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Week Eight Live Blog: Patriots vs. Dolphins

The 6-0 Patriots welcome the suddenly hot 3-3 Miami Dolphins to Foxboro for a Primetime Thursday Night Game. Dan Campbell has taken the coaching reigns over for recently fired Joe Philbin, and the Fins are playing with an energy that wasn't there when Philbin led the way. Can Miami continue their hot play in the toughest stadium to win in the NFL? Stay with us for live reactions and opinions from tonight's AFC East showdown.

We are about 90 minutes from kickoff here in Foxboro, so it's to take a look at the inactive players for the Patriots and the Dolphins. With a short turnaround from Sunday, it is tough for players to recuperate from nagging injuries, so me may see some surprises on this list.

Patriots-  DE/OLB- Jabaal Sheard, S- Tavon Wilson, G- Shaq Mason, S- Dewey McDonald, WR- Keshawn Martin, DE- Trey Flowers, T- Marcus Cannon

Dolphins- CB- Brice McCain, LB- Chris McCain, OL- Sam Brenner, OL- Jeff Linkenbach, WR- Matt Hazel, TE- Jake Stoneburner, DT A.J. Francis

8:26- The Dolphins win the toss and defer, something the Patriots love to do, but not tonight. Let's see how the Patriots plan on handling this defense, specifically the line.

8:32- Touchdown, Patriots!! Rob Gronkowski with the catch and he takes it 47 yards for the game opening score. The drive looked doomed after just one first down, but a huge 3rd and 16 conversion on a screen pass to Dion Lewis kept the drive alive. New England gets the start they were looking for; Patriots 7, Dolphins 0

8:45- Miami picked up two first downs off of Rishard Matthews receptions, but the Patriots defense stepped up and forced Tannehill and the Dolphin offense off the field.

8:56- A clipping penalty cost the Patriots 15 yards and effectively killed what looked like a strong drive in the making. Rob Gronkowski also had the ball escape his hands on third and long, a catch he typically makes even though the degree of difficulty is extremely high. It doesn't look like the Patriots can be slowed down unless they make mistakes. Patriots 7, Jets 0

9:02- Safety, Patriots!! Ryan Tannehill was still adjusting his hot routes and Pouncey snapped the ball, resulting in a fumble that went out the back of the end zone. The Patriots have a chance to jump out to a comfortable lead early in the second quarter. Patriots 9, Dolphins 0

9:07- The Dolphins defense steps up and gets a big stop after giving up the safety, but a great punt by Ryan Allen and even better coverage by special teams ace Matthew Slater pins the Dolphins back at their own 10. Let's see if the Patriots defense can continue their strong play.

9:11- Three-and-out for the Dolphins as the Patriots defense continues to make plays and get a pass rush on Tannehill. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich almost came up with a second straight safety but Tannehill got the ball out just in time. Patriots 9, Dolphins 0

9:16- The Dolphins get away with an obvious pass interference that would have put New England at the Miami 30 and Cameron Wake sacks Tom Brady on the next play to force the Patriots offense off the field. I just don't understand how an NFL referee can miss such a blatant pass interference. Patriots 9, Dolphins 0

9:21- Three-and-out again for the Dolphins offense; this game is starting to look like a defensive battle, which does happen when these two teams meet.

9:30- Patriot receivers are having a tough time getting open and the Patriots have nothing going right now. Give credit to the Dolphins, they've played well so far.

9:31- Interception, Patriots!! Week Seven dud Logan Ryan steps up and makes the play to get the ball back for the offense.

9:35- The Dolphins stuff the Patriots offense again, but the interception was deep enough in Miami's territory to allow New England to pick up three on a 52-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski. Patriots 12, Dolphins 0

9:42- The Dolphins offense looks horrible tonight, in part because the Patriots defense is playing well, but also because they keep making mistakes. The Patriots take over with great field position and Brady gets to go to work in the two minute drill.

9:48- Touchdown, Patriots!! Dion Lewis, the steal of the offseason in NFL free agency. Lewis has six catches for 93 yards and one touchdown in the first half and he is basically uncoverable right now. The Dolphins defense was playing admirably, but they've been on the field the entire night and it was only a matter of time until Brady got hot. Patriots 19, Dolphins 0

9:55- The Dolphins were able to get into position to attempt a 63 yard field goal, but the kick was wide left and the Dolphins finish the first half with a big goose egg on the scoreboard. Miami gets the ball to start the second half, and they need to score immediately or they might get blown out. Patriots 19, Dolphins 0

HALFTIME

10:14- Touchdown, Dolphins. The Patriots secondary with an awful start to the second half as Ryan Tannehill marches his offense down the field, hitting four out of five passes for 75 yards before handing it to Lamar Miller who plunged in from one yard out. The front seven can only do so much; the secondary needs to make plays too. Patriots 19, Dolphins 7

10:24- Tom Brady did a good job leading the offense down the field, but they stalled at the 19 and Stephen Gostkowski came on to kick a 36 yard field goal, giving the Patriots a 15 point lead. Let's see if the Patriots defense wakes up and plays like they did in the first half. Patriots 22, Dolphins 7

10:34- The Patriots defense comes alive and stuffs the Dolphins on third and short, forcing the punt and getting the ball back to the offense. If Brady and Co. can put together a touchdown drive, they would most likely seal this game.

10:40- Once again the Dolphins defense steps up and keeps Brady and the Patriots offense out of scoring territory, forcing a punt once again. Ryan Allen did a good job pinning the Dolphins back, but when that is the highlight of the offensive drive, that's a very bad thing. Miami takes over and will look to make this a one score game. Patriots 22, Dolphins 7

10:49- Interception, Patriots! Duron Harmon made a great play to not only come up with the pick, he had a strong return to set the offense up at the 15 yard line. A touchdown here would be a killer for the Dolphins, but it won't come easy for the Patriots. Patriots 22, Dolphins 7

10:53- Touchdown, Patriots!! Julian Edelman with a 10-yard touchdown catch and the New England offense capitalizes on the turnover caused by Duron Harmon. Rookie guard Tre' Jackson appeared to injure his knee during the series but he eventually walked off the field under his own power, which is good because they only dressed six offensive lineman tonight. My guess is they would use tight end Mike Williams in a pinch, but that is just speculation. Patriots 29, Dolphins 7

11:01- The Patriots with a relentless pass rush, making consecutive sacks on first and second down to put Miami in a 3rd and 28 position, and a little flare pass out to old friend Jonas Gray turned into a great hit by Patrick Chung, who is flying all over the place. After the Dolphins scoring drive to start the half, the Patriots defense has dictated play. New England takes over at their own 20 yard line. Patriots 29, Dolphins 7

11:08- Touchdown, Patriots!! Tom Brady is a surgeon with a football, finding the smallest windows and hitting them with ease (at least it appears that way). Once again Julian Edelman was the recipient of this sweet throw, his second touchdown catch of the night. With just over seven minutes to go, this one is over and the Patriots are going to be 7-0. Patriots 36, Dolphins 7

11:18- The Patriots defense forces a turnover on downs and the offensw will take over with just over three minutes to go in the game. The Dolphins drove into the red zone, but sacks killed them again and Tannehill was faced with a 4th and 23 that he chucked up into the end zone. The New England pass rush is for real, and they don't even have Jabaal Sheard tonight. Patriots 36, Dolphins 7

11:27- That'll do it here from Foxboro as the Patriots win again and extend their record to 7-0. New England now has nine days between games which should help with some of the injuries they are currently dealing with, namely Marcus Cannon and Jabaal Sheard.

Thanks again for joining us and be sure to join us next Sunday at 1PM when the Patriots welcome the Washington Redskins to Gillette Stadium. Have a great night!

Follow me @ https://twitter.com/chris_simoneau


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