Miami Dolphins

Opting for field goal ends up costly for Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell reacts during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, December 27, 2015.
Miami Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell reacts during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, December 27, 2015. adiaz@miamiherald.com

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.

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.”

Foul call?

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.”

2016 schedule

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.

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