The Dolphins regained the football after three more outs and looked ready to control the game. The offense took it back to the red zone, but a failed snap exchange led to a 44-yard fumble return by Chargers linebacker Nick Vigil.
Los Angeles would take possession of 11 plays for 37 yards and be the first touchdown for the visitors to this day. Then, special teams from Miami went back to work. Matt Hack launched a 62-yard punt, which dropped to the 5-yard line, with wide receiver Mack Hollins saving the football from stumbling into the end zone. The Miami defense will stand in the next series and force the Chargers to exit their own final zone. Grant returned Miami with 21 yards to put Miami into field goal range just before the half-century.
Kicker Jason Sanders split up from 50 yards out, giving him a perfect 18-for-18 mark on the season. He would rejoin from 35 yards in the third quarter allowing him to score 22 consecutive field goals by 19 and 2019 to open the season, boosting his own franchise record. Streak would end, however, as Sanders missed a 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He started a new streak with a successful 49-yard goal with four minutes remaining in the game.
Coming into the play, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was sixth in deep passing with 597 yards with 20 or more air guards. According to Pro Football Focus, wide receivers Mike Williams and Jaylen Guyton finished 13th and 14th respectively. His longest game was just 17 yards to Hunter Henry (Williams caught a 28-yard pass on his final drive), before Los Angeles’ final drive (15 behind).
“That’s why coaches coach us,” Howard said. Everyone is working and pretending together, that’s all. “
The Dolphins defense pitched it throughout the game. A zero pressure head coach Brian Floers and defensive coordinator Josh Boer dialed seven rushers and forced a foul throw in the third. Later, early in the fourth quarter, Miami had a sequence of plays that allowed the Dolphins’ defense to have coverage in the 3rd and 12th, and it paid off big time.
Miami gained a six-point lead, watching the Chargers quickly return to the home team with three big plays before running out to midfield. First, the Dolphins ran a twist up front, with two crooks – unlicensed free agent Benito Jones and fifth-round pick Jason Strowbridge – executing the perfect stunt to free Strowbridge for a 2-yard loss. .
Then, after leading the action game to its final quarter, defensive end Emanuel Ogba continued his hot streak. The tall, ultra-powerful defensive end went up in the field, working away from his block as Herbert attempted to tuck it in and run, and land the 6-foot-5 quarterback. Obaga now has a sack in six straight games, tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history (Jason Taylor eight straight games in 2002).