The Miami Dolphins needed a win to stay a game back of division leading New York, who beat the previously unbeaten Titans today, but alas, while the offense showed up at the stadium, the defense stayed home.
The game was close for the better part of 3 quarters when the teams traded scores until the New England Patriots pulled away on the final play of the 3rd quarter giving them a 10 point lead heading into the 4th quarter. The Dolphins would respond to bring it to within 3 but the Dolphins defense could not stop Matt Cassel and the Randy Moss show.
Cassel today did what Tom Brady could not do, throw for consecutive 400 yard games. Cassel tossed for 415 yards and 3 touchdowns with one interception. He added another TD on his legs. For the Patriots it was retribution for the 38-13 drubbing they took at the hands of the Dolphins in week 3. Today, they posted 48 points and won by 20. Randy Moss and Wes Welker combined for 225 yards and Moss hauled in 3 TD catches.
For the Phins, Chad Pennington posted a 341 yard game and 3 touchdowns with one critical late game pick that could have kept the Phins in the game. The Dolphins running game netted 62 yards. 37 yards by Ronnie Brown and 21 by Ricky Williams.
The season long healthy Dolphins took their knocks today. Jake Long missed 3 series late with an ankle injury but returned and the Dolphins lost Greg Camarillo with a knee injury that could leave them without him for the season. He did not return.
Of course what would a Miami-Patriots game be without at least one classless act by Bill Belichick? With 46 seconds left in the game, the ball on the one, 4th down and a 13 point lead, Billy went for it and ran the ball in to give the team the final margin.
Patriot guard Matt Light was ejected in the 4th following a successful Patriots FG when he grabbed Dolphins LB Channing Crowder by the hair and continually punched him. Crowder would be ejected as well for pushing Light. The two teams played a very physical game with both sides laying serious hits on the other.
While the talk of late has been on the Phins chances of making the playoffs, this setback does not eliminate the Phins but it doesn’t bode well for their chances. The Phins are now two games back of NY, one game back of NE, and tied for 3rd with Buffalo who ended their losing skid today. The Dolphins will try and rebound next week against the St. Louis Rams while the Patriots will face the Steelers.