(via/ESPN) MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It was a Miami miracle.
With their playoff hopes hanging on by a slim thread, the Dolphins called a last-ditch hook-and-ladder named ‘Boise.’ Two pitches, a cross-field zig-zag and Kenyan Drake outrunning a stumbling Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown as time expired for a 34-33 Dolphins win over the Patriots.
“That was the last part of the play that was scripted when I got the pitch. It was sandlot football,” Drake said. “It was just me and Gronk. I couldn’t let Gronk tackle me in that situation. I said, ‘look, sorry Gronk,’ he’s a great player but I got somewhere to be.”
Ryan Tannehill, on his own 31-yard line, dropped back for a pass to Kenny Stills. Multiple Patriots surrounded him, but Stills pitched the pass to receiver DeVante Parker as he was falling down.
Stills’ play was essential in the touchdown because he dropped a third-down pass that could have extended a fourth-quarter comeback drive on the play before, but he responded with a timely heads-up play in the game’s biggest play.
“The Miami miracle sounds nice,” Stills said.
Parker pitched to running back Kenyan Drake, who broke a tackle, looked for another player to pitch to before deciding to turn it back up field. He outran several Patriots, but the final man between him and the end zone was Gronkowski.
“Drake runs a 4.3 and Gronk probably runs a 4.6 or 4.7, so I feel good about that matchup,” Tannehill said. “There’s no quit in me. There’s no quit in this locker room.”
The Patriots’ Gronkowski was back there preparing for a jump-ball situation, but he was a liability as a tackler as Drake tightropped the sideline running right past him. Tannehill said after the game that the 69 yards between the line-of-scrimmage and the end zone was too long for a Hail Mary. Gase called for ‘Boise’ and there wasn’t a hesitation. Gronkowksi lost his footing and tripped as Drake galloped into the end zone.
“The way it ended sucked,” Gronkowski said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like that. I feel like it’s going to test our character big-time. I have to make that tackle.”
Hard Rock Stadium erupted in cheers. Drake was mobbed by a host of teammates. Two Dolphins offensive line laid on the field doing simulated snow angles. Patriots players, in shock, walked toward the locker room.
“We have something for those type of situations. We work on it every Friday and Saturday,” coach Adam Gase said. “It’s boring because you might go three years without calling one of them. But these guys stuck with it and they executed that one for sure.”
Several Dolphins players said they worked on ‘Boise’ every week and most recently on Friday. Tannehill said, ‘of course, we scored.’
But that was against the scout team and this was against the Patriots.
The 69-yard touchdown was the longest game-winning touchdown with no time left in regulation during the Super Bowl era, according to Elias Sports.
Running back Brandon Bolden, primarily a special teams player who spent the first seven years of his career in New England, had two rushing touchdowns against his former team. Tannehill valiantly fought threw an ankle injury going 14 of 19 for 265 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 155.1 passer rating to beat the Patriots for the fourth time at home. Frank Gore had 92 rushing yards and passed LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth on the all-time yards from scrimmage list. Stills had a season-high 135 receiving yards and a touchdown.
But it’s that one play that will be remembered in Dolphins history forever.
In the locker room after the game, the entire Dolphins locker room led a chant of ‘Ted, Ted, Ted.” It was a salute to guard Ted Larsen, who made a key block on the play to create just one defender between Drake and the end zone: Gronk.
“I was looking to make a block so they wouldn’t throw me the ball,” Larsen said.
Miami has long been the Patriots’ house of horrors, and Sunday might have the most horrifying loss of them all for the Patriots. Miami has now won five of their past six homes games vs. the Patriots. Tom Brady is 7-10 vs. the Dolphins in Miami.
The Dolphins (7-6) prevented the Patriots (9-4) from clinching the AFC East for the 10th consecutive time on their home field. They also moved into a tie for sixth place with Baltimore, Indianapolis and Tennessee for the No.6 AFC playoff spot.