The Miami Dolphins improved to 5-7 on the season with a 33-10 victory against the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
We rank the five biggest, most important, plays of the game:
1. The Punt Block and Touchdown
After the Dolphins missed an opportunity to take an early lead with a third-down sack that knocked them out of field goal range, they got the early momentum regardless with Duke Riley's punt block and Justin Coleman's 2-yard return of the loose ball. That the play followed a three-and-out by the Carolina offense made it even more of a tone-setter.
2. Xavien Howard's Interception
The Dolphins offense failed to capitalize on the first interception of the game, the one by Jevon Holland, but X's pick put them in a first-and-goal situation. The play was vintage Howard, where he shadowed the receiver, turned around at the right time and then basically ran the route the receiver was supposed to run and got in front of him to make the pick.
3. The 57-Yard Completion from Tua to Waddle
Waddle had a big afternoon, but his signature play came when he took a slant in stride, took advantage of a poor angle by a Carolina defender to race down the left side for the long gain that set up the Dolphins' third touchdown. We also should mention on the play Phillip Lindsay stepping up to pick up a blitzer on the outside and Tua sliding up in the pocket to buy some time.
4. The Taunting Penalty
Whatever momentum Carolina might have gotten was done when the Dolphins put together their touchdown drive of the third quarter, and it was made possible by the taunting penalty on outside linebacker Hassan Reddick after Myles Gaskin had run for 4 yards on second-and-18 from the Carolina 37. The penalty put the ball at the Panthers 18 and Gaskin was in the end zone four plays later with a touchdown that made it a three-score game and basically sealed the outcome.
5. Tua's TD Pass to Waddle
This was the other big hook-up between the former University of Alabama teammates and it was the product of great timing, Waddle shielding the defender once he got inside the end zone and Tua delivering the ball on time and on the money. This was the touchdown that followed Howard's interception.