Steve Grogan hit Greg Hawthorne off a flea-flicker for one fourth-quarter touchdown and ran one yard for another today to rally the New England Patriots to a 17-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
New England trailed, 13-3, entering the fourth quarter, but Grogan twice moved his team 80 yards as the Patriots (6-3) won their fourth straight for the first time in five years.
With fourth and one at Miami's 28, Grogan handed off to Mosi Tatupu, took a pitch back, and then threw 28 yards to Hawthorne, who made only his second reception of the season.
The choice of the flea-flicker, made by Coach Raymond Berry, "was the coach's call all the way," Grogan said, "and it was one of the gutsiest I've ever seen."
Grogan rolled to his right and ran untouched into the end zone for the winning score. "It was no bootleg," he said. "It was a pass-run option. After Paul Fairchild's great block, I knew I had a shot."
Grogan completed 14 of 31 passes for 188 yards. Craig James, a former Washington Federal, carried 23 times for 119 yards, the first Patriot to top 100 yards rushing this season.
Miami (5-4), the defending American Football Conference champions, has lost three of four games.
The Dolphins' defense, which had allowed 31 points per game the past three weeks, dominated the penalty-prone Patriots going into the final quarter. Fuad Reveiz's second field goal of the game, a 36-yarder, had given the Dolphins a 13-3 lead on the last play of the third period.
Ron Davenport scored on a three-yard run on Miami's first possession, and Reveiz kicked a 26-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. Tony Franklin's 38-yard field goal cut the margin to 10-3 at halftime.
New England committed 11 penalties, its most since 1983, for 86 yards. One nullified a 50-yard touchdown pass from Grogan to Irving Fryar in the second period.
The Patriots held Dan Marino to 171 passing yards. He completed 15 of 33 and was sacked three times.