With most of the bigger games from Sunday winding up in ridiculous blowouts (Dallas 42 – 7 Indianapolis, Seattle 35 – 6 Arizona), let’s take a look at the wild game between two talented and up-and-coming (but eliminated) teams.
Minnesota and Miami both experienced a rollercoaster season.
The Vikings ushered in a potential superstar rookie QB in Teddy Bridgewater while losing Adrian Peterson for the season and getting less than expected results out of breakout candidate Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Dolphins began the year with a stunning upset of the Patriots but then saw Ryan Tannehill waver back and forth between brilliant and “not quite there”.
It’s no wonder that these two clubs put on a tit for tat show in Miami.
Tannehill puts on a clinic
In his best game as a pro, Tannehill played lights-out football under center, tossing 396 yards on 35/47 passing for 4 touchdowns and 1 INT.
He found Dion Sims, Damien Williams and Mike Wallace twice to remind Fins fans what it was like to have a prolific quarterback at the helm.
Ryan Tannehill is the first Dolphins QB to throw for 4 TDs in a game since Dan Marino pic.twitter.com/y1dd5d6cwi
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 21, 2014
A game of comebacks
The Vikings jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on a Matt Asiata rushing score and a gorgeous TD pass to Greg Jennings. They held the advantage until early in the 4th quarter when Lamar Miller snuck in on a one-yard run.
Minnesota responded by scoring 15 quick points and it looked as though the wind had been taken out of the Dolphins’ sails.
But with 1:16 left, Miami tied the game on a three-yard Tannehill to Williams pass.
What happened next is pretty unbelievable.
With 1:11 left to play the Vikings decided to go for the win instead of taking a knee and heading for overtime, despite the fact that they had a poor kickoff return and were starting at their own 13.
By calling a time-out and then allowing Bridgewater to throw an incomplete pass, the Dolphins were able to sack Teddy on 3rd down, stop the clock and force a punt.
In the kind of stuff that dreams are made of, rookie Terrence Fede blocked the punt out of the end-zone for the safety and the win.
— USATODAYSportsImages (@USATsportsImage) December 21, 2014
Give that man the game ball!