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AFC East Recap: Dolphins Fall to Colts in Key Game

The Miami Dolphins had a chance to tie the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East. Boy, did they have their chances. Dropped interceptions coast the Fins on at least two separate Colts drives that could have made a huge difference in the 23-20 final score. Linebacker Karlos Dansby had an interception in his hands on a second down pass. Had he held on he probably scores because only Andrew Luck was between him and the goal line. Instead the Colts converted on third down, kept the drive going and scored a touchdown on a long pass to T.Y. Hilton that quite frankly, also should have been picked off as two Dolphin defenders were right there with Hilton.

One of those two Dolphin defenders was safety Sean Smith, who also dropped a pick late in the fourth quarter on a third down pass that would have set the Fins up in field goal range already, down 23-20. Instead the Colts punted and were helped out by a holding penalty on the return, pretty much snuffing out Miami’s last hop of tying the game.  And we still haven’t mentioned the sack and fumble by Cameron Wake that Miami failed to recover.

Andrew Luck played a great game, especially considering he is a rookie and this game puts the Colts at 5-3 with the sorry Jacksonville Jaguars next on the schedule. But the Miami defense had many chances to win this game and failed to capitalize.

The Colts were bolstered by a pre-game visit from their head coach Chuck Pagano who was at the game for the first time since undergoing medical treatments for his leukemia. He gave his team a pre-game pep talk.

”I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision, and you weren’t living in circumstances,” Pagano said Sunday, surrounded by his players and with interim Bruce Arians at his side after the Colts’ third straight win. ”You know where they had us in the beginning, every last one of them. But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously as a team and as a family to live in a vision, and that’s why you bring things home like what you bring home today. That’s why you’re already champions and well on your way.

The Do;phins fell to 4-4, one full game behind the idle New England Patriots who are 5-3. They will host the Tennessee Titans next week.

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