Talent Disparity too much for Dolphins in Week 12

The Dolphins
The talented Browns overwhelmed the Dolphins 41-24 in Week 12. (Photo credit: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins entered their Week 12 matchup in Cleveland with their sight’s set on the third win in four weeks. Nevertheless, injuries and depth concerns quickly gave way as the Browns’ talent overwhelmed Miami early and took the game, 41-24.

Browns too talented for Miami

Cleveland sports one of the most electrifying receiver tandems in the league, as well as a former No. 1-overall quarterback and the AFC’s top rusher.

Former Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry torched his old team to the tune of 148 yards and two touchdowns on ten catches. Landry’s running-mate, Odell Beckham Jr., chipped in with 84 yards and a touchdown on six catches.

Baker Mayfield feasted on the Dolphins’ depleted secondary, racking up 327 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-34 passing. Mayfield did throw his first interception in four weeks, though.

The Dolphins defense couldn’t stop Nick Chubb, either. The AFC’s leading rushing churned up 164 total yards and a touchdown, including 106 on the ground.

All told, the Browns bullied Miami most of the afternoon, piling up 467 total yards and a season-high 41 points.

Not Enough Fitz-magic for Miami

The Dolphins started slowly and sloppily in Week 12. However, after halftime, when the team struggles typically the most, Ryan Fitzpatrick spurred a comeback to make the game interesting.

Celebrating his 37th birthday, Fitzpatrick’s third-quarter performance galvanized the team. The Dolphins outscored Cleveland 14-0 in the third, scoring their first two third-quarter touchdowns of the season.

Fitzpatrick found Mike Gesicki on an 11-yard touchdown pass for the team’s first touchdown. It was the second-year tight end’s first career touchdown catch.

The Fitz-magic continued shortly after that when the birthday boy scrambled for an 8-yard touchdown run.

Fitzpatrick finished the day with 214 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-39 passing. He did throw two interceptions, but one was more on receiver Albert Wilson, who allowed Fitzpatrick’s pass to hit him in the facemask. The ball popped up and was caught by Browns’ linebacker Joe Schobert.

Fitzpatrick’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Allen Hurns was the 200th touchdown pass of his career. He’s the 44th player in NFL history to hit that mark.

Run game M.I.A. for Miami

The Dolphins have been almost historically bad on the ground this season, and that did not change in Cleveland.

Starting running back Kalen Ballage continued his ineffectual play, registering only 13 yards on seven carries. Undrafted free agent rookie Patrick Laird picked up 20 yards on three carries. Rookie Myles Gaskin gained 10 yards on four carries.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Dolphins’ leading rusher on the day, picking up 45 yards and a touchdown on five carries. He was responsible for nearly half of the Dolphins’ rushing yards.

Next week, Miami (2-9) hosts the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6). They could be without receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant, as well as cornerback Ken Crawley, who all left the game with injuries.

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