Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Chargers Game Recap: Dolphins Win Wild One in Los Angeles

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(Carson, CA) – In a crazy game that came down to the final play, the Miami Dolphins (1-0) rallied to beat the Los Angeles Chargers (0-2) at StubHub Center by a score of 19-17 in a Week 2 contest.

After they were unable to play their Week 1 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to Hurricane Irma, the Dolphins were intent on leaving Los Angeles with a victory by any means necessary.

Dolphins newly acquired kicker Cody Parkey, who was recently cut by the Cleveland Browns, drilled a 54-yard field goal with just over one minute to go in regulation that gave Miami the lead for good.

Chargers longtime star quarterback Philip Rivers, who had a masterful day with 331 yards passing (31-of-39 passes completed) and a touchdown pass, drove Los Angeles down the field to set up a game-winning field-goal attempt for rookie kicker Younghoe Koo.

Thankfully, Koo pulled the kick wide right in the closing seconds and the Dolphins were able to hold on for a thrilling win on the road.

“It’s awesome being a Miami Dolphin after growing up a fan, so this is pretty cool,” Parkey said immediately after the game. “I had a good game, so I’ve got to continue to just keep it going. So everyone who’s watching at home, I hope you’ve got power, but go Fins.”

Miami rising star running back Jay Ajayi, who rushed for over 1,200 yards on the ground last season, was a force to be reckoned with on Sunday as he rushed for 122 yards on 28 carries in the victory.

In his Dolphins debut, quarterback Jay Cutler put together a solid performance against the Chargers. On the day, Cutler completed an impressive 24-of-33 of his passes for 230 yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Stills in the third quarter.

Most importantly, Cutler did not turn the ball over a single time, which was a glaring problem for him in the past when he was on the Chicago Bears.

For the Dolphins, wide receiver Jarvis Landry hauled in a whopping 13 receptions for 78 yards, while DeVante Parker had four catches for 85 yards on the day.

“Jarvis got a lot of balls during that first half, so we kind of wanted to mix it up a little bit and get some balls to other guys,” Cutler said during his postgame press conference.

Even though the Dolphins’ secondary struggled against Rivers, the Miami run defense was able to corral Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon and limited him to only 13 yards rushing and one touchdown on nine carries.

“It’s a tough league to win in,” said Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. “It’s going to be like that every Sunday, and I think our guys in the locker room knew that.”

For the Chargers, potential future Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Rivers that gave Los Angeles a 17-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

Gates, who caught his 112th career touchdown, is now the all-time leader for touchdown receptions amongst tight ends after he passed Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Up next, the Dolphins will stay on the road in Week 3 when they travel to take on their AFC East rival New York Jets (0-2) at MetLife Stadium. The contest, which is scheduled to kick off shortly after 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, will be broadcast live on CBS.

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Andrew Salmi is a recent graduate from California State University, Fullerton after he previously attended Arizona State University. He is a diehard NFL fan and proud to be an editor and staff writer for Dolphin Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewsalmi.