MIAMI (AP)—The Miami Dolphins acted as though they’d never won a game before.
When Greg Camarillo turned a short completion into a 64-yard touchdown in overtime, the bench quickly cleared, with players sprinting en masse to the end zone to mob their teammate.
The stunning play made the Dolphins a winner for the first time in more than a year, ensuring they’ll avoid the first 0-16 season in NFL history. They beat the Baltimore Ravens 22-16.
“I’m just glad no one is going to be talking about the winless season,” Camarillo said after making just his fourth catch all season. “We got a win to get the monkey off our back.”
Luckless all year, the Dolphins needed a big break to improve to 1-13. Baltimore’s Matt Stover missed a 44-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime.
Three plays later, Camarillo broke over the middle on third down and had two steps on the secondary when he caught a pass from Cleo Lemon near midfield. Finding himself in the clear, Camarillo sprinted to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.
“It was like watching one of those plays in slow motion, and it’s the Super Bowl and the miraculous catch and all those things,” teammate Vonnie Holliday said. “It was up there like that for us. Maybe not for everybody else, but for us it was up there with all those great catches—Dwight Clark and all those guys.”
With the 1972 perfect-season Dolphins cheering them on, the woebegone 2007 Dolphins rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit and snapped a 16-game losing streak. The franchise’s first victory since Dec. 10, 2006 allowed Miami to avoid matching the worst start in NFL history.
Cam Cameron finally earned his first victory as an NFL head coach, 11 months after taking the job.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite some time,” Cameron said.
Owner Wayne Huizenga, who confirmed Saturday he’s discussing the sale of the franchise, wore a grin in the locker room after the victory.
“It was exciting for me,” Huizenga said. “In my suite it was like winning the Super Bowl. It was up and down all game, and with the 17-0 team here and being honored at halftime, to pull it off in this game for those guys, that was special. It was very emotional for me.”
Huizenga’s Dolphins finally found a team they could beat in the Ravens (4-10), who lost their eighth game in a row, extending a franchise record.
“Eight losses in a row—I think everything stinks at this point, whether it’s the Dolphins or whether we were playing Missouri,” center Mike Flynn said.
The Ravens also lost middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who dislocated a finger on his left hand in the third quarter and didn’t return.
Miami took its first lead with 1:56 left in regulation on a 29-yard field goal by Jay Feely, making the score 16-13. His ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, allowing the Ravens to start at their 40.
Rookie Troy Smith, who entered the game midway through the fourth quarter after Kyle Boller was sidelined with a mild concussion, drove the Ravens 59 yards. Coach Brian Billick decided against trying for the winning touchdown on fourth down at the half-yard line, and Stover’s 18-yard field goal with 8 seconds left forced overtime.
“It’s very tough to go for all or nothing,” Billick said.
The Ravens started at their 20 following the overtime kickoff, and Smith drove them 54 yards before Stover pulled a kick wide left.
“My toe came around a little too quick, and the ball pulled left on me,” Stover said.
“We got beat by an 0-13 team. We’ll hear it. I’ll be on `SportsCenter.’ Oh well. Do I want to be that guy? No. But I’ve won plenty of games for this team, and you’ve got to take the bad with the good. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
Former Miami coach Don Shula and six of his ’72 players, all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, served as honorary captains and took part in the coin toss. The perfect-season Dolphins were in town this weekend for their 35-year reunion.
“I talked to coach Shula, and I told him we would win,” Miami defensive end Jason Taylor said. “I’m glad we did. I can’t lie to coach Shula.”
For much of the gray afternoon, the situation looked grim. As usual, the Dolphins squandered plenty of chances.
Lorenzo Booker tripped at the 10-yard with no one in front of him following a reception, and Miami settled for a field goal. On a subsequent possession, Lemon stepped out of bounds on third down for a 7-yard loss that took Miami out of field goal range.
And as usual, it seemed the Dolphins couldn’t catch a break. When Ted Ginn Jr. appeared to get hit before the ball arrived on a 41-yard pass into end zone, there was no interference call.
“It felt like our team was cursed,” Camarillo said.
But the game began to turn when Taylor blocked a 50-yard field goal attempt by Stover on the final play of the first half, keeping the Ravens’ lead at 13-3.
The Dolphins shut down Baltimore for most of the second half, and the offense began to show a rare spark. Lemon finished 23-for-39 for 315 yards and improved to 1-5 lifetime as a starting quarterback.
His final completion was Miami’s longest play this season.
“It got a little dicey there at the end,” Taylor said. “Thank God for Camarillo.”
Taylor played wide receiver in two goal-line situations. Lemon threw to him once in the end zone and Taylor had the ball in his hands, but it was knocked away. … Miami had the ball for more than 22 minutes in the third and fourth quarters. … The Ravens fell to 0-4 at Dolphin Stadium.