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Osweiler, Dolphins squander chances for TDs vs. Packers

November 12, 2018
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Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler fumbles the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The injury-riddled Miami Dolphins still managed to generate plenty of scoring opportunities against the Green Bay Packers.

But they couldn’t get into the end zone, and settling for field goals wasn’t going to cut it against Aaron Rodgers.

Jason Sanders tied a Dolphins franchise rookie record with four field goals, but Miami (5-5) wasted good field position and squandered the game-opening drive after Brock Osweiler fumbled away a shotgun snap in a 31-12 loss at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

“Those type of things, you can’t do against this guy (Rodgers). You do that, it’s just a matter of time before he makes it right,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said.

Osweiler, making his fifth straight start for the injured Ryan Tannehill, was 23 of 37 for 213 yards. He got sacked six times, including three straight plays late in the game. And he accounted for another turnover after throwing an interception to Bashaud Breeland that was returned 26 yards to the Miami 12 with 8:52 left in the third quarter.

The Packers cashed in on that turnover too, with Rodgers hitting Davante Adams for a 25-yard touchdown pass for a 16-point lead three plays later.

“I’m the only guy on the team that touches the ball every play on offense, and I need to find ways to be better and to score touchdowns,” Osweiler said.

The offense was undermanned, though.

Starting tackles Laremy Tunsil (knee, ankle) and Ja’Wuan James (knee), along with starting guard Ted Larsen (neck), were inactive. For a while, the Dolphins still moved the ball effectively, especially early in the game.

Running back Kenyan Drake had a knee injury in the second quarter. Receivers Davante Parker (shoulder) and Jakeem Grant (leg) got hurt in the third.

The offense just stalled in Packers territory.

“Kicking field goals ain’t going to beat the Packers. We have to execute better in the red zone,” guard Jesse Davis said.

Miami started one drive at midfield after recovering Tramon Williams’ fumbled punt return. Another started at the 45 after the defense stopped Green Bay on fourth-and-2.

A blocked punt in the third quarter gave the Dolphins the ball at the Packers’ 28.

Each time, Miami turned its advantageous field position into a field goal.

“I don’t care who’s on the field. Every time we touch the ball as an offensive unit, every series I expect to score a touchdown,” Osweiler said.

“Is that going to be possible? Probably not. But that’s our expectation as an offense. You know like I said, the blame is on nobody but myself. I need to be better,” he added.

But he may not have a chance to prove he can do it.

Gase and Tannehill hope the starting quarterback can return after the upcoming bye week to play at Indianapolis on Nov. 25.

Osweiler said that decision is out of his hands.

“But I’m going to focus on the things I can control and that’s finding a way to get better as an individual, as a quarterback,” he said. “And then how I can help this offense if my number’s called against the Colts.”

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