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Dolphins End Season With 28-0 Loss

Posted Dec 30, 2012

Miami was shutout for the first time since November of 2010.

FOXBORO, Mass. – Riding a two-game winning streak and with a .500 record in their sights, the Miami Dolphins ran into an angry New England Patriots team on the road intent on not losing and fell 28-0.

The Dolphins found themselves down early by two scores and never could recover the Patriots defense took away their running game and the read option that had been so effective for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill in recent weeks. As a result, New England’s pass rushers were able to tee off on Tannehill to the tune of seven sacks.

“In the first quarter we ran it a few times and they did a few things to take it away,” Tannehill said. “We came to the realization pretty quickly that the read option wasn’t going to be a big part of our game plan and we were going to end up handing it off at the line. So we called it a few more times and just handed it off.”

Running back Reggie Bush entered the game needing just 40 yards to reach 1,000 yards for the second straight season but wound up 14 yards shy of that milestone. He broke loose for an 18-yard run on the very last play of the game to finish with 26 yards and the entire Dolphins running game mustered just 47 yards on 15 carries and a fumbled exchange between Bush and Tannehill in the third quarter that was recovered by New England at their 1 killed the best scoring opportunity.

That rushing total combined with the seven sacks allowed left a very bad taste in the mouths of every offensive lineman because this was a unit that prided itself on blocking well in the run game and protecting Tannehill throughout the season. Head Coach Joe Philbin has an offensive line background and was in his first season as a head coach and took his time explaining what went wrong on offense.

“They had some run pressures that they used that were effective against us,” Philbin said. “We were never in a lot of second-and-twos or second-and-fives, so we didn’t have that good balance and rhythm in the offense, no question.”

Things didn’t go very well defensively for Miami either as the Patriots rolled up 167 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 38 carries, with Stevan Ridley leading the way with 74 yards and both touchdowns on 20 carries. He had scoring runs of 2 and 1 yard and quarterback Tom Brady threw touchdown passes of 9 yards to Wes Welker and 23 yards to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Welker caught eight passes for 94 yards and Brady ended up 22-of-36 for 284 yards and a 104.4 passer rating. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, the team’s lone Pro Bowl representative, was held without a sack and finished with four tackles.

“We got in a hole and when you’re down two scores things are a little different,” Wake said. “But at the end of the day we didn’t make as many plays. They made plays in the red zone, we didn’t, on third down and we didn’t. It was one of those situations where it just wasn’t working for us.”

The last time Miami was shutout was November 16th, 2010 in Thursday night home game by the Chicago Bears, 16-0.

Now the players will go through their exit physicals and final team meetings with Philbin and their position coaches tomorrow morning at the practice facility in Davie and then the offseason will officially begin for them.

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