Good Effort Not Enough

The Dolphins gave the New England Patriots all they could handle on Sunday, but again mistakes proved the difference and Miami fell to 1-4 with a 20-10 loss at Gillette Stadium.

The Dolphins committed three turnovers against the Pats, and those led to 17 points, two touchdowns and one field goal.

Two of the turnovers were interceptions by Joey Harrington, who got the start in place of Daunte Culpepper. Harrington completed 26 of 41 passes and looked a lot more decisive than Culpepper did in the first month of the season, but the two picks were killers.

Still, the Dolphins had their chances in this one after cutting an early 13-0 deficit to 13-10 by halftime.

The Dolphins had the ball inside the New England 40-yard line twice in the second half trailing by only three but couldn't even get in field goal position.

Then the game slipped away after Harrington's second interception, which came when his pass behind Wes Welker bounded off Welker's hands and straight to Pats cornerback Asante Samuel.

That pick set up a 1-yard one touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Heath Evans on the play after Will Allen was called for a pass interference in the end zone on a third-and-8.

The Dolphins then drove into field goal range, but Olindo Mare was wide right on a 50-yard attempt and New England controlled the ball for the final six minutes.

The defense pretty much shut down the New England offense, except for allowing the Patriots to convert those turnovers into scores.

After digging that 13-0 hole, the Dolphins went to work behind the passing of Harrington, who led an 80-yard drive that ended with Ronnie Brown's 2-yard touchdown run.

An impressive two-minute drive at the end of the half ended in a 40-yard field goal by Mare, setting the stage for what turned out to be a disappointing second half.

It was perhaps the Dolphins' best effort of the season, but it came down to more mistakes -- turnovers, penalties and problems with bad field conditions.

And the bottom line is the Dolphins now find themselves at 1-4.


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