Misery Continues

The Dolphins found a new way to lose Sunday when they let Cleveland hang around all game and then gave up a last-minute touchdown to drop to 0-3 on the season. While the losses against New England and Houston could be excused because of the quality of the opponent, Cleveland is a mediocre team and was playing without its best player on top of that.

This game was about the inability to finish, first on defense and then on offense. Each unit looked equally inept in trying to save and later steal a victory.

The Dolphins totally controlled the game, yet led only 16-10 because they settled for two field goals in goal-to-go situations and because Dan Carpenter missed a long field attempt in the first half.

The Browns offense, with Colt McCoy in charge, then got the ball at its 20-yard line with about six minutes left. Mind you, the Browns were without Peyton Hillis and McCoy may be a smart quarterback but he's not gifted athletically.

Yet he methodically moved the Browns down the field until they were faced with a fourth-and-4 from the Dolphins 37-yard line. McCoy then completed a swing pass to wide open running back Montario Hardesty, who easily gained 10 yards.

It appeared as though it was Cameron Wake who was responsible for coverage Hardesty, but he instead had made a beeline for McCoy.

The Browns faced a third-and-10 a few plays later, but Jason Taylor gave them a cheap 5 yards by jumping offside when he incorrectly try to guess the snap county.

After Cleveland converted the third-and-5 with a pass to tight end Evan Moore, McCoy hit Mohamed Massaquoi in the end zone right over the outstretched arms of rookie Jimmy Wilson.

It was a tough way to end the game for Wilson, who earlier came up with an interception.

Anyway, the Dolphins caught a break on the Cleveland touchdown when the Browns were flagged for a dubious excessive celebration penalty and they had to kick off from the 20.

They caught another break after Clyde Gates' return to the 38 when the Browns were flagged for a horse-collar tackle.

Just like that, the Dolphins found themselves at the Cleveland 47-yard line. There were 36 seconds left, so the Dolphins had plenty of time to move into field goal position.

But as we saw last year, the Dolphins showed zero ability to move the ball in crunch time and three incompletions and an interception later the game was over.

The second-down pass, a deep throw to the rookie Gates down the sideline, didn't make a lot of sense and the third-down thrown was made under pressure.

By the time fourth down came around, Chad Henne had no choice but to try to force something even if nothing was open.

But, really, not one single yard gained on four downs. With the game on the line? Really, with the season on the line?

That's weak.

Let's face it, this team is in disarray. And if there was a lot of raw nerves in the Dolphins locker room last week, we can just imagine what this week is going to be like.

There was no minimizing the importance of this game for a team coming off back-to-back 7-9 seasons and off to an 0-2 start. The Dolphins caught a break when Hillis was knocked out of the game because of strep throat, yet they still couldn't get the job done at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Who knows where this team goes from here. All we know is that things can't get much worse than they are right now.


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