of that and I’ve got to do a better job of making more plays.”

It didn’t take long at all for Wallace and Tannehill to connect again when he got behind Munnerlyn, this time for 57 yards early in the second quarter that led to a 32-yard field goal by rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis. All told, there were four deep shots to Wallace called on the afternoon with the last one coming on the second to last play of the game and nearly resulting in the game-winning touchdown.

Earlier in the week, Tannehill put it on himself to get those types of plays working and pledged to “let it rip,” whenever Wallace got behind the coverage. He felt confident that there would be enough opportunities in this game to take those shots and finished the afternoon completing 28-of-42 passes for 310 yards with the one touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 86.4.

“I felt good about it. There’s a lot of other stuff that goes into the game so it was good to hit a couple of deep ones,” Tannehill said. “Obviously, we needed to probably hit one in the second half, which we didn’t do, but he made a good catch on the first one for the touchdown. He kept his feet and got in the end zone and then we were able to hit another one pretty soon after that so we’ve just got to be consistent and build on it.”

Statistical milestones

Tannehill’s 53-yard touchdown pass to Wallace in the first quarter was Tannehill’s longest touchdown pass of the season. … Wallace’s 110 receiving yards in the first half marked the first time a Dolphins receiver had gone over 100 yards in a single half since Brian Hartline did it in both the first half (110 yards) and second half (143 yards) at Arizona on September 30th, 2012. It was also Wallace’s second best showing in a half of his career behind his 129 yards at Indianapolis on September 25th, 2011 when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. … Wallace has now caught a pass in 66 consecutive games. … Defensive end Olivier Vernon notched a sack for the second consecutive game and increased his season total to a career-high 6.5. … Cornerback Nolan Carroll’s interception near the end of the first half was his second of the season, giving him the first multi-interception season of his career. … Tannehill completed passes to 10 different receivers today – Wallace, Hartline, Rishard Matthews, Charles Clay, Michael Egnew, Dion Sims, Marcus Thigpen, Lamar Miller, Marlon Moore and Daniel Thomas. … Tannehill’s 310 passing yards are the most in his career at home and now he has four 300-yard games in his career. … Head Coach Joe Philbin one both of his replay challenges this afternoon – the first one overturning a first-down run by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton at the end of the first quarter that forced a punt and the second reversing the ruling of an incomplete pass to Charles Clay late in the game that would have forced a punt but instead gave the Dolphins a critical first down. He is now a perfect 5-for-5 on challenged this season.

Next

The Dolphins go back on the road next Sunday for a pivotal AFC East game at the New York Jets at 1 p.m., at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.