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Patriots vs Dolphins final score: Miami demolishes New England in second half for 33-20 win

The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots have completed their Week 1 contest, with Miami dominating the second half for the 33-20 victory.

Rob Foldy

The Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots to start the 2014 season with a 33-20 victory. The victory comes on a dominating performance in the second half, with 23 unanswered points in the second 30 minutes.

The game opened perfectly for the Dolphins, who won the coin toss but deferred to the second half. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense were unable to do anything with the ball, and were forced into a three-and-out punt. Dolphins undrafted rookie linebacker Chris McCain made his first impact play of his career on the punt, blocking it and setting up Miami with great field position.

On a four-play "drive" from the New England 15-yard line, Miami was able to find the endzone with a six-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to running back Lamar Miller. The Dolphins took an early 7-0 lead.

The Patriots would not trail loing, engineering an 80-yard drive over 6:36 to tie up the score. The drive was highlighted by a 17-yard end-around from receiver Julian Edelman, but the majority of the 13 plays were short passes and runs, nickel-and-diming the Dolphins defense on their way to a 7-7 score line.

Miami would come out on their next drive, looking to keep up the offensive momentum. It would, however, be a short drive. After two good runs from Knowshon Moreno for a first down, the Dolphins were forced to use a time out. On first-and-ten after the break, Tannehill connected with wide receiver Mike Wallace on a short crossing route, only to have Wallace drop the ball on the hit and New England recover the fumble.

Miami's first injury of the day came late in the quarter as Dannell Ellerbe was forced from the game on the first play of the subsequent New England drive. The starting linebacker injured his hip and was initially listed as questionable for the rest of the game. In the third quarter, Miami ruled him out for the rest of the contest.

New England was forced into a field goal after the Wallace fumble, taking a 10-7 lead with the 47-yard kick from Stephen Gostkowski.

The opening drive of the second quarter was a continuation of a Miami possession from the first period. It did not last long, however, as quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a poor pass toward an open wide receiver Mike Wallace deep down the field. Originally designed as a pass into the flat, Tannehill made his progression reads to find Wallace deep over the middle. The pass, however, was behind and short for Wallace and was intercepted by Alfonzo Dennard.

Tom Brady would make Miami pay for their second straight turnover, driving from the Miami six-yard line in 11 plays, finding tight end Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown. Brady surgically dissected the Dolphins defense to move the ball the 94-yards down the field in just over four minutes of game time.

The Dolphins took over possession and attempted to get momentum. Again, however, it would be a short drive, as Lamar Miller fumbled the ball away, with Darrelle Revis recovering the ball.

Miami had three straight possessions ended by turnovers by the mid-way point of the second quarter.

Luckily for Miami, a tired defense was able to make a stand and get the ball back without any more damage being done.

The Dolphins were able to put together their first drive without a turnover since the 15-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter after the defensive stand. Moving the ball 55-yards on 11 plays, with some help from New England penalties, Miami nearly had a touchdown on a tipped pass, if Wallace had been able to locate the ball that dropped just in front of him. Instead, Miami settled for a 38-yard field goal from Caleb Sturgis, narrowing the gap to 17-10.

During that drive, Wallace's preseason comment that it constantly seems Miami does not get penalties called for them like every other team in the league, once again reared its head. Wide receiver Brian Hartline appeared to be wrapped around the neck on the sideline as the pass was coming toward him, but no flag was thrown.

The Patriots took the ball for the final possession of the half, moving the ball down the field and giving Gostkowski a chance at a last second field goal. The drive appeared to stall briefly, with a deep incomplete pass from Brady, only to have Miami called for 12-men on the field when they could not get a substitution completed. The kick was good from Gostkowski and New England took a 20-10 lead into the half.

As the game went into halftime, the Dolphins also announced that linebacker Koa Misi was out of the game with an ankle injury.

Miami received the opening kickoff of the second half before driving 65-yards down the field. The Dolphins eventually reached a first-and-ten from the Patriots' 13-yard line, but were unable to find the endzone. After an incomplete pass on third-and-three, a play where Miller appeared to stop his route just as Tannehill threw the ball, Miami was forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Sturgis, bringing the Dolphins to within a touchdown of New England.

New England took the field with the touchdown lead with just under 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter. After converting one first down, on the fourth play of the drive, Cameron Wake finally was able to get to Brady, after seeming to always be one step off of sacking the Patriots' quarterback. Wake stripped the ball as he sacked Brady, with safety Louis Delmas coming away with the recovery.

Miami rode the hot hand of Knowshon Moreno following the turnover, before Tannehill was able to find Wallace for the 14-yard touchdown pass and a tie ballgame.

New England would go three-and-out on their next possession. After a short punt, rookie receiver Jarvis Landry was able to return the kick to near mid-field and again set up Miami with good field position to start a drive.

Miami settled for a field goal on the drive, but the three points were able to give Miami a 23-20 lead.

New England would again have to punt on their next drive, with rookie McCain making his second impact play of the game, this time coming up with a sack of Brady and forcing the punt.

Miami would go three-and-out on their next drive after a muffed handoff from Tannehill to Moreno, a dropped pass by tight end Charles Clay, and a throw away by Tannehill.

The Dolphins defense would again step up on the next New England possession. Defensive end Olivier Vernon would come up with a third-down sack, forcing the Patriots into a three-and-out punt. The Dolphins would follow suit, going three-and-out after allowing their first sack of the game.

Miami would find the endzone after another Patriots punt when Tannehill engineered an 85-yard drive, with much of that coming from Moreno's work on the ground. Taking 12 plays and over six minutes off the clock, Miami extended their 23-20 lead to a 30-20 thanks to a touchdown run from Moreno.

On the next drive, Miami forced New England to go for it on fourth-and-ten. That play did not go so well for Brady and the Patriots, as Cameron Wake recorded his second strip-sack of the game, and sealed it for Miami.

The Dolphins added a field goal to extend the lead to 33-20 after the Wake sack.

Brady was able to move the ball on the last New England possession of the game, but it ultimately did not matter. Miami was able to hold on for the victory and a great start to the 2014 season.