The game began with the Dolphins getting the ball first, and they opened up the offense early. On the first play from scrimmage, Miami, who have stayed away from the deep pass in recent weeks, saw a 50 yard bomb from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to wide receiver Mike Wallace. The drive would move down to the New England 26-yard line, but would stall there, leading to a Caleb Sturgis field goal attempt.
That kick, a 41-yard try, would be blocked, the first time Sturgis has had a kick blocked in his NFL career. Kyle Arrington would scoop the loose ball after block and return it 62-yards for a touchdown. New England took a 7-3 lead on the play.
Miami's second possession would again attack the Patriots through the air, but would only gain 18 total yards before having to punt the ball to the Patriots.
Tom Brady and the Patriots offense would start their first drive at their own 20-yard line, with Brady immediately looking to pick up yardage through the air. Julian Edelman caught the first play from scrimmage for New England, picking up 15 yards, followed by a second down reception for 10 yards, then a six yard run, and a 12 yard reception. The streak of plays from Edleman would end on a 1st-and-10 play from the Miami 38-yard line, with Brady throwing a pass intended for Brandon LaFell, only to have it picked off by Miami linebacker Jason Trusnik, his first career interception.
The Dolphins would work the ground attack into the game plan after the interception, with Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, and Tannehill all getting carries. Tannehill would also find tight end Charles Clay and running back Damian Williams through the air as a part of the nine-play, 60-yard drive. Miami would settle for a second Sturgis field goal attempt, an attempt Sturgis would convert and bring Miami to within four at 7-3.
New England's next drive would finish the first quarter and continue into the second. The Patriots would gain 33 yards on nine plays for the possession, but would have to punt the ball to Miami.
The Dolphins took over possession at their own 10-yard line, then pick up a free first down and six yards on a defensive pass interference call. Miller hit the hole hard on the next two plays, gaining 15 yards over those snaps. After working their way to their own 45 yard line, Tannehill dropped back and looked from Brandon Gibson deep crossing across the middle, but he would overthrow the receiver and Duron Harmon came away with the interception and returned it 60 yards to the Miami eight-yard line.
Three plays later, running back Shane Vereen punched the ball into the endzone. New England extended their lead to 14-3.
Getting the ball back with eight minutes remaining in the first half, the Dolphins would look to the air to gain yardage quickly, including a 25-yard pass interference play when Tannehill looked for Landry deep down the sideline. On third-and-nine from the New England 35-yard line, Tannehill again looked deep, this time down the sideline to Damien Williams, who should have been able to walk into the endzone, but instead dropped the pass. Miami settled for a 53-yard field goal from Sturgis and a 14-6 deficit.
New England started at the Miami 17-yard line on the next possession, but could only pick up 13 yards before punting. Miami would match the punt, kicking the ball after a 42-yard drive.
The Patriots attempted to run out the clock with just 40 second remaining, but Miami would stuff three straight running plays, and use their timeouts to get the ball back with 11 seconds remaining in the half. One play and six seconds later, Tannehill connected with Wallace for a 32-yard touchdown pass down the sideline.
New England knelt after the kickoff and went to the lockeroom with a 14-13 lead.
The second half started with the Patriots getting the ball, then dissecting the Miami defense all the way down the field. Danny Amendola caught the opening pass for 19 yards, then Rob Gronkowski made his first impact on the game, catching a ball for 34 yards and pushing his season receiving yardage total to over 1,000 yards. After a Jones Gray run for five yards, Brady found Brandon LaFell for 14 yards. A couple of plays later, Brady ran for 17 yards before being shoved out of bounds by Dolphins safety Walt Aikens. LeGarrette Blount finished the drive with a three yard touchdown run.
After a Miami three-and-out, Brady would again attack Miami, and again found success. Taking 10 plays to cover 47 yards, New England used running back Jonas Gray on the ground and Edelman and Gronkowski through the air to move down the field with little resistance from the Miami defense. A field goal from Stephen Gostkowski from 35-yards out extended the lead to 24-13, and the rout was beginning.
The next possession for both teams consisted of one play each, as the ball bounced off Miami's Miller's helmet for an interception on first down, then Brady connected with Gronkowski for the 27 yard touchdown and a 31-13 lead.
Another three-and-out from Miami led to a three play drive for 47 yards and another New England touchdown, this one to Edelman from Brady. The Patriots added the extra point to extend the lead to 38-13, with a 24 point third quarter.
Miami would move the ball during the next drive, but would end it with no points on the board. They converted two fourth-down attempts, but failed on the third attempt, a play from the New England 25 yard line.
New England then began to work the clock before adding another field goal and pulling out to a 41-13 lead.
Miami's offense found a rhythm after the field goal, moving from their own 40 yard line down to the New England 23 yard line, with Tannehill working through the air to try to get Miami back into the game as the clock ticked toward the two-minute warning. On the second 4th down attempt on the drive, Tannehill was sacked and the ball once again turned over to the Patriots, who killed the clock and the game.
Miami falls to 7-7 on the year, while the Patriots clinch the division title and move to 11-3. The Dolphins head home to play the Minnesota Vikings next weekend.
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