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Dolphins Slump Continues

Special teams mistakes and inefficient offense doom Dolphins in disappointing loss at Hard Rock Stadium

Not even the throwback uniforms could help the Miami Dolphins get out of their funk.

Critical mistakes on special teams piled on top of another poor performance by the offense, and the result was the team's third consecutive loss, a 27-17 setback against the previously winless Indianapolis Colts.

The special teams mistakes included Brennan Scarlett jumping offside on fourth-and-3 to keep alive a Colts drive that ended in a touchdown, a Jakeem Grant muffed punt that set up a field goal, and a Jason Sanders kickoff out of bounds that set up Indianapolis' final touchdown.

The offense, meanwhile, had a similar showing to the one against Las Vegas a week earlier, which meant little production until the fourth quarter.

In his second start in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett couldn't help the offense generate anything in the first three quarters because of a combination of leaky pass protection (again) and inaccurate passing.

The Dolphins didn't reach the 100-yard mark of offense until the fourth quarter, by which time the Colts had a 20-3 lead.

The Dolphins made their score look more respectable with fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Brissett to tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver DeVante Parker, but the outcome never really seemed in doubt in the second half.

The Dolphins running game was a non-factor, with Miami rushing for 35 yards on only 16 carries.

Neither Parker nor Gesicki had a catch until the final stages of the third quarter, and rookie first-round pick Jaylen Waddle was a non-factor after catches three passes in the first quarter.

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As usual, getting chunk plays was a major problem for the offense until the fourth quarter when the Dolphins had plays of 21 and 25 yards along with a 22-yard gain on a defensive pass interference penalty, leading to Gesicki's 1-yard touchdown catch.

Even then, it took the Dolphins four plays to finally score after getting a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line. And then Gesicki scored on his 26th birthday while falling backward into the end zone on a pass thrown behind him when he was wide open.

Things started well enough for the Dolphins, as long-snapper Blake Ferguson recovered a muffed punt after the first drive of the game.

But the Dolphins could only gain 7 yards and had to settle for a field goal.

That was it for the offense until the fourth quarter, though the defense held the Colts in check until the first special teams gaffe changed the momentum of the game.

After Scarlett's offside penalty in the second quarter, the Colts got their first two big plays of the game, a 27-yard completion from Carson Wentz to tight end Mo Alie-Cox followed by a 23-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Taylor.

On the first play of the second half, Taylor broke loose for a 38-yard run and that set up the first of two TD pass to Alie-Cox and made it 14-3.

After two Rodrigo Blankenship field goals, set up by the Grant muff and then a Brissett fumble when he was sacked, the Dolphins made their futile comeback attempt.

Already playing without Tagovailoa, center Michael Deiter and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, the Dolphins lost wide receiver Will Fuller V in the first half when he sustained a hand injury while unsuccessfully trying to catch a low pass from Brissett.

Things won't get any easier for the Dolphins (1-3) in Week 5 as they travel to Raymond James Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.