Dolphins Pull Out a Miraculous Victory

There are games that define teams and players, games that erase all the critics, games with such a warm afterglow; they leave you reaching for a cigarette. The Miami Dolphin win over the Patriots was one of those games.

The idea of using Rob Gonkowski as the deep safety seems so Belichickian, until the Gronk actually has to become a defender and make an open field tackle. Kenyan Drake was feeling lonely watching Frank Gore run through the New England defense. When Drake got the ball on the final play, nothing would stop him from outrunning the Gronk all the way to victory.

For Dolphin fans, the moment will live forever in the lore of a team desperately needing spark. The Dolphins stood up to the AFC East bullies, duking it out toe to toe, but seemed destined for the knockout blow with 7 seconds left, down by five points.

Somehow the magic happened, a pass to Kenny Stills, a lateral to Devante Parker, another lateral to Kenyan Drake and the field of dreams opened up. The Miami Dolphins won the game.

New England fans will call it luck, high school shenanigans and of course, there was a certain amount of luck involved. This one play is the perfect example of how a football team learns how to win. How a football team learns that luck only matters if the team is in a position to win.

With a minute left in the first half, New England blocked a punt and had a very short field to score. The Dolphins did not allow a single point, in fact, they forced Brady to make an uncharacteristic mistake, he was sacked with no timeouts and the half ended.

What does this have to do with luck? Every person and every team has the same amount of luck, what matters is, if you're in a position to benefit from that luck. If Miami had been 8 points behind at the end of the game, the last play would have been a lot different.

By fighting for every inch at the end of the first half, Miami was able to stay alive and within in a touchdown at the end of the game. By making that goal line stand, the Dolphin's final lucky play turned into victory.

This is the difference between winning and losing. It is the reason Miami can be outgained, lose in time of possession and turnovers, yet still win. Luck does not matter if you are not in a position to win. Adam Gase knows this, he teaches it and his players do not quit until the final whistle blows.

Ryan Tannehill had perhaps his finest game as a Miami Dolphin. The local press and indeed this site have been insistent that Tannehill is nothing more than an average quarterback. If any player on the Dolphins was an example of staying in the game until the final whistle, it was Ryan Tannehill.

JaWaun James stomped his 300 pounds firmly on Tannehill's right ankle and it looked like Tannehill was done. No one would have said a word if Tannehill did not return to that field, but he taped the ankle and hobbled back out there to lead his team. A team one last desperate breath from playoff elimination. In the end, Tannehill and his team deservedly sucked in the sweet aroma of victory.

Kenny Stills, made some ugly mistakes. He slid to the ground in the fourth quarter with his team leading and needing a first down. Had he simply dove over the line, Miami may have won the game without those final heroics. He dropped another first down throw that caused the final punt.

Stills didn't quit, he stepped into the open zone, caught that final pass and flipped it to Parker, who flipped it to Drake, who found the endzone. Stills knew it was a desperate play, but he also knew it was possible because Miami had left themselves in a position for luck to do its magic.

Maybe all Dolphin fans need to learn the lesson of luck. When you give up and put a lucky break out of reach from helping, you lose. The luck was there, the same luck everyone has, but luck doesn't matter if you can't use it.

Tannehill may never be a great quarterback, Stills may never be a great receiver and Adam Gase may never be a great coach, but they will win. The will win because they do not give up.

The Miami Dolphins probably need a better QB, could use some linebackers and secondary...

But in the end, if they believe they can win and keep victory in their grasp...

These Miami Dolphins will find a way...