After a trying last 10 days due Hurricane Irma last weekend that saw the Dolphins evacuate nine days ago to the West Coast, Miami endured a wild finish in L.A. to defeat the Chargers 19-17.
For the second time in six days, the Chargers couldn’t make a field goal that they had to have, as K Younghoe Koo missed a 44 yard field goal that would have won the game with :10 left. On Monday night, Koo’s game tying attempt in Denver was partially blocked.
Meanwhile, Dolphins newly acquired kicker Cody Parkey booted four field goals, including the game winner from 54 yards out with 1:10 remaining for the eventual final margin. Parkey, was picked up after Cleveland released him at the end of preseason.
For the Phins, Jay Cutler made his official debut and threw for 230 yards, including this third quarter TD to Kenny Stills which pulled the Dolphins to a 10-10 tie with L.A.
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2017
Stills’ 29 yard TD catch was a thing of beauty, but would be the only time the Dolphins would find the end zone on the day.
The rest was up to the Dolphins defense which stopped San Diego forcing a punt, that setup the Parkey go ahead kick. Then, despite QB Phillip Rivers hitting a couple of completions for the Chargers to move into scoring range, Koo missed the vital kick.
For his part, Rivers ended 31-39 for 331 yards and a TD and did not have the costly interceptions that he threw in a November loss to Miami last year.
The Dolphins got another tremendous day from RB Jay Ajayi ,who ran for 128 yards on 22 carries to help them get just enough offense and points to win. Their gutsy play and made field goals were the difference.
It was the ninth straight time the Chargers lost a game with the final margin 7 points or less.