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Mistake-prone Miami loses 27-13 at 49ers

Sunday - 12/9/2012, 11:40pm  ET

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin reacts after an official's call during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Staring up at the sunny San Francisco sky, Marcus Thigpen peeked down at a pair of hard-charging defenders. By the time he looked back up, everything became blurry.

Same goes for the Miami Dolphins' season.

Thigpen's fumbled punt led to a 49ers touchdown that highlighted a series of mistakes in Miami's 27-13 loss Sunday at San Francisco. An ugly game that for so long seemed close ended the same way five of the last six have for the Dolphins: in defeat.

"I felt like I let the team down," Thigpen said.

That turned out to be a common phrase in the crammed quarters of Candlestick Park's visiting locker room.

Sean Smith was called for pass interference on a critical fourth-down play. Jonathan Freeny fielded a Miami punt about the 2-yard line before he walked on the goal line for a touchback. Even worse, first-year Dolphins coach Joe Philbin challenged the seemingly clear-cut call with Freeny's foot on the line -- and lost.

"We haven't mastered the concept of complementing one another," Philbin said. "When we go down and kick a field goal, we give up a touchdown. We score a touchdown, they get another one. We didn't get a stop. We get a stop on defense (and) we get some momentum, we fumble a punt."

That might sum up the Dolphins' demise this season.

Rookie Ryan Tannehill threw for 150 yards and a touchdown, and Reggie Bush ran for 65 yards on 14 carries against one of the league's most dominant defenses. Miami's makeshift offensive line only allowed two sacks -- both to Aldon Smith, extending his league lead to 19
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