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Tua Tagovailoa shoulders blame for Dolphins' comeback falling short vs. Chiefs: 'It was my fault'

Taking part in another heavyweight showdown, the Miami Dolphins found a familiar fate Sunday, even if they were playing on a different continent.

This time around, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa shouldered the Dolphins' 21-14 comeback-come-short loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt.

Having fallen behind by 21 at halftime and rallied in the second half, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins were knocking at the door when it was shut after an incompletion from the Chiefs' 31-yard line to Ced Wilson and a subsequent fumbled shotgun snap. Tagovailoa took the blame for both.

"What happened with me and Ced, that was just miscommunication, and in big-time moments, those things like that can happen," Tagovailoa said, via team transcript. "I've got to throw a better ball. It was just miscommunication there. Then, with the last play of the game, I'm always going to blame myself. I've got to catch the ball. Whether that's getting in a better position to catch it or whatever it is, can't end the game like that when we have an opportunity like that against a really good team."

The incompletion to Wilson snuffed out the Dolphins' last best hope, while the fumbled snap that resulted in a turnover on downs after Tagovailoa recovered expunged any hope at all.

Tagovailoa, who threw for a season-low 193 yards and one touchdown to Wilson, was pressed as to whether he was expecting a different route from Wilson. Rather than provide further detail, Tagovailoa adamantly repeated where he believed the blame should rest.

"It was my fault," Tagovailoa said. "It was my fault. It was my fault. Miscommunication there."

Head coach Mike McDaniel did his best to match his QB's leadership example as he took the brunt of the responsibility for the lack of communication.

"You know, I think if I know my personnel well, Tua is probably standing up here since he gets to talk before me and saying this, that and the other and it's on him. It wasn't," McDaniel said. "There's a lot that falls squarely on my shoulders. They were doing something that we had talked about, and the miscommunication is something that doesn't happen if I put them in the appropriate situation during the week. Tua didn't have time to observe. He signaled kind of one route, and that has a conversion, and Cedric interpreted it as another thing, and that's just things that when you're working together as a football team and you have the right effort and mentality from all your players that it's one hundred percent something that I can control personally."

The Dolphins dropped to 6-3 on the season, with each of their losses coming in much ballyhooed matchups: Against the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and, on Sunday, the reigning Super Bowl champs.

The results have all been the same, though Sunday's was far different from the blowouts dealt to them by the Bills and Eagles.

In a defensive showdown likely few predicted, the Chiefs were up 21-0 at halftime before the Dolphins scored 14 straight to end the game.

Regardless of who the blame falls on for one incompletion, McDaniel is happy with the fight shown by his Fins and confident they'll be back in big games to come.

"I was very, very proud of the resolve," McDaniel said. "I'm very encouraged about the team. Just to be in that position on that final drive takes a lot of -- there was a lot of expectations not met in the first half, and for those guys to -- for the defense to shut them out in the second half and only allow 14 points and for us to be in that situation with one minute to go, I think that's the bigger picture from the players' perspective. I told the team that you don't have to worry about me learning from mistakes. It's going to be a hard one to digest, but we'll make it purposeful."

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