NFL Wire News

Dolphins 37, Vikings 35


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins were eliminated from the AFC playoff race despite defeating the Minnesota Vikings 37-35 on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.

The winning points were scored on a safety with 41 seconds left. Vikings punter Jeff Locke fielded the snap on one hop, and Dolphins defensive end Terrence Fede blocked the punt out of the end zone.

However, earlier Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs put the playoffs out of reach for Miami.

Still, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for 396 yards and a career-high four touchdowns to help the Dolphins (8-7) end a two-game losing streak.

Tannehill’s performance spoiled the homecoming of his counterpart, Vikings rookie quarterback Tedd Bridgewater, who is from Miami.

Bridgewater completed 19 of 26 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota (7-8). Bridgewater is now 5-6 as a starter.

Early on, Minnesota had the better of play, taking a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Matt Asiata. The Vikings had a short field after Miami’s Caleb Sturgis came up short on a 56-yard field goal attempt.

The Vikings’ 10-play, 54-yard drive featured three conversions on third down, including the touchdown run.

Minnesota went up 14-0 after safety Harrison Smith blitzed Tannehill, blocked his pass, picked it off and returned it 11 yards to the Miami 23. Bridgewater cashed in by throwing a 21-yard TD pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings, who made an excellent grab of the high pass.

With 4:48 left in the second quarter, Miami cut its deficit to 14-7 on a 14-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dion Sims.

Blair Walsh’s 18-yard field goal — which came on the last scrimmage play of the first half — gave Minnesota a 17-7 lead. That capped an 86-yard drive that took just 64 seconds.

Miami closed its deficit to 17-14 on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to wide receiver Mike Wallace. The pass deflected off the hands of cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who nearly had an interception.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Miami took a 21-17 lead on a 1-yard run by running back Lamar Miller. The drive was set up by an interception from defensive end Derrick Shelby, who caught a pass that bounced off the hands of Asiata after he was hit.

Minnesota cut its deficit to 21-20 on a 33-yard field goal by Walsh with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Miami went up 28-20 on a 7-yard TD reception by Wallace.

With 4:46 left in the fourth quarter, the Vikings tied the score 28-28 on an 8-yard diving touchdown catch by wide receiver Jarius Wright and a two-point conversion run by Asiata.

Dolphins rookie Jarvis Landry then slipped on the ensuing kickoff return and fumbled at his own 5. Safety Antone Exum recovered, and Asiata scored on the next play, a 5-yard run to give the Vikings a 35-28 lead.

With 1:11 left in the fourth quarter, Miami tied the score 35-35 on a 3-yard TD reception by running back Damien Williams.

NOTES: Among the Vikings’ inactives: LB Anthony Barr (knee), G Charlie Johnson (ankle) and TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle). … This was Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater’s first game at Sun Life Stadium even though he grew up nearby, leading Miami Northwestern High to a No. 1 national ranking in 2007. … Aside from the suspension of star RB Adrian Peterson after just one game, the Vikings were doomed this season by a 0-5 record within their division. … Among the Dolphins’ inactives: G Nate Garner (migraines); RT Dallas Thomas (foot); RB Daniel Thomas (knee); LB Chris McCain (ankle) and S Don Jones (shoulder); Dolphins RT Jason Fox started for Dallas Thomas. … Dolphins MLB Koa Misi (knee, hamstring) and OLB Jelani Jenkins (foot) returned to the starting lineup after missing one game. … Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder) was also active. … Up next, Miami closes its regular season by playing host to the New York Jets. … Minnesota plays host to the Chicago Bears.

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