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Penalties Remain An Issue For Dolphins In 27-20 Preseason Loss To Carolina

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CHARLOTTE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins preseason record dropped to 0-2 on Friday after a disappointing effort against the Carolina Panthers.

The Dolphins didn't get into the end zone until the final minute of the game, a drive led by fourth string quarterback Bryce Petty.

Petty showed off his athleticism on the score, diving through the air and absorbing a hit while stretching the ball across the goal line.

Overall the mistakes piled up, many coming in the form of penalties.

It's a glaring problem that Miami had throughout the 2017 season, which doesn't inspire a lot of optimism in the team's ability to improve in the area considering how much they've struggled since the beginning of training camp.

"We've got two more weeks to clean it up," said head coach Adam Gase. "That's where our focus has got to be."

Switching to something a bit more positive, It was a good, not great effort for the Dolphins starting offense.

The first team unit stayed in the game late into the first half, playing five complete drives and scoring on three of them but failing to get into the end zone.

Ryan Tannehill finished the game completing 14-of-17 passes for 100 yards and a passer rating of 91.2.

"We're moving the ball but we're getting field goals," Gase said at halftime. "We had a great opportunity after a turnover to put it in the end zone and we didn't do it; we had negative plays. We have a lot of things to clean up."

The turnover he's referring to was an interception by Xavien Howard on Cam Newton that set up Miami at Carolina's nine yard line.

One big problem for the Dolphins starting defense was containing Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

He burned Miami in the air and on the ground, picking up 92 yards on just 5 carries thanks mostly to a 71-yard score in the opening quarter.

"They just scanned us up pretty good," linebacker Raekwon McMillan said of the play. "They know we played wide nine so they came in tight with the tight end and cut off one of our linebackers and we couldn't get over top. Simple rush through scheme that we didn't see yet and like we said, we went in halftime, made the corrections and next time we stuffed them."

McCaffrey added four receptions for 28 yards.

It was night and day for the Dolphins defense, which did very well when rushing the passer but struggled stopping the run.

Defensive end Robert Quinn had a pair of sacks during the first half, and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux continued his solid preseason by sacking Newton on a two-point attempt.

Reserve running back Senorise Perry looked good carrying the ball. Several times after making a catch he followed up with quick move to pick up additional yards, making several defenders miss.

Perry also had an impressive 32-yard run that was called back on a holding penalty.


  • The Dolphins scored three times during their first four possessions, all field goals.
  • Eight penalties cost Miami 68 yards. Six of them came during the first half, and it's a topic that was surely addressed in the locker room.
  • Two bad penalties on linebacker Chase Allen, who has been competing for a starting spot. The first was an illegal contact penalty that negated a sack-fumble by Andre Branch that was returned for a touchdown by Jordan Lucas. The second was a 15-yard facemask penalty that set up Carolina with a first and goal from the three yard line. They scored on the next play.
  • A big hit by cornerback Trae Elston popped ball in the air and safety Maurice Smith pulled it down for an interception. Smith played well against Carolina, receiving a good amount of snaps during the second half.
  • Offensive lineman Isaac Asiata had two holding penalties in the third quarter, though one was declined. The other negated a 32-yard run by Senorise Perry.
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