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Patriots at Dolphins final score and immediate reactions

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The Patriots and Dolphins have concluded their Week 17 contest. We react.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins hosted the New England Patriots in the regular season finale for two playoff bound teams. New England came into this game hoping to lock up the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win, and they clearly looked like they were on a mission early. Miami just had no answer for the Patriots offense throughout most of the first half.

The Dolphins did manage to put together one coherent possession at the end of the half to put up their first points of the day, after having fallen behind 20-0.

Miami again scored to start the second half, but New England was eventually able to extend their lead back out to 21 points, and the Dolphins could not answer.

Every week, during the Dolphins’ game, I keep a running tally of my thoughts and reactions to the game, providing for immediate reactions to everything that happens during the game. I break up those reactions into the first- and second-halves, followed by some overall thoughts from the game. You can find all of that below.

Final Score

Patriots 35 - Dolphins 14

First Half

  • Dolphins win the toss and defer to the second half. New England getting the ball first.
  • 3rd-and-6. Dolphins could get a three and out early.
  • Nope. Instead, Tom Brady scrambles for six yards. Don’t know where the flag for an obvious hold against Andre Branch was.
  • Brady to Julian Edelman for 20 yards. Dolphins playing zone early, and it bit them there with Spencer Paysinger trying to keep up with Edelman.
  • Touchdown. Brady to Martellus Bennett for 2 yards. NE 7-0.
  • That was a long drive going 13 plays for 75 yards in 7:32. Defense needs to tighten up.
  • Ajayi for 1 yard.
  • Ajayi for 1 yard. Interesting that the Dolphins faked the jet sweep with Jakeem Grant.
  • Ja’Wuan James false start.
  • Incomplete.
  • Dolphins go three-and-out.
  • And, holding on the kick, so another 10 yards after a short kick. Patriots starting at Miami 45.
  • Tony Lippett with good pass breakup. Brady had all day to throw, though. No pass rusher anywhere near him.
  • 19 yards run from LeGarrette Blount. Miami defense is just being run over right now.
  • Blount for 9.
  • Blount for 3.
  • Touchdown. Brady to Michael Floyd for 14 yards. NE 14-0.
  • Ajayi for 2.
  • Interception. Moore nearly sacked. Rolls out to his left and tries to throw a ball downfield. Two yards underthrown and picked off by Logan Ryan.
  • Blount for 4.
  • Brady to Chris Hogan for 6 yards.
  • Dion Lewis for 8.
  • Brady to Edelman for 14
  • Incomplete pass. Penalty on Edelman for unsportsmanlike conduct. Who knew the refs could throw penalties on the Patriots?
  • Lewis for 4.
  • Brady to Hogan for 13.
  • End first quarter.
  • Field goal. Stephen Gostkowski for 40 yards. NE 17-0.
  • Ajayi for 6.
  • False start on Dion Sims. back it up.
  • Moore to DeVante Parker for 14 yards. That’s the first first down of the game for Miami.
  • Ajayi for 5.
  • Grant on the end-around. 1 yard.
  • Punt.
  • Blount for 5.
  • Brady to Edelman for 9.
  • Lewis for 12.
  • Brady to Bennett for 20.
  • Brady to White for 7.
  • Incomplete on 3rd-and-3. But, pass interference on Bobby McCain.
  • Lewis for 3
  • Brady to Floyd for 9.
  • Ndamukong Suh encroachment. 5 more free yards.
  • Lewis -1.
  • Brady to Lewis no gain.
  • Field goal. Gostkowski for 26 yards. NE 20-0.
  • Miami just has not shown up at all in this game. Neither the offense nor the defense are in it.
  • Matt Moore to Jarvis Landry for 14 yards.
  • Ajayi for 6 yards
  • Ajayi for 8 yards
  • Moore to Ajayi for 6.
  • Moore to Damien Williams for 11 yards. Gorgeous one-handed grab and he turns up field and lays a smack on the defender as he goes out of bounds.
  • Moore to Landry for 6.
  • Moore to Ajayi for 11.
  • Moore to Landry for 5.
  • Landry called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown. He was on the sideline and slammed his helmet down. Do not understand why the call there.
  • Andrew Franks slips as he kicks off. Ball only makes it to the 28. The penalty and the slip have now set up Brady with the ability to get more points before the half.
  • Brady to Edelman for 14 yards. Now in Miami territory.
  • Brady to White for 8. Now in field goal range.
  • Brady to Edelman for 1.
  • MISS! Gostkowski’s 52 yard field goal attempt is wide right as the clock hits zero.
  • Halftime.

Second Half

  • Dolphins will receive the second half kickoff.
  • Ajayi for 3.
  • Moore to Parker for 7.
  • Ajayi for 3.
  • Ajayi for 3.
  • Moore to Williams for 16.
  • Ajayi for 8.
  • Moore to Stills for 8. The offense really does seem to have found something.
  • Moore to Landry for 7.
  • Ajayi no gain.
  • Beautiful pass from Moore to Stills who was all alone in the back of the endzone.
  • Brady to White for 6.
  • Holding on Patriots.
  • Brady to Edelman for 7.
  • Touchdown. Brady to Edelman for 77 yards. NE 27-14.
  • Dolphins go three-and-out.
  • Patriots penalty on the return. Starting at their own 9.
  • Patriots go three-and-out. First punt of the day for New England.
  • Grant muffs the recovery, but falls on it.
  • Dolphins go three-and-out.
  • Brady to Floyd for 13.
  • False start. Patriots give back 5.
  • Lewis for -1.
  • Brady to Hogan for 14. Offensive holding negates it and Patriots give back 10 more.
  • White for 7 on 3rd and 26.
  • Punt.
  • Moore to Stills for 6.
  • Moore to Landry for 13.
  • Ajayi for 11.
  • Moore to Landry for 4.
  • Moore to Landry for 10.
  • Moore to Parker for 18.
  • Landry called for illegal motion. 5 yards back
  • Moore to Stills for 2.
  • Moore to Williams for 2. Fumble. Patriots return it 69 yards to Miami 18.
  • Lewis for 2 yards.
  • Brady to Hogan for 3 yards.
  • White for 2 yards.
  • Blount for 5 yards.
  • Blount for 1 yard.
  • Touchdown. Blount for 1 yard. NE 35-14.
  • Kenyan Drake for 2 yards.
  • Moore to Landry for 9.
  • Drake for 2.
  • Dolphins punting.
  • Patriots pull Brady.
  • New England 3-and-out.
  • Dolphins just using Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams now to run out the clock.
  • End of game.

Immediate Reactions

That was an ugly first half. The Patriots offense just ran through the Dolphins with whatever they wanted to do. New England never had to punt in the half. They went touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal, and missed field goal. Somehow, though, the Dolphins at least got back into the game with the touchdown on their last possession in the first half. They also got lucky with the missed field goal to end the half from the Patriots.

The Dolphins made it interesting in the second half with a touchdown on the opening drive. The Patriots, however, immediately answered back with a touchdown of their own. After some traded punts, Miami looked like they were about to climb back into the game, but a Damien Williams fumble pretty much ended that idea.

The Dolphins are now locked into the sixth seed in the Playoff and will head to Pittsburgh next weekend. The Patriots, meanwhile, will be at home throughout the AFC Playoffs as they clinch the top seed.