MNF: MIAMI DOLPHINS vs NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
MIAMI DOLPHINS vs NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr
The AFC East is owned by the New England Patriots as always but Brady has issues and a losing record in Miami (7-8). The Dolphins will try to pressure Brady and force him into mistakes, he will be without his top target Rob Gronkowski who will miss tonight’s game due to suspension. Kenyan Drake will be the bell cow again for Miami as Damien Williams sits again with the shoulder Injury.
Miami receives the opening kick and on the first play a drop by Devante Parker is not how they wanted to start but a 26 yard run by Drake on play two has a much better feel to it. Jay Cutler looks sharp on the opening drive but a stop on 3rd & 1 makes it 4th & 1 and they went for it, a Cutler play action is the call and he found Parker running free to get down to the Patriot 21 yard line. A swing pass to Jarvis Landry gets them just outside the 10 but the drive stalls and Cody Parkey hit a 30 yarder to take a 3-0 lead. The Patriots first drive was quick as Brady is picked off by Xavien Howard on the 3rd play. Miami is in business and looking to add to their 3 point lead. On the Dolphins 2nd possession, they move the ball on the Patriots much like the first but again settle for a Parkey field goal. The 44 yard kick makes it 6-0, Miami has started off nicely but you will not beat New England kicking field goals. They have to find ways to put these drives into the end zone. The Patriots 2nd drive was just as quick as they go 3 & out and are forced to punt it back to Cutler and his offense. Miami moves into Patriots territory but a holding call on center Mike Pouncey moves them back and they fail to pick up the first down as the quarter comes to a close.
The Dolphins open the quarter with their first punt of the contest and it pins Brady at his own 8 yard line. Dion Lewis picks up the Patriots first 1st down on an 11 yard run to start this drive. The New England short game is starting to work as Brady and his RBs inched their way towards midfield but would ultimately punt the ball after Rex Burkhead is tackled short of the first down after another catch. After the punt, Adam Gases crew goes 3 & out. Patriots will start the next series from their own 47 yard line. A nice one handed catch by Lewis along the sideline moves them into Dolphins territory then a deep shot to Brandin Cooks gets a pass interference call to put them at the 3 yard line. Burkhead would punch it in to give the Patriots a 7-6 lead on the following play. Just like that Miami trails when they’ve dominated the first quarter and a half.
On Miami’s next possession Cutler starts with 2 big passes one to Anthony Fasano then a deep ball to Drake for 47 yards down to the Patriots 16 yard line. On a 3rd & 7 Cutler spins out of a sack to find Drake for a first down. He would find Landry for the short TD to retake the lead 13-7 shortly after. Lewis and Burkhead moves the Patriots across the 50 as we hit the 2 minute warning. The pressure Miami is bringing is making the short passes all that Brady has time to throw. Two James White catches puts them in field goal range with 6 seconds until the half. Stephen Gostowski bangs the 46 yarder leaving 2 ticks on the clock. Miami takes a 13-10 lead into halftime. Heading into the Locker room, Patriots RBs have 18 touches while TEs and WRs have combined for just 1 which was a short Dwayne Allen catch.
The 2nd half starts with more heat on Brady as he gets smoked for a sack, on the very next play he tries Cooks deep again but Xaiven Howard again is who he found. Brady to Howard looks to be the connection tonight, the Dolphins take the field for the first time in the 2nd half. The New England defense looks to be on their heals as the speed of Miami is giving them fits. Cutler is slinging it all over the field, the drive continued until he hit Jakeem Grant from 25 yards out over Malcolm Butler to give his squad a 20-10 lead over Brady’s bunch. Another 3 & out for New England as they punt it back to the Dolphins. Its only midway through the 3rd quarter but as of right now it looks like this night belongs to the home team.
A star is being born as Kenyan Drake is making all the plays against this Patriots defense. Drake gets them inside the 10 on a great run where he shook a free defender then reversed field to turn what looked like a sure loss to a 33 yard gain. Soon after Cutler hooks up with Landry again to make the score 27-10. I don’t want to speak to early but the rout looks to be on now. The next possession looked to be more of the same for the Patriots but a pass interference call bails them out. Well they weren’t really bailed out because 3 plays later they would punt it anyway. Cutler and his offense has been on schedule all game, Bill Belichick doesn’t know what hit them. After a Miami punt, New England runs 2 plays and the 3rd quarter comes to an end with the Super Bowl champs down 17 points but they’re at the Dolphins 21 yard line.
Two short passes from Brady to start the period puts his team in a goal to go situation. A solid play action by Brady free’s up James White and he’s hit for a 3 yard TD to make the score 27-17 Dolphins. After the Patriots score the last thing Miami needs is a 3 & out and wouldn’t you know it, they go 3 & out giving the ball back to Brady with the momentum beginning to shift. The Dolphins defense continues to cover well and the good coverage forces Brady to hold the ball longer as he looks for someone to come open, they never do and Ndamukong Suh sacks Tom and forces another punt. Neither team looks to have much rhythm right now but that 10 point lead with under 8 minutes to go is all that Miami needs right now. More dump offs from Brady is all they can muster as this Miami Pressure package is giving New England all they can handle and force another 3 & out. With 7 minutes remaining Gase looks to be just running the clock out. The early season woes of this New England defense has reared their ugly heads as they looked lost all night. Just ahead of the 2 minute warning Brady in desperation mode finds Cooks for his first catch of the night for 38 yards. Down 10 at the 2:00 mark, Brady feels like this game isn’t over. A pass to Danny Amendola takes the Patriots down to the 1 yard line with 1:32 left to play. Two holding calls moved them back and they take the field goal with 53 seconds remaining and the score is now 27-20. The Gostowski onside kick is recovered by the Dolphins and they kneel on it to get the victory.
STARS OF THE GAME
Jay Cutler – 25/38 263 yards 3 TDs
Kenyan Drake – 25 carries 114, 5 rec 79 yards
Tom Brady – 24/43 233 yards 1 TD 2 INTs
Jarvis Landry – 8 rec 46 yards 2 TDs
Rex Burkhead – 10 touches 53 yards 1 TD
Dion Lewis – 10 touches 67 yards
Danny Amendola – 6 rec 76 yards
Xaiven Howard – 2 Interceptions
DOLPHINS 27 – PATRIOTS 20