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The Miami Dolphins gave their fans a glimmer of hope last Sunday in New England, getting a big touchdown from Mike Wallace with five seconds left in the first half to draw them within one point of the host Patriots.  That would be as close as Miami would get.  For the second consecutive week the Dolphins played an extremely poor second half and saw their playoff hopes go up in smoke.

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Now Miami must play their final two games of the 2014 season with a dark cloud hovering over Sun Life Stadium as the team is on the brink of missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year.  While finding positives have become harder to come by in recent weeks, let’s take a look at the top performers from the Dolphins latest debacle in New England.

Jarvis Landry

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Dolphins rookie receiver faced perhaps his toughest competition on Sunday when the Patriots had their Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis shadowing Landry for the majority of the game.  While that kind of matchup has left some of the top wideouts in the league with a forgettable afternoon, Landry didn’t blink.  He finished the game with eight receptions and came up one yard shy of the first 100-yard game of his young career.

Kelvin Sheppard

The Dolphins signed Sheppard after losing starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to a season-ending hip injury during their Week 1 win over the Patriots.  After playing mostly on special teams with some snaps as a backup on defense, Sheppard got his first start with Miami after both Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins were ruled out of the game due to injuries.  Sheppard finished tied for the team lead in tackles with 10, adding a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit.

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Jason Trusnik

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Trusnik was the other backup linebacker that was thrust into a starting role thanks to the injury bug biting two of Miami’s starters.  All Trusnik did was have his best game as a member of the Dolphins, co-leading the team with 10 tackles, making one for a loss and adding a pair of defended passes.  He also made a great play during the first half to intercept Tom Brady, all while providing his usual solid play on special teams.

Mike Wallace


(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

One of the best deep threats in the NFL, Wallace finally got his chance to go after multiple long throws on Sunday.  Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill hit Wallace for a 50-yard completion on the first play of the game, then the two linked up again at the end of the first half on a 35-yard touchdown in which Wallace made one of the best catches of the season to reel in the score.  His one-handed grab appeared to inject life into the Dolphins heading into the halftime break, but unfortunately that rush of adrenaline couldn’t be sustained in the second half.  Wallace finished with five catches for 104 yards, his first 100-yard game since Week 15 against New England last season.  He cracked 100-yards four times in 2013 but hadn’t produced more than 81 yards in a game since Week 1 of this season.

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