Dolphins stun Raiders 26-25 to move step closer to playoffs

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during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

LAS VEGAS – With a defender dragging him down by his facemask, Ryan Fitzpatrick still managed to launch the pass that might have saved the Miami Dolphins' season.

Just a little more FitzMagic.

Fitzpatrick's desperation heave to Mack Hollins set up Jason Sanders’ 44-yard field goal as the Dolphins drove the field in the final 19 seconds to move one step closer to a playoff berth with an improbable 26-25 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night.

“We just felt like we needed a spark, trying to win the game,” coach Brian Flores said about the decision to bench rookie Tua Tagovailoa for Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter.

“If we have to go to a relief pitcher in the ninth, that’s what we’ll do. Fitz is always ready to go. He went in and moved the ball for us. We were able to make enough plays to win the game.”

Fitzpatrick led three scoring drives in the fourth quarter for Miami (10-5) with the final one the most unlikely after the Raiders (7-8) bypassed a gimme touchdown for a field goal. The move to play for the field goal backfired as the Raiders lost on a kick instead.

The Dolphins moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC playoff race and can clinch a wild-card berth with a win next week at Buffalo.

“I want to go,” said Fitzpatrick, who hasn't made the playoffs in his 16-year career. “I want to feel what it’s like. I feel like we have a special team. I’m proud I’ve been able to contribute to that.”