MIAMI GARDENS – Greg the Leg made it interesting.
Not until St. Louis Rams rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein missed from a potential record-setting 66 yards on the game’s final play did the Miami Dolphins escape with a 17-14 win on Sunday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium.
The Rams moved from their own 3 to the Dolphins’ 48-yard-line in eight plays over the final 1:41, but they didn’t quite get close enough to force overtime.
The miss was the third of the game for Zuerlein, who had made his first 15 to open his career.
The Dolphins, home for the first time in three weeks, climbed back to .500 with a second consecutive win. They enter the bye week at 3-3 and feeling good about their prospects of ending a run of three consecutive losing seasons.
The Rams, in their first season under coach Jeff Fisher, dropped to 3-3 overall and 0-3 on the road.
Fisher turned down the Dolphins coaching job in January after taking more than week to mull his options. He dropped to 3-8 all-time against the Dolphins.
A 1-yard sneak by Sam Bradford, who added the two-point conversion pass to Steven Jackson, pulled the Rams within 17-14 with 8:30 remaining.
The Dolphins extended their lead to 17-6 on the opening drive of the second half. Ryan Tannehill went 7 for 8 passing on the drive for 53 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano.
That was Tannehill’s second touchdown pass of the day. His first covered 29 yards to little-used wide receiver Marlon Moore with 5:27 left in the first half.
Dan Carpenter added a 42-yard field goal after the Rams fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Marcus Thigpen recovered at the Rams’ 25-yard-line.
Rams rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein made two field goals in the first quarter to extend his career start to 15 consecutive makes, but he hooked misses from 52 and 37 yards in the second quarter to slow the visitors’ momentum.
The Rams were able to run on the league’s top rushing defense. Rookie Daryl Richardson broke off a 44-yard run in the first quarter that was easily the longest against the Dolphins third season.
By halftime the Rams had 137 rushing yards, 44 more than the previous high for a full game against the Dolphins this year (Jets in Week 3).
NOTES: Dolphins greats Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas were inducted at halftime into the team’s Honor Roll. Former defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger, the other member of this year’s class, will be inducted later this season. … Taylor, No. 6 all-time on the NFL sacks list, thanked all his former Dolphins teammates but mentioned just one by name: former defensive tackle Tim Bowens. … Former Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson, in a taped video message to the crowd, called Thomas and Taylor “the two greatest players I ever coached.” … Rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon left the game with a left ankle injury in the second quarter but later returned. … Veteran receiver Jabar Gaffney was inactive for the second week in a row since signing with the Dolphins. … Veteran cornerback Richard Marshall (back) missed his second consecutive straight game, while second-year running back Daniel Thomas (concussion) missed his second game this year with that issue.