The Dolphins recorded a second consecutive victory when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 16-12, at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.
We examine the five biggest plays of the game.
1. Parker's steal in the end zone
Safety Steven Parker's play against tight end Eric Ebron was as remarkable as it was significant. When Brian Hoyer's pass first got to Ebron in the end zone, it appeared to be a certain touchdown because Ebron had both hands on it. But Parker was able to get his left hand on the ball and as both players fell to the ground and rolled over, Parker managed to steal it away from Ebron. There was some hesitation before the officials called it an interception, but it stood after review and Parker literally ended up stealing seven points (assuming Adam Vinatieri would have made that extra-point attempt) from the Colts. So instead of Indy taking a quick 7-0 lead, the game remained scoreless.
2. McCain's great return
It wasn't just that safety Bobby McCain made a nice catch to come up with a pick on Hoyer's overthrown pass to Ebron in the second quarter. What really was impressive about his play was his return, where he maneuvered down the left sideline, making a couple of moves along the way, to get all the way to the Indy 12-yard line to set up the Dolphins' only touchdown of the game. Fellow safety Eric Rowe deserves some credit on the play as well because his tight coverage against Ebron clearly contributed to the overthrow because Hoyer didn't want to get picked by underthrowing the pass.
3. Fitzpatrick's TD scramble
Ryan Fitzpatrick played a really solid game against the Colts in part because he didn't force any throws (for the record, his arm was hit on the one interception he threw). That was the case on the third-and-9 from the Indy 11-yard line in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick didn't see anybody open, but what he did see was some open field in front of him. Fitzpatrick isn't a speedster, but he does move around very well and he was able to make it to corner of the end zone, with a quick pump fake maybe providing just the little bit of extra time he needed.
4. Needham's pick
Nik Needham had a really strong performance all the way around, but the way he cut in front of intended receiver Zach Pascal for his interception was textbook cornerback play. The only mistake he made on the play actually was failing to keep the ball as a memento of his first NFL interception (though his teammates reminded him). The pick was huge because it set up Jason Sanders' second 48-yard field goal and made it a four-point lead, which would prove huge at the end of the game.
5. The fourth-down stop
Because of Sanders' second field goal and because of Vinatieri's missed extra point after Indy's only touchdown, the Colts needed a touchdown on their final drive and they got to the Dolphins 16-yard line. Hoyer tried on second and third down to hit a receiver in the back right corner of the end zone despite the Dolphins having two defenders around, and the two incompletions set up a fourth-and-10 with 45 seconds left. When Indy used its first timeout of the half to talk about the play, it made it a game-deciding play because the Dolphins could kneel to run out the clock with a stop. The Dolphins rushed four players, while the Colts sent three receivers downfield with a fourth right beyond the line of scrimmage. Hoyer had plenty of time to throw, but the Dolphins had tight coverage beyond the first-down marker. Ebron eventually got a little separation from two Dolphins defenders, but he caught the ball moving away from the end zone and when Needham touched him down, he was at the 8-yard line — 2 yards shy of the line to make. Game, set, victory.