Patriots 33 - Dolphins 34
This was a fun game, no matter which way it ended. It felt like Drew Bledsoe versus Dan Marino shootout at some points, it felt like a punch you in the mouth game at some points, and it felt like both teams had answers to whatever the other did. It was a great game to watch.
But man was it stressful. There are things Miami has to clean up - especially on defense, but they came away with a win that will forever be remembered in this division rivalry.
Watch this a million times and you still won’t believe what you saw. pic.twitter.com/GkylQZD7s7— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018
I still do not even know what to say or what to do. I had tears in my eyes watching that last play because I was trying not to scream and could not believe what I saw. That was weird. That was exciting.
That was fun.
At least for this weekend, Miami Dolphins football was fun!
Miami won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Patriots will start with the ball.
Patriots first possession. The Dolphins looked like they could hold the Patriots to a three-and-out to start the game, but somehow Tom Brady fit the ball in to Josh Gordon with tight coverage from Minkah Fitzpatrick and Gordon is able to drag defenders with him for an extra ten yards. The next play, Brady found Julian Edelman for 17 yards, starting to pick up chunks of yards against the Dolphins, who are playing without Xavien Howard due to a knee injury. Sony Michel picked up seven yards on two carries, setting up another third down. Miami did not bother to cover Edelman in the zone, and he is able to crawl across the first-down line after catching the ball just before it hit the ground. T.J. McDonald blows up the play in the backfield on the next snap, stopping Michel for no gain. After a play fake and a ton of time for Brady, he is able to find Cordarrelle Patterson in the flat, with the receiver picking up 14 yards when the zone has no one near him. After a Michel run down to the goal line, James Develin punched it in for the Patriots. Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point, hitting the upright.
Dolphins first possession. The Dolphins answered back with a drive filled with their own chunk yards plays. After Frank Gore picked up four yards, Ryan Tannehill found DeVante Parker for 15 yards, then Tannehill ran for 13 yards before a 36-yard run from Gore. Covering 62 yards in the first four plays, Tannehill ended the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills.
Touchdown Patriots? No problem.— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018
40 rushing yards from Gore.
13 rushing yards from Tannehill.
22 passing yards from Tannehill.
15 receiving yards from Parker.
7 receiving yards from Stills.
Tannehill to Stills for the lead!
Patriots second possession. Brady connected with Rex Burkhead for three yards, then the Dolphins defense decided enough was enough. A six-yard reception from Rob Gronkowski was stopped immediately as rookie linebacker Jerome Baker avoided the stiff arm and tackled the tight end, bringing up 3rd-and-1. Then linebacker Kiko Alonso burst through the line of scrimmage to shut down Burkhead for a two-yard loss and a three-and-out for New England.
Outstanding play from Alonso. This is why he needs to be in the Pro Bowl.— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018
Dolphins second possession. Miami’s possession was not pretty After two runs from Gore, one for four yards and one for 10 yards, nothing worked. Two incomplete passes intended for Parker were followed by a nine-yard sack of Tannehill when Dont’a Hightower waited for an opening then blitzed right up into Tannehill’s face. The Matt Haack punt was then blocked with a rush straight up the middle.
Patriots third possession. The Patriots started at the Miami 18-yard line after the block. A Michel run picked up one yard followed by a 10-yard Brady to Edelman pass. Michel then ran up the middle to the four-yard line as the quarter ended.
End first quarter. Dolphins 7-6.
Patriots third possession (continued). After the change of ends of the field, the Patriots looked for the pop-pass to Edelman, but Reshad Jones made the open field tackle to bring up 3rd-and-Goal from the two. A play action from Brady with Edelman faking an inside slant then cutting back out side with Cornell Armstrong in coverage led to a touchdown. It was good coverage from Armstrong, but just nothing could be done about a great route and pass.
Dolphins third possession. Miami did not need much time to answer. After a 21-yard pass from Tannehill to Stills, Brandon Bolden motioned into the backfield and took the handoff up the right side for a 54-yard score.
Hi Patriots! Remember me?— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018
Patriots fourth possession. The Patriots continued the shootout start to this game, with a 17-yard pass from Brady to Gronkowski starting the drive. After a run for no gain, an illegal hands to the face penalty on Andre Branch gave New England five free yards. Brady threw his first two incompletions of the day on the next two plays before a 16-yard pass to Edelman and a 37-yard touchdown pass to Patterson.
Dolphins fourth possession. Tannehill looked deep on the first play of the possession, standing tall in the pocket and taking a hit as he connected with Stills for 43 yards. Gore then picked up five yards before Tannehill again found Stills, this time for 10 yards. After a blitz nearly got to Tannehill and a wobbly pass toward Mike Gesicki fell incomplete, Drake picked up 11 yards on a 2nd-and-10 play, getting to the Patriots six. Bolden came back in and lined up like a fullback, taking the handoff and powering his way through the defense for his second touchdown of the day.
Patriots fifth possession. Brady sidestepped the pass rush from Cameron Wake and looked deep for an 18-yard completion to Gordon. Brady was incomplete looking deep to Patterson on the next play, then Burkhead picked up three yards. Brady found Edelman for 20 yards on the 3rd-and-7 play, with Robert Quinn a split second too late on his attempt to strip sack Brady. Michel picked up three yards with Raekwon McMillan and Reshad Jones combining on the tackle. Brady missed James White on the second down play when defensive tackle Ziggy Hood was able to bat the ball straight up in the air. Charles Harris nearly came up with the interception on the deflection, but Brady was able to knock the ball down, bringing up 3rd-and-7, with Brady finding Gronkowski for 15 yards. Brady looked to Gronkowski again on the next play, this time for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Bobby McCain just missed an interception on the play.
Dolphins fifth possession. In a game with no defense, the Dolphins have the opportunity to score as the first half ends, then get the ball to start the second half. They could not do anything with the ball, however, as Gore picked up no yards on first down, then Drake picked up six yards on second down, only to have Tannehill sacked on 3rd-and-4. Tannehill pumped, pulled the ball down, then ran into the Patriots defense, losing eight yards and leading to a punt after the two-minute warning. The Patriots jumped into the neutral zone before the punt, giving Miami five yards but not enough for the first down.
Patriots sixth possession. Michel started the possession with a two-yard run up the middle. Brady was then incomplete looking short to White. On 3rd-and-8, Brady found White for six yards, leading to a Patriots punt.
Dolphins sixth possession. Miami was given another chance to score before and after the half. Tannehill had his right ankle stepped upon by Ja’Wuan James on the first-down play, rolling it and leading to a sack. He limped off the field, with Brock Osweiler replacing him. The team took him straight to the locker room. Drake picked up no yards on the first play after Tannehill’s injury. On 3rd-and-23, Osweiler was sacked, continuing a trend of the Patriots sacking Miami quarterbacks on third down. The ball was again blocked on the punt, with it going forward for an official two-yard punt, setting up the Patriots at the Miami 15.
Patriots seventh possession. Brady threw the ball away on first down as Davon Godchaux nearly came away with the sack. Brady then found Gronkowski in a hole in the zone defense, picking up 13. Brady threw incomplete on 1st-and-Goal, throwing the ball out of the back of the endzone as Wake applied pressure. On 2nd-and-Goal, Brady looked toward Chris Hogan in the back of the endzone, but overthrew it. On 3rd-and-Goal, Godchaux blew up the middle of the line, nearly getting to Brady, only to have the quarterback spin away and into Robert Quinn, who records the sack and ensures the Patriots cannot get a field goal attempt.
End second quarter. Patriots 27-21.
The Dolphins receive the opening kickoff of the second half.
Dolphins seventh possession. Tannehill returned to the game to start the second half, with both ankles taped up. Gore ran the ball on the first play, fumbling as he was tackled, with the ball recovered by Durham Smythe. After a delay to fix the field when a section of the sod was ripped up, Tannehill pumped, scrambled, and found Drake for three yards. Then Drake ran for nine yards on the 3rd-and-5 play, converting on third down for the first time in the game. Tannehill then threw short to Gore, who powered his way forward for an 11-yard gain, but Laremy Tunsil was called for an illegal hands to the face and backed up the Dolphins 10 yards. On 1st-and-20, Tannehill looked deep to Parker, but the ball fell incomplete on an overthrow as he was pressured and hit just as he threw the ball. On 2nd-and-20, Drake lost four yards. Tannehill then found Amendola for 10 yards on the 3rd-and-24, leading to a Miami punt.
Patriots eighth possession. Michel picked up seven yards on the first play, then one yard on the second play. On 3rd-and-2, Torry McTyer was called for defensive holding, leading to a five-yard penalty and a first down (Jerome Bajer was also called for a hold on the play - though it did not seem to be much of a hold). After offsetting penalties (Alonso for a horsecollar and Shaq Mason for a chop block), Michel picked up nine yards to set up 2nd-and-1. Michel then picked up the additional yards to get the first down. Brady threw incomplete on the next play as he threw the ball away with the pressure getting close to him. Brady then found Gordon for 9-yards, with the run after the catch leading to a 29-yard gain. Michel then picked up two yards. Brady threw incomplete looking toward Edelman on a screen pass. Brady was again incomplete on the 3rd-and-8 pass, with Wake getting to Brady just as he was trying to throw, hitting Brady’s arm and leading to a duck that hit the turf. Gostkowski then missed the field goal wide right.
Dolphins eighth possession. An incomplete pass on first down was negated by a Patrick Chung hold. Tannehill continued to limp around after the play, with his ankle looking worse. A screen pass to Bolden led to no gain. Gore hit the hole for a 16-yard gain up the middle, then Tannehill threw short to Gore, who turned up field for a 24-yard gain. Tannehill then found Brice Butler in the endzone for the 23-yard touchdown.
And we are back to the shootout. Dolphins take the lead on Tannehill to Butler! pic.twitter.com/Usm8Hrjoap— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018
Patriots ninth possession. Brady missed badly on his first pass, overthrowing Gordon. Burkhead then picked up one yard with Godchaux, Hood, and Alonso all shutting down the run. Brady found Gronkowski on 3rd-and-9, however, for a 13-yard gain. Brady again looked deep toward Gordon, but Jones broke up the pass and could have come away with the interception. Brady then connected with Gronkowski on a one-yard rout that turned into a gain of 11 yards. Michel picked up no yards with McMillan and Quinn stuffing him at the line of scrimmage. Then a false start backed up the Patriots into a 2nd-and-15. Brady found Edleman for 12 yards on the next play, leading to a 3rd-and-3 with Brady sacked on a Bobby McCain blitz as the third quarter ended.
End third quarter. Dolphins 28-27.
Patriots ninth possession (continued). The Patriots punted.
Dolphins ninth possession. Gore ran up the middle for eight yards, then ran to the right for six yards. Tannehill then found Stills for 13 yards. Butler was called for offensive pass interference, though the ball was uncatchable and it really should not have been called. On 1st-and-20 at the 25-yard line, Drake picked up four yards. Stills picked up 15 yards on a pass from Tannehill, but he slid to give himself up a yard short of the first down, setting up 3rd-and-1. Stills realized he was wrong and should have picked up the first down. On the third-down play, Tannehill was sacked on an unblocked blitz and the quarterback was again limping after the play. Miami used a rugby style punt again to prevent another block, and the Patriots start with the ball at their own 31.
Patriots tenth possession. The Patriots started their drive looking for Gordon, first with a 21-yard completion, then with an eight-yard gain that was negated by the Patriots accepting a holding penalty on Minkah Fitzpatrick. Brady then found White for nine yards before a quarterback sneak picked up three yards. Brady connected with Gronkowski next for 16 yards, down to the Dolphins 15-yard line. White was stopped for a one-yard gain. Then Brady targeted Gordon, but it went through the receiver’s hands. On 3rd-and-9, Brady again threw incomplete, this time targeting Burkhead. The Patriots settled for the field goal.
Dolphins tenth possession. Drake returned the ball to the 22-yard line, but was injured on the play. He eventually walked to the sideline, but seemed to be trying to stretch his neck. Tannehill found Stills for 12 yards on the first play of the drive. Gore then picked up four yards followed by another two yards. On 3rd-and-4, Miami could not convert as the ball hit Stills in the hands but the ball was dropped. Miami punted.
Patriots eleventh possession. The drive started with the Dolphins called for 12-men on the field, with the referees ignoring Bobby McCain’s attempts to call timeout. Michel then picked up three yards, the Brady found Edelman, but the receiver could not bring in the ball and dropped it. On 3rd-and-2, Brady found Edelman for three yards. A holding penalty backed up the Patriots, setting up 1st-and-20. White added 11 yards on the next play, followed by a 12-yard pass from Brady to Gordon. The two-minute warning was followed by a run for no gain from White. Brady looked deep for Gordon, with Fitzpatrick being called for the 41-yard pass interference penalty, taking New England to the Miami 7-yard line. White picked up one yard, then Michel picked up no gain. The on 3rd-and-Goal, Michel picked up two yards. Gostkowski then came in with 20 seconds remaining and connected on the 22-yard field goal.
Dolphins eleventh possession. Miami got the ball back with seven seconds as Kalen Ballage returned the ball to the Miami 31. Tannehill dropped back and threw a pass across the middle to Stills, who then lateraled the ball to Parker, who then ran and tossed the ball to Drake, who somehow wound his way through the Patriots defense for 50 yards and the game winning touchdown.
Watch this a million times and you still won’t believe what you saw. pic.twitter.com/GkylQZD7s7— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) December 9, 2018