The Dolphins tried to give it away, with Chad Henne throwing an inexcusable late interception and the defense allowing 17 second half points. But Henne responded with his second comeback win in a month, driving the Dolphins 77 yards in only five plays, settting up rookie Dan Carpenter for the winning field goal from 25 yards, and giving Miami a much-tougher-than-expected 25-23 win over Tampa Bay.
It was a game Miami seemed to have under control, as a horrible interception call late in the half set up a 5-yard TD pass from Henne to tight end Kory Sperry, and Dan Carpenter booted a 30-yard field goal at the end of the half to give Miami a 19-9 lead going into the locker room.
But then the old demons returned, as Kellen Winslow caught six of his seven passes in the second half, finishing with 102 yards on the day, and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman led the Bucs on three scoring marches to give Tampa the lead late.
But still, the game would have been salted away if not for Henne's inexplicable decision to throw the ball right to Bucs linebacker Quincy Black on third down with just 1:52 remaining.
Tampa then smartly ran down the clock before running back Cadillac Williams punched it in from the 1 to give the Bucs a 23-22 lead.
Then, Henne went from goat to hero, with his biggest pressure drive as a Dolphin.
He completed a 25-yard pass to Davone Bess to the Miami 41-yardline, and after a penalty hit Bess again for a 16-yard pickup to the Bucs' 34.
After spiking the ball to stop the clock, offensive coordinator Dan Henning made a risky call by giving the ball to Ricky Williams on a handoff.
Williams responded with a 27-yard gain to the 7-yardline, and Carpneter kicked his field goal to seal a wild victory.
Wiliams ran for a game-high 102 yards on 20 carries, picking up the slack for an injured Ronnie Brown, who gained 82 yards on 12 carries and scored a TD before leaving the game with an injury.
As a team, the Dolphins ran for 199 yards on the day.
Defensively, linebacker Charlie Anderson had a big day with a sack and two fumbles forced, and Cameron Wake made his presence felt with a sack and several pressures in the absence of Joey Porter.
The Dolphins climbed to 4-5, and with losses by the New York Jets and New England Patriots, are back in the thick of the AFC East race. Thursday, they will face a Carolina team that has been on a roll and is similarly desperate to stay in the playoff chase.