House of Horrors

Sunday's 13-10 home loss to Cleveland took a lot of the luster off next week's trip to the New Meadowlands to face the Jets. The Dolphins (6-6) now face the prospect of upcoming playoff elimination rather than gaining strength for a late postseason run, a la 2008.

They're also trying to figure out how they could be 5-1 on the road but 1-5 at Sun Life Stadium, where boos could be heard at several points Sunday. Tack on a pair of season-closing losses last year, and this is the Dolphins' worst stretch at home since going 1-9 over a three-year period (2006-08).

Things have turned so drastic, Coach Tony Sparano loaded the team onto buses to hold last Saturday's walk-through at the stadium. Linebacker Karlos Dansby said that had never happened before in his career, not even when his former team, the Cardinals, were moving into a new home.

"He let us know this is our house and we have to protect it by any means necessary," Dansby said. "We didn't do it. We didn't protect our house."

Despite a defensive effort that held the Browns to 2 of 14 on third-down conversions and 252 total yards, despite outside linebacker Cameron Wake pushing his season sack total to 12, the Dolphins tripped again.

They failed to produce a takeaway and three more giveaways left them at minus-6 for the year in turnover margin, buried in the league's bottom quartile.

Far too many dropped interceptions haven't helped, and the only Dolphin with more than one pick this year (Jason Allen) now plays for the Texans after getting released last month.


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