Dolphins lose to No. 3 QB Charlie Whitehurst, Colts

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have faced their share of backup quarterbacks this season, and usually those results worked in their favor.

But the Dolphins continue to find new and creative ways to lose games down the stretch. On Sunday the Indianapolis Colts used a pair of backup quarterbacks to grab an 18-12 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

Indianapolis started the game with their No. 2 option, 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck. But he got knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury in the first half after a hit by Dolphins rookie defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

Momentum should have swung in Miami’s favor with the Colts forced to go to emergency third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. But that wasn’t the case. Whitehurst did just enough in the second half to get the win. He was 9-of-14 passing for 78 yards and led Indianapolis on a field-goal-scoring drive, which was all the Colts needed.

Miami threatened to score a late game-winning touchdown, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked on fourth down to end the game.

Add this to a list of embarrassing feats for the Dolphins (5-10) this season. They have lost five of their past six, and Sunday's defeat guarantees Miami will have double-digit losses for the first time since 2011. The Dolphins previously were 2-0 against backup quarterbacks this season, with wins over the Baltimore Ravens (Matt Schaub) and Philadelphia Eagles (Mark Sanchez).

The Dolphins have one more game left in one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory.

What it means: At this point, wins and losses don’t mean much for Miami except as it affects its draft position. The team entered this weekend’s games with the No. 8 overall pick. The loss means there’s a good chance the Dolphins could move up the draft board depending on how other teams perform. Miami clearly needs some impact players in next year’s draft, and the loss increases those odds.

Landry sets record: Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry reached a new milestone. He became the first player in franchise history to record 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Landry had seven catches for 111 yards against Indianapolis.

A bad record: The Dolphins’ opening drive was an ugly one. Deep in their own territory, they allowed their fourth safety of the season following a sack of Tannehill to give the Colts an early 2-0 lead and set a new franchise mark for safeties in a single season.

Ouch: Starting outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins has been bothered by an ankle injury for most of the season. He played Sunday, but reinjured the ankle in the first half and didn’t return.

What’s next: Miami will end its season at home against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The Dolphins are sputtering down the stretch. But in some ways, they could view this game as their playoff game. This is a chance for Miami to pick up its best win of the season against a title contender in their final game.