Drive Of The Game

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Dolphins Lose Final Home Game To Jaguars

The Dolphins lost a defensive battle in their home finale.

Running back Brandon Bolden scored a touchdown on the Dolphins’ opening drive, but the offense struggled the rest of the way in a 17-7 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars that officially eliminated the Dolphins from playoff contention.

The Dolphins ended up with 183 yards on offense. They finished with a 6-2 home record.

Linebacker Telvin Smith’s 33-yard interception return in the fourth quarter was the only touchdown of the final three quarters.

It came after Jacksonville broke a 7-7 tie on a 26-yard field goal by Kai Forbath.

Trailing 17-7, the Dolphins’ ensuing possession ended after a third-down sack. Rookie cornerback Jalen Davis later forced a Jacksonville fumble after a third-down completion, but the ball rolled directly to another Jaguars player.

The Dolphins ended up with six sacks, including one by each of the top four defensive ends—Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, Andre Branch and Charles Harris, who recorded his first sack of the season. Davis had his first NFL sack and another sack was credited to the team.

Miami played without three starters on defense, including Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard. Safety T.J. McDonald was inactive because of an ankle injury and linebacker Kiko Alonso was active but didn’t play after being listed as questionable Friday because of knee/hamstring injuries.

For the third time in four games, the Dolphins opened the game with a touchdown drive. This one was a pretty eight-play drive that included a 20-yard completion from Ryan Tannehill to Danny Amendola on a third-and-6 followed by a 31-yard catch-and-run by rookie running back Kalen Ballage.

Bolden capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown off a shovel pass.

Jacksonville answered with a 13-play touchdown drive that was kept alive by a roughing-the-passer penalty on Quinn after the Jaguars had a 6-yard pass play on third-and-8 from the Miami 31.

Two plays after the penalty, Leonard Fournette scored from 1 yard out.

The Dolphins squandered a great scoring opportunity midway through the second quarter after the ball slipped out of Cody Kessler’s hand as he started his throwing motion and Branch, who played his first four NFL seasons with the Jaguars and served as a game captain Sunday, recovered the fumble at the Jacksonville 37.

After three plays gained 5 yards, rookie kicker Jason Sanders was wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt, only his second miss of the season.

Blake Bortles replaced Kessler at quarterback later in the second quarter after a quarterback hit by Quinn.

Jacksonville attempted a 56-yard field goal on the final play of the first half after a 44-yard punt return by Dede Westbrook, but Kai Forbath mis-hit the ball and it never had a chance. 

The third quarter featured a lot of sacks and penalties, and one crazy sequence.

Jacksonville defensive end Calais Campbell got into the backfield to throw down Brandon Bolden for a loss on a running play and came away with the football, even though officials ruled Bolden down by contact. Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone challenged the ruling and the Jaguars were awarded the ball at the Dolphins 17-yard line.

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After an incompletion by wide receiver Westbrook off a trick play, two holding penalties, an 8-yard loss on a running play and an 8-yard sack by Branch turned a first-and-10 at the Miami 17 into a fourth-and-46 at the Jacksonville 47.

The Dolphins (7-8) close out their regular season next Sunday with a road game against the Buffalo Bills.

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