BY HAL BENT -
The New England Patriots faced off against the Miami Dolphins on a beautiful autumn afternoon in Foxboro, MA. Unfortunately, the game got ugly fast as the Patriots offense managed less than sixty total yards in the first half falling behind the Dolphins 17-3 at the half. In the first half, the Patriots impotent offense and weakened defense seemed like a repeat of their previous losses to Cincinnati and the New York Jets. The first half theme for New England was an offense which could not extend drives with third down conversions and a defense which could not get a stop with a third down stop.
On offense in the first half, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared to take a step back on offense as he ignored outside wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson in the first half in favor of squeezing passes inside to his slot receivers and tight end Rob Gronkowski. On defense in the first half, the Patriots defense was unable to get near Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Coming into the game with one of the worst offensive lines in football, the Dolphins front five pushed around the Patriots defense and let the Dolphins control the game with superior time of possession for the entire first two quarters of the game.
The Patriots, who had struggled to make adjustments at halftime and struggled in the third quarter for most of the season, needed to change momentum and spread the ball around on offense and then get creative on defense to dial up some pressure on the quarterback and make a few bigs plays to help the stagnant offense. That is exactly what the Patriots did in the second half. As bad as the Patriots were in the first half against the Dolphins, they reversed course in the second half turning a full one-eighty on both sides of the ball.
The defense shut out Miami in the second half, forced multiple turnovers, and picked up six sacks. On offense, the running game woke up with Stevan Ridley picking up the slack and LeGarrette Blount coming on to punish a tired Dolphins defense. Quarterback Tom Brady started to find his outside receivers after ignoring them in the first half. That opened up the underneath for Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. After an impotent first half, the Patriots woke up on both sides of the ball and put up twenty-four unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Dolphins and got to six and two for the first half of the season....CLICK HERE FOR MORE: http://musketfire.com/2013/10/27/new-england-patriots-week-eight-game-recap-vs-miami-dolphins/