Don’t call Bobby McCain the Dolphins’ goat.
He simply was the last in a mile-long line of Miami players to come up short when the Dolphins needed a giant.
And you absolutely need giants to come into a place like this and beat a team like the Seahawks.
Without them, you lose as the Dolphins did Sunday — by a margin of 12-10 in the most excruciating of ways: to the suffocating Seahawks in their home stadium in the game’s final half-minute.
But plenty of Dolphins failed in the game’s first 59 1/2 to get to this point. McCain, the team’s part-time nickel corner, was simply the one unlucky enough to do it last.
So yes, Doug Baldwin was McCain’s man on the Dolphins’ 78th and final defensive play Sunday.
And yes, Baldwin created enough separation from McCain with a rub route to get open and catch a 2-yard, game-winning touchdown from Russell Wilson.
And yes, McCain — who split time with Michael Thomas as the Dolphins nickel — felt awful about it afterwards.
“He made a great play,” a barely audible McCain said of Wilson. “They made plays and we didn’t. ... Definitely hurts, because the last play was a touchdown on me.”
“At the end of the day, I have to get the ball out.”
Yes he does.
And Isa Abdul-Quddus needs to stay closer to Baldwin on fourth down instead of surrendering an easy conversion.
And Kenny Stills needs to catch the easiest touchdown pass of his life.
And Cameron Wake needs to not illegally slam Wilson to the ground well after a pass.
And Ryan Tannehill needs to get the ball out faster when the pass rush is coming instead of taking a drive-crippling sack.
And Andrew Franks need to get the ball up higher and faster on a 27-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked.
And finally, Laremy Tunsil, Anthony Steen and Jermon Bushrod need to run-block better, particularly on fourth-and-an-inch in the red zone.
So yes, there wasn’t just one Dolphins goat Sunday. There was a herd of them.
And together, they showed rookie coach Adam Gase that — while his team is good enough to hang with the best teams — they’re not quite good enough beat them, at least yet.
“What we had talked about was, ‘Let’s get to the fourth quarter and see what happens,’ ” Gase said. “We had opportunities a couple of times to see if we could finish it on our terms.
“That’s what happens when you play good teams; it’s going to come down to probably the last drive of the game. It did, and we came out on the wrong end this time.”
And oh, this one hurts because Tannehill finally did what too many critics believe he couldn’t (or hasn’t enough):
He willed his team to what should have been a game-winning touchdown in arguably the world’s hardest place to do so.
The Seahawks have now won 32 of their last 37 regular and postseason games here at CenturyLink Field, but few have been this difficult.
Tannehill (16 of 29 for 186 yards Sunday) made it that way. He shrugged off the deafening crowd and a swarming Seahawks defense to complete four of five passes for 82 yards on Miami’s penultimate drive. He then lowered his shoulder on a keeper to give Miami the last two they needed to go ahead for the first (and only) time.
In truth, the game should have been over right there. The Dolphins should have been up two scores.
But ultimately, the game’s previous failures helped determine its outcome. Most notably: Stills’ drop of a sure-fire, 71-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
“Sometimes you drop the ball,” Stills said. “No excuses. Just a drop. It was a good ball. I just dropped it. It hurts the team. You want to make those plays. I worked hard all offseason to make those plays. I’ve got to make them.”
Stills spoke for himself — both then and pregame, when he kneeled with Thomas, Arian Foster, and Jelani Jenkins during the playing of the national anthem.
But as he hurried to get dressed and escape this house of horrors, he might as well been speaking for them all.