Seahawks’ comeback falls short, Dolphins win 21-19

MIAMI — Their lead in jeopardy, the Miami Dolphins preserved it by batting down a 2-point conversion pass with less than three minutes left.

Next, instant replay saved them from a potentially costly fumble. Then they needed one final defensive stand, which ended at midfield with an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Winning’s not easy — as the Dolphins know all too well. They withstood a frantic rally by injury-riddled Seattle to win 21-19 Sunday and climb above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season.

“It stresses me out,” guard Justin Smiley said of the wild finish. “I’ve got bad nerves as it is. I’m sure it was awesome for the fans, but it was nerve-racking.”

Miami scored one long touchdown on a flea-flicker and another with a new play from its Wildcat formation. But their biggest surprise is a 5-4 record.

After going 1-15 last season, Miami has won three games in a row and is only one game out of first place in the tight AFC East.

“At the beginning of the season, no one probably expected it,” running back Ricky Williams said. “But we knew we had something special here.”

The Dolphins’ sizable bag of tricks saved them on a day the offense sputtered. The Wildcat — shut out in the past three games — produced scores on a 51-yard run by Williams and a 16-yard run by Ronnie Brown. Ted Ginn Jr. scored his first touchdown this season when he made a fingertip catch in the end zone of a 39-yard pass from Chad Pennington on a flea-flicker.

Williams ran for 105 yards on 12 carries — his first 100-yard game since Jan. 1, 2006. It almost wasn’t enough.

The Seahawks (2-7) trailed for the final 53 minutes but nearly forced overtime.

“We have a lot of people banged up, but we’re all fighting,” said backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, who started his fourth game in a row. “We came up a little short.”

Koren Robinson dropped a pass in the end zone in the third quarter but caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wallace with 2:57 left to make the score 21-19.

On the 2-point conversion try, Seattle was pushed back to the 8 because of a false start, and Yeremiah Bell batted away Wallace’s pass at the goal line.

Seattle recovered a fumble inside the Miami 30 on the next series, but officials reviewed the play and ruled Pennington was down before the ball came loose. The Dolphins then punted, and Seattle advanced to the Miami 49 before Wallace’s pass glanced off the hands of John Carlson on fourth-and-10 with 18 seconds left.

“Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy,” Miami coach Tony Sparano said. “Not in this league.”

The Seahawks’ first touchdown came on Jordan Babineaux’s 35-yard interception return, after the Dolphins used trickery to score touchdowns on their first two possessions for a 14-0 lead.

A 90-yard drive ended when Brown took a handoff and flipped the ball back to Pennington, who hit a well-covered Ginn in the end zone.

“Chad put it in a great spot,” Ginn said. “I just threw my hands out there. It was right in the breadbasket.”

The Dolphins gave the Wildcat a fresh twist to strike again. Brown took a direct snap and handed to Williams running straight ahead, where he found a gaping hole to score untouched.

For the day, the Wildcat netted 82 yards in seven plays. The funky formation has produced eight touchdowns this season.

“Our offense is versatile,” Williams said. “We just try to take what other teams are giving us. If they’re not giving us much, we have to create.”

A mistake by Pennington let the Seahawks back into the game. When he threw under pressure, Babineaux stepped in front of the intended receiver for an interception — only Seattle’s fourth this season — and sprinted to the end zone.

But the Seahawks never overcame the early deficit.

“It’s a little bit like Groundhog Day for us,” coach Mike Holmgren said. “The team showed great fortitude after falling behind 14-0 early, and looking pretty bad doing it. … Too little, too late.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Aimelie Hovde-Girard, right, chats with Payton Wold as they row along the Snohomish River with the Everett Rowing Association on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Everett, Washington. The rowers usually compete in teams of eight, but due to COVID-19, most row single sculls.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Despite pandemic, it’s full steam ahead for Everett rowers

The rowing association finds ways to continue their sport, both virtually and on the water.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) dives in for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs (37) during last Sunday’s game in Glendale, Ariz. The Arizona Cardinals won in overtime. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
POLL RESULTS: Seahawks fans are feeling concerned

More than three-quarters of responders have some level of concern, despite Seattle being 5-1.

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, then-Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich walks the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State, in Boise, Idaho. It took nine months for Rolovich, the new Washington State football coach, to conduct his first practice with the Cougars after the coronavirus led to the cancellation of spring practice and delays in the start of the 2020 season. Rolovich was hired from Hawaii in January after Mike Leach left for Mississippi State. (AP Photo/Steve Conner, File)
Washington State will feature new coach, quarterback

Nick Rolovich has big shoes to fill, but his outgoing personality is winning over the Palouse.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean Luc Baker of the US compete in the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance during the ISU figure skating France’s Trophy, in Grenoble, French Alps, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Kamiak grad earns silver medal in ice dancing at Skate America

It’s the second Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal for Jean-Luc Baker.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) on the sidelines during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
AP source: Seahawks land DE Carlos Dunlap from Bengals

The pass rusher amassed 46 sacks for Cincinnati from 2015-19.

Seattle Seahawks fans watch prior to Seattle’s game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Grading the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals

It’s poor marks all around as Seattle lets one slip away in overtime.

This is a 2020 photo of Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. This image reflects the Mariners active roster as of Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, when this image was taken.
M’s prospect Julio Rodriguez makes up for lost time in Arizona

His mixture of size, athleticism and talent has led many to believe he will be the team’s next star.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf tackles Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) short of the goal line after Baker intercepted a pass during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Hawks let game slip away, but Metcalf’s play was one for the ages

His astonishing TD-saving pursuit was in no way diminished by Seattle’s disappointing OT loss.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) gets the throw off as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts makes the hit during the second half of Seattle’s 37-34 overtime loss Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL: Is there cause for concern for the Seahawks?

Was Sunday’s overtime loss to Arizona a blip on the radar, or something to worry about?

Most Read