The New England Patriots faced-off in Miami on a muggy Sunday afternoon far from the snow and cold of New England. After falling behind against Miami in their first matchup of the season at home 17-3 at halftime, the Patriots needed to shake off their first quarter blues and play with a lead for once. They were able to do that with a strong first drive and take a 3-0 lead after one quarter of play. New England stretched the lead to 10-0 but Miami was able to drive and score before the half to make it 10-7 after 30 minutes of play.
That set the tone of the game as the New England offense sputtered in second half. Even after taking a lead, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill made a couple of huge plays to take the lead back. Tom Brady drove downfield and had multiple chances to get in the end zone, but for the third time in the game the Patriots offense was able to score a touchdown in the red zone and fell short. Without their largest target, Rob Gronkowski, or big outside receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, the Patriots were not able to punch the ball in the end zone when they needed to score a touchdown.
Despite playing well at times on both sides of the ball on the road against a tough division rival, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots 24-20. Both quarterbacks went over 300 yards in the air, neither team was especially dominant rushing the ball, and Mike Wallace of the Dolphins and Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman of the Patriots all went over 100 yards receiving in the game. The game came down to a handful of big plays at the end of the game and this time it was home team, the Dolphins, who converted on fourth-and-five inside of three minutes and then stopped the Patriots from completing a pass in the end zone.
For the Patriots, a big initial boost on offense was getting tackles Nate Solder (concussion) and Marcus Cannon (ankle) back in the starting lineup. While Will Svitek did a good job backing up Cannon the past few weeks, with Miami’s explosive trio of defensive ends of Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan, and Olivier Vernon the Patriots were happy to be at full strength at the important position. Unfortunately, the great offensive line protection ended when Solder left in the second half due to a head injury and forced a reshuffling of the line. From that point forward, the Dolphins were able to hit and hurry quarterback Tom Brady repeatedly.
The Dolphins offense was effective running the football and mixing in short passes in the first half against the Patriots in week eight. They went right back to that game plan on their first drive attacking the weak interior of the Patriots defense with running back Lamar Miller and short passes in the middle of the field. As the game progressed, the Dolphins started working the ball deeper to wide receivers Mike Wallace and Rishard Matthews.
The Patriots opened the second half with LeGarrette Blount in the backfield again and used the run to set-up the pass...Click here for much more: http://musketfire.com/2013/12/15/new-england-patriots-fail-convert-miami-dolphins/