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Dolphins Implode in the Fourth Quarter; Lose to Lions 34-27

It was only fitting one of the most frustrating and bizarre home seasons for the Dolphins ended on a sour note Sunday to the Detroit Lions.

The Fins were up by 10 points with under five minutes to play, but a breakdown on a short pass allowed Jahvid Best to score on a 47-yard TD to make it a three-point game, then DeAndre Levy’s interception return for a touchdown with 2:11 to play gave the Lions a 34-27 win.

“Embarrassed, disappointed, frustrated, a little bit of everything,” said Miami head coach Tony Sparano. “We turned the ball over three times and gave them 13 points. Too many mental errors and that’s how you lose.”

The loss ends the home campaign at 1-7, and drops the Fins to 7-8 on the season. They can somehow end the year at .500 if they can beat the Pats next Sunday in New England. The Pats win in Buffalo Sunday clinched home field for the playoffs as the #1 seed, meaning they have nothing to play for next Sunday.

Chad Henne threw for 278 yards and a touchdown on 29-of-44 passing, but his two picks in the final quarter accounted for 10 points. “This was a tough one to lose,” said Henne. “I mean those two late interceptions cost us and I take the blame for it. It cost us the game and it doesn’t make me feel good.”

Brandon Marshall caught 10 balls for 102 yards and Davone Bess finished the game with five catches for 34 yards and a score for Miami, which has dropped its past two games and three of four.

Down 10 Stefan Logan’s 23-yard punt return gave the team the ball at its own 47 and the next play saw Jahvid Best take a short pass down the field to make it a 27-24 game with 4:37 left.

Nathan Vasher then picked off Henne on a diving grab at the Miami 36 to set up Dave Rayner’s 47-yard field goal to tie the game with 2:44 showing.

On the third play of Miami’s next touch, Bess slipped on his route as Levy stepped up on the play for the pick, which saw him run down the left side before cutting back to the right on a 30-yard score to give Detroit a 34-27 lead with 2:11 to play.

“Our entire emphasis as a defense in the locker room at halftime,” said Levy. “Everybody was saying that we need to make a play and make an impact in the game. We want to finish this season the right way and that was a start.”

Miami got down to Detroit’s 28, but Vasher made a nice tackle on Ronnie Brown before he could get out of bounds and the clock ran out before Miami was able to get off another snap.

The Dolphins had won five straight against Detroit prior to the loss. Miami totaled 425 yards of offense, compared to 275 for Detroit, and held the ball for over 37 minutes, showing how much the Fins were in control before things blew up in the fourth quarter.


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