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Unfortunately for the Miami Dolphins, disappointing seasons have become commonplace.
In 2016 however, that was hardly the case. Under first-year head coach Adam Gase, the Dolphins made an incredible late-season run to make the postseason.
One of the memorable moments from that campaign came on this day five years ago. After being stifled for most of the day, Miami scored two touchdowns over the final 4:02 to stun the Los Angeles Rams, 14-10.
Setting the Stage
After a 1-4 start, the Dolphins had won four straight as they arrived at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 20, 2016. Miami had beat the Los Angeles Chargers the week before and was looking for its second win in L.A. in as many weeks.
The Los Angeles Rams were 4-5 as quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff was making his debut. For most of the day, it appeared he would be a winner.
For more than 53 minutes, Miami had managed less than 120 yards and no points. Down 10-0 in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins needed a spark. It came on the right arm of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
On the first of two long scoring drives, Tannehill went 6-for-7 as Miami went 77 yards to break up the shutout. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry made the final catch and powered his way into the end zone for the 10-yard touchdown.
With the deficit now three, the Miami defense came up big and promptly forced a 3-and-out. More than two minutes remained as the Dolphins began their final drive at their own 25-yard-line.
As was the case on the prior possession, Tannehill was calm, collected and accurate. His first three passes were completions — one to Kenny Stills and two to DeVante Parker — to move Miami inside the Los Angeles 30-yard-line. After two runs by Jay Ajayi totaled 17 yards, Tannehill put the Dolphins ahead for good.
His 9-yard touchdown strike to a sliding Parker with 36 seconds remaining would complete the comeback. Goff would get to heave one to the end zone on the game’s final play, but it was knocked down.
The contest was just over five minutes old when Todd Gurley scored the Rams’ only touchdown. Greg Zuerlein added a field goal late in the third quarter to complete the scoring for Los Angeles.
For Miami, the victory was the fifth straight. For the Rams, the loss would begin a 7-game winning streak to close the season as they finished 4-12.
The Dolphins’ winning streak would hit six during a 10-6 season. Their biggest fourth-quarter comeback from that season came on this day five years ago.