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Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thoughts entering the fourth quarter

By Mike Reiss

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- A few quick-hit thoughts entering the fourth quarter of Sunday's game between the Patriots and Dolphins:

1. The Dolphins have allowed 134 points in the fourth quarter this season, which was a big topic of discussion this week in Miami. That is easily an NFL high.

2. Sam Aiken's 81-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter was remarkable as Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith had tight coverage. It is Aiken's career long. Aiken has served as the team's No. 3 receiver today, a role that he has done a nice job with in recent weeks.

3. Pass defense remains an issue. Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite's struggles continue. His long pass interference penalty set up a Dolphins field goal.

4. Chris Hanson's punt at the end of the quarter was his best of the season.

5. Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor, who left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, returned.