The Dolphins won their fifth straight game on Sunday with more significant contributions from the special teams. After a three-and-out on the defense's opening series, Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman sent his punt return team onto the field. At the snap, some late shifting freed up linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel to come clean with a free run at the punter.
Van Ginkel laid out and rejected the kick, sending the football bouncing towards the end zone. Cornerback Jamal Perry fell on it before Miami punched it in with a 1-yard Salvon Ahmed touchdown run on the next play.
"Coach (Danny) Crossman does a great job putting us in a great position and all 11 guys have to execute," Van Ginkel said. "It's one of those things that we had in there since training camp and we finally had a chance to call it and it worked out."
The Miami special teams were not done.
Wide receiver Jakeem Grant – who caught a three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the first quarter – returned punts of 18, 19 and 21 yards, the latter setting Miami up in Chargers territory. That drive would end with a Jason Sanders field goal.
The 50-yard boot from Sanders, along with a 35-yarder in the third quarter, extended his streak to 22 consecutive field goals made dating back to last season, and brought his 2020 total to 19 field goals without a miss. The streak would end there, however, as Sanders missed from 47 yards in the fourth quarter. The streak started back up again as Sanders buried a 49-yard field goal to give Miami a 29-14 lead late in the fourth quarter.
"Our special teams coordinator, Danny Crossman, comes up with different schemes every week and we don't get to run it all the time," Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores said. "We had an opportunity to run that early and had a little bit of shift and motion and got a rush. The big thing is executing it. Often times you draw things up and it hits the way you want it to hit, but you still have to make the play."
Sanders' first field goal and Grant's 21-yard return were preceded by a 62-yard punt from Matt Haack. Wide receiver Mack Hollins sprinted downfield and saved the ball from toppling into the end zone, pinning Los Angeles at their own 5-yard-line.
The Dolphins capped the victory when wide receiver DeVante Parker recovered the Chargers' onside kick attempt to secure the fifth-straight win.