NFL Game Notes: Dolphins Start Strong, Pats Finish Stronger, 27-17

By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer

Up 17-3 at the half, the Miami Dolphins looked poised to end the Patriots’ domination of AFC East teams in New England. But there was a second half and the Patriots (6-2) scored 24 unanswered points between the last two quarters to put a stranglehold on AFC East with a solid victory over the Fins, 27-17.

“Maybe it changed momentum. Maybe it didn’t,” said Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who went 22 out of 42 for 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. “That didn’t matter. We needed to execute and needed to score points and we didn’t.”

The Dolphins came out gun-blazing in the first half as their defense constantly pressured quarterback Tom Brady, while their offense attacked the riddled Patriots’ defense. The Dolphins held the Patriots to 59 total yards and Brady’s swollen throwing hand was not helpful.

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And the fans at Gillette Stadium let the Patriots know how they felt as they booed them off the field.

“We really haven’t played good in the third quarter, but we did today,” Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick. “Things weren’t going our way in the first half. That was obvious, being booed at halftime.”

With a huge lead, the Dolphins had chances to put the game away. However, dropped passes and turnovers, not bigger than when Pats’ safety Devin McCourty deflected a pass and tapped the loose ball to cornerback Marquice Cole who had the present of mind to keep both feet in bounces late in the third quarter, continues to haunt and hinders Miami’s abilities to close out games.

The Dolphins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL as they started the season 3-0. Since then, the Fins lost their last four matchups.

Game Notes by Courtesy of the Miami Dolphins

-The touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Brandon Gibson at New England (10/27) was the first Dolphins touchdown in the opening quarter since they scored on their first drive at Indianapolis (9/15). The score against the Colts was an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to Mike Wallace with 9:49 remaining in the quarter.

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– Miami’s 156 rushing yards at New England (10/27) were the most so far this season.

-Lamar Miller rushed for a career-high 89 yards at New England (10/27).

-Brandon Gibson recorded at least one receiving touchdown in two consecutive games with a four yard pass from Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter at New England (10/27). It was Gibson’s thirteenth career touchdown.

-Olivier Vernon recorded a sack at New England (10/27) for the fourth consecutive game. He now has 4.5 on the season and 8.0 sacks in his career.

-Dimitri Patterson recorded his third interception of the season in the first quarter at New England (10/27).

-Miami has eight interceptions in seven games in 2013. In 2012, Miami had 10 interceptions for the entire season.

-Jared Odrick recorded 2.0 sacks at New England (10/27). This was his first career multi-sack game. Odrick now has 15.0 sacks on his career.

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-Jimmy Wilson recorded his first sack of the season at New England (10/27) along with a forced fumble. He now has 3.0 sacks on his career.

-Miami’s defense held Tom Brady to his third lowest passing yard total (25) and eighth lower passer rating (38.0) in the first half of a game in his career at New England (10/27). Brady finished the game with only 116 passing yards.

-With his 52-yard field goal at New England (10/27) Caleb Sturgis passed Uwe von Schamann as the only rookie kicker in Dolphins history to have three field goals of 50 or more yards in a season. Von Schamann booted kicks of 53 yards (10/21/79 at New England) and 51 yards (11/5/79 vs. Houston). Sturgis had field goals of 54-yards at Indianapolis (9/15) and 50 yards vs. Atlanta (9/22).

-Caleb Sturgis has connected on three field goals of 50 or more yards this season tied for the second most in team history in a single season.

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