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Patriots vs. Dolphins, Week 13: Special teams errors cost Miami

Miami endured some poor execution from its special teams unit against New England, which is one reason why the Dolphins were not able to pull off the upset.

US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Dolphins fell to the New England Patriots, 23-16, on Sunday and could have been in better shape to pull off the upset if not for some key special teams mistakes. An error by Dolphins punter Brandon Fields set the Patriots up for their first score of the day, as The Phinsider explained:

As Brandon Fields attempted to punt the ball to the Patriots, he dropped the snap, bobbled the ball off the ground, picked it up and tried to run. The Patriots brought him down at the 12-yard line, and took over on downs right there. Five plays later, New England was out to a 7-0 lead.

Miami also roughed New England's punter later in the game, giving the Patriots a first down -- New England took advantage of the second chance by orchestrating a touchdown drive.

Those mistakes helped New England build a 17-3 second-quarter lead, and the Dolphins would never get closer than seven points the rest of the way. A Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 1:10 left in the game put the Patriots up 23-13, effectively sealing the victory.

Miami fell to 5-7 with the loss; the Dolphins are in a three-way tie for second in the AFC East. They'll try to bounce back from the defeat when they face the 49ers in Week 14.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.