The Miami Dolphins improved to 6-4, with their close 17-15 victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins won their fourth game in a row and kept their playoff hopes alive, in a roller-coaster ride of a game.
The Dolphins started out exceptionally. A balanced time consuming drive was capped off with a reverse to Ted Ginn Jr. The play was totally unexpected and Ginn took the ball 40 yards to the end-zone. This excellent drive gave the Dolphins a 7-0 lead.
A controversial pass interference call gave the Oakland Raiders great field position, and this allowed kicker Sebastian Janikowski the opportunity to add a field goal, cutting Miami's lead to 7-3.
Stalled drives and excellent defense by both teams kept the game close, but a 12 yard touchdown run by Patrick Cobbs gave the Phins a 14-5 lead. Another field goal by Janikowski helped the Raiders chip away and put the score at 14-8.
The game looked to be in the Dolphins' hands, but a 93 yard punt return touchdown by Johnnie Lee Higgins gave the Raiders an astonishing 15-14 lead. Phins' fans were stunned and all seemed to be lost, but there was no quit in Chad Pennington.
With only 4:30 left on the clock Pennington was cool, calm, and poised in the huddle and orchestrated a solid drive. His first two passes were complete right in the teeth of the Raiders' defense, but even with the great beginning to the drive the Dolphins faced a fourth and five in Raiders' territory.
Facing the possibilities of having rookie kicker Dan Carpenter attempt a 53 yard field-goal the Dolphins elected to go for it on fourth down. A slant route down the middle to Ginn gave Miami a fresh set of downs. A couple of solid run plays gave Carpenter the chance to give Miami the lead, and on a 37 yard field-goal Carpenter's kick was perfect. Miami took a 17-15 lead, and that would be enough to give them their sixth victory of the season.
Miami will quickly have to regroup after this emotional victory, as they face division rival New England in a game that could make or break either team's seasons. The time is now for the Dolphins to make their run for the playoffs, and you can bet the Tuna and coach Tony Sparano will have the team ready.