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Miami Dolphins' defense sends Denver Broncos to eighth straight loss

By
Bill Whitehead, The Sports Xchange
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler throws the football in the NFL International Series match against the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium, London on October 1, 2017. File photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler throws the football in the NFL International Series match against the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium, London on October 1, 2017. File photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.-- Miami's swarming defense held Denver out of the end zone and scored twice to lift the Dolphins to a 35-9 win over the Broncos on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

The win by Miami (5-7) snapped a five-game losing streak that dated back to Halloween weekend in a 31-28 home win over the New York Jets.

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Denver (3-9) dropped its eighth straight contest and hasn't been victorious since a 16-10 home win over Oakland on Oct. 1.

Miami opened the scoring by recording a safety with 3:07 left in the first quarter on a high snap that Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian failed to catch while positioned in the end zone. Siemian tossed the ball beyond the end line to give the Dolphins a 2-0 lead.

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Brandon McManus gave Denver a 3-2 advantage with a 31-yard field goal at 13:28 of the second quarter.

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, who finished 18 of 31 for 235 yards with two touchdowns, lobbed a 9-yard scoring pass to tight end Julius Thomas to regain the lead at 9:39.

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Miami quickly extended its advantage on the next play from scrimmage. Cornerback Xavien Howard stepped in front of Siemian's pass on a quick out and scampered 29 yards for a score seven seconds later.

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Cody Parkey added a 37-yard field goal at 10:32 of the third quarter to extend Miami's lead to 19-3.

Denver's Justin Simmons intercepted Cutler -- making his first start after missing one game because of a concussion -- and returned the pick 65 yards to make it 19-9 at 4:56.

Miami's Kenyan Drake, who rushed for a game-high 120 yards, broke off a 42-yard touchdown run at 2:54.

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Kenny Stills caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cutler at 10:21 of the fourth quarter.

Miami added a second safety when Denver punt returner Isaiah McKenzie recovered his own fumble in the end zone at 9:03.

NOTES: Denver QB Paxton Lynch (ankle), G Ron Leary (back), DE Derek Wolfe and NT Domata Peko Sr. (knee) were made inactive. Peko's injury ended his 123-game starting streak. ... CB Aqib Talib missed the game due to his suspension for an altercation with Oakland WR Michael Crabtree last Sunday. The two were both originally suspended two games without pay for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness, but saw a reduction to one game. ... Miami made QB Matt Moore (foot), RB Damien Williams (shoulder) and G Jermon Bushrod (foot) inactive. ... Ndamukong Suh made his 95th consecutive start after missing practice Friday. His streak is the NFL's longest among defensive tackles, breaking the record Peko held until missing Sunday's game. ... Miami paid tribute to six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor with a pre-game introduction and graphics around the stadium. Taylor, who was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, addressed the crowd at halftime and received his Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence..

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