Dolphins shock Patriots thanks to miracle last-second lateral play

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It was a Miami miracle.

With their playoff hopes hanging on by a slim thread, the Dolphins called a last-ditch hook-and-lateral play named "Boise." Two pitches, a cross-field zigzag and Kenyan Drake outrunning a stumbling Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown as time expired gave Miami a 34-33 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday.

"That was the last part of the play that was scripted, when I got the pitch. It was sandlot football," Drake said. "It was just me and Gronk. I couldn't let Gronk tackle me in that situation. I said, 'Look, sorry Gronk.' He's a great player but I got somewhere to be."

Ryan Tannehill, on his own 31-yard line, had dropped back and passed to Kenny Stills. Multiple Patriots surrounded Stills; as he was falling down, he pitched the ball to receiver DeVante Parker.

Stills' crucial role in the winning score came after he dropped a third-down pass that could have extended a comeback drive on the Dolphins' previous possession. He responded with a timely, heads-up play in the game's biggest moment.

"The Miami miracle sounds nice," Stills said.

Parker pitched to running back Drake, who broke a tackle and looked for another player to pitch to before deciding to turn upfield. He outran several Patriots, and the final man between him and the end zone was Gronkowski, an All-Pro tight end.

"Drake runs a 4.3 [40-yard dash] and Gronk probably runs a 4.6 or 4.7, so I feel good about that matchup," Tannehill said. "There's no quit in me. There's no quit in this locker room."

Tannehill noted that the 69 yards between the line of scrimmage and the end zone was too long for a Hail Mary attempt. Coach Adam Gase called for "Boise," and there wasn't a hesitation.

Gronkowski was back there preparing for a jump-ball situation, but he was a liability as a tackler -- Drake tightroped the sideline while running right past him. Gronkowski lost his footing and tripped as Drake galloped into the end zone.

"The way it ended sucked," Gronkowski said. "I've never been a part of anything like that. I feel like it's going to test our character big-time. I have to make that tackle."

Hard Rock Stadium erupted in cheers. Drake was mobbed by a host of teammates. Two Dolphins offensive linemen lay on the field, simulating snow angels. Patriots players, in shock, walked toward the locker room.

"We have something for those type of situations. We work on it every Friday and Saturday," Gase said. "It's boring because you might go three years without calling one of them. But these guys stuck with it, and they executed that one for sure."

Several Dolphins players said they worked on "Boise" every week, and did so most recently on Friday. "Of course, we scored," Tannehill said.

But that was against the scout team and this was against the Patriots.

The 69-yard score was the longest winning touchdown with no time left in regulation during the Super Bowl era, according to Elias Sports research.

Running back Brandon Bolden, primarily a special-teams player who spent his first six NFL seasons in New England, had two rushing touchdowns against his former team. Tannehill played through an ankle injury to finish 14-of-19 for 265 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 155.1 passer rating in beating the Patriots for the fourth time at home. Frank Gore had 92 rushing yards and passed LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth on the career yards-from-scrimmage list. Stills had a season-high 135 receiving yards and a touchdown.

But it's that one play that will be remembered in Dolphins history.

After the game, the entire Dolphins locker room joined in a chant of "Ted, Ted, Ted!" It was a salute to guard Ted Larsen, who made a key block on the play to leave just one defender -- Gronk -- between Drake and the end zone.

"I was looking to make a block so they wouldn't throw me the ball," Larsen said.

Miami has long been the Patriots' house of horrors, and Sunday might have the most horrifying loss of them all for New England. Miami has now won five of its past six homes games versus the Patriots; quarterback Tom Brady is 7-10 against the Dolphins in Miami.

The Dolphins (7-6) prevented the Patriots (9-4) from clinching the AFC East for a 10th consecutive time. Miami also moved into a tie with Baltimore, Indianapolis and Tennessee for the No. 6 AFC playoff spot.