Smith leads Dolphins past Patriots

<p>It certainly was nothing that will go up on the wall as an offensive Picasso but the job got done Sunday afternoon as the Miami Dolphins bounced back from a lopsided loss seven days ago to down the New England Patriots 30-10 before 72,713 at Pro Player Stadium<p>

After digging themselves an early 7-0 deficit, the Dolphins bounced back thanks mainly to a big day from running back Lamar Smith who was a virtual workhorse finishing the afternoon with 29 carries for 144 yards on the ground. As if that wasn't enough, Smith led, that's right, led all Dolphin receivers with three catches for 23 yards which shows you what kind of day it was for Jay Fiedler and the Miami passing game. Fiedler finished the day 11-for-21 for just 87 yards

The day started ominously for Fiedler and the Miami offense when his first pass of the game, an attempted slant-in throw to Oronde Gadsden was underthrown and picked off by linebacker Mike Vrabel and returned 10 yards to the Miami 10. Two plays later, running back Antoine Smith swept the right side from nine yards out to put the Pats up 7-0

But Fiedler, Lamar Smith and the Miami offense had an answer of their own as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched 80 yards downfield in 14 plays while eating 8:24 of the clock, culminating in Smith skirting the right side from seven yards to tie the score at seven

After the two teams traded field goals, perhaps the biggest moment of the game came with 14 seconds left in the half and the Dolphins sitting at the New England 14 with no timeouts left

That's when Fiedler dropped back and threw his best ball of the day, a high arching throw to the right corner of the end zone. Dolphin fans have been used to seeing the fade throw to Oronde Gadsden in the corner but surprisingly it was seldom-used tight end Jed Weaver on the other end. Weaver created a little space between him and linebacker Ted Bruschi and reeled in the pass for a 17-10 halftime lead

The Dolphins opened the second half with another time-consuming 13-play drive that ate up more than seven minutes resulting in a 34-yard Olindo Mare field goal and 20-10 lead

On this day, it was the Dolphin defense that took home all the plaudits as they held New England quarterback Tom Brady to 86 yards passing and the entire Patriot offense to 149 yards. And fittingly it was the defense that put the final slam dunk on the Pats

On the final play of the third quarter, Brady, from his own 15, couldn't handle the snap cleanly. When guard Grey Ruegamer inadvertently kicked the ball backwards with his foot, defensive end Jason Taylor scooped it up at the two yard line and trotted in for the touchdown to make it 27-10. Mare added a 27-yard field goal with 2:08 remaining to complete the scoring

The Dolphins saw their record move to 3-1 and are now in sole possession of first place having moved a half game ahead of the idle Indianapolis Colts


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