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Dolphins Fumble Latest Chance to Win

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By STEVEN WINE
The Associated Press
Sunday, December 2, 2007; 4:23 PM

MIAMI -- A shaky showing by rookie quarterback John Beck doomed the Miami Dolphins' latest bid for a win. Beck threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles Sunday, and the Dolphins fell to 0-12 by losing to the New York Jets 40-13.

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Beck's turnovers led to a touchdown and three field goals. In three starts, he has yet to direct the offense to a touchdown.

Despite the Dolphins' woeful record, they were favored by 1 1/2 points, and the game was touted as their best remaining chance to avoid the NFL's first 0-16 season. Instead, the margin of defeat was their widest yet.

Miami extended a franchise-record losing streak to 15 games, and Cam Cameron remained winless as an NFL coach.

The Jets wore navy and gold throwback Titans uniforms and looked like a different team, winning by a lopsided score for the first time this season. They improved to 3-9, with two of those wins over Miami.

The Dolphins took a brief 13-10 lead in the second quarter on Michael Lehan's 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but they didn't score again. In the third quarter, Beck fumbled three times in a stretch of five plays for Miami. The Jets recovered twice, leading to 10 points.

A third consecutive Dolphins series ended in a turnover when Beck was intercepted by Drew Coleman, setting up Mike Nugent's fourth field goal for a 33-13 lead.

Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes also had interceptions for the Jets, who came into the game with only nine all season.

In the early going, Cameron's play-calling was so conservative the crowd let out a mock roar when Beck finally threw a pass downfield, even though it fell incomplete. Despite the cautious approach, Miami's offense self-destructed while totaling only 187 yards.

Beck finished 23-for-39 for 177 yards. The interceptions were his first this season.

The Jets mounted four scoring drives of more than 50 yards, and running back Leon Washington hurt the Dolphins twice on trick plays. Quarterback Kellen Clemens came out of the game on first down at the Miami 18, and Washington took the shotgun snap and ran in untouched for the touchdown, capping an 84-yard drive after the opening kickoff.

Late in the third quarter, on third-and-13 at the Miami 19, Washington caught a shovel pass from Clemens and ran to the 1, setting up a touchdown for a 30-13 lead.

Washington also scored on a 12-yard run with 1:52 left.

The Dolphins' lone touchdown came when Clemens was sacked from the blind side on a corner blitz and fumbled to Lehan, who caught the ball and ran in for the score, putting Miami ahead for the first time.

The lead lasted barely four minutes. Two penalties on the Dolphins forced them to kick off from their 8-yard line, and New York needed only seven plays to score on Clemens' 19-yard pass to Brad Smith.

Miami reached the Jets 28 late in the first half, but Rhodes intercepted Beck, and Nugent kicked a 40-yard field goal for a 20-13 lead at halftime.

The Jets beat the Dolphins for the fourth time in a row and the 16th time in the past 20 meetings.


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Mark Maske, NFL News Feed

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© 2007 The Associated Press

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