The Miami Dolphins were once on pace to be the worst team in NFL history, but after a historically bad start, they’ve become simply “very bad.” That is a rather big leap, and it’s a credit to the players and coaching staff to get two wins in their first 11 games and avoid an all-time awful season, even if that appeared to be the plan of the front office.
On Sunday, the Dolphins faced off with the Eagles in Miami seeking their third win, which would also effectively end the Eagles playoff hopes in the process. After a miserable start that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick throw an interception on the first play of the game, Miami had clawed back into the game late in the first half, marching inside the five with under five minutes to play.
They stalled there, however, ending up with 4th and goal from just inside the two, and trotted out the field goal unit down 13-7. However, they came out in a swinging gate look, and what happened after that will go down as one of the all-time weird and great fake field goals ever, as the holder, who is the Dolphins punter, took the snap and connected on a touchdown shovel pass to the kicker, who had leaked out into the end zone uncovered.
The funniest part of this is, the Eagles did mess up in their alignment as they only had three players at the bottom of the formation against four for the Dolphins. Up top, they had an extra man and, theoretically, should’ve been able to make the play, but everyone ran at the holder sprinting out to his left, forgetting to go with the kicker into the end zone.
When you’re 2-9 on the season, there’s little in the way of negatives for pulling out trick plays like this that have likely been buried in the back of the coordinator’s playbook for years, just hoping for the opportunity. Miami was unable to maintain their lead for the four minutes before halftime, with the Eagles scoring a touchdown in the closing seconds of the half, but we’ll always have the punter-kicker pass connection.