Game Blog Week 14: Patriots vs Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins hope to knock off the New England Patriots in southern Florida today. The Dolphins always play the Patriots tough. In-game blog updated often. Refresh regularly. *** Dolphins Dominate Another TD puts them up 21-0 *** DOLPHINS WIN! ..... send in your Game Balls and your Goats

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New England just folded after the Tom Brady fumble with a little over 9 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. A couple of big plays by Miami that resulted in the TD, put the game out of reach. Matt Cassel finished the game for Brady on the Patriots last drive.

Patriots drop to 9-4 allowing the 7-5 Jets the opportunity to close the lead in the division to 1 game in the AFC East.



The Dolphins sealed the win with another touchdown to go on top 21-0. New England was unable to stop the Dolphins offense even when they blitzed Joey Harrington.

8 plays that gained 61 yards resulted in a 3-yard Sammy Morris touchdown plunge. The Dolphins used a mix of run and pass to grind out yards while chewing up the game clock.

Key Plays: 26-yard pass from Harrington to Booker while Harrington was getting blasted.

Score: Patriots 0 - Dolphins 21

UPDATE 3:40pm: Patriots Implode

When things go wrong, they go really wrong for New England. Sporting a 2-11 record at Miami in December, the Patriots look like they'll worsen that record today. In their best opportunity to score the entire game, the Patriots proved that they were unable to solve the defensive scheme that is the Miami Dolphins.

On a third and 10 that fell incomplete, the Dolphins were flagged for roughing the passer, which gave New England a first down at the Dolphins 33. New England tok three plays to turn the ball over and snuff out their chances for a comeback.

On first down they threw an illegal forward pass resulting in a five-yard penalty. If Kevin Faulk's toss to Tom Brady weren't forward, then the result was Brady's toss to a wide-open Dan Graham for a TD and a 6-point game. Instead it was 2nd-and-15 at the 38. On Second down, incomplete, third down was the same deal. Then fourth down Brady was sacked for a fumble, which the Dolphins recovered.


The Dolphins extend their lead with a deep strike to Marty Booker as Joey Harrington rolled out to the right. With Jarvis Green getting penetration, Harrington rolled wide to the right to escape the pressure and buy some time to throw deep. Harrington put the ball on the money over the top of Artrell Hawkins for the score.

The drive was setup by excellent field position setup on the Miami Dolphins special teams. The Patriots have had poor field position three times after Dolphins punts, and each time the Dolphins have gotten the ball back in great field position. It was the first time the Dolphins were able to throw deep against the New England secondary.

Key Plays: 2-yard dive on 4th and 1 at the Patriots 32. A 32-yard strike to Booker on a rollout.

Score: Patriots 0 - Dolphins 13


There's more worrisome news regarding injured players for Patriots fans. Ben Watson took a massive hit going over the middle on a deep pass by Tom Brady. Watson was reaching for the ball when the DB came across and threw his body into the 6-foot-3, 255-pound former Georgia Bulldog. Watson was out for the play, and missed the following series. He has been walking on the sideline trying to shake it off.

In addition to Watson, NT Vince Wilfork went down in the pile in the middle. The 6-foot-2, 330-pound monster in the middle has done a solid job helping to contain the Dolphins rushing attack.

UPDATE 2:30pm: At The half

Miami scores a late FG to put the Dolphins on top 6 - 0 as both teams retire to the locker rooms for the half. New England has been unable to protect Tom Brady long enough for the Patriots quarterback to get the ball to his receivers.

Miami flipped the stats to their advantage with the last drive of the half

Tom Brady 11/19 70
Joey Harrington 11/20 107

Corey Dillon 8/46
Sammy Morris 7/26

Troy Brown 3/25
Dan Graham 3/15
Reche Caldwell 1/12

Sammy Morris 2/39
Marty Booker 4/31
Randy McMichael 3/31

The difference in the game has been field position. The Dolphins were able to capitalize on the lone turnover in the game, a Dan Graham fumble.

Keys to the Second Half:

Protect Brady - If the Patriots aren't going to run the ball, then they better do a better job of protecting Tom Brady. Brady has been hurried, sacked and knocked down regularly.
Run the Ball - Time to keep feeding the ball to Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass. The Patriots appear to be able to run the ball, but have opted not to.

Pass deep - If the Dolphins can protect Harrington, then the deep ball is out there for them to take advantage of. It's a banged up secondary, which has given up big plays all season.
Keep Pressuring Brady - The schemes the Dolphins have used to confuse and confound Brady have worked well. When Brady has time to pass, which hasn't been often, he has had to dump it off underneath. The strategy has helped keep the Patriots out of their rhythm.


UPDATE 2:10pm: Field Position

Today's game has lived up to the pregame hype that it would be a hard-fought battle between division rivals. The Dolphins have stymied the Patriots offense limiting the team to possessions mostly in their own territory. The Patriots haven't been able to crack the Dolphins 40 right up through the 2-minute warning.

Although New England leads in every major category including time of possession, total yardage and 3rd down conversion (4 of 8), field position has limited their opportunities to score.


After the Patriots made a crucial mistake - a Daniel Graham fumble at the Patriots 39 - the Dolphins used good field position to put the first points on the board. Five plays and 22 yards later, aided by a pair of defensive penalties, the Dolphins kicked a 35-yard field goal to go up on top 3 - 0.

Key Plays: fumble recovery at the Patriots 39 after Channing Crowder knocked it out. Pass interference call on 2nd-and-18.

Score: Patriots 0 - Dolphins 3

UPDATE 1:12pm: Patriots receive

The patriots received the kick to open the game and proceeded to struggle as they managed a few first downs. In 8 plays the New England offense took the ball from their own to the Miami 40 yard line but stalled out when a deep pass to Reche Caldwell fell incomplete on 3rd-and-10.

UPDATE: 12:55pm:

The Patriots have typically struggled in Miami, and there is no reason to believe that won't be the case today. Although the Dolphins playoff chances took a critical hit last week when they lost to the Jaguars.

An aggressive Dolphins defense combined with a banged up Patriots team is a certainly a recipe for an upset. Add in the struggles Tom Brady has had in Miami and this week 14 matchup has all the makings of another upset.

Be sure to check the keys for the game (insider article) with Dolphins Insider Alain Poupart who gave readers a few keys to how the Patriots can get to the Dolphins and completely shut them down.

The inactives for today

New England Patriots:
LB, Eric Alexander; S, Rashad Baker; S, Rodney Harrison; WR Chad Jackson; RB, Laurence Maroney; OL, Ryan O'Callaghan; DL, Le Kevin Smith; QB, Vinny Testaverde;

Miami Dolphins:
RB, Ronnie Brown; QB, Daunte Culpepper; DL, Frederick Evans; DB, Eddie Jackson; OL, Jeno James; LB, Keith Newman; DT, Kevin Vickerson; QB, Marcus Vick

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