Not dead yet: Patriots dominate undefeated Dolphins

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

After a rough loss in Detroit last week that saw the New England Patriots fall to 1-2 for the first time since 2012, there were many NFL observers hopefully wondering if this is the end of the Patriots’ remarkable run under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Don’t write those obituaries just yet.

Patriots squish the Fish

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The Patriots steamrolled the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, 38-7, handing the Dolphins their first loss of the season. For the record, the last time New England had an actual losing streak of at least three games was 2002.

New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett makes a fingertip touchdown catch in the end zone in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard on Sunday. (AP)
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett makes a fingertip touchdown catch in the end zone in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard on Sunday. (AP)

It was the 300th win for New England under the ownership of Robert Kraft, who bought the franchise in 1994.

New England shut Miami out for 57 minutes, as the Dolphins didn’t get on the board until literal garbage time, with Brock Osweiler in after Ryan Tannehill was pulled.

New England offense rolls

New England showed improvement in several areas, most notably on third down. After going just 6-for-21 on third down in losses to the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, on Sunday the team was 10-for-15, racking up 26 first downs.

Brady, held under 140 yards passing last week in Detroit, was 23-for-35 for 274 yards; he had three touchdowns but two interceptions, both on passes intended for Phillip Dorsett. Miami’s only touchdown came off the second turnover, with just under three minutes to play.

Rookie running back Sony Michel, the 31st pick in the draft, had his first career 100-yard rushing game, with 112 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.

Michel had more rushing yards than Tannehill had passing yards.

Josh Gordon, acquired in a trade with Cleveland earlier this month, was targeted twice and caught both for 32 yards; his first catch, in the first quarter, went for a first down on third-and-6 and gave the Patriots first-and-goal.

If there was a negative for New England, it was that Rob Gronkowski left the game in the second half due to an ankle injury he suffered more than a week ago; Gronkowski may not be ready to play again by Thursday, when the Patriots host the Colts.

Tannehill completed just 11 passes

Miami quarterback Tannehill had just 100 passing yards, completing 11-of-20 attempts before being pulled for Osweiler when it was clear the game was decided.

The Dolphins couldn’t get much of anything going – not in the passing game, and not in the running game, when they had just 56 total yards, 41 of them from Frank Gore, who was playing in his 200th career game.

All of the good feelings the Dolphins stirred with their 3-0 start turned sour with the result against New England, as many of their deficiencies, particularly on defense, were exposed.

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