Jason Taylor stood at his 10-yard line, motioning with both arms to coax more noise from the Sun Life Stadium crowd as the Miami Dolphins tried to hang on to a late lead.
It was Taylor's way of waving goodbye.
The linebacker's penetration on the next play harried New York quarterback Mark Sanchez into an interception that helped seal the Dolphins' 19-17 victory over the Jets on Sunday.
Taylor, the NFL's active sacks leader, played his final game in a 15-year career. He didn't add to his sack total of 139.5, but he lined up at tailback for the final two plays as the Dolphins ran out the clock, then was carried off the field.
"It was a good way to end this thing -- to beat your No. 1 rivals in your home stadium in your last game," Taylor, who spent last season with the Jets, said during an emotional postgame news conference. "I'm very, very happy and blessed to be where I am."
Taylor provided a rare moment of celebration for the Dolphins (6-10), who completed their third consecutive losing season, their longest such stretch since the 1960s.
Taylor, who said Wednesday that he would retire at the end of the season, sent the crowd into pandemonium when he scooped up a fumble and scored with 2:30 left. However, a replay review negated the turnover, with the officials determining the ball carrier was down before the fumble.
"Playing this game was a privilege," Taylor said. "It was so good to me. I'll miss it. I'm the luckiest man in the world. For the last 15 years, I've been able to play a kid's game and get paid to do it."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had kind words for Taylor.
"We appreciate the outstanding way Jason has represented the NFL for 15 years, not only as a great player, but also as an individual who truly cares about his community," Goodell tweeted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.