(Sunday, September 19th)
Final Score: Miami 14, Minnesota 10
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Jason Allen had two of Miami's three interceptions of Brett Favre and the Dolphin defense stopped a pair of late Minnesota threats in a 14-10 victory over the Vikings at Mall of America Field.
Chad Henne threw a touchdown pass for the Dolphins (2-0) and rookie linebacker Koa Misi recovered a Favre fumble in the end zone for another score, as Miami opened a season with two wins for the first time since 2002. The Dolphins also won a defensive battle in their opener last week, 15-10, at Buffalo.
"It definitely means something. Most of the teams that go to the playoffs, they win in September and that's what we want to do," said Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell. "We want to get off to a fast start, because the past two years we've gotten off to a slow start."
In addition to the three interceptions, Favre completed 22-of-36 passes for 225 yards without a touchdown. Adrian Peterson ran for 145 yards and a score, but was stopped short of the goal line on one of Minnesota's fourth-quarter drives as the Vikings (0-2) followed up a nine-point effort in their opening loss against New Orleans with another subpar offensive showing.
The Vikings were in position to take the lead with 5:46 to play after a trade of turnovers -- a Favre interception followed by a Ronnie Brown fumble -- left Minnesota with a first down at the Miami 24.
Peterson gained 14 yards on two carries to set up a first down at the 10, and three more Peterson rushes left Minnesota with a fourth down from the one. The Miami defense, led by free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, stopped Peterson short of the goal line with 2:16 remaining.
The Dolphins managed one first down, thanks to a Minnesota penalty, before punting it back to the Vikings with 1:42 left.
Favre took over at his own 45 and drove the offense to the Miami 27 before facing 4th-and-6, then threw behind tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to turn it over on downs with 33 seconds to play.
"I thought we got the momentum right at the end, but for some reason we couldn't get it in the end zone," said Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams. "We've got to pick it up, we've got to score when we're in the red zone."
The Dolphins appeared to be in complete control in the third quarter when Favre had the ball stripped in the end zone by Cameron Wake and Misi recovered the fumble for a Miami touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Favre was picked off on his very next pass attempt, but offsetting penalties negated the turnover and the Vikings quickly marched down the field into Miami territory. However, with just under three minutes left in the third, Favre was intercepted at the goal line by Allen.
The Dolphins, though, gave the ball right back when Ricky Williams fumbled on the ensuing play. The momentum of the game completely changed on that play and Peterson scored two plays later from the one to get Minnesota on the board.
Minnesota got the ball back after a Miami punt early in the fourth quarter and drove far enough for a 28-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell to pull within 14-10.
Again the Dolphins were forced to punt, and Favre went for the home run ball on the first play from his own 34. Allen, though, again came up with an interception with just under six minutes to play. However, the Dolphins followed with another fumble when Brown lost the football and the Vikings regained possession to set up the final dramatics.
Brown, despite the fumble, ran for 80 yards on 13 carries and Williams added 30 yards on 10 attempts. Henne completed 9-of-15 passes for 114 yards in the victory.
The Dolphin defense stopped the Vikings on the game's first possession when Favre had pass on 4th-and-2 from the Miami 26 batted down, and Henne followed immediately with a 46-yard strike to Brandon Marshall on the Dolphins' first offensive play. The big gain helped set up the game's first score, as Henne finished off the nine-play set with a five-yard scoring toss to Brian Hartline.
Favre had the Vikings in scoring range midway through the second quarter with a first down at the Miami 11, but he was picked off at the goal line on a pass that was tipped a few times before eventually settling into the arms of Vontae Davis.
The Dolphins were able to escape the shadow of their own goal line on the next play when Brown raced through a gaping hole for 51 yards, but the Viking defense soon after forced a punt and neither team threatened for the remainder of the fast-moving first half.
Favre's last game against the Dolphins also resulted in three interceptions in the 2008 season-finale when he was a member of the Jets...The Dolphins started the 2002 season 3-0...Minnesota is off to an 0-2 start for the second time in three years...Miami again played without linebacker Channing Crowder, who also sat out last Sunday's contest with a groin injury...Minnesota's Percy Harvin left the contest after aggravating a hip injury that limited him in practice during the week...The Dolphins play their home opener next Sunday night against the Jets, while the Vikings host Detroit.
09/19 17:47:36 ET
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