Dolphins beat Vikes on late safety, but won't make playoffs

Miami, FL ( - Terrence Fede blocked Jeff Locke's punt out of the end zone for a safety with 41 seconds left, sending the Miami Dolphins to a 37-35 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The blocked punt came after Damien Williams' 3-yard TD catch tied the game for the Dolphins. The fourth quarter featured a combined 41 points.

Despite the win, Miami (8-7) was eliminated from playoff contention due to the Steelers' win over Kansas City.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in the locker room after the game that head coach Joe Philbin will be back next season.

"I'll give you a Christmas present, you don't have to keep asking that question," Ross told media members. "You guys all have a good Christmas, you don't have to write about it. The coach is coming back."

Philbin said he appreciated his owner publicly offering his support.

"It's like players; coaches want to be with people that believe in them," said Philbin. "I have a lot of faith in Steve. He's been extremely supportive of me through some difficult times when it could have been easy not to be supportive of me, but he always has been. I want to do the things that I told him I was going to do when I came to interview. We're not there yet. We've got a lot of work to do."

Ryan Tannehill completed 35-of-47 passes for 396 yards, four touchdowns and an interception for the Dolphins, who snapped a two-game skid.

Lamar Miller carried the ball 19 times for 92 yards and a score and caught five passes for 58 yards. Mike Wallace hauled in five passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

Teddy Bridgewater connected on 19-of-26 passes for 259 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Vikings (6-9), who have lost two in a row.

Matt Asiata carried the ball 16 times for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Greg Jennings caught three passes for 56 yards and a score.

"We made too many mistakes and penalties in crucial situations," said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "All of the things I've been trying to preach for 11 months, we didn't do today."

Jarius Wright's 8-yard TD catch and a successful two-point conversion tied the game at 28 with 4:46 to play. Rhett Ellison's 40-yard catch set up the score.

Jarvis Landry fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Antone Exum Jr. recovered the ball for Minnesota. Asiata scored from five yards out on the next play to give the Vikings their second touchdown in a span of 11 seconds.

But the Dolphins used an 11-play, 80-yard drive to tie things up. Tannehill marched his team down to the Minnesota 13 before a false start penalty made it 3rd-and-14. Xavier Rhodes was called for defensive pass interference and Williams followed with the game-tying score with 1:11 remaining.

Cameron Wake sacked Bridgewater on third down to force Minnesota into a punting situation which resulted in the game-deciding score.

Earlier, Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 56-yard field goal on the game's opening possession.

The Vikings took advantage of the short field. Following Wright's 20-yard catch, Asiata touched the ball seven straight times, culminating in a 1-yard TD run.

Harrison Smith blocked Tannehill's pass and intercepted it to set up Jennings' 21-yard touchdown catch with 11:34 left in the second stanza.

Miami responded with a 12-play, 92-yard drive that Dion Sims capped with a 14- yard TD catch. Charles Clay's 33-yard catch highlighted the march.

After each team punted once, Minnesota started from its own 13 with 1:06 left. Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson caught passes of 25 and 18 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the Miami 23. Bridgewater spiked the ball to stop the clock, then Chase Ford caught a 22-yard pass. The Dolphins' defense did not break and forced an 18-yard Blair Walsh field goal with two seconds left.

The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their first possession of the second half. Clay's 41-yard catch set up Wallace's spectacular touchdown grab. On 2- and-goal from the 16, Wallace made a juggling catch along the left sideline, kept both feet inbounds and stretched the ball across the goal line.

The Miami defense forced a turnover and gave its offense the ball back. Defensive end Derrick Shelby picked off a deflected pass and the home team capitalized with a go-ahead touchdown. Miller's 14-yard run and Sims' 17-yard catch moved the ball to the Minnesota 33. An unnecessary roughness penalty on linebacker Gerald Hodges helped set up Miller's 1-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth.

Walsh's 33-yard field goal got the Vikings within 21-20. However, Miami came back with a touchdown to make it an eight-point game. Brandon Gibson's 40-yard catch led to Wallace's 7-yard TD grab with 6:39 to play.

Game Notes

The Dolphins lead the all-time series by a 7-4 margin ... Clay caught six passes for a game-best 114 yards ... Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle/knee) missed the game.