The football was heading to the end zone and the seconds ticked off the clock down to zero. Fans of the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers held their collective breath.
Brent Grimes batted down a would-be-game-winning touchdown from Phillip Rivers and Robert Lester intercepted a fatal walkoff touchdown from Tom Brady. The latter play drew national attention as there was an on-field mugging going on behind Lester, but the referees elected to pick up a flag that would have been a pass interference penalty and given Brady one last attempt to steal a victory.
Either way you draw it up, the Dolphins and Panthers both escaped Week 11 with home victories and look to continue playing meaningful games the rest of the season. The win for the Panthers was their sixth in a row and the last two have been beyond impressive. A 10-9 road win out West in Candlestick over the San Francisco 49ers put the Panthers on the map. 8 days later they put the league on notice when they beat Tom Brady 24-20 on Monday Night Football in Charlotte.
On the contrary, the Dolphins 20-16 win last Sunday kept their playoff chances alive, as they trail only the New York Jets for the sixth seed in the AFC by virtue of a tiebreaker. It cannot be expressed how big this win was for the Dolphins as they had just come off an embarrassing Monday Night Football defeat to the then-winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.