Gesicki Grabs Second Touchdown Pass in as Many Weeks During Miami Victory Over Eagles

By David Biggy | Dec 04, 2019
Courtesy of: Miami Dolphins Former Southern Regional star Mike Gesicki goes up over Philadelphia cornerback Jalen Mills for a touchdown during Miami’s 37-31 win over the Eagles on Dec. 1. It was Gesicki’s second TD snag in as many weeks and the second of his pro career.

Stafford Township — It seems Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may have discovered how reliable Mike Gesicki’s hands are in the end zone.

For a second straight week, Fitzpatrick tossed a touchdown pass to the Stafford Township native and former Southern Regional star athlete, only this time it helped erase a 14-point deficit and led to a 37-31 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 1.

“I’m not talking about it,” Gesicki said with a laugh after the game, when his “touchdown streak” was mentioned. “I’m just focusing on my job and continuing to follow my routine and continue to work hard, and hopefully good things will follow.”

Gesicki ended the Week 13 contest at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium with five receptions for 79 yards, an average of 15.8 yards per catch, and twice caught passes that went for 21 yards. All of his receptions occurred during the second half, as the Dolphins (3-9) climbed out of a 14-point hole after the Eagles scored on their first possession of the second half.

On Miami’s first play of the second half, Fitzpatrick hit Gesicki along the right side for an 11-yard gain and a first down at the Dolphins’ 36-yard line. On the next play, Fitzpatrick fired a pass to Gesicki for a 21-yard pickup and another first down at the Eagles’ 43, setting up the Dolphins’ first score of the half.

On Miami’s next possession, the Dolphins marched down the Philadelphia 14-yard line, before Fitzpatrick rolled right and floated a pass off his back foot down the right sideline toward the back corner of the end zone. Gesicki, who had faded right before streaking past Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, leaped up to snatch the pass as Mills tried to scramble back into a coverage position, but it was too late. Gesicki landed both feet in the corner for the second TD catch of his pro career to make it 28-26.

“You know, it’s funny,” Gesicki explained when asked to describe the touchdown. “I was talking to Fitz after that. I said, ‘We’ve been running that play since OTAs and never once have I gotten the ball on that play.’ It was a play that I kind of knew I had a shot on. He scrambled out and just put it in the back of the end zone, and I was able to go up and get it.”

With 14:12 left, the Dolphins started their next possession, and on third-and-2 Fitzpatrick again found Gesicki for 21 yards and a first down at the Miami 33. Seven plays later, the Dolphins scored to take the lead for good, 34-28.

On the first play of Miami’s next possession, Fitzpatrick tossed a 12-yard pass over the middle to Gesicki for another first down at the Dolphins’ 29-yard line. Later in the drive, with Miami on Philly’s 31, Fitzpatrick connected with Gesicki for what would have been a 25-yard gain and the ball first-and-goal at the 6, but Gesicki was flagged for offensive pass interference.

“Fitz does a phenomenal job just putting the ball up and giving you a chance,” Gesicki said. “Like I’ve always said, when you’re given your opportunity, you have to go make a play.”

Gesicki now has 36 receptions for 401 yards, an 11.1 average per catch, and two touchdowns. His 401 receiving yards are fifth among AFC tight ends and 13th among NFL tight ends. Since Miami returned from its bye week, which was Week 6, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Gesicki has snagged 30 passes for 350 yards.

During the next two Sundays, many among Gesicki’s family, friends and fans will get to see him much closer to home. The Dolphins visit the New York Jets this Sunday, Dec. 8, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, and next week, on Dec. 15, Miami takes on the New York Giants, where Gesicki will be opposite former Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley.

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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