Brice McCain's One-Handed Interception Saves Dolphins From Embarrassing Defeat

We'll take it!

The Miami Dolphins managed to simultaneously have the biggest sad trombone sound game and glorious comeback game in one fell swoop on Sunday when they outlasted Washington 17-10. Entering the game, the Fins were the talk of the NFL as a strong up-and-coming team that was going to make the proverbial noise in the league. Armed with newer weapons and a supposed stout defensive line, the Dolphins arrived in D.C. to face a Washington team that had been reeling from a quarterback controversy, a racist nickname controversy, and a scorned wife controversy. Washington was supposed to be easy pickings — the kind of team you want to face to start the season because you know they're going to be an NFL piñata, and that easy 1-0 to kick the season off would be its sweet, sweet candy inside.

But the Dolphins nearly Dolphined their way to an embarrassing start, only to find redemption in a man named Landry and in a phenomenal interception for the ages.

It was an ugly win by all accounts. Washington managed to plow through a defensive line that featured newly acquired Ndamukong Suh playing alongside Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon for a whopping 161 yards on the ground. And then there was Ryan Tannehill, who overthrew receivers, nearly killed tight end Dion Sims, and started the game going 5-for-9 for 30 yards. 

Let's get to the rundown:

The Good

- Jarvis Landry has drunk deep of the gamma rays. For all the hype over all the different receiving weapons the Dolphins front office got Tannehill in the offseason, everyone sort of forgot Landry was around to smash skulls and be a complete nightmare to opposing defenses. Not only did The Artist Known as Juice catch eight passes for 55 yards, averaging about six yards a catch, but the man completely obliterated Washington's hopes of an upset with a 69-yard punt return that gave Miami the lead in the fourth. 

If you watch closely, you can see the moment Washington punter Tress Way's soul leaves his body. It was an absolute back-breaking score that reminded Washington that they're Washington while bringing order to the universe, because had the Dolphins lost this game, we would all have to prepare for the oncoming apocalypse. 

Bonus: Dolphins bros celebrating at FedEx Field, woo-hoo!

- The Senator's Interception. One of the biggest question marks coming into the season was the Dolphins' secondary. And, rightly so, as Washington QB Kirk Cousins at times looked like Johnny Unitas in his prime against this Miami defense. But Brice McCain, a man who basically won his job by default — i.e., he sucked the least — made the catch of the day when he outmuscled his receiver and plucked a Cousins pass out of the sky with one hand and then managed to stay in bounds with his ass.
That's one athletic ass. 

The INT destroyed Washington's chances of taking the game and made McCain a household name across the football-watching nation that got to see the replay of this majestic moment. 

The Bad

- Ryan Tannehill's deep passes continue to look like he's throwing ziplock bags filled with urine at his receivers. Nothing good ever happens when Tannehill goes deep, and lives are almost being taken because of it. Yet the Dolphins insist on having him heave the ball deep often, as if it's going to magically stop being a bad thing. Tannehill is excellent on short passing plays and deadly efficient when he's asked to play within his wheelhouse. His two-minute drive to end the first half was the balls, and he has receivers who not only have great hands but are great route runners.
The Patriots have been killing defenses with short pass plays for the better part of a decade and won themselves a Super Bowl doing just that last season (aside from all the cheating, of course). There's no shame in turning the offense into a short-pass-play offense. It's what Tannehill is best at. Why won't they just do that? It feels like we're taking crazy pills!

The Ugly
Ultimately, a win is a win. And with the Patriots, Bills, and Jets all winning their openers, it was vital for the Fins to take this one. We only wish it was more of the beatdown that was expected. The defense was supposed to destroy Cousins and the Washington O, and the Dolphins should have made this a slaughter.

Washington is so inept a franchise they can't even spray their field correctly.
Yet it took Landry and McCain coming through with spectacular plays and Washington reverting to its craptacular ways for Miami to pull a win out of their butts. This simply will not do.

Miami has yet another "easy" opponent next week when it visits the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is barely a football team. Maybe this time, we can show up and wreck faces from the go?
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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph