Strong First Half Not Enough, Dolphins Lose To Giants

Behind the passing of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and an opportunistic defense, the Dolphins put together a solid performance in the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

But they couldn't sustain it and the Giants roared back for a 36-20 victory.

The Dolphins were outscored 29-10 in the second half after they took a 10-7 lead into halftime.

Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 201 yards in that first half, including a 20-yard touchdown to DeVante Parker. The Dolphins had 234 total yards in that first half, their highest total since an October 2015 game against the Houston Texans.

Parker had himself another nice game, two days after signing a four-year contract extension. Parker finished with four catches for 72 yards, adding a 29-yard contested touchdown catch at the second-half two-minute warning.

In what might have been their final time facing him, the Dolphins intercepted Eli Manning three times, including twice in that first half.

The Dolphins tied their season high with the interceptions; they had first set it in their 16-12 victory at Indianapolis.

They were the first interceptions Manning had thrown against the Dolphins in four career games.

The interceptions were recorded by linebacker Vince Biegel, cornerback Nik Needham and linebacker Jerome Baker.

Biegel's pick set up Jason Sanders' 24-yard field goal that gave the Dolphins a 10-7 lead.

Baker's pick in the third quarter stopped a Giants scoring threat as it came on a third-and-1 from the Dolphins 24-yard line.

The Giants took the lead for good on the opening drive of the second half.

Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton started the drive with a 26-yard reception and ended with a 5-yard touchdown catch from Manning on first-and-goal.

The Dolphins cut their deficit to 14-13 on a 47-yard field goal by Sanders after Patrick Laird followed Baker's interception with an 18-yard run.

It went downhill after that.

The Giants made it 16-13 when safety Sam Beard tackled Laird in the end zone on a running play for a safety.

After Da'Mari Scott returned the ensuing free punt 30 yards, Manning completed passes of 15 and 24 yards to set up Saquon Barkley's first of two touchdowns, that one from 1 yard out.

Barkley, who had his first 100-yard rushing performance since Week 2, added a 10-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 30-13.

Before Parker closed out the scoring with his second touchdown, Buck Allen had a 1-yard touchdown run for the Giants with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter.

Even with their strong first-half showing, the Dolphins missed some opportunities to take a bigger lead into halftime.

For one, the offense wasted good scoring opportunities on its first two drives.

After taking the opening kickoff, the Dolphins drove to the Giants 32-yard line after Patrick Laird's 9-yard run converted a third-and-1, but the drive stalled and Sanders was wide right on a 49-yard field goal attempt.

After linebacker Sam Eguavoen stopped the Giants' ensuing possession with a third-down sack, the Dolphins got into the red zone on a drive that began with a 19-yard completion to tight end Clive Walford.

The Dolphins decided to go for the first down on fourth-and-1 from the Giants 10, but Laird was dropped for a 3-yard loss to end the scoring threat.

The Dolphins got onto the scoreboard on their third possession.

The 89-yard drive featured two scrambles by Fitzpatrick for 19 yards and a 21-yard completion to Albert Wilson that converted a third-and-3.

The touchdown pass was a rope down the seam to Parker, who found a great way to celebrate the four-year contract extension he signed Friday.

The lead didn't last very long, though, because the Giants responded with a 75-yard drive that took only three plays. The key play was a 24-yard defensive pass interference penalty on cornerback Nate Brooks, one of six players making his Dolphins debut in this game.

On the next play, Tate caught a long pass from Manning after it was deflected and completed the 51-yard touchdown.

Sanders' field goal, which after punter Matt Haack pinned the Giants at their own 1-yard line, gave the Dolphins the lead heading into halftime.

The Dolphins will close out their home schedule next Sunday when they face the Cincinnati Bengals at Hard Rock Stadium.

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