Jakeem Grant scored in an initial 102-yard playoff with 14 minutes remaining, and the Miami Dolphins overcame two weather delays to win the longest game since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, beating the Tennessee Titans 27-20 on Sunday. .
The delays by the rays lasted a total of 3 hours, 59 minutes, and the game lasted 7 hours, 8 minutes to play.
The longest previous game since 1970 was an overtime victory for the Bears against the Ravens in 2013, which took 5 hours and 16 minutes.
Lightning struck a location only one mile inside the stadium, prompting officers to delay the game, according to the Miami Herald.
The Miami Dolphins defeated the Tennessee Titans in Miami Gardens, Florida on Sunday in what was the longest game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) prepares to pitch while Brian Orakpo of the Titans chases him on Sunday.
The delays by the rays lasted a total of 3 hours, 59 minutes, and the game lasted 7 hours, 8 minutes to play. A rainbow is seen over Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday when the Miami area was hit by severe weather
The game was suspended twice, the first time with 1:11 to play in the first half and the second delay with 6:47 to play in the third quarter.
The NFL hoped to end the delays, but the lightning continued close, forcing the referees to suspend the game for longer than originally expected.
Most of the fans who bought tickets for the game preferred to go home and watch the rest of the contest from the comfort of their own homes.
As a courtesy to the fans who stayed, the Dolphins allowed those with tickets for the higher level seats to move to the lower bowl of Hard Rock Stadium.
The NFL hoped to end the delays, but the lightning continued close, forcing the referees to suspend the game for longer than originally expected. The billboard above announced the suspension of the game due to lightning
This is the second time during Week 1 of the new NFL season that lightning has caused a delay in action.
The opening match of Thursday's season between the Eagles and the Falcons in Philadelphia was also delayed by severe weather.
The start of the game was delayed about 35 minutes, according to PennLive.com.
Grant's touchdown caused a late barrage of big plays in an opening game that was mediocre for the first six hours.
After his score, Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills deeply for a 75-yard touchdown. Darius Jennings returned the kickoff resulting 94 yards for a Titans score, and they were driving when Miami's Reshad Jones helped secure the victory with a 54-yard return after intercepting Blaine Gabbert.
"I love the way we responded, the way we were able to overcome the delays, to get energy after being seated," Tannehill said.
"Get out of this long day, this routine of a game, and get a victory, it feels good."
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw two interceptions in the third quarter and then left the game with an elbow injury.
Tight end Delanie Walker was taken off the field later in the period with a right leg injury, and tackler Taylor Lewan suffered a concussion, all of which meant a miserable start to Mike Vrabel in his debut as head coach.
Fans wait for the rain to stop during a delay in Sunday's action at Miami Gardens
Miami led 7-3 when the game was suspended for almost two hours late in the first half.
The teams went to the dressing room during the delay and stayed on the field for the rest, which was reduced to 3½ minutes.
Lightning stopped once more in the middle of the third quarter, and the second detention lasted just over two hours.
Maybe 10,000 fans stayed in the end.
"That's the job we have, to make sure we play in any situation," Vrabel said.
"I felt we handled it well, but in the end we did not do enough to win the game."
Sandwiched between the delays there was a fight that started after Lewan seemed to have been briefly knocked out.
Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain of Miami and Dion Lewis of Tennessee received compensation for unsportsmanlike conduct for mocking, and Lewan missed the rest of the game.
Gabbert led the Titans 75 yards to make the score 10-10, but Grant needed just 13 seconds to break the tie, splitting the coverage intact and running into the clear near the center of the field.
Most of the fans who bought tickets for the game preferred to go home and watch the rest of the contest from the comfort of their own homes. As a courtesy to the fans who stayed, the Dolphins allowed those with tickets for the upper level seats to move toward the lower bowl
"I saw it was just him and the kicker," Miami coach Adam Gase said.
& # 39; It was: & # 39; Please, I ran for me & # 39; "
Tannehill, playing for the first time since a knee injury in late 2016, was 20 for 28 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"I left a lot out there," said Tannehill.
& # 39; There are many moves I wanted to go back & # 39;
The Titans had a first and goal in the 5 in the first quarter, but were stopped in potholes when Mariota pitched incomplete in three consecutive plays.
The Dolphins then drove 98 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead.
In the first play after the second weather delay, Kiko Alonso of Miami made an interception to establish a field goal and end Mariota day.
A Walker penalty voided a 62-yard touchdown by Derrick Henry that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter.
Recipients of dolphins Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the national anthem, and defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist.
They followed the same practice before the preseason games.
No Titans appeared to protest.