- Associated Press - Sunday, September 20, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - For everything the Miami Dolphins did wrong at Jacksonville, one error really stood out.

Olivier Vernon’s 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness in the final minute was probably the biggest mistake of Miami’s 23-20 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.

“It was just a dumb play by me,” Vernon said. “That was it. We lost. It’s over with man. They played better ball than us. I take full responsibilities for my actions, on to the next week.”

Vernon’s penalty turned what would have been a lengthy field goal into a chip shot for rookie Jason Myers. The former Arena Football Leaguer made the 28-yarder with 40 seconds remaining, and the Jaguars held on from there.

Miami had one final chance, but with no timeouts and lots of ground to cover, the Dolphins didn’t even mount a threat.

“It always feels bad to lose,” Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “We just didn’t make enough plays out there. They did a good job. Give credit to their defense, they played hard. They did a good job in stopping the run and then put pressure on us in the second half. … A close game like that in the second half, you’ve got to make plays and we didn’t make them.”

Tannehill did his part, completing 30 of 44 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns.

But Lamar Miller ran 10 times for 14 yards before leaving with a sprained ankle. Andrew Franks missed a 42-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter. The Dolphins were penalized 13 times for 112 yards. And Miami’s defense, which finished with no sacks, wilted when it mattered most.

“We have to do a better job,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “We have to do a better job of getting consistent pressure. Certainly, it wasn’t there on a consistent bias.”

Equally troubling for Miami was the way the first half ended. Leading 17-13 with 18 seconds left, the Jaguars decided to throw instead of take a knee.

On first down, Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes dropped an interception that could have been a pick-six. On third down, Dolphins cornerback Brice McCain was flagged for pass interference. The 17-yard penalty allowed the Jaguars to attempt a 58-yard field goal, and Myers drilled it for a 20-13 advantage.

Considering Franks’ miss came right before that drive, it turned out to be a six-point swing in a three-point game.

“We put the ball into scoring range again, but didn’t convert,” Philbin said. “That’s not good football to give up three points in the end like that. I believe we had a penalty to set up the field goal. That’s what happens when you are sloppy and you end up paying for it.”

Miami was sloppy for most of the second half.

After putting together a game-tying, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the third quarter, the Dolphins punted on five consecutive drives.

After the last one, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles took over. He completed passes of 18, 19 and 9 to get the Jaguars into field-goal range. Vernon’s penalty for shoving tight end Clay Harbor after the whistle put Jacksonville at the 19-yard line and needing a couple of mistake-free plays and a fairly routine kick.

Myers delivered the chip shot, which helped Jacksonville avoid a fourth consecutive 0-2 start. It also was Jacksonville’s first win in September since 2012.

“We’re all disappointed in here,” said Miami receiver Jarvis Landry, who caught eight passes for 110 yards.

“You don’t play this game to lose. You don’t work as hard as we did to lose. We have to make more plays, period. Second half, we just couldn’t score. Had some drives going, but then nothing.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide