6:12 p.m.: Three storylines dominated the locker room talk after the game — the Pats' adjustments to the Wildcat, the significance of the victory in terms of controlling the AFC East and an excitement about heading to Indy to play the undefeated Colts next week.
I'm going to work on those stories now, so stick with NESN.com for full Patriots coverage.
For an early look, the Dolphins ran 10 Wildcat plays (which excludes plays in which Pat White is under center) for seven yards and one touchdown. With White in the game, the Dolphins ran eight plays for 60 yards and one touchdown, although they picked up 48 of those yards on two plays. Therefore, the Patriots held the Dolphins to 67 total yards on 18 trick plays.
Final. Patriots 27, Dolphins 17: That's it, and that's all from Gillette Stadium. The Patriots improve to 6-2, while the Dolphins fall to 3-5. I'll check in after the postgame access.
Fourth quarter, 1:03: Miami takes over at its 25-yard line after the kickoff.
Patriots 27, Dolphins 17. Fourth quarter, 1:09: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 40-yard field goal to put this thing in hand for the Patriots. The Pats lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1 (which was more like an inch, if that), and it looked like they were going to snap it to try to get a first down. Stephen Neal was flagged for a false start, and I can't imagine he would have moved if the Patriots were simply trying to draw a Miami penalty.
Fourth quarter, 2:00: The Patriots come back with a third-and-7, and they're on the Miami 24-yard line. It looks like the Patriots will run the ball then kick a field goal if they can't get a first down. Under that scenario, the Dolphins would get the ball back trailing by 10 points with about 1:10 remaining.
Fourth quarter, 2:50: The Patriots take over after the Dolphins turned it over on downs. Miami can actually get the ball back if the Patriots don't get a first down here.
Fourth quarter, 2:59: Chris Webber is laughing somewhere. Chad Henne — who also went to Michigan — tried calling a timeout when he didn't have any. What are they teaching their athletes up in Ann Arbor?
Fourth quarter, 3:38: The Dolphins have to go 86 yards over 3:38 without any timeouts. Let's see if Chad Henne has some Tom Brady in him because I can't imagine Miami's trick offense can lead it down the field here. Also, I have a weird feeling the Dolphins will go for two if they punch it in the end zone.
Fourth quarter, 3:45: Wes Welker caught a pass on a bubble screen and was blasted behind the line of scrimmage. Chris Hanson and the punt team have come on for the Patriots.
Fourth quarter, 3:50: The Dolphins took their second timeout, and the Patriots have a third-and-4 from their own 49-yard line coming up. A first down here could basically mean the end of the game.
Fourth quarter, 5:38: The Patriots take over at their 9-yard line after Brandon Fields punted it away.
Fourth quarter, 9:41: The Patriots reversed the field position by gaining 36 yards on that drive, but it still stalled at their own 48-yard line. Davone Bess called for a fair catch, and the Dolphins take over at their own 17.
This is Tom Brady's 27th career 300-yard passing game, which sets a new Patriots record. It's his third consecutive 300-yard game and fourth this season.
Fourth quarter, 14:50: Brandon Fields' punt went out of bounds at the Patriots' 12-yard line, and that's where New England takes over with a chance to ice the game.
End of third quarter. Patriots 24, Dolphins 17: The Dolphins had the ball for 13:24 in the third quarter, but they actually trail by one more point than they did at the half. Each team scored a touchdown, but the Patriots added a two-point conversion after their score. Miami has a third-and-19 at its own 45-yard line on the other side of the break.
Third quarter, 2:49: Pat Chung was flagged for roughing the quarterback, and it negated Leigh Bodden's interception, which would have set up the Patriots in great field position. Instead, the Dolphins get a first down at their own 41-yard line.
Patriots 24, Dolphins 17. Third quarter, 3:15: The Patriots answered the Dolphins' drawn-out offensive possession with a quick-strike score, and both teams just showcased their offensive trademarks. Tom Brady hit Randy Moss for a 71-yard touchdown pass, as Moss ran a crossing route, stiff-armed cornerback Vontae Davis and raced down the left sideline for the score. Brady then hit Moss on the left side of the end zone for the two-point conversion. The Patriots scored on a three-play, 80-yard drive that took 1:36.
Third quarter, 4:51: The Patriots are taking over at their own 20-yard line after Dan Carpenter's kickoff was downed for a touchback.
Dolphins 17, Patriots 16. Third quarter, 4:51: That drive is what makes this Dolphins offense so impressive. They just moved the ball 66 yards on 16 plays over a stretch of 10:06. Ronnie Brown threw a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joey Haynos, who was wide open in the Wildcat formation, and the Dolphins have retaken the lead.
Third quarter, 14:55: Ted Ginn returned the kickoff to the Dolphins' 34-yard line. The Dolphins ran three Wildcat plays for 11 yards in the first half, and they had three plays with Pat White at quarterback. He ran two option plays that totaled 48 yards (a 33-yard keeper and a 15-yard pitch to Ricky Williams for a touchdown), and White also threw an incompletion. The Dolphins gained 156 offensive yards in the first half, and 59 came from their sub offense.
Patriots 16, Dolphins 10. Halftime: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. It capped off a 10-play, 70-yard drive that spanned 1:43. The Patriots got a big assist from two pass interference penalties and a generous clock operator. Sam Aiken drew the two penalties from the Dolphins' secondary, and the clock stalled with one second to play in the quarter when Tom Brady's final pass attempt sailed over the head of Randy Moss.
Second quarter, 1:43: The Patriots take over at their own 14-yard line after Brandon Fields' punt.
Second quarter, 2:45: That's about as entertaining as a touchback can get. Stephen Gostkowski's first kickoff sailed through the end zone, but James Sanders was flagged for offsides and the Pats had to re-kick. Gostkowski proceeded to boot another one through the end zone. Well, maybe you just had to be there.
Second quarter, 2:45: The Patriots announced center Dan Koppen has a knee injury, and his return is questionable. I've typically maintained that Koppen is the most important part of the Pats' offensive line because of his consistency and pre-snap coverage recognition.
Patriots 13, Dolphins 10. Second quarter, 2:45: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 38-yard field goal to put the Pats back on top. After Ben Watson drew an offensive pass interference penalty, the Patriots had a second-and-20 and ran two draw plays, which drew some boos from the crowd.
Second quarter, 5:15: Dan Koppen left the field with an apparent injury to his right leg. Dan Connolly replaced him at center.
Second quarter, 6:03: Brandon Tate returned the kickoff 34 yards to the Pats' 38.
Patriots 10, Dolphins 10. Second quarter, 6:11: Ricky Williams ran for a 15-yard touchdown to cap off Miami's five-play, 80-yard drive. The Dolphins used two Wildcat plays and two option plays with Pat White on that drive, and they scored on the option play. That was my big prediction for the game Sunday — if the Dolphins use anything out of the ordinary, it would be White running the option. The two option plays went for 48 yards this drive.
Second quarter, 9:05: Stephen Gostkowski booted his kickoff through the end zone, and the Dolphins take over at their own 20.
Patriots 10, Dolphins 3. Second quarter, 9:05: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 30-yard field goal to cap off New England's 11-play, 49-yard drive that spanned 5:05. Tough end to the Pats' drive there. They could have really put Miami in a hole and forced the Dolphins to continue throwing the ball, which hasn't worked out so well to this point. Now seems to be as good of a time as any for Tony Sparano to bust out this Wildcat formation we've heard so much about.
Second quarter, 14:10: The Dolphins announced cornerback Vontae Davis has a quad injury and his return is questionable.
Second quarter, 14:10: The Dolphins went three-and-out and have still only run one Wildcat play (for a loss of three yards), and the Patriots take over at their own 39-yard line after Miami's punt. The Dolphins have 11 pass attempts and just seven rushes so far.
End of first quarter: The Patriots' drive stalled at Miami's 42-yard line, and the quarter ended with Chris Hanson's punt to Davone Bess. Miami takes over at its own 11 after the fair catch.
First quarter, 4:05: Wes Welker called for a fair catch on Brandon Fields' punt. The Pats take over at their own 9.
First quarter, 4:30: The Dolphins ran their first Wildcat play, and it didn't live up to the hype. Ricky Williams, who got pinned by Stephen Neal in a high school wrestling match, ran for a loss of three yards.
First quarter, 6:12: Leigh Bodden, who was inducted into Duquesne's Hall of Fame last weekend, left with an injury on the last play but walked off the field on his own power. It looks like he'll be right back out on the field.
First quarter, 6:50: Ted Ginn provided a brief scare on the kickoff return. It looked like he had a small seem up the left side, but Stephen Gostkowski did a good job to take the angle and push Ginn out of bounds at Miami's 33-yard line.
Patriots 7, Dolphins 3. First quarter, 6:58: Laurence Maroney plunged into the end zone from one yard out to give the Patriots their first lead of the afternoon. Randy Moss deserves an assist for that touchdown, though, as he pulled in a nifty, one-handed, 36-yard catch down the right sideline on the play before Maroney's touchdown.
First quarter, 9:29: Dan Connolly picked up Miami's squib kick and returned it to the Patriots' 37-yard line. Tom Brady gets his second crack at Vontae Davis and Miami's young secondary here.
Dolphins 3, Patriots 0. First quarter, 9:34: Dan Carpenter kicked a 52-yard field goal to put the Dolphins ahead. We're still waiting for Miami's first Wildcat play. That was a 10-play, 44-yard drive for the 'Phins.
First quarter, 10:23: The play was overturned, as it was deemed Chad Henne threw an incompletion. Miami keeps possession — second-and-10 from the Patriots' 39-yard line.
First quarter, 10:23: There's a key challenge here. Tully Banta-Cain came around the back side of the line and forced Chad Henne to fumble the ball, and it was then returned for a touchdown by Adalius Thomas. Replays, however, make it appear it might have been an incompletion. Tony Sparano threw the challenge flag, and we're awaiting word from referee Mike Carey.
First quarter, 13:28: Vontae Davis made an outstanding play to intercept Tom Brady's long pass to Randy Moss. Davis was in single coverage and jumped over Moss to snag the ball. The Dolphins take over at their own 22.
First quarter, 14:55: The Dolphins won the coin toss and deferred to the Patriots. Brandon Tate returned the opening kickoff 28 yards to the New England 29-yard line, and the Patriots are in business.
12:59 p.m.: The Patriots are honoring 20 veterans and members of the active military in recognition of Veteran's Day. Also, Voices of Freedom sang the national anthem.
I'd like to give a shoutout to Jay Murphy, a friend of mine who is currently in Iraq, along with all of our soldiers and veterans who are serving or have served the country.
12:37 p.m.: The Patriots have left the field to head into the locker room for their final pregame meeting. The Dolphins departed a few minutes earlier. It also looked like Joey Porter was doing a little barking at midfield during warmups.
11:43 a.m.: Here is a breakdown of Sunday's inactive list. Julian Edelman is out for the second consecutive game with a forearm injury, and this is the third game he has missed this season. Matt Light is missing his third consecutive game with a right knee injury. Fred Taylor is missing his fourth straight game with an ankle injury.
Sammy Morris is missing his second consecutive game with a knee injury. Jarvis Green is missing his first game after knee surgery. Jonathan Wilhite is missing his second game of the season. He was on the injury report all week with an illness. This is the first game Eric Alexander has missed this season, and it's the eighth game Rich Ohrnberger has been inactive.
11:36 a.m.: The Patriots' other inactive players are cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, linebacker Eric Alexander and offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger. Wilhite was on the injury report all week with an illness, and Ohrnberger has been inactive in every game this season. Alexander appears to be a healthy scratch.
We already knew wide receiver Julian Edelman, running backs Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor, defensive end Jarvis Green and left tackle Matt Light would be out against the Dolphins.
Defensive back Kyle Arrington, who was signed off of the practice squad onto the active roster Sunday morning, will see his first action as a Patriot.
11:07 a.m.: It's a hot one at Gillette Stadium — at least for a November game. I left my house wearing a winter coat, and after hitting heavy traffic, I arrived at Gillette to notice the temperature rose probably 20 degrees. And to think the last time we left this place, there was snow on the ground.
The Patriots have already announced five of their eight inactives for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. No surprises so far. Wide receiver Julian Edelman, running backs Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor, defensive end Jarvis Green and left tackle Matt Light are all out with injuries. I'll pass along the last three inactives after the officials' meeting at 11:30.
9:00 a.m.: The New England Patriots can take a giant step toward reestablishing their dominance in the AFC East on Sunday when they host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
Miami, which has won three of its last four games, is the defending division champion, thanks in large part to a 38-13 beatdown it laid on the Pats last season in Foxborough. The Patriots have a comfortable lead atop the AFC East and can create some serious distance between themselves, Miami and the idle New York Jets with a victory Sunday afternoon.
Even with a trip to Indianapolis looming, Patriots fans shouldn't worry about this being a trap game, which seems to be a concern in some circles. No one takes divisional games more important than New England, and last season's embarrassing defeat is still on the Patriots' minds. The Colts aren't even an afterthought right now — they're off the radar completely.
The Dolphins have already suffered a setback this weekend, as linebacker Channing Crowder (shoulder) and nose tackle Jason Ferguson (elbow) will each miss the game. Both are key figures in the Dolphins' defense, which is already without cornerback Will Allen. Ferguson, like Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, sets the pace for the line, and Crowder helps add an attitude to Miami's linebackers.
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