By Hal Bent
The New England Patriots faced-off against the Miami Dolphins in Foxboro, MA in a pre-Halloween game that epitomized the concept of “Trick or Treat”. The first half of the game was trick for New England as the rested and ready Miami squad came roaring back from their bye week and jumped out to a seventeen to three halftime lead over the Patriots. However, the home team fans went home happy as the second half was a treat for them as New England shut out the Dolphinswhile putting up twenty-four unanswered points.
In the first half of the game the Dolphins rode running backs Lamar Miller andDaniel Thomas to 103 yards on the ground. This opened up the short passing game and allowed the Dolphins to convert numerous third-and-short situations that allowed them to control the game clock and the game itself. In fact, the Dolphins held the ball almost two-thirds of the first half.
Behind 17-3 in the third quarter and starting the second half with a three-and-out, the Patriots afternoon looked glum. However, a huge sack back Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower pushed the Dolphins out of the red zone on their initial second half drive and Miami kicker Caleb Sturgis hit the right upright with the rookie trying to make a tough forty-six yarder kicking into the wind. The missed kick seemed to ignite New England on both sides of the ball, and by the end of the third quarter the Patriots had completely erased the Dolphins lead.
There were a number of significant points from the game that bear further attention. Here are three from each side of the ball that had a major impact:
Ridley reignites the running game
One aspect of the Patriots resurgence in the second half of the game was the hard running bay top running back Stevan Ridley. After not playing in the first quarter, Ridley went into halftime with only five carries. Speculation leans towards a team punishment for his high-stepping touchdown routine the week previous, but the reason for Ridley sitting out the first quarter will not be forthcoming from head coach Bill Belichick. However, given the opportunity at last to be where he belongs in the offense, Ridley pounded out fifty-six yards in the second half with a touchdown before bruising back LeGarrette Blount closed out the game against a tired Miami defense...CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE: http://cover32.com/patriots/2013/10/29/the-patriots-trick-and-treat-vs-the-miami-dolphins/