MIAMI – For much of the game, when the Miami Dolphins had the ball, the only thing that seemed to work was the sprinklers.
They came on by mistake late in the third quarter, dousing both teams and causing a brief interruption. An amused crowd roared, but otherwise fans had little to cheer about until Miami's offense suddenly came to life.
Rookie Ryan Tannehill helped the Dolphins score 17 points in the last 8:08, including a field goal on the final play, and they rallied past the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 Sunday.
Tannehill had drawn criticism for mistakes down the stretch in close games, but he moved the Dolphins 65 yards in six plays over the final 92 seconds to set up the decisive 43-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter.
"There was no panic," Tannehill said. "Everyone felt confident out there."
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.
"Anytime you lose consecutive games like that it's tough," Tannehill said. "We're just looking to get back on track."
The Seahawks (6-5), unbeaten at home this year, lost for the fifth time in six road games.
"In the NFL you've got to play tough games on the road to win," defensive end Red Bryant said. "So far this year that's a part of our game we haven't been able to translate."
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.
"The NFL, they need some goggles," Thomas said. "I can't stop in midair like magic. I'm not Superman."
Seattle coach Pete 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.
Leon Washington returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the eighth time in his career 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.
Russell Wilson was the better rookie QB for much of the afternoon. He threw two touchdown passes, completed 16 consecutive attempts and finished with a hefty passer rating of 125.9.
"We did a lot of great things, but we did some stuff that's not characteristic of us," Wilson said.
The Seahawks lost yardage on their final three plays and were forced to punt from midfield, allowing the Dolphins to start at their own 10 with 1:32 left.
Tannehill quickly moved Miami downfield and finished 18 for 26 for 253 yards and a score. He broke the Dolphins' rookie record of 2,210 yards passing set by Dan Marino in 1983.
A computer glitch caused the sprinklers to come on, creating a comical sight as they briefly showered the entire field on a cloudless afternoon. Wilson said the Seahawks were unfazed.
"I think they're used to the rain," he said.
NOTES: Seattle G James Carpenter left the game in the first half with a left knee injury. ... With Dan Carpenter's game-winning kick, Seahawks opponents improved to 17 for 17 on field-goal tries this year. ... The Dolphins' Davone Bess caught seven passes for a career-high 129 yards. ... Miami improved to 12-1 since 1997 at home against teams from the West Coast.
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