The Dolphins saved their best for last in the 2019 season.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Dolphins shocked the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in their season finale.
The victory was the Dolphins' first at Gillette Stadium since 2008 and kept New England from clinching the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs along with the accompanying bye.
The touchdown capped a brilliant 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:29.
The big play on the drive was a 24-yard completion to DeVante Parker, who continued his torrid late-season play.
Going most of the day against star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Parker had 137 receiving yards on eight catches, his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Parker, who became the first Dolphins player since 2016 with back-to-back 100-yard games, ended with the sixth-highest single-season receiving total in Dolphins history with 1,202 yards.
The 137 yards represented the most for a New England opponent this season.
Fitzpatrick had another brilliant performance, completing 28 of 41 passes for 320 yards and the one touchdown for a 99.6 passer rating — despite a handful of dropped passes by Dolphins receivers.
The victory helped the Dolphins avenge their 43-0 loss against New England in Week 2 and gave them a 5-4 record over the final nine games of the 2019 season.
The game-winning touchdown came after New England had taken a 20-17 lead on a 13-yard pass from Tom Brady to running back James White; it was the only time the Dolphins trailed in the game.
The Dolphins played inspired football from the start and pulled out several gadget plays in this one.
It started with punter Matt Haack throwing a pass out of the Wildcat formation on a fourth-and-3 from the New England 45-yard line on the first drive of the game.
While that pass fell incomplete, the Dolphins were more successful later.
Isaiah Ford gained 11 yards on a run after the Dolphins lined up in the Wildcat and Albert Wilson threw a 20-yard pass to running back Patrick Laird in the third quarter off a double pass.
Wilson had another pass attempt in the fourth quarter, but that one fell incomplete.
Jason Sanders gave the Dolphins a 20-17 lead with 8:29 left in the fourth quarter with his second field goal of the game, this one from 32 yards out.
The Dolphins took a 17-10 lead in the third quarter when Fitzpatrick tied a franchise record for quarterbacks with his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Fitzpatrick tied David Woodley (1981), Jay Fiedler (2001) and Cleo Lemon (2007).
The score capped an 83-yard drive that featured a 24-yard completion to Wilson to convert a third-and-2 and the 20-yard completion from Wilson to Laird. Then there was a 14-yard completion to Gesicki that ended with Gesicki being flipped over at the 2-yard line.
New England answered with a 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with Brady's 38-yard pass to linebacker Elandon Roberts, who came out of the backfield after lining up at fullback.
The Dolphins took a 3-0 lead after a first quarter they completely dominated.
The Dolphins outgained New England 110-25 in that first quarter, taking the lead when Sanders kicked a 27-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 80-yard drive the second time they had the ball.
The first quarter ended with a key play and a productive challenge by Head Coach Brian Flores after an apparent 16-yard completion from Brady to Mohamed Sanu. After review, the ruling was changed to an offensive pass interference call on tight end Ben Watson, which led to the Patriots drive stalling.
The Dolphins made it 10-0 on Rowe's pick-six, the first by Miami in their long history against Brady.
It was the Dolphins' first pick-six of the season, their first since safety Reshad Jones had one in the 2018 season finale against Buffalo.
New England cut into the Dolphins lead with a 25-yard field goal by Nick Folk after the Dolphins defense kept the Patriots out of the end zone after New England had a first-and-goal from the 7.
After the Dolphins' next drive ended after Wilson dropped a pass on third-and-9 with plenty of space in front of him, New England put together an 82-yard touchdown drive to tie the score.
The big play was a 50-yard completion from Brady to Phillip Dorsett to set up a first-and-goal at the 6, and Sony Michel scored on a 4-yard run two plays later.
The Dolphins didn't have a sack in that first half, but defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel both came up with tackles for loss.
The Dolphins played without injured defensive back Jomal Wiltz, wide receiver Allen Hurns and linebacker Vince Biegel.