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Dolphins “Miami Miracle” makes final four of “ESPYs” top 2018 play

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s arguably the most famous play from the regular season last year in the NFL, and it’s no surprise that the “Miami Miracle” that the Dolphins used to defeat the Patriots has made the ESPN Espy award final four for top play in any sport for 2018.

The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” made the announcement earlier on Tuesday of the four finalists plays and it also includes one involving the Jacksonville Jaguars:

First, the Dolphins amazing final play of their December victory over New England has been getting tons of attention in the voting.

The play began with just :07 remaining and the Fins trailing 33-28 at their own 31 yard line.

That’s when quarterback QB Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills with a pass over the middle. Stills then lateraled to DeVante Parker and Parker scrambled around and then threw a second lateral to running back Kenyan Drake. Drake, proceeded to weave through the Patriot defenders downfield outracing two of them (above), including tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on the field for the final play defensively.

Drake covered the final 52 yards himself and scored with nothing but “zeros” remaining on the clock.

He was mobbed my nearly the entire Dolphin team in the corner of the end zone, as Miami celebrated an improbable victory. The play made NFL history as the only time ever that a play with at least two laterals had been converted into a touchdown on the final play of a game.

Of the other finalists, involves another Florida team, as Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry’s 99-yard touchdown run during the Thursday night meeting with the Jaguars in Nashville also made the cut. On that play, it seemed as though the bruising Henry ran through, or past, almost every member of the Jaguars defense on his way to the record-tying touchdown scamper.

While it was impressive, it was not on the final play of the game and that’s where it may lose out to the “Miami Miracle.”

Speaking of final plays, one of the other four finalists is Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning buzzer-beater at the end of game 7 of the Eastern Conference playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Leonard’s shot bounced around the rim four times before it finally dropped to win the game with no time left. And it eventually enabled Toronto to upset Golden State in six games to win the NBA Championship.

The fourth and final nominee is gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s scoring a “perfect 10” with her floor exercise with a couple of dramatic somersaults.

The four finalists for best play have been whittled down from 16 original entries and with fan voting is still ongoing. The Espy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on July 10th on ABC with comedian/actor Tracy Morgan, as the host.

Miami Dolphins

Sunday sees Dolphins and Jaguars back in action

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the state NFL teams will be in action Sunday afternoon and both or trying to avoid 0- 2 for different reasons.

First, you have the Jaguars, who already resemble a “M.A.S.H. Unit” of injuries, as they head to Houston to play the Texans in an AFC South showdown. The excitement of the addition of free-agent quarterback Nick Foles lasted exactly part of one quarter last Sunday against the Chiefs. That’s when Foles suffered a broken clavicle and a report Sunday says he will not be back until at least week 11 with the injury:

That means that backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, a rookie 6th round pick out of Washington State, will now lead the Jaguars at least in the short-term. Minshew was very effective last week completing a high percentage of passes and moving the offense. Jacksonville also made a trade earlier in the week for Steelers backup QB Joshua Dobbs, but it’s not expected he will be able to contribute today.

Besides the Foles injury, the Jaguars will be without their top pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who suffered a hamstring strain in the lost to KC. The team will also be without left tackle Cam Robinson for the second straight game, as he suffered an injured knee in practice prior to the opener. The team also has ruled out defensive back A.J. Bouye and receiver Marqise Lee with injuries prior to this game.

The good news is the Texans are on a short week having lost an emotional, heartbreaking last second game to the Saints Monday night. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was also banged up, including an injured back off his first-half touchdown run. Still, the Texans will test the Jaguars pass defense the same way the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes did last week.

Meanwhile, in South Florida, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots travel to take on the spiraling downward Dolphins. Miami was embarrassed 59 – 10 by Baltimore last week. And, that defeat now apparently has numerous players on the current roster wanting to be somewhere else, just as the Dolphins have gotten rid of most of their high-priced veterans already.

Controversial wide receiver Antonio Brown will apparently be active for New England for this game. Brown is being accused of sexual assault in a civil complaint that the NFL is investigating. However, the league took no action on keeping Brown from playing today and he did travel with the team.

The Dolphins do have some consolation in that under previous coaching staffs, they have won six of the last seven meetings against New England at Hard Rock Stadium. However, Miami’s got to find some kind of offense with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the backfield of Kenyan Drake and Kallen Ballage, to have any chance against the Pats.

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Miami Dolphins

Report- NFL will allow Antonio Brown to play for Pats Sunday

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the drama surrounding him, it does appear that new Patriots WR Antonio Brown will be allowed by the NFL to make his Pats debut Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium against the Dolphins. That is, if the Patriots intend to have active and playing.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Friday afternoon that the nine year veteran acquired by New England last weekend after his volatile off season in Oakland led to his release last Saturday, would not be put on the “Commissioner’s Exempt List,” as a form of paid suspension, while sexual assault allegations are investigated:

Schefter reiterated that while the NFL has launched an investigation into the charges against Brown, after a civil lawsuit was filed in South Florida earlier this week, there is no criminal proceeding, yet and they will take the process in steps.

The lawsuit alleges that Brown inappropriately touched, committed a lewd sex act and then eventually, raped a 28 year old personal trainer, identified as Brittney Taylor, a former college classmate of Brown’s at Central Michigan, in three separate incidences from 2017-18.

That revelation was something that the NFL, and the Patriots, as well, did not know about, when Brown was signed Monday after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. Taylor is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week to give her version of the events.

Brown has been at Patriots practice on Wednesday and Thursday wearing jersey number #1 (above) during the portion of the practice that was open to the media. His lawyer, Darren Heitner, has publicly disputed the civil suit charges and told the media that Brown and Taylor “had a consensual relationship” in the past.

On Friday, Pats coach Bill Belichick refused to confirm whether Brown would make his debut against Miami or not on Sunday. Giving the non-answer on Brown’s status to play, “We’ll do what’s best for the team.”

He further told the New England media that Brown has; “long way to go, obviously. Not familiar with our offense. The systems he’s been in have been quite different. He’s working hard to pick it up and we’re working hard to get it to him.”

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