PHOTO: New England Patriots' Heath Evans (44) carries the ball as Miami Dolphins' Kevin Carter (93) attempts to tackle during the first quarter at Dolphins Stadium in Miami Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005. Evans carried 17 times for 84 yards, surpassing in one game his total for any of his previous four NFL seasons. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 23-16. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
In a game New England had every opportunity to dominate, the outcome was far from certain late into the fourth quarter. The Miami Dolphins, overcoming a couple of miscues, managed to post a lead in the fourth quarter making for a competitive final period against the defending Super Bowl champs.
Tom Brady managed to lead a couple of scores late in the final quarter to take a seven point lead with just over two minutes in the game. Miami drove the ball down the field to a first and goal from the New England 5 yard line. Four attempts later, the Dolphins hopes were dashed as Frerotte was unable to get the ball to Chris Chambers in the end zone on fourth down, turning the ball back to the Patriots.
The Patriots defense was mediocre at best in this game, allowing Frerotte to compete 25 of 47 attempts for 360 yards and two scores. They managed to come up big on the final drive holding the Dolphins to one completion for -5 yards on their final four downs.
The big story of the day was the running of former Miami Dolphin and Florida native Heath Evans. Evans managed to slice through the Miami defense at will in the first half putting some punch back into the Patriots rushing attack. Evans was released by the Dolphins after week six, and joined the Patriots after Patrick Pass went down with an injury.
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SCORING SUMMARY 1ST QUARTER: NONE 2ND QUARTER: 10:38 MIA - TD, CHRIS CHAMBERS 3 YD PASS FROM GUS FREROTTE (OLINDO MARE KICK). Drive: 8 plays, 69 yards in 3:45. Key plays: Frerotte 24-yard pass to Booker to New England 45; Brown 13-yard run to New England 32; Brown 2-yard run on 3rd-and-1 to New England 21; Brown 16-yard run to New England 3. MIAMI 7-0. 14:57 NWE - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 35 YD. Drive: 8 plays, 68 yards in 1:45. Key plays: Hobbs recovery of McMichael fumble at New England 15; Evans 14-yard run to New England 29; Brady 15-yard pass to Brown on 3-and-7 to New England 47; Brady 18-yard pass to Furia to Miami 35; Brady 12-yard pass to Branch to Miami 18. MIAMI 7-3. 3RD QUARTER: 9:33 NWE - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 32 YD. Drive: 4 plays, 52 yards in 1:36. Key plays: 49-yard pass interference penalty on Dolphins' Daniels to Miami 17. MIAMI 7-6. 15:00 NWE - TD, BEN WATSON 16 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED). Drive: 10 plays, 53 yards in 5:01. Key plays: Brady 5-yard pass to Brown on 3rd and 4 to Miami 42; Evans 3-yard rush on 3rd and 3 to Miami 32; Brady 17-yard pass to Fauria 2and 10 to Miami 15. NEW ENGLAND 12-7. 4TH QUARTER: 2:36 NWE - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 33 YD. Drive: 5 plays, 8 yards in 1:40. Key plays: Hobbs 6-yard interception return to the New England 23; Miamis' Thomas 5-yards defensive holding to Miami 21. NEW ENGLAND 15-7. 6:46 MIA - FG, OLINDO MARE 36 YD. Drive: 9 plays, 57 yards in 4:10. Key plays: Frerotte 15-yard pass to Chambers to Miami 40; Frerotte 19-yard pass to Williams to New England 41; 8-yard pass interference penalty on Patriots' Bruschi to New England 33; Frerotte 14-yard pass to Welker to New England 16. NEW ENGLAND 15-10. 12:01 MIA - TD, CHRIS CHAMBERS 15 YD PASS FROM GUS FREROTTE (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED). Drive: 6 plays, 56 yards in 2:10. Key plays: Bell interception at Miami 44; 3-and-5 Frerotte 28-yard pass to Booker to New England 22. MIAMI 16-15. 12:44 NWE - TD, BEN WATSON 17 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY (HEATH EVANS RUN FOR TWO-POINT CONVERSION). Drive: 2 plays, 76 yards in 0:43. Key plays: Brady 59-yard pass to Dwight to Miami 17. NEW ENGLAND 23-16. NEW ENGLAND - MIAMI Final Statistics TEAM STATISTICS NEW ENGLAND MIAMI FIRST DOWNS 19 22 Rushing 5 5 Passing 12 16 Penalty 2 1 THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 5-14-36% 7-17-41% FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 0-0-0% 0-1-0% TOTAL NET YARDS 365 437 Total offensive plays 63 72 Average gain per play 5.8 6.1 NET YARDS RUSHING 91 77 Rushing attempts 25 25 Average gain per rush 3.6 3.1 Tackles for loss-yards 5-8 4-5 NET YARDS PASSING 274 360 Times sacked: Number-Yards 2-1 0-0 Gross passing yards 275 360 PASS ATTEMPTS-COMPLETIONS-HAD INTERCEPTED 36-21-2 47-25-1 Avg gain per pass play 7.2 7.7 KICKOFFS: Number-In End Zone-Touchbacks 6-4-2 4-3-0 PUNTS: Number and Average 6-43.7 6-45.3 Had blocked 0 0 Net punting average 43.7 43.2 TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (Not including kickoffs) -991 35 Number-Yards: Punt Returns 3-0 3-13 Number-Yards: Kickoff Returns 4-100 4-112 Number-Yards: Interception Returns 1--991 2-22 PENALTIES: Number-Yards 6-38 4-69 FUMBLES: Number-Lost 1-0 3-1 TOUCHDOWNS 2 2 Rushing 0 0 Passing 2 2 Interceptions 0 0 Other (blocked kicks, etc.) 0 0 EXTRA POINTS: Made-Attempts 1-2 1-2 Kicking: Made-Attempts 0-0 1-1 Passing: Made-Attempts 0-1 0-1 Rushing: Made-Attempts 1-1 0-0 FIELD GOALS: Made-Attempts 3-3 1-2 FGs - PATs had blocked 0-0 0-0 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY 2-5-40% 2-5-40% GOAL TO GO EFFICIENCY 0-0-0% 1-2-50% SAFETIES 0 0 TIME OF POSSESSION 30:27 29:33