Miami Dolphins first quarter struggles cost them a second consecutive victory against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 23-16 on Sunday. In result, Patriots clinch the AFC East division.
From start to finish, the game was exponentially entertaining. In Miami’s first drive there were multiple missed opportunities including incomplete passes. With that, Miami had to punt the ball but they did not get a chance to due to a bobbled snap.
New England known to put their oppositions down early, invaded into the end zone with a Stevan Ridley two-yard run. Ridley finished with 19 carries for 71 yards and a score.
After the slight hiccup, Miami’s defense, which is ranked seventh in the NFL with 96.7 yards allowed against the run, presented their dominance once again holding New England for a total of 108 rushing yards in a combination of three backs.
Clashing with the fifth best offense in the NFL will have to entail a boxing match–punch for punch. Bill Belichick’s team charged with 10 points after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal and a seven-yard touchdown by Wes Welker. In return, Joe Philbin’s team displayed true grit chipping away the 17-3 margin with a 44-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter and a two-yard rushing touchdown by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The first-year quarterback finished with 186 yards.
The second half of this rivalry match-up came down to what defense could stay stronger. Subsequently, the Patriot’s defense forced Miami to compile consecutive third and outs. Dolphins posted a horrific 3-13 on third down conversions.
Prior to last week’s comeback, Miami found complications in the comeback process, and once again the fighting back complication came into play in the fourth quarter.
“Overall offensively, our production wasn’t good enough to win against the New England Patriots,” Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin stated after the game. “Our execution wasn’t good.”
Tom Brady led his running backs do the talking in the end. The 35-year-old resumes his touchdown streak with 44 games posting 24-40 for 238 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
The Dolphins defense was strong all game as you read above, except for when it mattered. New England drew up a run-heavy seven-minute drive to conclude their ninth victory of the 2012-13 regular season.
Miami (5-7) will look to bounce back against the San Fransisco (8-3-1) next Sunday.