Henne wanted the ball back.
Tampa Bay obliged, taking the lead with 1:14 to go. Henne then directed a 77-yard drive, Dan Carpenter kicked a 25-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining and the Miami Dolphins beat the Bucs 25-23 on Sunday.
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"We had a minute left," Henne said. "It's your time to go out there and make a comeback."
Henne's heroics spoiled the Bucs' comeback led by Josh Freeman, who rallied his team in the fourth quarter for the second time in two NFL starts. The rookie shook off an awful first half and led Tampa Bay to a pair of late touchdowns.
An ill-advised pass by Henne was intercepted to set up Tampa Bay's go-ahead TD. With the Bucs at the Miami 1-yard line, Henne said he wanted them to score quickly to give him more time for a rally.
"It's tough, especially when it's your fault with that interception," he said. "But you can't let it bother you forever."
Miami (4-5) won despite losing running back Ronnie Brown to a right ankle injury in the third quarter. Tampa Bay (1-8) was unable to build momentum after beating Green Bay a week earlier.
The Dolphins fell behind 23-22, then started from their own 16. Henne hit Davone Bess for gains of 25 and 16 yards, and Ricky Williams ran for 27 yards to the 7.
Carpenter came on to kick his fourth field goal, more than compensating for the extra-point attempt he had blocked in the first quarter.
Henne, a second-year pro, finished 17 for 31 for 175 yards and improved to 4-2 as a starter.
"I told him after the game in the locker room, 'You grew up today,'" teammate Jason Taylor said. "It's a maturation process. He's going to make mistakes. We all make mistakes. I still do after 13 years. The key is to bounce back when you do, and that's what he did today."
A pivotal replay reversal helped the Dolphins score 10 points in the final 1:25 of the first half. The sequence included a touchdown catch by Kory Sperry, making his NFL debut after being signed from the practice squad Saturday.
"I don't think that much when I'm playing, but when I saw that ball I was thinking, 'Don't drop this,'" Sperry said.
Williams ran for 102 yards for Miami, and Brown rushed for 82 and a touchdown before his injury.
The Dolphins' defense stymied Freeman in the first half. He fumbled a snap under center and Miami recovered to end a Bucs scoring threat. He mishandled a shotgun snap and lost 13 yards to stall another drive. He fumbled twice when sacked, although the Bucs recovered each time.
Then Freeman hit Maurice Stovall with a 33-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the final period to cut Miami's lead to 19-16. Linebacker Quincy Black intercepted Henne at the Dolphins' 26 with 1:43 left, setting up Carnell Williams' 1-yard touchdown run to put the Bucs ahead -- but only briefly.
Freeman finished 16 for 28 for 196 yards.
"That kid is going to be good," Taylor said. "He has great poise for a young quarterback. He moves around well. I've got a lot of respect for that young kid."
Freeman found little comfort in such praise.
"I feel pretty miserable right now because of the loss," he said. "You hate to lose. That's the only thing on my mind."
The replay review helped Miami build a 13-point halftime lead. With the Bucs at their own 4 late in the first half, Michael Clayton bobbled a pass and Taylor snatched the ball. The throw initially was ruled incomplete, but following a replay review -- and a penalty on irate Bucs coach Raheem Morris for unsportsmanlike conduct -- the officials credited Taylor with an interception and gave the Dolphins the ball at the Bucs' 8.
Miami scored two plays later when Henne hit Sperry for a 5-yard score.
"This loss is solely on me," Morris said. "Getting a personal foul as a head coach is totally unacceptable. I'm taking those points; that's how much we lost by. I should take the blame for that. I used the wrong type of language to the official."
The Bucs' Connor Barth tied an NFL record held by three other kickers when he made three field goals of 50 yards or more. They covered 51, 50 and 54 yards -- the three longest kicks of his career.
|Sun. Nov. 15||Final|
|FG||Connor Barth 51 Yd, 11:24. Drive: 6 plays, 21 yards in 3:36.|
|TD||Ronnie Brown, 1 Yd run (Dan Carpenter kick Failed), 6:38. Drive: 9 plays, 77 yards in 4:46.|
|FG||Dan Carpenter 49 Yd, 7:19. Drive: 12 plays, 43 yards in 6:51.|
|FG||Connor Barth 50 Yd, 2:36. Drive: 8 plays, 37 yards in 4:43.|
|TD||Kory Sperry, 5 Yd pass from Chad Henne (Dan Carpenter kick is good), 1:25. Drive: 2 plays, 8 yards in 0:13.|
|FG||Dan Carpenter 30 Yd, 0:05. Drive: 6 plays, 40 yards in 0:47.|
|FG||Connor Barth 54 Yd, 4:05. Drive: 10 plays, 50 yards in 4:18.|
|TD||Maurice Stovall, 33 Yd pass from Josh Freeman (Connor Barth kick is good), 14:53. Drive: 6 plays, 63 yards in 1:56.|
|FG||Dan Carpenter 45 Yd, 6:04. Drive: 8 plays, 40 yards in 4:48.|
|TD||Cadillac Williams, 1 Yd run (Connor Barth kick is good), 1:14. Drive: 4 plays, 26 yards in 0:29.|
|FG||Dan Carpenter 25 Yd, 0:10. Drive: 5 plays, 77 yards in 1:04.|
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