Three Observations From The Win Over The Patriots

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Finsiders analyst John Congemi provides his three takeaways from Miami's 24-20 win over the Patriots.

For the first time since week three, the Miami Dolphins are sitting on a three-game winning streak and it feels even better than the start because of the playoff implications and the chances for the Dolphins of keeping this momentum for the next week against the Buffalo Bills.

Here are my three observations from today’s 24-20 win over the New England Patriots:

1) Thank You, Michael Thomas: There was a player that suited up for the Miami Dolphins who fans, and some of his own teammates, might not have known his first name. But now, not only do they know his name, but they would do just about anything for him. His name is Michael Thomas, and the couple of plays he made down the stretch were key in the Dolphins holding onto a 24-20 win. The play he made on the football was spectacular because Thomas wasn’t in position to make a play on the pass thrown by Brady, but he waited for the would be reception, and then played the ball all the way down to the ground. It showed a high football IQ and also the ability to be in the right place at the right time on the Brady interception. It showed that Michael Thomas has a bright future in the Dolphins’ secondary.

2) Tannehill Kept Fighting: There wasn’t a whole lot of offensive production in the first half, but at crunch time once again, Ryan Tannehill passed the test. The drive that he led at the end of the half to get Miami on the scoreboard proved to be a critical because it gave the Dolphins momentum going into halftime. As Hall Of Fame quarterback Dan Marino told the Finsiders this week, all quarterbacks are always judged in the final two minutes before halftime and the final two minutes of of the game. Tannehill had to come back at the end of the game and answer a Tom Brady scoring drive. When he found Marcus Thigpen matched up against a linebacker, Tannehill took advantage for the touchdown pass. Those decisions at the end of half and end of game, coupled with a 300-yard performance, leads me to believe Tannehill is well on his way to finish strong this season.

3) Clay’s Big Play: Not many people are going to read the stat sheet tonight or tomorrow morning and notice that Charles Clay had an impact on the football game. Normally one catch for six yards doesn’t grab any headlines or get fans’ attention, but that one play might have kept the Dolphins’ playoff hopes alive. With a simply designed screen to the outside, Clay turned a throw that moved him away from the line of scrimmage into a fourth down conversion that kept the Dolphins’ drive alive and ultimately led to a game-winning touchdown. So, thank you, Charles Clay for the one catch that kept all of our hopes alive as we look to the Buffalo Bills next week.
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