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Dolphins survive Arizona comeback bid; Ryan Tannehill injured

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On a rainy Sunday afternoon in south Florida, the Miami Dolphins were cruising to a victory over the Arizona Cardinals. In the end, Miami would need a last second field goal from Andrew Franks to escape with a 26-23 victory.

The Dolphins bottled up Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson in the first half. Palmer had his worst half as a Cardinal, throwing for only 50 yards.

Miami would take a 21-9 lead and appeared headed for an easy win. As the third quarter wound down, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was hit low by Calais Campbell, injuring his knee. No flag was thrown.

With Tannehill out, Arizona came to life. Palmer led them on a 99-yard scoring drive. When the extra point was blocked, Walt Aikens picked it up and took it to the end zone for two points to make it 23-15.

After a Dolphin punt, Arizona went 50 yards in seven plays, but this time the two-point conversion was good and the game was tied at 23-23.

After exchanging punts late in the fourth quarter, Miami backup quarterback Matt Moore drove his team to the three-yard line. After time nearly expired before getting a timeout, Franks drilled the game-winner.

Before the injury, Tannehill threw for 195 and three touchdowns in the bad weather. Even with the late flurry, Palmer was limited to 145 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Miami running game was again limited with Jay Ajayi picking up only 48 yards on 20 carries. Jarvis Landry had 103 yards receiving.

Johnson finished with 80 yards rushing for Arizona while Fitzgerald had only 12 yards receiving.

The Dolphins are hoping they will not personify the old saying about winning the battle, but losing the war. Losing Tannehill would be a jolt to their playoff hopes. More will be known about the severity of his injury on Monday.

With the victory, Miami moves to 8-5 on the season. It is their seventh win in the last eight games.

Next Sunday, they travel to New York to take on the struggling Jets.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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