MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins' dysfunction took many forms Sunday, including a backward pass by Ryan Tannehill that flew out of bounds for a 7-yard loss. His offensive linemen managed to commit four penalties in a three-play span, while defensive breakdowns and replay overrules were recurring problems.
The Rams scored their lone touchdown with 8 1/2 minutes left, then moved 49 yards to face a fourth and 7 at the Miami 48-yard line with 30 seconds left. Rather than go for a first down, coach Jeff Fisher sent out rookie Greg Zuerlein to try a 66-yard field goal - which would have been an NFL record by 3 yards.
The kick appeared to have enough distance but missed wide left, leaving both teams at 3-3.
"I can make that kick. I just didn't come through," Zuerlein said. "I came across the ball a little bit. I should have made it."
He has made four kicks of 54 to 60 yards this season.
"The odds were much better for him to make the kick than us going for it," Fisher said. "He's got that kind of leg."
Zuerlein made his first two field goals to improve to 15 for 15 this season, then missed three times in a row, including wide left from 48 and 32 yards in the first half.
"We had a lot of opportunities to win this game, but we didn't get it done," Fisher said. He lost to the team that courted him in January, when he chose the St. Louis job instead.
The Rams were down 17-6 before they finally got into the end zone when Bradford scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down. He juggled the ball as he held it over the goal line, but the call was upheld following a review.
Two other key reviews also went against the Dolphins. They led by 11 points and appeared on the verge of pulling away when they recovered a fumble by Bradford on a sack midway through the third quarter. But the turnover was negated by a review, when the officials ruled the play an incomplete pass.
"When they get into the red zone, our thinking is three points or less," cornerback Sean Smith said. "A touchdown is not an option."
But they often found it difficult to block the Rams. The offensive line was flagged for four penalties - one declined - during an especially unsightly sequence.
Miami's Brian Hartline, who came into the game leading the NFL in receiving yardage, was held without a catch.
"It wasn't pretty," Tannehill said. "It was pretty disappointing the way we played, especially in the first half. But we stuck together, hung in there and got it done."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press