Dolphins’ Jason Sanders kicks go-ahead field goal to lift Miami into the playoffs

 

The Miami Dolphins clinched a playoff spot thanks to a Jason Sanders 50-yard field goal that put them up against the New York Jets and a New England Patriots loss to the Buffalo Bills.

The Dolphins skated by the Jets with an 11-6 win to finish the season 9-8. The team needed the Patriots to lose to the Bills and New England did just that. Both scenarios helped Miami clinch a playoff berth for the first time since the 2016 season.

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Miami Dolphins linebacker Duke Riley (45) tackles New York Jets running back Ty Johnson (25) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Miami had the odds stacked against them as Tua Tagovailoa was out with a concussion and rookie Skylar Thompson had to lead the team to a victory.

Thompson led the team on an 11-play, 36-yard drive. He had a 2-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle that resulted in a 15-yard horse-collar tackle penalty for Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. Waddle was hurt on the play and exited the game.

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson (19) aims a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Salvon Ahmed had a 7-yard rush that helped get Sanders in position for the go-ahead field goal. The kick put Miami up, 9-6. The Dolphins received two points on the Jets’ final scramble of that game that resulted in a safety.

Thompson finished 20 of 31 with 152 passing yards. Mike Gesicki led the team with four catches for 46 yards. Waddle had five catches for 44 yards.

Joe Flacco started the game for New York as Mike White was sidelined with an injury. Zach Wilson was the backup behind the veteran quarterback.

Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders kicks a field goal as punter Thomas Morstead holds during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Flacco was 18 of 33 with 149 passing yards. Garrett Wilson led the team with nine catches for 89 yards.

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Miami will be the No. 7 seed when the playoffs start.