The Miami Dolphins fought and scratched and clawed against a superior Patriots team on Sunday. However, the holes they dug for themselves early in the game ultimately proved to be too deep to dig out of. The Dolphins viewed this game as a playoff game, because they knew if they lost they’d need to win out and get A LOT of help to reach the postseason. Unfortunately, the Dolphins energy and motivation did not make it onto the field early on.
The Dolphins went 3 and out on their opening possession and a bad snap on the punt attempt lead to the Patriots taking over inside of the Dolphins 20. Of course, the Patriots capitalized because that’s what they do. Before you could finish your first buffalo wing, the score was 7-0. The Dolphins would kick a field goal to close the gap to 7-3 before the Patriots scored again making it 14-3. On the Dolphins ensuing possession, the Patriots pressured and sacked Ryan Tannehill, causing him to fumble. This led directly to 3 more points by the Patriots. Facing a 17-3 deficit, Tannehill led the Dolphins down the field on a 12 play, 80 yard touchdown drive capped off by a 2 yard run by the rookie QB.
Unfortunately, the second half was a display of ugly football and the Dolphins could not close the gap any further. Both teams kicked 2 field goals in the 2nd half, which allowed the Patriots to improve to 9-3 on the season with a 23-16 victory. This was a tough loss for the Dolphins, who fought the entire game long. The defense, which had been so good against the high-octane Patriots, allowed a back-breaking 16 play, 77 yard field goal drive that ate up over 7 minutes of game clock. The Dolphins were close, but ultimately fell short. Even worse, the Dolphins lost Jake Long to a triceps injury that the team fears, could cost him the remainder of the season. (cont’d on page 2, click below)