MIAMI GARDENS – An emotional Zach Thomas implored his old team to “win the second half” after being inducted into the team’s Honor Roll.
The Miami Dolphins obeyed his command, holding on for a 17-14 win over the St. Louis Rams before a crowd of 52,983 at Sun Life Stadium.
The outcome wasn’t secured until Rams rookie Greg Zuerlein missed a potential game-tying field goal from 66 yards. The rookie sixth-rounder from Missouri Western had the distance but missed wide left, his third miss of the day after starting his career with 15 straight makes.
Back home for the first time in three weeks, the Dolphins evened their record for the second time this season with a second straight win. They enter the bye week at 3-3 and feeling confident about their future prospects.
The Rams, in their first season under coach Jeff Fisher, dropped to 3-3 overall and 0-3 on the road.
Fisher, who turned down the Dolphins coaching job in January, 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 built a 17-6 lead with a 10-play, 62-yard march on the opening drive of the second half. Ryan Tannehill went 7 for 8 passing on the drive for 53 yards, capping it with a 1-yard touchdown toss to tight end Anthony Fasano off a play fake to fullback Jorvorskie Lane.
That was Tannehill’s second touchdown pass of the day. His first covered 29 yards to backup 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. Jimmy Wilson caused it and Marcus Thigpen recovered at the Rams’ 25-yard-line.
Two more field goals by Rams rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, making him 15 for 15 on the year, gave the Rams an early 6-0 lead.
However, Zuerlein missed from 52 and 37 yards in the second quarter to keep the Dolphins close.
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).
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.