NFL Game Summary - New England at Miami
(Monday, September 12th)
Final Score: New England 38, Miami 24
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Tom Brady started the 2011 campaign right where
he left off the 2010 regular season, with an epic, MVP-type performance.
Brady threw for a New England team-record 517 yards in a 38-24 win over the
The no-huddle offense implemented by the Patriots shredded Miami's defense
and Brady's offensive line gave him more than ample time. The league's
reigning MVP, who connected on 32-of-48 passes with four touchdowns, compiled
the fifth-most passing yards in an NFL game.
When Brady connected with Wes Welker on a 99-yard TD pass with 5:44 remaining,
it gave him 511 yards on the night, moving him past the team mark of 426 set
by Drew Bledsoe on November 13, 1994 in a 26-20 overtime win over the Vikings.
Coming off his second NFL MVP award, Brady also topped his former record for
longest pass in team history. That was a 91-yarder from him to David Patten
in a contest against Indianapolis on October 21, 2001.
"It was a good pace at times, gave them some problems," Brady said of the no-
huddle offense. "But at other times, they adjusted to it. We have to find ways
to execute better."
The only downer for Brady was seeing his NFL-record streak of 358 passes
without an interception broken, and that came on a deflection.
The 99-yard pass to Welker, which came down the left sideline and tied an NFL
record, moved the Patriots to a 38-17 lead, just after the Dolphins failed on
a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
"I only threw it 25 yards," Brady said. "It wasn't like I threw it 99 yards.
Wes did all the work. I just put it out there for him."
Welker stiff-armed Dolphins cornerback Bennie Sapp, giving the Patriots a
commanding lead, on the way to their eighth straight season-opening win.
"Not the defensive performance that we were hoping for," Dolphins coach Tony
Sparano said. "They had almost 700 yards of offense. That's an
To be exact, New England had 622 yards and Brady had the most single-game
passing yardage in Monday Night Football history. The all-time record is 554
yards, set by Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams in a September 28,
1951 contest vs. the New York Yanks.
Welker had eight catches for 160 yards and a pair of scores. Tight end Aaron
Hernandez complemented the attack with seven grabs for 103 yards and a TD for
the Patriots (1-0), who went a league-best 14-2 last year, but were upset by
the Jets in the divisional round of the playoffs.
"It's key to have, a bunch of guys that get open and catch the ball and move
us down the field," Welker said.
The Dolphins (0-1), coming off their second straight 7-9 campaign, got 416
yards passing from Chad Henne. He threw for a pair of scores on 30-of-49
efficiency with one interception on the game's final play.
Brandon Marshall had 139 yards on seven receptions. Reggie Bush, who was
traded from New Orleans to Miami in the offseason, caught a TD pass and ended
with nine catches for 56 yards, and 11 rushes for 38 yards.
"It was everything that I've been looking forward and it was everything I
expected," Bush said. "I had a fun time out there, but obviously it's not that
much fun when you lose. I thought we did a great job running the ball early on
but with that being said we've got to be able to match the other team's
offensive power and their clock management and keep it to short downs and
The 933 combined passing yards were the most in NFL history, topping the 927
set by Miami's Dan Marino and Kenny O'Brien of the New York Jets in a 51-45
Jets OT victory on September 21, 1986.
The result for the Patriots was tempered by the loss of veteran center Dan
Koppen, who broke his left ankle in the second quarter.
"We're certainly going to miss him," said Brady. "Some other guys have step in
and do the job. That's part of what this game is all about."
The Dolphins had a touchdown reversed right before the Brady-to-Welker play.
Davone Bess stretched for the pylon on a seven-yard catch, but upon replay it
was determined his knee was down before scoring. Henne's fourth down pass to
Brian Hartline was over his head in the left corner of the end zone.
Following the Brady to Welker connection, the Dolphins made it a two-TD margin
when Bush scored on a one-yard reception. The Dolphins challenged the original
ruling of no TD, which was reversed when replays showed Bush broke the plane
of the goal line with 3:39 left.
Henne's final pass of the night was corralled at the New England five by
Patriot cornerback Kyle Arrington.
The Dolphins took the ball following the opening kickoff and went 84 yards in
12 plays, capping the possession with a nine-yard TD run from Henne on a
designed quarterback draw up the middle on 3rd-and-goal.
New England also put up seven points on its first touch thanks to a four-yard
run from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Brady's 46-yard bomb to Matthew Slater
highlighted the drive.
Brady went 8-for-8 over his first two drives, finishing the latter one with a
10-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski on the right side of the end zone in the
opening minute of the second quarter.
New England's Stephen Gostkowski was wide right on a 48-yard field goal
attempt in the dying seconds of the half, leaving the Pats with a 14-7 lead.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Brady was picked off by defensive
tackle Jared Odrick on a deflection. Brady, who suffered his first
interception since October 17, 2010 against Baltimore, tried to get the ball
on the left side to Julian Edelman, but he collided with Sapp. The backward
carom came right to Odrick, who was tackled at the nine by Deion Branch.
Two plays later, Henne found Hartline over the middle for a 10-yard scoring
Using the no-huddle and shotgun formation most of the time, Brady moved the
Patriots ahead, 21-14, with a two-yard TD strike to the left side to Welker
with 8:23 left in the third.
New England thwarted a potential tying touchdown on the next possession when
cornerback Devin McCourty nearly came up with an interception in the end zone
and Marshall had a pass broken up at the goal line. Miami had to settle for a
20-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter.
Brady continued to pick apart Miami's defense with Hernandez catching a 31-
yard pass that was initially ruled a score, but was reversed upon replay as he
was touched down at the one. On the next play, Brady rewarded Hernandez, who
caught the ball in the back center of the end zone for a 28-17 cushion with 10
seconds left in the quarter.
Gostkowski split the uprights from 20 yards away with nearly 11 minutes
remaining for a 31-17 margin.
New England's nine straight regular season games of at least 30 points tied
the Patriots record and is the second longest-streak in NFL history, behind
the 14 by St. Louis in 1999-2000...The Patriots have won eight of the last 11
games against Miami...Brady is 45-11 in his career as a starter in the
regular-season against AFC East opponents, with six of the 11 losses coming to
the Dolphins...Dolphins veteran linebacker Jason Taylor limped off the field
with an apparent right ankle injury with 52 seconds left in the first half. He
turned the ankle during a completed pass play from Brady to Gronkowski...The
big new acquisitions for the Patriots - six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad
Ochocinco and troublesome defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had marginal
nights. Ochocinco had one catch for 14 yards, while Haynesworth had a pair of
09/13 01:58:45 ET
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