Behind Knowshon Moreno's 134 rushing yards and Ryan Tannehill's two touchdown passes, the Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots 33-20 in Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season.
The Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots, 33-20, in Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season on Sept. 7.
Don't Miss: The Best HDR TVs
The Dolphins relied on a strong effort on the ground from running back Knowshon Moreno, who finished with 134 yards. Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for two touchdowns to help the Dolphins overcome a 10-point, first-half deficit, per Alain Poupart of the Dolphins' official website:
"The Dolphins' first half of football in the 2014 regular season could only be described as sloppy, but neither the coaches nor the players panicked about a 10-point deficit against the New England Patriots.
"What ensued was an almost flawless performance in the final two quarters that gave the Dolphins a big 33-20 victory Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
"The Dolphins won their second consecutive season opener after outscoring New England 23-0 in the second half and outgaining them 222 yards to 67. Miami beat Cleveland in its 2013 opener on its way to a 3-0 start on the season.
"'We knew we were going to face something like that,' defensive end Olivier Vernon said. 'It's not going to be a perfect game. We knew there could be doubt at some point. Something is going to go completely wrong and we just knew how to bounce back from that.'
"It was the second consecutive Dolphins victory against New England, following their 24-20 thriller at Sun Life Stadium last December, the first time the Patriots twice in a row since 2000-01.
"On Sunday, the Dolphins won thanks to a 13-point third quarter that included a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace and a pair of short field goals by Caleb Sturgis.
"The Dolphins got an insurance touchdown with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter when Knowshon Moreno put the finishing touches on a memorable Dolphins debut with a 4-yard run to cap an 85-yard drive.
"Moreno finished with 134 yards, thanks to some strong blocking from the new-look Dolphins offensive line and his ability to see the hole and break tackles.
"With Lamar Miller adding 59 yards on 11 carries, the Dolphins ended up with 191 yards on the ground.
"'If we can run and keep ourselves out of third-and-long, we could be a good team,' tackle Branden Albert said. 'But we've got to help our defense out like we did today. They did a good job helping us out when we needed them. It was a good trade-off. We did good today.'
"The defense definitely came up big for Miami, particularly with a dominating second-half performance.
"The Dolphins shut down the high-powered New England offense despite playing without its three starting linebackers -- Philip Wheeler, who was inactive, and Dannell Ellerbee and Koa Misi, who both left the game with injuries in the first quarter.
"After allowing the Patriots to rack up 248 yards in the first half, the Dolphins defense stiffened in the second half. The Dolphins sacked Tom Brady on four of New England's first four possessions of the second half, with Cameron Wake, rookie Chris McCain, Olivier Vernon and Wake again taking down the Patriots quarterback.
"Wake forced a fumble on his first sack, setting up the Wallace touchdown that tied the game at 20. The fumble, which was recovered by safety Louis Delmas, might have been the biggest play in a game that featured many big plays.
"'With Tom Brady behind the offensive line, it's never a game-changing play until there's 1 second to go, but definitely felt the momentum change,' Delmas said. 'I definitely felt that the offense knew that they had to make the play after the turnover, and they did.'
"The Dolphins defense held New England to a mere two first downs in the second half before the Patriots' last possession.
"The Dolphins trailed by 10 at halftime despite a start they couldn't have scripted any better."
The Miami Herald's Greg Cote says this Dolphins team has a chance "to be very good":
"There is a tendency to think that the years of mediocrity and disappointment have gradually beaten the enthusiasm out of Dolphins fans and and replaced it with the hardened scab of cynical doubt. It isn't true. A season-opening game like Sunday's reminded us of that.
"So the sound you heard long after the game had ended was an intoxicating cocktail of celebration and hope. Thousands of Dolfans were chanting in perfect unison as they poured down the home stadium's concourses and into the parking lots. The club's marketing theme for the game was 'Stronger Together,' and the merry noise reflected that.
"'Let's go Dolphins!' the thousands sang, rhythmic clapping in between, the chorus filled with joy and going on and on and on. 'Let's go Dolphins!'
"The exhilarating 33-20 Miami triumph over the nemesis New England Patriots was medicine for this beleaguered, listing franchise -- 'One of the most exciting, fun games I've been part of,' quarterback Ryan Tannehill called it.
"Dolfans want so, so much to believe again.
"Sunday afternoon gave them a chance, gave them a reason.
"This was not a fluke, and it was not a mirage.
"These Dolphins have a chance to be very good.
"Repeat that. Savor it.
"The team I saw rally Sunday to dominate in the second half and humble the mighty Patriots was a balanced squad capable of imposing its will physically on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as it did in overcoming its 20-10 halftime hole."
Buy Now: Sony PlaysStation VR In Stock Here
For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today.