Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/17/12
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- With players from the 1972 Miami Dolphins watching on the 40th anniversary of the NFL's only perfect season, Miami scored 21 unanswered points to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-3 Sunday. Pulling away from a 3-3 first-quarter tie, the Dolphins (6-8) earned their second win in the past seven games. The Jaguars (2-12) lost for the 10th time in the past 11 games. "When you consider many of the greatest players in our franchise's history from the 1972 team were in attendance," Miami coach Joe Philbin said, "it was a great home win. Our guys played as a team." Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill displayed the effective form he possessed earlier in the season, completing 22 of 28 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and a 123.2 rating. He also ran for 52 yards on eight carries, and he passed for a two-point conversion. Dan Carpenter added field goals 53, 30 and 31 yards for the Dolphins. "It's big for us (to keep winning down the stretch)," Tannehill said. "We've had a tough year, a lot of close games that we should have or at least had a chance of coming away with a win, and we weren't able to do it. To get a win heading into a home division game next week (Buffalo) is big for us." The game turned early in the second quarter on an illegal-substitution penalty that wiped out a 20-yard Jacksonville touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Justin Blackmon. Henne, the former Miami starter, threw for 221 yards on 18-of-34 passing. Jaguars offensive guard Guy Whimper, who had reported as an eligible receiver previously, entered the game but did not report as an eligible receiver. "I did what I always do," Whimper said. "I brushed across my chest and usually that is what the officials are looking for because they use the same signal to alert the defense. The official was looking right at me. He nodded so I assumed he knew." Henne supported his teammate. "I believe he said it," he said, "and the official just didn't get it. I don't know what went on, but every time Guy comes in, he makes sure he reports because I hear him 100 percent of the time." The Dolphins stopped Henne's sneak on fourth-and-1 from the 11 denying the Jaguars points. It was the first of three times that the Miami defense stopped Jacksonville on fourth down in the red zone. Tannehill then drove the Dolphins 89 yards in 14 plays. He threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Jovorskie Lane to give Miami a 10-3 halftime lead. "That series turned the whole game around," Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby said. "We stopped them, and the offense takes it the other way for the lead and the momentum. It wasn't the same game after that." Tannehill converted three third downs on the drive, one on a 15-yard pass to Marcus Thigpen on third-and-6 from the Miami 13-yard line, another on an 11-yard run on third-and-1 from the Miami 37, and the final one on a pass to Rishard Matthews when interference was called on Rashean Mathis. The penalty on Whimper was one of 10 for the Jaguars accounting for 88 yards. "Penalties, mistakes, poor execution and not converting on fourth and short deep in their end were the difference for us," Jacksonville coach Mike Mularkey said. The Dolphins, who were outgained 147 to 109 yards in the first half, dominated the second half. They held a 200 to 152 edge in yards and held the ball for 20:55. "We didn't play well against the run on a consistent basis," Jacksonville linebacker Paul Poluszny said. "We would stop them, and then, Reggie would bust a long run." Tannehill's running was also a problem. "The run plays help you immensely," Philbin said. "We did break some long runs, but we didn't have great consistency." In third quarter, the Dolphins ran 20 plays to Jacksonville's 9 and had possession for 11:21 as they expanded the lead to 16-3 on two Carpenter field goals. On the first possession, the Dolphins drove to the Jaguars' 4, but a fake field goal went awry when holder Brandon Fields was forced to throw over the head of a covered Anthony Fasano. Fasano was initially open, and only the quick recognition and reaction of cornerback Mike Harris prevented a completion and possible touchdown. Following a Jacksonville punt, Bush broke a 53-yard run that led to a 30-yard Carpenter field goal. Carpenter's 31-yard field goal with 1:01 left made it 16-3. The 64-yard drive included a 30-yard Tannehill run and two completions to Brian Hartline covering a total of 26 yards. The Jaguars drove to the Dolphins' 15 but came away with no points when Jason Trusnik stopped a Montell Owens run on fourth-and-1. "When it is fourth and a yard or less, you have to make first down. It is fighting over property," Mularkey said, "and you have to claim it. We didn't." Miami proceeded to drive 85 yards in 14 plays using 9:01, and Tannehill threw 2 yards to Fasano for the touchdown with 3:12 left in the game. He then threw to Fasano for the two-point conversion and a 24-3 lead. The Dolphins defense held one more time as the Henne's 4-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts on third down was reversed on review and ruled out of bounds. He threw incomplete to Shorts on fourth down. The Jaguars used a 38-yard completion to Blackmon on third-and-3 from their 27 to set up Scobee's 37-yard field goal on the game's first possession. They would not score again. The Dolphins answered with a 53-yard field goal by Carpenter with 6:26 left in the quarter. Tannehill had completions of 13 yards to Marlon Moore and 14 yards to Fasano to highlight a 43-yard drive. Notes: At halftime, the Dolphins inducted legendary defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger into the team's Ring of Honor as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the undefeated season. Arnsparger's son, David, represented the family. Arnsparger was architect of the famed "No Name Defense" and the innovator of the "53 Defense," a staple of the team's defense in 1970s and '80s. ... Six former players -- DT Tim Bowens, LB/DE A.J. Duhe, DE Manny Fernandez, WR Nat Moore and QBs Earl Morrall and Don Strock -- were inducted into the Dolphins' Walk of Fame. ... Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline became the eighth player in team history to have 1,000 yards receiving in a season. He currently has 1,002 yards. ... Miami receiver Davone Bess and linebacker Koa Misi, both starters, were inactive due to injuries. Marlon Moore replaced Bess, and Trusnik filled in for Misi. ... Running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings and defensive end Andre Branch, all starters at some point, were inactive for the Jaguars because of injuries. Owens replaced Jones-Drew. ... Austin Pasztor started at left guard for Jacksonville in place of Eben Britton. Harris started at left cornerback, replacing Mathis. ... Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll and running Charles Clay left the game with knee injuries in the second quarter.
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