Perhaps no play, and no player, epitomizes the spirit of the surging Miami Dolphins more than the fourth-quarter touchdown scored by combustible wide receiver Jarvis Landry during Sunday's 14-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Landry, often the Dolphins player involved in on-field and sideline skirmishes, relies as much on the fire in his belly as his God-gifted talent to play the game. He’s an emotional sort whose enthusiasm is contagious.
And there he was Sunday, in the fourth quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, lying on his back on the sidelines, having both legs massaged by team trainers as he tried in vain to stave off leg cramps. Shortly after he re-entered the game he was having his legs tended to by team trainers on the field during a timeout.
Landry, who made his Pro Bowl debut last season, had just scored a dramatic touchdown to get the Dolphins within striking distance at 10-7.
He caught a short pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, fought like crazy to evade and run through tackles, ended up in rugby scrum of sorts, and then got huge shoves from center Anthony Steen and right tackle Ja’Wuan James to barge his way into the end zone.
“After initial contact, I continued to run my feet, run my feet,” Landry said after the game, tears of joy from the lockerroom celebration still welled up in his eyes.
“I figure one-on-one, I win that matchup regardless of the guy. My teammates came over and they gave me the push I needed to really get in there. So I don’t take full credit for the touchdown. Those guys definitely . . . their effort, the way that they pursued that play the way coach always talks about, really made that play.”
That’s how it’s been with these Dolphins during this five-game winning streak.
They’ve won without Pro Bowl strong safety Reshad Jones, Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and linebacker Koa Misi.
Nothing, it seems, can stop this team and its can-do spirit.
“I told the guys right before we went on our first touchdown drive,” Tannehill said, “ ‘Hey, everyone take a deep breath, we’re going to win this game.’ ”
That was the attitude the Dolphins took into their final possession, trailing, 10-7, when Tannehill hit wide receiver DeVante Parker for a 9-yard game-winning touchdown pass that was perfectly placed.
“We wanted to aggressive,” Landry said. “We didn’t want the field goal, we wanted the touchdown.”
They got it with a team effort, the same way they got it on Landry’s touchdown, and the same way they’ve been doing it during this five-game winning streak.
Chris Perkins | Sun Sentinal | November 21, 2016