NFL Game Summary - Miami at New England|
(Sunday, October 27th)
Final Score: New England 27, Miami 17
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - In a tale of two halves, New England
completely dominated the second to claim a 27-17 victory over the Miami
Dolphins in an AFC East clash at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots managed a mere 59 yards in the first 30 minutes and trailed by
14, then scored 24 unanswered points -- highlighted by a pair of touchdowns in
a span of less than two minutes that tied the game.
"We dug a big hole for ourselves at halftime. We really haven't played good in
the third quarter all year but we did today," Patriots coach Bill Belichick
said. "We got it from all three phases of the game. We had contributions from
everyone in the second half."
Tom Brady struggled through his worst first half in 10 years and finished with
just 116 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-22 passing. Stevan Ridley ran for 79
yards with a score and Brandon Bolden added a rushing touchdown for New
England (6-2), which bounced back from last week's overtime loss to the New
York Jets and beat Miami for the seventh straight time.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 192 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of
interceptions for the Dolphins (3-4), who have followed a promising 3-0 start
with four consecutive losses.
A trio of turnovers and two missed field goals -- one that hit an upright and
another that was blocked -- in the second half led to disaster for Miami,
which has a quick turnaround with a Thursday night home game against
"They clearly deserved to win the game, they played better than we did," said
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. "We didn't play well in the second half. We didn't
make stops, we turned the ball over."
The Dolphins dominated the first half with a 17-3 lead and were threatening
for more with their first possession of the third quarter. A sack on 3rd-and-2
from the 19 lost nine yards and forced a 46-yard field goal try from Caleb
Sturgis, but the kick hit the right upright and swung momentum the other way.
Brady had thrown for just 25 yards in the first half and went only backward on
New England's initial series of the third quarter, but he connected on both of
his throws after the Miami missed kick.
After a 23-yard run by Ridley ignited the series, Brady threw a 23-yard pass
to Rob Gronkowski and finished the quick set with a 14-yard TD strike to Aaron
Dobson just before absorbing a shot on a Miami blitz.
Tannehill fumbled while being sacked on the second play after the kickoff and
Rob Ninkovich's recovery at the Miami 13 set up Bolden's 2-yard scoring run to
tie the game.
After a series of punts, the Patriots went in front for the first time with
eight seconds remaining in the third quarter on a 48-yard field goal by
A highlight-reel interception ended Miami's next drive at the New England 18,
as Devin McCourty tipped a pass near the sideline and teammate Marquice Cole
came down just inbounds with the pick.
The Patriots followed with an 82-yard drive for a touchdown, aided by a
fourth-down scramble by Brady and a call against Miami that turned a sack and
fumble into a New England first down.
"We had some really big momentum plays," Brady said.
Brady, who ran for eight yards to convert 4th-and-4, lost the ball on a sack
two plays later and the Patriots recovered at their own 45. It would have set
up 3rd-and-29, but it was instead ruled that Miami's Olivier Vernon illegally
swatted the ball backward and the 10-yard penalty not only negated the play,
but set up a first down for the Patriots at the Miami 13.
Four plays later, Ridley scored from three yards out to give New England a
27-17 edge with 7:14 to play.
Miami, needing two scores, threatened once again with a march to the New
England 15. But another sack on third down forced a 39-yard field goal try
that was blocked by Chandler Jones with 2:42 remaining to virtually seal the
Tannehill, who was sacked six times in the second half, was then picked off in
the final minute.
The Dolphins went three-and-out to start the game, but the Miami defense came
up with the first big play when Dimitri Patterson intercepted Brady's first
pass on New England's second offensive play. Tannehill took full advantage,
converting a trio of third downs and finishing the 11-play, 40-yard drive with
a 4-yard touchdown toss to Brandon Gibson.
New England's offense continued to sputter and picked up just one first down
in the first quarter and the fourth Miami offensive series produced another
touchdown, as Tannehill found running back Daniel Thomas in the end zone from
five yards away for a 14-0 lead just over five minutes into the second
New England followed with its first sustained drive, which was kept alive by a
questionable pass interference penalty on a third-down incomplete pass. The
Miami defense stiffened after the 21-yard penalty and forced a 34-yard field
goal from Gostkowski, but the Dolphins still had more than three minutes on
the clock and countered with a 52-yard Sturgis field goal for a 17-3 advantage
heading to the break.
Brady now has 343 career touchdown passes, surpassing Fran Tarkenton (342) for
fourth on the all-time list. He hadn't thrown for as few as 25 yards in a half
since Oct. 12, 2003 against the New York Giants ... New England hadn't scored
a third-quarter touchdown in its first seven games this season before reaching
the end zone twice Sunday ... The Patriots improved to 4-0 at home this season
and host Pittsburgh next Sunday before their bye week ... Patriots offensive
tackle Sebastian Vollmer was carted off the field midway through the second
quarter after his leg was placed in an air cast ... Gibson left in the first
half for Miami with a knee injury ... The Dolphins rushed for a season-high
156 yards, led by 89 from Lamar Miller.
10/27 18:36:21 ET