Seahawks vs. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill Saves the Game, Can Miami Save the Season?

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Seahawks vs. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill Saves the Game, Can Miami Save the Season?
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After three games of miscues and poor execution, the Miami Dolphins finally put it all together when it counted to pick up a high-pressure win.

After doing it against the Seattle Seahawks, though, they may have hope to change the fate of their season. 

The Dolphins ended the traumatic three-game tailspin in dramatic fashion. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill picked up his first career fourth-quarter comeback, after having fallen to 0-4 in comeback attempts with losses to the Jets, Cardinals, Colts and Bills.

Fitting that his first one came on the same day he set the Miami Dolphins rookie record for passing yards. Tannehill's 2,373 passing yards surpasses the record of 2,210 set by Dan Marino (11 games, nine starts), who held the NFL record for fourth-quarter comebacks for over a decade. 

The Dolphins overcame a seven-point deficit twice in the fourth quarter behind Tannehill's masterful performance; he went 7-of-9 passing (one spike) for 156 yards and a touchdown, leading three scoring drives in the final 15 minutes of regulation.

That's not just any defense he did it to, either.

Coming into today, the Seahawks were the league's third-ranked defense in yards (296.8 per game), second-ranked defense in points (16.1 per game) and third-ranked defense against the pass (73.8 defensive passer rating).

That's a pass defense that gave Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and others trouble.

But it wasn't just Tannehill getting it done; after weeks of struggles, the running game was rejuvenated, as well. Running back Reggie Bush contributed 87 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries; Daniel Thomas added 60 yards on nine carries. The Dolphins as a team averaged 6.75 YPA.

The Dolphins—as they have done in most of their wins this year—played well enough as a team to keep themselves in it and made enough plays down the stretch to win it. 

The defense had another rough day through the air against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who went 21-of-27 passing (77.78 percent) for 224 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. The Dolphins' struggles on third down continued as well; the Seahawks converted four-of-nine third-down opportunities (44.44 percent).

They forced two punts in the fourth quarter, which gave the offense enough opportunities to change their fortune.

Can the Miami Dolphins finish the season above .500?

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For the first time this season, the offense capitalized on that opportunity.

They now have an opportunity to change their fortune for the season.

To do that, today's showing will need to be the first of a few more like it, also against quality opponents. Wins against the Jaguars and Bills (whom the Dolphins already lost to) would be necessary to start, but in the final five games of the season, the Dolphins face the New England Patriots twice, along with a home game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Dolphins may feel inclined to put some holy water into the sprinkler system to make that happen, but their performance today proves they may not need it as badly as it seemed.

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained via team press releases.

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