MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins' dysfunction took many forms Sunday, including a backward pass by Ryan Tannehill that flew out of bounds for a 7-yard loss. His offensive linemen managed to commit four penalties in a three-play span, while defensive breakdowns and replay overrules were recurring problems.
Even so, the Dolphins did enough right to hold off the St. Louis Rams, 17-14.
Tannehill threw two touchdown passes and the Dolphins turned back several St. Louis scoring threats to win despite being outgained 462 yards to 192.
The Rams scored their lone touchdown with 8:30 left, then moved 49 yards to face a fourth-and-7 at the Miami 48-yard line with 30 seconds left. Rather than go for a first down, coach Jeff Fisher sent out rookie Greg Zuerlein to try a 66-yard field goal, which missed wide left. The NFL record for the longest field goal is 63 yards.
That left both teams at 3-3. Fisher lost to the team that courted him in January, when he chose the Rams job instead.
Zuerlein made his first two field goals to improve to 15 for 15 this season then missed three times in a row, including wide left from 48 and 32 yards in the first half.
The Dolphins were outrushed 162-19, but Tannehill went 21 for 29 for 185 yards with no turnovers. He threw touchdown passes of 29 yards to Marlon Moore and 1 yard to Anthony Fasano.
Sam Bradford went 26 for 39 for 315 yards for the Rams, who struck for early gains of 44 and 65 yards.
Nonetheless, they trailed 17-6 before they finally got into the end zone when Bradford scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down. He juggled the ball as he held it over the goal line, but the call was upheld following a review.
Bradford then hit Steven Jackson with the 2-point conversion pass to make the score 17-14.
Two other key reviews also went against the Dolphins. They led by 11 points and appeared on the verge of pulling away when they recovered a fumble by Bradford on a sack midway through the third quarter. But the turnover was negated by a review, when the officials ruled the play an incomplete pass.
On the Rams' next possession, Chris Givens lost a fumble after a short catch, but again the ruling was changed to an incompletion following a look at the replay.
Daryl Richardson's 44-yard run set up the Rams' first field goal, and Givens beat the Miami secondary deep for a 65-yard reception to set up another field goal for a 6-0 lead.
Moore, a backup who came into the game without a catch this season, put the Dolphins ahead to stay when he slipped behind Janoris Jenkins for a 29-yard touchdown catch.
Rams fullback Brit Miller fielded a short kickoff and lost a fumble, setting up a Miami field goal. A 62-yard touchdown drive to start the second half put the Dolphins ahead 17-6.
But often Miami found it difficult to block the Rams. The offensive line was flagged for four penalties — one declined — during an especially unsightly sequence.
The Dolphins' Brian Hartline, who came into the game leading the NFL in receiving yardage, was held without a catch.