After the Patriots dropped Miami for the fifth consecutive time, the Dolphins left the field with heads hung low.
What made this loss especially tough, besides the fact that it effectively ended any hopes Miami had for making the playoffs in 2012, is that the Dolphins gave the magma-hot Patriots a brawl for four quarters.
But in the end, a handful of factors—rookie Ryan Tannehill's continued struggles, the lack of dynamism on offense, and a defense that broke when it could least afford to break—amounted to what has been Miami's reality for years.
They simply weren't good enough.
To make sense of the Dolphins' tough loss to the Patriots, here are seven things to take away from Sunday's contest.