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Seattle at Miami

Dolphins hold off Seahawks, above .500 for first time since '05

CBSSports.com wire reports

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."


  • Wallace said he strained his groin early in the game. He said it hampered his mobility but not his throwing.
  • Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver left the game in the second quarter because of sore ribs, Holmgren said.
  • NFL sack leader Joey Porter added a half sack to increase his career-high total to 12.
  • Miami went 2-for-2 on fourth-down conversions and is 8-for-11 this year.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Miami's Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown celebrate Brown's fourth-quarter TD run.
Miami's Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown celebrate Brown's fourth-quarter TD run. (AP)


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Sun. Nov. 9Final
SEA - Pass: S. Wallace (21-38, 185), Rush: J. Jones (16-88)
MIA - Pass: C. Pennington (22-36, 209), Rush: R. Williams (12-105)
Scoring Summary
TDTed Ginn Jr., 39 Yd pass from Chad Pennington (Dan Carpenter kick is good), 8:50. Drive: 11 plays, 90 yards in 6:10.
TDRicky Williams, 51 Yd run (Dan Carpenter kick is good), 14:52. Drive: 6 plays, 76 yards in 2:59.
TDJordan Babineaux, 35 Yd interception return (Olindo Mare kick is good), 8:21.
FGOlindo Mare 37 Yd, 11:06. Drive: 9 plays, 31 yards in 3:54.
FGOlindo Mare 27 Yd, 3:31. Drive: 9 plays, 48 yards in 4:14.
TDRonnie Brown, 16 Yd run (Dan Carpenter kick is good), 5:38. Drive: 16 plays, 79 yards in 9:06.
TDKoren Robinson, 3 Yd pass from Seneca Wallace (Seneca Wallace 2 Pt. Conversion pass to John Carlson failed), 2:57. Drive: 6 plays, 55 yards in 2:41.
Players of the Game

R. Williams
Rush 12
Yds 105
Avg 8.8
TD 1

S. Wallace
Att 38
Comp 21
Yds 185
TD 1
S. Wallace21/3818510
J. Jones1688033
O. Schmitt319014
M. Morris111011
S. Wallace2907
T. Duckett1-10-1
B. Engram563015
J. Carlson554020
K. Robinson538113
M. Morris1606
O. Schmitt1606
L. Weaver1505
J. Jones2203
C. Pennington22/3620911
R. Williams12105151
R. Brown1039116
G. Camarillo1606
L. Polite2403
C. Pennington2102
T. Ginn Jr.467139
R. Brown427010
D. Bess225013
G. Camarillo42108
R. Williams221012
A. Fasano117017
L. Polite21709
P. Cobbs21005
D. Martin1404
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
BAL 41 Final
HOU 13
SF 24 Final
ARI 29
NYG 36 Final
PHI 31
KC 19 Final
SD 20
IND 24 Final
PIT 20
CAR 17 Final
STL 3 Final
NYJ 47
BUF 10 Final
NE 20
GB 27 Final
MIN 28
JAC 38 Final
DET 14
TEN 21 Final
CHI 14
NO 20 Final
ATL 34
DEN 34 Final
CLE 30