“You’re excited,” he said. “You know your team needs you to step up.”
Tannehill did just that, moving the Dolphins 65 yards in six plays to set up a 43-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter at the final gun, and they rallied to beat Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 Sunday.
Tannehill had drawn criticism for mistakes down the stretch in close games, but he helped Miami score 17 points in the final 8:08. On the last drive he came through with completions of 19, 25 and 7 yards, as well as a 15-yard scramble.
“In this league you need to win some games like this,” coach Joe Philbin said. “It’s important for any quarterback to do that.”
Tannehill pulled off his first fourth-quarter comeback victory, and the Dolphins overcame a seven-point deficit in the final period to win for the first time since 2005. Carpenter hit the winning kick on his 27th birthday to help Miami (5-6) break a three-game losing streak.
“I’m disappointed in all phases of the game,” he said. “We didn’t do the things we needed to do in the week off to get prepared. I screwed it up.”
Tannehill and Miami caught a break with Seattle leading 14-7 early in the fourth quarter. Bobby Wagner intercepted a pass by Tannehill in the end zone, but the turnover was negated by a penalty on safety Earl Thomas for roughing the passer.
“I can’t stop in midair like magic,” Thomas said. “The NFL, they need some goggles.”
Carroll called the penalty on Thomas questionable.
“He jumped up to block the pass and came down on the quarterback with no intent to hit him,” Carroll said. “It was a very big call to make at that point in the game.”
One play after the penalty, Daniel Thomas scored the tying touchdown on a 3-yard run. Tannehill chuckled when asked about the officials negating his turnover.
“They were looking out for me today,” he said.
Leon Washington returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the eighth time to tie the NFL record and put Seattle ahead with eight minutes left. Miami answered with an 80-yard drive capped by Tannehill’s 29-yard pass to Charles Clay, making it 21-21.