Monday, November 5, 2012

Fins' 3rd-down D struggles mightily in loss to Colts


The Miami Dolphins' defense was pretty good on third down through the first eight weeks of the season -- like, best-in-the-NFL good.

But the Dolphins, who gave up first downs on third-and-anything at a stout 26.4 percent rate through their first seven games, couldn't stop a nosebleed in such situations Sunday. Miami allowed rookie Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts' offense to go 13-for-19 on third down in a 23-20 victory over the Dolphins.

“They outplayed us on third down and that’s something we take pride in, is getting them off the field,” Dolphins defensive back Nolan Carroll said, according to the team's website. “. . . for them to convert that many was really disappointing.

"We expected them to go downfield because he can make every single throw and he’s pretty good. He’s very smart and intelligent, especially for being a rookie.”

Luck set a rookie record of 433 passing yards. He also tossed two touchdowns.

Miami's rookie signal-caller Ryan Tannehill was solid in the loss, amassing 290 passing yards and a touchdown, but he was unable to move the Dolphins down the field and into scoring position on two separate drives in the last five minutes when the Dolphins were down by only a field goal.

The Dolphins converted four of 11 third downs.

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