Final, Patriots 27-17: The Patriots absolutely dominated the second half. The fourth quarter was filled with sack after sack and ended with an interception that more closely resembled a punt return by Duron Harmon.
We’ll have more on this win here on NESN.com. Stay tuned.
Fourth quarter, 2:42, Patriots 27-17: The Dolphins drove down the field for nearly five minutes, but it was all for naught. Either Marquice Cole or Chandler Jones (Jones was credited, but it looked like Cole) blocked Caleb Sturgis’ field goal.
The Patriots have just over two minutes to kill the clock.
Fourth quarter, 7:14, Patriots 27-17: The Patriots’ drive looked primed to be stalled at midfield after Tom Brady was strip sacked and Nate Solder recovered around the 50. The refs determined Olivier Vernon swatted the ball down the field, so it was a 10-yard penalty and automatic first down. After three attempts by LeGarrette Blount, Stevan Ridley finally found the end zone for 6. The Patriots lead by 10.
Fourth quarter, 13:10, Patriots 20-17: Devin McCourty just made an incredible play on a pass intended for Mike Wallace. McCourty leapt up, tipped the ball back into the field of play and Marquice Cole caught the pick with his feet in bounds. McCourty was going to land out of bounds, so it was incredible field awareness to get the ball back in play into Cole’s waiting hands.
The play was reviewed and upheld.
End third quarter, Patriots 20-17: With one boot off Gostkowski’s leg, the Patriots took the lead.
The Patriots took an interesting time out to keep the wind at their backs longer.
It looked like Rob Gronkowski had a touchdown, but Nate Solder was called for holding. Brady also threw to Gronk in triple coverage — he was lucky it was not picked off — but Miami got called for holding.
Third quarter, 2:24, 17-17: The Patriots forced another three-and-out. Logan Ryan nearly came up with another pick six, but he couldn’t grasp the ball.
Third quarter, 4:01, 17-17: All is normal again. The Patriots went three-and-out in the third quarter.
One has to wonder how much Brady’s swollen hand is bothering him.
Third quarter, 4:50, 17-17: All it took was a boinked field goal.
The Patriots just halted the Dolphins yet again. Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan made solid plays to force the Dolphins punt.
The Patriots have the ball at their 31-yard-line.
Third quarter, 6:42, 17-17: Is this what happens when the Patriots actually do things in the third quarter?
Brandon Bolden scored after the strip sack. The game is tied up.
Third quarter, 7:43, Dolphins 17-10: What a series of events. Logan Ryan just caused a fumble by strip sacking Ryan Tannehill. Rob Ninkovich recovered. Patriots ball.
By the way, Tom Brady’s hand looks pretty swollen.
Third quarter, 8:28, Dolphins 17-10: And with that, the Patriots are right back in it. Tom Brady hit a wide-open Aaron Dobson for six. Stephen Gostkowski kicked the extra point through to make the game 17-10.
Stevan Ridley had a huge run and Brady hit Gronkowski for a big gain.
That missed field goal may have turned the tides here. The crowd finally seems awake.
Third quarter, 10:13, Dolphins 17-3: The Patriots’ defense did their job. Caleb Sturgis boinked a field goal off the right upright. The Gillette Stadium crowd was finally heard.
Third quarter, 14:10, Dolphins 17-3: The Patriots came out of the half dead once again and went three-and-out. It doesn’t look like this one if getting any better. Brady had two incompletions and got sacked by Jared Odrick.
End half, Dolphins 17-3: Brady kneeled on the ball to end the half. That was one terrible half for New England. The second-half woes can’t continue if the Patriots want to win this game.
Second quarter, :30, Dolphins 17-3: The Patriots’ defense is still getting carved up in the run game, but they finally stalled the Dolphins near midfield. Caleb Sturgis nailed a 52-yarder to put Miami up 17-3.
Second quarter, 3:43, Dolphins 14-3: The Patriots finally put some points on the board. They ran the ball with Brandon Bolden on third-and-2, but couldn’t convert after the play blew up in the backfield.
New England settled for three on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
Second quarter, 7:02, Dolphins 14-0: We’ve got a break in the action here with Sebastian Vollmer down on the turf. They brought out a cart for the right tackle and are immediately stabilizing his leg.
Second quarter, 9:55, Dolphins 14-0: The Dolphins got the ball back from the Patriots and had no trouble moving the ball down the field. Considering how bad New England has been in the second half so far this year, this one could already be over.
The Patriots’ run defense has been horrid. Tom Brady needs to step up to end this half.
The Dolphins scored on a 5-yard pass to Daniel Thomas.
End first quarter, Dolphins 7-0: Tom Brady is throwing to receivers not named Rob Gronkowski and it’s working! Obviously Gronk can be a big part of this offense, but he can’t be the entire offense.
We have yet to see Stevan Ridley, who continues to be used bizarrely in this offense.
First quarter, 1:40, Dolphins 7-0: That drive went a little better. The Patriots’ defense certainly bent, but they did not break. Steve Gregory made a nice pass breakup to end the drive.
New England’s run defense has looked weak so far. It’s obvious they miss Mayo, Wilfork and Kelly.
First quarter, 5:15, Dolphins 7-0: Uh, yikes. The Patriots went three-and-out again and the Dolphins have the ball at their 32.
LeGarrette Blount got nothing on two carries to start the drive, then Brady forced the ball to Gronkowski and overthrew him in double coverage on the sideline. That’s some uninspired playcalling.
This one could get out of hand fast if the defense can’t respond.
First quarter, 6:32, Dolphins 7-0: Gillette Stadium is looking pretty empty for a late-October AFC East scrum. Some of these fans may be happy they didn’t show up.
The Dolphins took a 7-0 lead after Tom Brady’s interception gave Miami great field position. Ryan Tannehill made it look easy on the final play of the drive. He hit Brandon Gibson in the end zone for six. Miami leads 7-0.
First quarter, 12:02: Well, Brady didn’t start off the game very well. After a LeGarrette Blount run, the QB forced the ball to Rob Gronkowski and was picked off for his efforts. It was a terrible, underthrown short pass that gives Miami tremendous field position.
First quarter, 12:52: The Patriots’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Dolphins’ first offensive series. Chris Jones and Brandon Spikes made big plays in the run game. New England made stopping Miami look easy.
First quarter, 15:00: The Patriots won the toss and chose to defer. The Dolphins will get the ball to start the game. We’re ready for kickoff here.
12:35 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups, it looks like Kyle Arrington will be back as the starting cornerback opposite Alfonzo Dennard.
Jamie Collins was starting at linebacker in place of Jerod Mayo. Chris Jones and Joe Vellano were expectedly on the line.
Andre Carter was lined up as the backup right defensive end.
12:05 p.m.: Tommy Kelly made an appearance down on the field. He’s in street clothes with his sons, though.
11:30 a.m.: Aqib Talib is inactive and Danny Amendola is active.
Josh Boyce, Jake Bequette, Tommy Kelly, Leon Washington, Steve Beauharnais and Chris Barker round out the Patriots’ inactives.
That means Andre Carter is set to make his season debut. Tavon Wilson is also active for the first time in three weeks.
10:48 a.m.: We’re coming to you live from Gillette Stadium. The weather is sunny but brisk — or your typical October football weather here in New England.
It’s looking like Danny Amendola will play and Aqib Talib will not. This is a key game for both teams.
Bryant McKinnie will start at left tackle for the Dolphins the same week Miami traded for him. He will line up across from Chandler Jones. So, good luck Bryant.
8 a.m. ET: Remember Tom Brady’s drive at the end of the Saints game two weeks ago? When the Patriots went 70 yards down the field in just over a minute? Brady completed 5-of-8 passes for all 70 yards of the drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.
Brady has to play at that level all game against Miami. There are already whispers around New England that Brady is losing it. Whether they’re fair or not, there are some pretty shocking stats to back up the argument (for the record, I don’t believe it).
Brady’s completing just 55.4 percent of his passes — the lowest mark of his career. He’s throwing for just 6 yards per attempt — the lowest mark of his career. He’s on pace for just 18 touchdown passes, which would be tied for the lowest marl of his career, and he has a quarterback rating of 75.3 — which is, as you may have guessed, the lowest mark of his career.
Statistics mean nothing to Brady, which he has repeated many times throughout his career. The only number that matters are wins and losses. The Patriots are lucky to be sitting at 5-2, but for that winning percentage to stay up, Brady’s numbers will have to increase.
He has a good chance to do that against Miami. The Dolphins have struggled to cover tight ends all season, especially those similar to Rob Gronkowski, like Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron. Their secondary is very good, but not unbeatable. Brady will have as many offensive weapons as he’s had all season now that Gronkowski is back and Danny Amendola is expected to be.
We’ll know for sure how good this offense can be once Shane Vereen returns, but we’ll have a pretty good idea as New England takes on Miami. If they continue to struggle, we may be able to say for sure that the Patriots will need to be carried by a defense that no longer features Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo.
Aqib Talib is not expected to play, according to multiple reports. Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington will likely get the bulk of the snaps in his place.
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