Fins' D historically bad in fourth quarter

MIAMI -- You can tell by watching the games the Miami Dolphins' defense is feeble in the fourth quarter.

When you examine the numbers, you see just how pathetic they have been. The Dolphins have surrendered 134 points in the fourth quarter. That's through 11 games. That's already a franchise record for an entire season.

Palm Beach Post reporter Brian Biggane takes a look at Miami's fourth-quarter problems heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots in Land Shark Stadium.

The Dolphins are outscoring opponents 182-141 through the first three quarters. Think about that for a moment. They have allowed only seven more points in the first 45 minutes of a game than they have the final 15.

"Wow," inside linebacker Akin Ayodele replies when Biggane shares the stark stats. "We play three quarters of the game well and we have to realize the fourth quarter is a dire-need situation. The speed of the game is faster. I don't care what people say. Games are won and lost in the fourth quarter."