Special teams, defense help Miami to 17-7 halftime lead

Special teams, defense help Miami to 17-7 halftime lead

Special teams and defense have the Dolphins leading the Chargers 17-7 at halftime.

Only two minutes into Sunday’s game, Andrew Van Ginkel blocked Ty Long‘s punt with Jamal Perry recovering at the 1-yard line. Salvon Ahmed scored his first career touchdown on the next play.

The Dolphins added a touchdown on a 3-yard Tagovailoa throw to Jakeem Grant to cap a 13-play, 88-yard drive.

The Dolphins were driving again when Ted Karras‘ botched snap to Tagovailoa led to a fumble that Nick Vigil returned 44 yards to put the Chargers in scoring position at the Miami 37. Eleven plays later, Justin Herbert got the ball across the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

But Herbert has had a tough day.

The Chargers have only 98 yards with Herbert going 7-of-12 for 58 yards. Nik Needham has Miami’s only sack, but the Dolphins have pressured Herbert and hit him two other times.

The Dolphins’ third score followed a 20-yard Grant punt return to the Chargers 47 late in the half. It set up a 50-yard Jason Sanders field goal. Sanders, the best kicker in football this season, has made 21 in a row, including seven consecutive from 50 or longer.

Tagovailoa is 8-of-15 for 105 yards and a touchdown.