Sunday, November 23, 2014

Suspect defense, late Broncos rally doom Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead on the road against the Denver Broncos. The defense, however, couldn't hold up.

Denver scored three straight touchdowns in the final stanza to rally for the 39-36 win, behind an extremely balanced attack on offense.

The Broncos rushed the ball 35 times and threw it 35 times--successfully on both accounts. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for four touchdowns, and Broncos running back C.J. Anderson amassed a whopping 167 yards on the ground with a score.

This one was on the Dolphins' defense, as Miami's Ryan Tannehill-led unit on the other side of the ball held up its end of the bargain. Tannehill connected on 26 of 36 passes with three passing touchdowns, with his lone costly gaffe an interception in the fourth quarter. He also ran for a score.

Meanwhile, Damaryius Thomas hauled in three of Manning's scoring strikes and tallied a game-high 10 receptions against a good Dolphins' defense that didn't have such a good day. The Dolphins' normally stout defensive front got to Manning just once and got beat up in the run game.

Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas found pay dirt in the first quarter, and Jarvis Landry caught two of Tannehill's touchdown passes. The other went to Mike Wallace.

Miami led for more than three quarters before Anderson gave Denver its first lead midway through the fourth. Wes Welker scored minutes later after Tannehill's pick.

With the loss, the Dolphins drop to 6-5 and will be in a tough battle the next five weeks for a Wildcard spot.

Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily