Final

Dolphins 38

(10-5, 5-2 away)

Chiefs 31

(2-13, 1-7 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 21, 2008

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 10 14 7 738
KC 7 21 3 031

Top Performers

Passing: T. Thigpen (KC) - 320 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: L. Johnson (KC) - 12 CAR, 108 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Charles (KC) - 3 REC, 102 YDS

Miami wins coldest game in franchise history

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The coldest conditions any Miami team has played in couldn't stop these history-making Dolphins.

Thriving in mind-numbing frigidity, Chad Pennington threw three touchdown passes Sunday in a 38-31 victory over Kansas City that continued one of the most remarkable comeback seasons in NFL history.

Fast Facts

• The Dolphins are 10-5, five games over .500 for the first time since they were 11-5 at the end of the 2001 season.

• Chad Pennington threw for three touchdowns and 235 yards, giving him a career-high 3,453 this season, surpassing his 3,352 with the 2006 Jets.

• Miami allowed a TD for the first time since Week 12, a three-plus game span of 185 minutes and 22 seconds.

• Tony Gonzalez has 64 receiving yards for the fourth 1,000-yard season of his career, including two straight years for the first time. He is the first Chief and first tight end with four 1,000-yard seasons.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

A year after going 1-15, the Dolphins can clinch the AFC East next weekend by beating the New York Jets, the team that cast Pennington aside when it acquired Brett Favre.

"This is the only way fate would have it, right?" Pennington said. "I just don't think it would happen any other way. There wouldn't be any other scenario. This is how sports works."

The Dolphins (10-5) became the first team to win 10 games after winning only one the previous season, but needed a 14-point fourth quarter after Kansas City (2-13) took a 31-24 lead late in the third.

The temperature at the noon kickoff was 10 degrees with a wind chill of minus-12, the coldest conditions the Dolphins have ever played in. No doubt it was even icier when Pennington engineered a 13-play, 85-yard drive capped by his tiebreaking 14-yard TD pass to Anthony Fasano with 4:08 left.

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"Right now, [the drive] is a blur," Pennington said. "It was so cold, my brain is not working real well. I can just remember time after time it was somebody making a play, breaking a tackle, making a catch, making a big block, making play after play to keep the drive going."

It was the second-coldest game played at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs (2-13) concluded the home portion of the worst season in the 49-year history of the franchise. In their last 24 games, the Chiefs are 2-22.

"You play for pride as a football player and as a human being," Chiefs linebacker Rocky Boiman said.

After quickly falling behind 10-0 when the Dolphins scored on their first play from scrimmage, the Chiefs fought back and took a 28-24 halftime lead.

"This game didn't start off real well, but the way they fought back says a lot about who they are, and their character," head coach Herm Edwards said.

Coming six days after the abrupt resignation of general manager Carl Peterson, the loss would seem to cast even more doubt on the future of Edwards, who remains staunchly supported by almost all his players.

"A lot of coaches in a situation like this would be looking for the door, would be looking for a way out," Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters said. "Herm's right there in the front, ready to take on all comers."

It was the fourth victory in a row and eighth in nine games for the Dolphins, whose previously coldest game was 14 degrees at Foxboro, Mass., on Dec. 11, 1977.

Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Miami Dolphins' 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

"The biggest thing was trying to keep your fingers from going numb," Dolphins running back Ricky Williams said. "We took care of ourselves and handled it well, I think."

A Miami defense that hadn't yielded a touchdown in three weeks gave up four TDs and a season-high 492 yards to the Chiefs, who have lost eight games by seven points or fewer and finish their miserable season next week at Cincinnati. Tyler Thigpen threw for a career-best 320 yards and had two touchdowns, but also three interceptions.

Pennington was 26-of-34 in the brutal cold, including two touchdown tosses to Fasano.

After Connor Barth's 24-yard field goal put the Chiefs on top 31-24 in the third quarter, Ricky Williams' 4-yard touchdown run tied it 31-all. Then Pennington took the Dolphins on the winning drive.

"The most important thing is we were focused on [win] No. 10 and making history," Pennington said. "That is what today was about. We knew we couldn't get to next week until we took care of this week. We found ways to win all season."

Game notes


At 10 degrees, it was exactly 30 degrees colder than the coldest home game the Dolphins ever played, on Dec. 24, 1989 against, of all teams, the Chiefs. ... Dolphins lost their previous coldest game, 14-10, at New England. ... The coldest game played at Arrowhead kicked off at zero degrees on Dec. 18, 1983. ... KC's Tony Gonzalez became the first tight end with four 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
KC
1st Downs2623
Passing 1st downs
1511
Rushing 1st downs
912
1st downs from penalties
20
3rd down efficiency
7-113-10
4th down efficiency
0-12-4
Total Plays6465
Total Yards403492
Yards per play6.37.6
Total Drives1210
Passing235312
Comp-Att
26-3420-41
Yards per pass
6.97.1
Interceptions thrown
13
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-03-8
Rushing168180
Rushing Attempts
3021
Yards per rush
5.68.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-83-4
Penalties2-155-46
Turnovers24
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
13
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession34:1025:50

Passing Leaders

MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Pennington26/342356.9310-0
KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Thigpen20/413207.8233-8

Rushing Leaders

MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Cobbs24422.0044
Williams12342.8113
KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson121089.0133
Thigpen6579.5127

Receiving Leaders

MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Bess6579.5012
Williams6508.3014
KCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Charles310234.0075
Darling36923.0133

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIAKC
miaTD14:50Ted Ginn Jr. 31 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 31 yds, 0:18
70
miaFG11:52Dan Carpenter 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 1:07
100
kcTD10:22Devard Darling 33 Yard Pass From Tyler Thigpen (Connor Barth Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 65 yds, 1:28
107
SECOND QUARTERMIAKC
kcTD14:14Tony Gonzalez 8 Yard Pass From Tyler Thigpen (Connor Barth Kick is Good)
Drive info: 17 plays, 80 yds, 7:47
1014
miaTD11:39David Martin 11 Yard Pass From Chad Pennington (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 72 yds, 2:32
1714
kcTD10:35Larry Johnson 2 Yard Run (Connor Barth Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 77 yds, 1:01
1721
miaTD6:20Anthony Fasano 14 Yard Pass From Chad Pennington (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 4:20
2421
kcTD0:55Tyler Thigpen 8 Yard Run (Connor Barth Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 95 yds, 1:26
2428
THIRD QUARTERMIAKC
kcFG9:11Connor Barth 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 69 yds, 5:49
2431
miaTD6:51Ricky Williams 4 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yds, 2:25
3131
FOURTH QUARTERMIAKC
miaTD4:14Anthony Fasano 14 Yard Pass From Chad Pennington (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 85 yds, 8:33
3831