Tua Tagovailoa takes full accountability for Miami Dolphins loss to San Francisco 49ers: ‘It starts with me’

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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have looked impressive at times this season, but they got humbled on Sunday when they lost to a veteran San Francisco 49ers squad, 33-17.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggled, and he showed some leadership by taking responsibility for the loss.

Early on, the contest looked extremely winnable for Miami when 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was forced to exit with a broken foot. They played the rest of the game with Brock Purdy, a rookie who was the last player chosen in April’s NFL draft, under center.

But the Dolphins failed to take advantage, as they couldn’t crack the best defense in the NFL.

Tagovailoa went just 18 of 33 and threw two interceptions. He found former 49ers wide receiver Trent Sherfield for the first touchdown of the game and a 7-0 lead, but afterward, San Francisco started to assert itself.

When Tagovailoa was sacked by Niners pass rusher Nick Bosa in the fourth quarter, which led to a San Francisco touchdown by Dre Greenlaw, the Dolphins fell behind by 16 and never recovered.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a nice game with 146 yards and a touchdown, but his running mate Jaylen Waddle, who has been having an impressive season, had just one reception for nine yards.

Waddle sustained a leg injury in the first half. He returned to the game but was ineffective afterward.

Defensively, Miami couldn’t do a whole lot to slow down Purdy. In his first real stint as an NFL quarterback, he completed 25 of 37 passes while throwing two touchdown dimes.

With the loss, the Fins have fallen to 8-4, which puts them a full game behind the Buffalo Bills in second place in the AFC East. They will play the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday evening before taking part in a showdown against the Bills on Dec. 18.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has followed the NFL since he was a little kid in the mid-'90s, back when Dan Marino was the biggest sports star in South Florida. He feels strongly that the NFL and sports in general aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.