The Dolphins are alive.
The game was dead. And their season probably was, too.
But never count out Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Down two points and out of time, Fitzpatrick — in for a benched Tua Tagovailoa — threw a 34-yard pass to Mack Hollins which, along with a 15-yard facemask penalty, set the Dolphins up for a 44-yard field goal by Jason Sanders.
The final score: Dolphins 26, Raiders 25.
One more win, next Sunday in Buffalo, and the Dolphins are going to the playoffs.
Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 13 for 182 yards and a touchdown on the Dolphins’ final three drives, during which the Dolphins’ offense looked far more effective than it did with Tagovailoa under center.
Tua went 17 of 22 for just 94 yards.
The craziness started with Tagovailoa’s benching.
It continued when Raiders receiver Nelson Agholor got away with a push-off and caught an 85-yard touchdown pass over safety Byron Jones.
And it got completely nuts when Fitzpatrick hit Myles Gaskin on a short route and he raced 59 yards to the end zone.
But it was a phantom pass interference call on Jones that set up a Raiders field goal, putting them ahead with 19 seconds left.
Turns out, it was 18 seconds too many.
The game was only in doubt because of a series of fantastic plays by the Dolphins’ defense. Zach Sieler had a massive fourth-down stop. Jerome Baker sacked Derek Carr on third down with Las Vegas on the edge of field-goal range. And Nik Needham dropped Hunter Renfrow at the 2 on third-and-goal
But the offense was anemic, and so coach Brian Flores made the switch. And the Dolphins probably should have had the late lead, but Mack Hollins dropped a potential touchdown pass. Flores settled for a field goal, and the game was tied with four minutes left.
If the first half felt familiar, it should have.
The Dolphins’ pass offense was catatonic, and as a result, they were held out of the end zone before the break for the second straight half.
Tagovailoa’s stats were unbelievable — in a bad way.
He went 10 of 13 for a mere 45 yards. His longest completion? Thirteen yards.
But the Dolphins didn’t turn the ball over, the Raiders played uber-conservative and Jason Sanders made two field goals to keep it a one-score game at the break.
And they tied up on their possession of the second half, a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown screen pass from Tagovailoa to Myles Gaskin.
The Raiders went back ahead on a 20-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson, taking a three-point lead into the fourth quarter.
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