The Miami Dolphins are 2-0 for the first time since 2013.
Frank Gore added icing on the cake to the Dolphins win.
Gore moved past Curtis Martin for fourth on the career rushing list, Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, Kenyan Drake ran for a score, the Dolphins calmed the hype of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and defeated New York Jets for a 20-12 victory Sunday.
On third-and-19 and the Dolphins nursing an eight-point lead, Tannehill threw a short pass to Gore, who got his hands on the ball and hustled up the field for exactly 19 yards before going down.
“We won a division game, when you win a division game it like winning two,” Gore said. “The main thing I want to win and keep going.”
Gore was handed the game ball from coach Adam Gase for that play as well as his 8-yard run in the third quarter that put him behind only Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.
“To be able to be mentioned with the guys like Emmitt [Smith], Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin and my man LaDainian Tomlinson,” Gore said. “That’s a guy I looked up to once I got in the league, I loved LaDainian Tomlinson’s style, it is a blessing.”
Gore now has Dolphins fans on his list of those who will cheer for him during his Hall of Fame induction speech. The Miami native attended the Univeristy of Miami to be close to his then ailing (and now late) mother Liz. Gore suffered not one, but two major knee injuries in college.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’ve been doubted my whole life, coming out of college (at Miami) with the injuries that I had. People were saying I would only be in the league two or three years. I’d be done. I’ve been blessed to keep going and have success.”
The win did not look like Beyonce. Miami did not score in the second half. However, the Dolphins picked off Darnold twice and recovered a fumble.
The Dolphins are one of the best surprises in the league. You don’t apologize for wins in the NFL.
Dolphins are playing smart football right now. Last year, they were fourth worse in the NFL in turnover margin. Against the Jets, they won the turnover battle; against the Tennessee Titans they won the turnover battle. That is how you win games when you are not an elite team. Dolphins made the plays they needed to make to win and made fewer mistakes.
Tannehill finished 17 of 23 for 168 yards and also ran for 44 yards on eight carries for the Dolphins, coming off a win in the longest NFL game since 1970 merger by outlasting Tennessee in 7 hours, 8 minutes last Sunday.
Dolphins struggles in the second half are concerning. The defense looks sensational. The new receiving core looks exciting. Tannehill has been safe and the running game has so much potential. Let’s not jump to conclusions after two games.
The beat goes on, Dolphins remain home vs. Oakland Raiders next Sunday, the Jets have a quick turnaround against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.