The Dolphins needed a touchdown on their final drive Sunday in large part because they didn’t score one on their penultimate possession.
And Dan Campbell deserves at least a bit of blame for that.
The Dolphins were down by nine with just over five minutes remaining when Campbell elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the Indianapolis 2.
Had the Dolphins successfully gone for it instead, they would have needed only a field goal on the final drive — a near certainty given they made it to the Colts’ 5.
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Instead, they had to have a touchdown — and couldn’t get it.
“Yeah, I thought about” going for it, Campbell said. “But, fourth-and-2, to me, I wanted to make sure that we kept it a one-score game. Which, at the end of the day, we did what we wanted to do. We wanted a chance to win it at the end, keep it a one-score game, drove it down there and we had a chance to win.”
Jordan Cameron, Miami's No. 1 tight end, said “it was the right call.”
Added Ryan Tannehill: “As a competitor, I want to try, I want to punch it in,” but added “you can’t fault anyone for that decision.”
Another reason the Dolphins needed a late touchdown: the officials took one away from them earlier in the game with a dubious penalty.
Cameron’s 16-yard touchdown catch was erased by an offensive pass interference call on Jarvis Landry.
Here’s the issue: it appeared the Colts initiated the minor contact in the end zone, far from the touchdown pass.
The officials saw it as a pick play, Campbell said, before adding: “Does it matter what I saw? Does it matter what I think really?”
Tannehill, meanwhile, said he “was super surprised. It’s not a pick play at all. It’s not even, we’ve never talked about rubbing or cutting anybody off. Nothing on that play. I was kind of dumbfounded to hear that call.”
With one week to go, the Dolphins (5-10) are locked into last place of the AFC East. So their opponents for the 2016 regular season are set.
The Dolphins will host the following teams next year: the Bills, Jets, Patriots, Steelers, Browns, Cardinals, 49ers and Titans. And they will play the following teams on the road: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Rams, Seahawks and Chargers.
The Dolphins close out the 2015 season at home against the Patriots, who will be playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. A loss would hand Miami its worst record since the one-win 2007 season.
This and that
▪ Full list of Dolphins inactives Sunday: QB Logan Thomas, WR Rishard Matthews, CB Jamar Taylor, C Mike Pouncey, OL Shelley Smith, T Ja’Wuan James and DT Earl Mitchell.
▪ Brent Grimes had an interception negated Sunday because the officials said he committed a holding penalty before the ball was thrown.
▪ Lamar Miller rushed for just 31 yards on 15 carries. The Dolphins averaged a mere 3.3 yards per carry as a team.