Tough Times Continue

The Dolphins' disappointing season took another bad turn on Sunday when they failed to come up with potential big plays down the stretch and wound up on the short end of a 17-15 decision at Houston.

Despite playing listless football on offense for most of the game, the Dolphins actually found themselves with a chance to tie and later perhaps win.

But a two-point conversion attempt failed when Marty Booker slipped in the back of the end zone, causing Ronnie Brown's pass to go incomplete. The pass was tipped at the goal line by former Dolphins linebacker Morlon Greenwood, but it didn't change course that much.

Even after that miss, the Dolphins should have been able to recover the ensuing onside kick, but newcomer Keith Adams failed to grasp a loose ball with no around him. Instead, he let the ball squirt loose under him and it eventually was punched out of bounds by a Houston player, giving the Texans possession and allowing them to run out the clock.

But there weren't many who expected things to come to that in the first place. Unfortunately, such is the state of affairs for the Dolphins right now.

The offense, thanks in large part to an unspeakably porous offensive line, again struggled to do much, despite being given great field position by two defensive takeaways, an interception by Will Allen and a sack/forced fumble/fumble recovery by Jason Taylor.

The Dolphins had to settle for field goals after both turnovers despite starting the following drives in Houston territory.

That failure to cash is why the Dolphins led only 6-3 at the start of the fourth quarter.

That small lead quickly became a 17-6 deficit, however, after David Carr scored on a 1-yard bootleg and later threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson. The second touchdown was set up by a 30-yard pass to Johnson, who adjusted to an underthrown pass while cornerback Travis Daniels overran the ball.

Finally playing with a sense of desperation, the Dolphins put together a good drive, but it stalled after reaching first-and-goal from the 9 and Olindo Mare came in for his third field goal of the game.

The Dolphins held to get one last chance and the Dolphins used a 29-yard pass to Wes Welker on fourth-and-3 and a 22-yarder to Randy McMichael to reach the Texans 17-yard line.

On third-and-9, Culpepper hit Chris Chambers in the end zone for a touchdown that made the score 17-15.

The play-call on the two-point conversion certainly was interesting, but the attempt didn't fail because of a poor pass by Brown, but rather because Booker -- for the second time in the game -- couldn't keep his footing.

As bad as that play was, it was even more frustrating to watch Adams choke and fail to come up with what should have been an easy recovery after Mare's perfectly executed onside kick bounced off the facemask of Houston wideout Kevin Walter.

But this is the way things are going for the Dolphins, who now stand at 1-3 with a date at New England coming up next Sunday.


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