It was Week 2 in the NFL but week one for the Miami Dolphins. However the Dolphins are 1-0.
Miami spoiled the Hollywood debut for the Los Angeles Chargers with a 19-17 win that illustrated a cinematic-like ending to a late season start.
The Dolphins spent the past nine days in California after leaving South Florida early to avoid Hurricane Irma. Rest was not an issue after their home opener against Tampa Bay was postponed, leaving them to play their latest season opener since 1977.
With Miami up less than a field goal, Philip Rivers had my breakfast slowly moving up my digestive track as he drove the Chargers into scoring range in the final minute in front of a crowd of 25,381. It was the Chargers’ first home game since relocating to the Los Angeles area after 56 seasons in San Diego. Younghoe Koo missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with five seconds left, his second miss of the game. THE END.
“I will always take a win. It is a terrible win. But we will take it,” Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh stated. “We did not finish strong. At the end of the day, we have to adjust quicker, understand what they are trying to do against us and make plays.”
The Dolphins will not have a bye week because of the Week 2 start. After traveling home for a week of practice at their undamaged training complex in Davie, they’ll travel to New York to face the Jets.
This was game one. Hurricane Irma displaced sports teams from the entire state of Florida from all levels of play. Jay Cutler played better than expected in my eyes. Kenny Stills caught a 29-yard TD pass in the third quarter from Cutler, who went 24 of 33 without an interception in his Dolphins debut after being called from the television booth for the injured Ryan Tannehill. Cutler added 230 yards and Jay Ajayi was back to form, rushing for 122.
The Dolphins run defense improved tremendously holding Melvin Gordon to nine carries for 13 yards and the Chargers as a team to 44 yards on 14 carries, a 3.1 average. The defense gave me a scare when Rivers was carving it apart in the final minute, but overall played well considering linebacker Lawrence Timmons went missing in action.
Timmons was inactive after unexpectedly leaving the team during the weekend. He was expected to start this season for the Dolphins, who signed him to a $12 million deal after he spent the past 10 years with Pittsburgh Steelers.
There were echoes that Timmons went AWOL and the team was trying to find him. He started 101 consecutive games before going missing, the 10th-longest streak among active players. Shortly after the game, agent Drew Rosenhaus shared it was a personal matter for Timmons. Early Monday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared Timmons wants to play, but will meet with doctors first. Head coach Adam Gase will address the media regarding Timmons in his afternoon presser. TMZ shared Timmons was found at LAX after the team filled missing persons paper work with local officials on Saturday.
Interesting for only being week one or two.
What’s a film without a star.
Antonio Gates set an NFL record with his 112th touchdown reception as a tight end. Gates broke his tie with Tony Gonzalez on an 8-yard throw from Rivers in the third quarter.
“I got tons of texts from family and friends that have been expecting this moment. They have been praying for me,” Gates stated. “They have been hoping for this moment. It is fun.”
Gates also recorded his 900th reception in the first half, becoming the third tight end in NFL history to hit the mark.
The Chargers’ three-game homestand continues with a visit from the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs, who have beaten their AFC West rivals six straight times.