Gase backs decision to not trust Tannehill in collapse

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The Dolphins choked.

Holding a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, Miami watched Andrew Luck slice through its D for three straight scores to swipe the win.

It was a total team collapse. The defense couldn't stop Luck or the run game. The offense went 3-and-out twice taking a total of 2:30 off the clock, aiding the Colts' cause.

The flop left an angry, bitter locker room, knowing they had a big road win in their grasp and let it slip.

"We didn't finish," veteran Frank Gore said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. "S---. We've got to finish. That's the key. Especially when they got a f------ guy over there that can get hot, who I respect, plays the game how it's supposed to be played, the quarterback. Finishing, man."

The guy Gore speaks about, of course, is his former teammate, Luck, who predictably sliced the Dolphins defense in the fourth quarter.

The bigger issue for coach Adam Gase was the fourth-quarter play-calling, which he was forced to defend after the game.

Up a touchdown with just over eight minutes left Gase called two passes and a third-and-10 draw play that lost five yards. The Dolphins took a whole 43 seconds off the clock.

Then Miami got the ball back tied. From his own six-yard-line, Gase called a Gore run for no gain, a pass for no gain, and another Kenyan Drake run on third-and-10 that netted four yards. Punt. Colts FG. Game over.

Gase blamed poor field position on the two drives for the conservative play calling.

"Just backed up," Gase said, via Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. "We were struggling in that distance to begin with. We've got to make something happen on those first two downs. It's third-and-10 on the minus three or whatever it is, it's not going to be good."

To most observers it appeared that Gase didn't trust quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who returned from injury, to spark the Dolphins' fourth-quarter lead.

The quarterback, however, didn't rebutt with his coach's assessment.

"We were backed up and coach was trying to get us out of that backed up situation," Tannehill said. "Of course I understand. I'm a competitor. I want the ball in my hands. I want to make that play. But we're inside our own 10. Long yardage situation. They had been playing soft coverage, sinking everyone underneath. In those long-yardage situations, the percentages are low. We're thinking if we can get a block on one guy and make one guy miss there were a couple of situations where we were able to get close on those runs. But as a competitor, it's tough. You know, you want that ball in your hands."

A victory in Indy would have been huge for the Dolphins playoff odds. Alas, the loss knocks them back into a cluttered crew a game back, and they lose a tie-breaker to the Colts. After holding a 10-point lead in the final stanza, the collapse will sting Gase if the Dolphins are left out of the postseason once again.

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