Michael Thomas came through, intercepting Brady's fourth-down pass in the end zone with 2 seconds left Sunday to seal a seesaw 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots.
Thomas celebrated by flopping to his back and was swarmed by his new teammates.
"I didn't know what his first name was," defensive tackle Jared Odrick said. "That's being thrown in the fire and reacting. That's a pure athlete."
The Dolphins (8-6) won their third game in a row to help their AFC wild-card chances. They also snapped a streak of seven consecutive losses to the Patriots (10-4), who missed a chance to clinch their fifth consecutive AFC East title.
Miami's breakthrough win left even stoic second-year coach Joe Philbin in a mood to celebrate.
"I might jump in my pool," he said. "I've been in it once since I've been here."
"We didn't do a good job in the red area, and didn't do a good job finishing drives," he said. "We came up on the short end of the stick. It wasn't a good day. Just couldn't make enough plays."
The Patriots had mounted second-half rallies to win their past three games, and were on the verge of doing it again when Brady led them from their own 20 with 1:15 remaining to the Miami 14.
"The longest 75 seconds of my life," said Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who squirmed on the sideline.
With New England out of timeouts, Brady threw for the end zone four times in a row. The first three passes went incomplete, including one intended for
Then, Thomas stepped in front of
"I knew being the new guy that Tom Brady would come after me," Thomas said. "He's a great quarterback, and he's going to exploit any weaknesses. I knew if I got in there I would have a chance. I saw the ball in the air and I made a play."
Thomas was part of an injury-depleted secondary that also included backups at both cornerback spots on the final drive. A large supporting cast has played a significant role in the recent success of the Dolphins, who are 5-2 since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team in a bullying scandal that drew national notoriety.
"We've grown a lot," Tannehill said. "Each of us has gotten stronger through the adversity we've faced off the field and on the field."
Tannehill shook off four sacks to throw for 312 yards and three touchdowns, including a 14-yarder to Marcus Thigpen with 1:15 left that provided the winning margin. His other scoring passes covered 39 yards to Mike Wallace and 2 yards to Daniel Thomas.
Brady went 34 for 55 and threw two scores.
New England took a 20-17 lead when Edelman scored on a 24-yard reception with four minutes left, but the Dolphins caught a break when the ensuing kickoff by
Charles Clay kept the driving going when he turned a short pass into a 6-yard gain on fourth and 5 at midfield, and Thigpen scored five plays later.
New England, accustomed to slow starts, took a 10-0 lead on
"Today just wasn't my day," Gostkowski said. "It stinks to play terrible and your team loses. It's like salt on the wound."
Special teams were only part of the Pats' problem, coach Bill Belichick said.
"We were short in every area," he said. "Nothing was really good enough."
Notes: Patriots T
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