The Miami Dolphins have lost for the fourth game in a row, a far cry from their 3-0 start to the 2013 season. This week, it was a loss to the New England Patriots, that pushes Miami below .500 for the first time this year. The team returns to Miami now, looking to find a way to solve the problems than continue to plague them.
The Dolphins absolutely dominated the Patriots for a little more than a half of yesterday's contest. They held Tom Brady to just 25 yards passing, with an interception, and a 38.0 passer rating. The Patriots as a whole had 59 yards at intermission.
Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill had two touchdown passes and a 106.7 passer rating, along with Miami gaining 103 yards on the ground, all in the first 30 minutes of the game. The Dolphins were taking it to the Patriots, and they were dominating. There's no other way to describe what was happening.
Miami had a 17-3 lead at the break.
The second half appeared to be starting the same way, as the Patriots received the opening kickoff of the third quarter, only to punt the ball away after a three and out. The Dolphin then drove 46 yards on eight plays before the drive stalled and rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis came out to try a 46 yard field goal. Just as the Dolphins snapped the ball for the kick, the wind died and Sturgis did not get the curve he expected.
The ball bounced off the upright and, just like the wind in the stadium, the air was out of the Dolphins' game. With 10:13 left in the game, New England took the ball after the missed field goal, and took control of the game. That drive ended with Tom Brady finding Aaron Dobson on a 14-yard touchdown pass, bringing the Patriots to within a score.
On the second play of the next drive, Miami would allow a sack, with Tannehill fumbling the ball and New England picking it up. Three plays later, the Patriots tied the score with a two yard run from Brandon Bolden. Two touchdowns in 46 seconds and New England had tied the score.
After two Miami punts on either side of a New England punt, the Patriots again took the ball down the field and put points on the board. This time, it was a 48-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, which put the Patriots ahead for good.
They would tack on another touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but by then, the game had long since been decided. For all the great play in the first half from Miami, it took less than a quarter, the third period of the game, for all of it to fly out the window.
The game also featured three mind-blowingly bad calls from the refs, all which led to New England scores.
The Dolphins' re-worked offensive line, with the newly acquired Bryant McKinnie as the left tackle and Jonathan Martin back on the right side, played well in the first half. However, by the end of the game, Tannehill had been sacked six times, bringing the season total to 32.
On the other side of the ball, the defense struggled throughout the second half of the game. Part of it was the inability to get off the field and stay off the field, as the offense turned over the ball or had to punt it back quickly, but it also was simply getting run over late in the game.
The game also proved costly for Miami on the health front. Wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who scored the opening touchdown for Miami, was likely lost for the season with a knee injury. New England's Sebastian Vollmer also had to leave the game with a leg injury and did not return.
The Patriots beat the Dolphins for the eighth straight time, setting a new high for consecutive victories over Miami. The Dolphins now have to try to rebound on a short week. They host the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
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