Disappointing loss

The Dolphins got badly outplayed by the Atlanta Falcons, but somehow still had a chance to pull out a victory late. But those hopes ended when Gus Frerotte was picked by safety Keion Carpenter at the Falcons 6-yard line and Atlanta then got the one first down it needed to run out the clock.

The Dolphins, who were outgained by close to a 2-to-1 margin in this game, probably shouldn't have been in that position to begin with.

But it did appear they were ready to tie the score after gaining a first-and-10 at the Atlanta 16-yard on Ronnie Brown's 5-yard run on fourth-and-1.

But for some reason the Dolphins abandoned their running game at that point despite the fact that Frerotte had another horrible outing.

Short passes to Sammy Morris and Wes Welker gained 8 yards, leaving the Dolphins with a third-and-2 from the 8-yard line. Instead of having either Brown or Ricky Williams run the balll, the Dolphins went for a pass and Frerotte was picked off when he tried to force a throw inside.

The Dolphins' only touchdown of the game came on a beautiful 23-yard run by Williams in the first half. The score tied the game at 7-7.

Atlanta got touchdown by Warrick Dunn (1-yard run) and Brian Finneran (11-yard pass), while the Dolphins also got a 28-yard field goal from Olindo Mare.

But it was a couple of big plays that kept the Dolphins in this game.

In the first half, Atlanta was threatening to add to its 7-0 lead when Channing Crowder's hit forced a fumble inside the Miami 10-yard line.

The Dolphins also got a turnover on special teams and Yeremiah Bell's fumble recovery set up the Mare field goal.

But overall it was tough sledding all day for the Dolphins, who couldn't convert a single third-down opportunity all game and had their problems stopping Michael Vick and the Atlanta offense.

Yet the Dolphins still had a chance, and couldn't deliver in the clutch.


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