The emotions of a football game can change in seconds.
One moment before the game is over you are facing the reality of defeat, seven seconds later you are in pure jubilation after a miracle.
It is being called the “Miami Miracle” the opponent, the crème de la crème of the AFC East, the New England Patriots.
Kenyan Drake ran the last 52 yards as the Dolphins scored on a pass and double lateral on the final play Sunday to beat the New England Patriots 34-33.
“I’m standing before you all and I still don’t believe it,” Drake said. “I saw Gronk in front of me and I was like I have somewhere to be because I had to get in the end zone.”
Sixteen seconds from defeat, Ryan Tannehill threw a short pass and then watched his teammate Drake save the season.
“We had them right where we wanted,” Tannehill said. “Not really surprised with how things turned out.”
Week 14 in the NFL was wild with games; the “Miami Miracle” is the icing on the cake.
The Patriots were on the verge of clinching their 10th consecutive AFC East title when the Dolphins lined up at their 31 after a kickoff return trailing 33-28. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was the last man standing deep in the Dolphin’s playing prevent defense for a touchdown.
He threw a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who quickly lateraled to Drake along the sideline. He cut toward the middle and found a seam, helped by a block from guard Ted Larsen at the 30.
Drake beat two Patriots to the corner of the end zone — defensive back J.C. Jackson and Gronkowski.
Tannehill gets credited for a touchdown pass.
“They just made one more play than we did,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
The play was called “Boise,” because it was borrowed from the Boise State playbook, who ran their special play to take down the Oklahoma Sooners 12 years ago in the Fiesta Bowl.
“Got to make the tackle, the way it ended, it sucked,” Gronkowski said. “ Never really been a part of anything like that.”
The play ranks as the most significant play for the Miami Dolphins franchise up to this point.
“Football,” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, “is a crazy game.”
Brady threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns, but the stunned Patriots (9-4) lost in Miami for the fifth time in their past six trips to Miami Gardens. The Dolphins (7-6) came from behind five times to help their slim wild-card chances.
Brady broke the NFL record for career touchdown passes including postseason and now has 582, three more than Peyton Manning.
“At this time you need some luck on your side. We are going to keep fighting, Dolphins running back Frank Gore said. “Keep believing in our coaches. Keep standing as one. See what happens.”
Gore ran for 92 yards and had a 24-yard catch, giving him 18,530 career yards from scrimmage, surpassing LaDainian Tomlinson (18,456) for the fifth-most in NFL history. Next up for Gore are Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk (19,154), Walter Payton (21,264), Emmitt Smith (21,579) and Jerry Rice (23,540).
The Dolphins are visiting the Minnesota Vikings next. Tannehill missed two plays at the end of the first half after right tackle Ja’Wuan James stepped on his right ankle, rolling it and leading to a sack. He showed a limp for the remainder of the game.
X-rays of Tannehill’s right ankle were negative, but he acknowledged it didn’t feel good after the game. “I rolled it pretty good,” he said. “Got X-rays and buttoned it up tight.”
Tannehill finished 14 for 19 for 265 yards, three scores, and no turnovers. He has won nine consecutive home starts.
“We’re playing one week at a time right now,” Miami coach Adam Gase said. “Any loss could be the end.”
It will not be the end of the banter of the “Miami Miracle.” Chances are it will be nominated for an ESPY.
New England plays Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are coming off a loss themselves. Both need a win for their playoff positioning.