Dolphins vs Patriots final score: Miami 17 - Patriots 14 - Refs 13

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots have reached the end of their Week 8 contest. The Patriots beat the Dolphins thanks to 13 points from the refs.

The Miami Dolphins have lost their fourth straight game, dropping to the New England Patriots, and the refs, 27-17.  Miami dominated the Patriots throughout the entire first half of the game, and into the third quarter, before the wheels fell off.

The Dolphins tore open running lanes throughout the first 30 minutes, racking up over 100 yards of rushing in the half and leading 17-3 at intermission.  The third quarter started with Miami holding the Patriots to a three-and-out then driving down to within field goal range.

And, that's when everything turned around.  Caleb Sturgis missed the field goal, and the Patriots - who were joined by the refs in one of the worst officiated games in recent memory - took charge.  The second half saw New England score 24 unanswered points and move to 6-2 on the season.

Miami dropped to 3-4.

The ridiculousness actually began with a horrible pass interference call in the second quarter.  Jimmy Wilson broke on a 3rd-and-6 pass and was run into by Rob Gronkowski.  The two players hit shoulder to shoulder, but Wilson was called for interference, despite the defender having the same right to the pass as the offensive player.

New England would score a field goal on the newly extended drive.

And, the refs weren't done yet, in their effort to make sure the Patriots were able to get back into the game.  With two minutes left in the third quarter, Dimitri Patterson was called for holding on a 3rd and 5 play, giving the Patriots a first down.  The problem?  The receiver fell down about two yards past the line of scrimmage.  He slipped.  He fell.  Patterson got flagged.  Made no sense.

But it did let the Patriots hit their go ahead field goal.

Miami 17 - Patriots 14 - Refs 6.  But wait, there's more.

The refs couldn't leave the Patriots just three points in the lead.  And, they couldn't risk Miami actually having good field position, or, worse, a lead.  So, when Tom Brady was crushed from behind by Jimmy Wilson, forcing a fumble.  They had to think fast.  As Olivier Vernon dove to try to rover the ball, reaching out with his left arm to corral the ball, only to see it bounce down the field, the refs realized they had their way out.  Flag on Vernon for "illegal batting."  I mean, don't think maybe the guy diving for the ball was trying to recover it.  Let's assume he was randomly deciding that hitting the ball 30 yards down the field to no one was the plan.

New England recovered the fumble, hut would have lost 46 yards on the play, and been facing a 3rd and 53. Instead, it became a first down for the "batting."  Guess what happened four plays later?  Oh, a Stevan Ridley touchdown.

Dolphins 17 - Patriots 14 - Refs 13.

Guess the final score of the game?  Dolphins 17 - Patriots 27.

But, the refs played no part in this game.

Look, I know Miami has issues.  Ryan Tannehill was again sacked a lot, this time six times, though most of those came in garbage time as the Dolphins could do nothing by try to drop back and pass against 6 and 7 man blitzes.  Tannehill has to secure the ball better, having lost another fumble and an interception (along with a pick on a 4th and 24 heave with a minute left in the game and receivers who did not appear to be running full speed that was alos grabbed by the Patriots).

But, the story of this game was the 11 Dolphins players on the field versus the 11 Patriots and 7 refs.

Use this thread to vent and discuss the afternoon games.  More on this debacle later.

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