MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The celebratory mob scene in the corner of the end zone broke out far from Ryan Tannehill, leaving him in the open field, running and screaming as he waved his arms. Since he couldn’t find anyone to hug, he flopped to the grass on his back, the job done and the game won.
“I collapsed — just the emotion of the whole thing,” Tannehill said.
Only seconds away from defeat, Tannehill threw a short pass and then watched his teammates save the season with the “Drake Escape.”
Kenyan Drake ran the last 52 yards as the Dolphins scored on a pass and double lateral on the final play Sunday to beat the New England Patriots 34-33. With that, Miami lived up to its nickname — the Magic City.
“They just made one more play than we did,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
And what a play. The Patriots were on the verge of clinching their 10th consecutive AFC East title when the Dolphins lined up at their 31-yard line after a kickoff return trailing 33-28.
“We had them right where we wanted,” Tannehill said dryly. “Not really surprised with how things turned out.”
He threw a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who quickly lateraled to Drake along the sideline. The running back cut toward the middle and found a seam, helped by a block from guard Ted Larsen at the 30.
Drake beat two Patriots to the corner of the end zone — defensive back J.C. Jackson and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on the field as part of New England’s defense to knock down a Hail Mary.
“Drake runs a 4.3, and Gronk probably runs a 4.6 or 4.7, so you feel good about that matchup,” Tannehill said.
Then came one last pass to punctuate the play: Drake reared back for a celebratory heave into the stands as the Miami bench emptied and teammates swarmed him.
“Football is a crazy game,” said Tom Brady, who threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns for the Patriots (9-4).
The 69-yard play was the longest from scrimmage to win a game with no time left in the fourth quarter since the 1970 merger.
The Dolphins (7-6), who have beaten New England at home five times in the past six seasons, call the play “Boise” because it was borrowed from the Boise State playbook, and they had been working on it all year.
“You rep it in practice over and over,” Stills said. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘Why are we doing this?’ And now we know why.”