Miami’s last game was a 20-16 win over the San Diego Chargers. They are currently 5-5 and sitting just outside the playoff picture. A win against the Panthers would be enormous for this team.
First Quarter: Ryan Tannehill did not start the game well, throwing an interception to Panthers’ CB Josh Thomas on his second pass of the game. The numerous Tannehill turnovers are the only thing keeping the second year QB from jumping to the next level.
The Panthers took the ball right down the field, but a blocked field goal gave Miami possession. Unfortunately it turned
into nothing more than a 3 & out. The Panthers were able to knock in a 52 yard field goal to take the lead. The Dolphins responded with an impressive touchdown drive on just three plays, thanks largely to the 53 yard bomb to Mike Wallace for the TD.
Second Quarter: The Dolphins first drive of the second quarter featured another Mike Wallace deep ball, this time for 57 yards. The drive ended with a 32 yard Caleb Sturgis FG, giving the ‘Phins a one-touchdown lead. After trading punts, the Dolphins added another FG, this time from 47 yards.
The Panthers got the ball on the kickoff, and the very next play was a Cam Newton interception. Nolan Carroll came away with the pick, and the Dolphins drove right into the red zone. Luke Kuechly was once again the beneficiary of a waived off endzone penalty, this time on a shot to the helmet of Rishard Matthews. The Fish settled for another field goal to improve their lead.
The Panthers moved the ball 52 yards in 53 seconds to put Graham Gano in field goal range. He converted the 46 yard opportunity to give the Cats a little more life at halftime.
Mike Wallace had 110 yards and a touchdown on just two catches in the first half.
Halftime score: Miami Dolphins 16 – Carolina Panthers 6
Third Quarter: The Panthers kept their momentum rolling from the end of the first half, and took the opening possession 83 yards for a touchdown. The drive featured lots of short passes and running plays, and gave the Panthers’ defense a nice rest. It was the only scoring drive of the quarter.
Ryan Tannehill was dominating Cam Newton in stats, but the scoreboard showed a three-point game.
Score after three: Miami Dolphins 16 – Carolina Panthers 13
Fourth Quarter: After a few punts by both teams, the Miami Dolphins put together a decent drive. It featured two big scrambles for first downs by Tannehill, but they were unable to capitalize. Caleb Sturgis missed a 53 yard kick to give the Panthers good field position, but the Dolphins’ defense stood strong to force a 3 & out.
The Dolphins punted back to the Panthers, who drove right down into the red zone. A few plays later Carolina was able to get it into the endzone on a Cam Newton touchdown pass to Greg Olsen.
Final Score: Miami Dolphins 16 – Carolina Panthers 20
The Carolina Panthers special teams combined for a great day. Other than the one blocked field goal, the special teams was on point the whole day. Brad Nortman had a great game punting the ball, and Ted Ginn had a 41 yard punt return.
Ryan Tannehill played very well after the early interception, unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win the game. Tannehill went for 310 yards through the air, adding 36 yards rushing on just four carries.
Cam Newton didn’t have the best statistical performance, but his tenacity and perseverance ultimately won the game for the Panthers. He finished with just 174 yards passing, completing 50 percent of his passes. As usual, he made plays with his legs, putting up another 51 yards rushing.