Welcome to Foxboro! We are getting close to kickoff so let's take a look at the inactive players for today.
Patriots Inactives: DL Dominique Easley, CB Alfonzo Dennard, OL Jordan Devey, OT Cam Fleming, LB Chris White, RB James White, DE Zach Moore
Dolphins Inactives: LB Jon Freeney, G Nate Garner, LB Jelani Jenkins, LB Koa Misi, RB LaMichael James, LB Chris McCain, OL Billy Turner1:00 P.M.- The Dolphins offense opens the game; Dont'a Hightower being active is a pleasant surprise. Let's see if the Patriots defense can step up.1:05 P.M.- Mike Wallace opened the game the way the Dolphins wanted, making a 50-yard catch, but the Patriots defense stood tall, blocked the field goal and returned it for six! What a way to start the game for New England. Patriots 7, Dolphins 0
1:10 P.M.- The Dolphins offense gets their second shot to put up some points. Miami had a few wrinkles on that first drive so this should be an interesting drive.
1:15 P.M.- The Dolphins picked two first downs, but an offensive facemask essentially ended any shot at a drive and the Patriots forced a punt. Tom Brady and the offense come out for their first series of the day.
1:21 P.M.- The Patriots were streaking down the field, but the Dolphins defense made a huge play and came up with an interception. Sometimes the Patriots get hooked on the slants and this was the case. Good read by Miami; Tannehill and the offense take over. Patriots 7, Dolphins 0
1:30 P.M.- New England' defense steps up in the red-zone again and holds the Dolphins to a short field goal. The Patriots needs to figure out how to deal with the zone read, and they also need to keep Charles Clay in check, a player who's hurt them in the past. Patriots 7, Dolphins 3
1:43 P.M.- The Dolphins force the Patriots to punt and this see-saw games continues. Not a very good start for Tom Brady; the ball isn't coming out of his hand well. Brady typically has a tough time with Miami so this is par for the course. Patriots 7, Dolphins 3
1:51 P.M.- Duron Harmon with the interception on the Tannehill overthrow and he takes it 60 yards to set up the offense inside the ten yard line. Brady and the offense need to capitalize and pick up a touchdown here.
1:53 P.M.- Gronk draws all the coverage and the Patriots take full advantage by calling a draw play to Shane Vereen, which he takes in for a touchdown. New England scores off the forced turnover, which good teams do. Patriots 14, Dolphins 3
2:05 P.M- Jamie Collins got scorched by Damian Willams, but Williams couldn't come up with the easy touchdown catch. Caleb Sturgis did connect on a 53-yard field goal to cut into the lead. Patriots 14, Dolphins 6
2:12 P.M.- Miami' defense stiffens yet again and forces the Patriots offense off the field. I discussed using extra protection in the preview and it's clear the Patriots offense needs to do this. Brady doesn't have enough time in the pocket and his timing is way off.
2:20 P.M.- New England gets a much needed stop and the offense will get the ball with about :40 seconds and three timeouts. With the offense has played, it might be smart to take a knee and head into the locker room with the eight-point lead intact.
2:30 P.M.- Awful end to the first half for the Patriots: three-and-out for New England, followed up by terrible punt coverage, and the capper- a long touchdown catch by Mike Wallace (who didn't have control until he was out of bounds, regardless of what the refs say. An eight point lead quickly becomes a one point lead and to add insult to injury- Brandon LaFell limped off to end the half. Patriots 14, Dolphins 13
2:34 P.M- HALFTIME
2:48 P.M.- 34-yard pass-and-catch to Rob Gronkowski to open the half, a much needed play for the Patriots. Jonas Gray is finally back on the field and he stepped up and made a couple big plays; his speed and strength is needed against this tough Miami defense. Tom Brady, after a unacceptable drop by Julian Edelman, stepped up and made a 15 yard run for a first down. LeGarrette Blount caps it off for New England and they pick up a much needed score to make it Patriots 21, Dolphins 13. Nice to see the offense is awake again.
2:58 P.M.- Three-and-out for the Dolphins; Dont'a Hightower stepping up and leading the way over the last two quarters. The Patriots offense will get a chance to gain some separation from Miami. The Patriots showed good balance and tempo on the last drive; hopefully they'll do it again. Patriots 21, Dolphins 13<3:08 P.M.- Tom Brady leads the offense down the field and Stephen Gostkowski connects on a 35-yard field goal. Brady missed Gronkowski on what should have been a touchdown; needless to say this has not been a good day for #12. Patriots 24, Dolphins 13
*Congratulations to Stephen Gostkowski, who passed Adam Vinatieri for the most points scored in Patriots history.
3:14 P.M.- Patrick Chung comes up with the interception on first down. Brandon Browner made a nice deflection to set it up. Big play, Patriots offense takes over again.
3:16 P.M.- Touchdown, Patriots! On the first play after the pick, Tom Brady throws a laser to Rob Gronkowski for the 24-yard touchdown. You could see Brady stewing on the bench after the last drive so don't be surprised if he goes off for the remainder of the afternoon. Patriots have now scored 17 straight points to open the half. Patriots 31, Dolphins 13
3:21 P.M.- Another three-and-out for the Dolphins; the Patriots defense is starting to establish something on regular basis- second half dominance. That is the type of quality that helps teams win Super Bowls.
3:24 P.M.- Danny Amendola had a strong punt return to setup Brady and the offense which leads to another touchdown for New England. This is a clinic here in the third quarter. Edelman with the 6-yard touchdown catch to make the score Patriots 38, Dolphins 13.
3:41 P.M.- New England comes up with the turnover-on-downs and this game is pretty much over. With just over ten minutes to go and the Patriots up 25, the Dolphins probably won't have enough possessions left to make a run. Excellent job by the defense to keep the Dolphins off the scoreboard yet again. Patriots 38, Dolphins 13
3:50 P.M.- "No mercy, sweep the leg!" The Patriots come out throwing and end up settling for a 36-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. Of course we'll hear people saying the Patriots "ran it up", which is absolutely clueless, but expect to hear all about it. It's pro sports- stop them or get scored on. Patriots 41, Dolphins 13.
4:05 P.M.- The Patriots defense with another second half shutout. New England couldn't have answered the second half bell any better as they scored 28 straight points and dominated division rival Miami. The Patriots will clinch their sixth-straight AFC East title and keep their stranglehold on the top seed in the AFC. Impressive stuff from the Patriots, they should be proud of the way they responded to an ugly first half.
4:06 P.M.- That'll do it, the Patriots win, 41-13. New England moves to 11-3 and the Dolphins drop to 7-7, which pretty much ends their shot at the playoffs.
Final Score: Patriots 41, Dolphins 13