Going into Sunday's contest there was a feeling the Patriots' offense could easily drop 60 points on the Dolphins' atrocious secondary. Instead, Tom Brady had probably his worst game of the season, the defense kept the Fins in it for most of the game and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill had the kind of up-and-down game rookies are wont to do.
Ultimately, miscues, penalties and turnovers by the Dolphins were just enough for the Patriots to hold on to a slim lead as they chewed up precious clock time on their final drive of the game. Up until that point, the defense had been surprisingly stout as it held Brady to 238 yards passing, sacked him 4 times, managed to intercept Brady for the first time in 203 pass attempts (more on that in a minute), and kept the Patriots running game to under 100 yards up until that final drive. But on that final twelve-play drive, the Patriots gashed the gassed defense time and time again as it drove downfield to set up a final Gostowski field goal to put the game out of reach.
- This was a poor performance for Ryan Tannehill. Although he engineered a couple of good drives (including the one that ended in his own 2-yard TD run), the kid was mostly off on the day as he missed Hartline on deep post pattern that would have been 6 points if he'd thrown a better ball, missed Hartline again on another deep through that came up short and was generally pretty crappy most of the day. Tanny Boy finished 13-of-29 with 186 yards on the day. He threw as many touchdowns as you did. How he didn't fistfuck the Patriots defense like everyone else in the league does is beyond me. Kid just didn't have it yesterday.
- The Dolphins started this game off about as shitty as you can imagine. Davone Bess dropped a pass on the first play of the game. Brandon Fields mishandled the snap after a quick 3-and-out which resulted in a tackle for loss that set the Patriots up at the Dolphins' 12-yard line. Later, Jimmy Wilson ran right into the punter Zoltan Mesko after the Dolphins D had forced Brady and Company to punt. The penalty gave the Pats an automatic first down as they drove down the field for their second TD of the day. Then on the ensuing possession, Ryan Tannehill fumbled the ball away right into Vince Wilfork's awaiting paws during a day in which Wilfork absolutely ate guard Richie Incognito up time and time again. Fucking dreadful.
- The one positive for the Dolphins during the early going was an incredible play by standout safety Reshad Jones as he raced stride-for-stride down the sideline with Pats TE Aaron Hernandez, out-muscled him for an incredible body-twisting interception, and ran back the other way through traffic for a leaping pick-6 into the end zone. But, of course, being Tom Brady and this being the Dolphins the officials found a way to turn offsetting chop-block penalties into SORRY HAHA GO FUCK YOURSELF DOLPHINS AND TAKE YOUR SHITTY BALL AND START FROM THE SPOT OF THE INTERCEPTION. YOU STUPID DICKS. Fuck those refs.
- Former Dolphin Wes Welker finished the day with 12 catches for 103 yards and an easy touchdown score when defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle suddenly decided it was a good idea to blitz Tom Brady in the red zone by bringing every single defender and leaving Sean Smith to tackle Welker on a perfectly-executed screen. Smart move there, guy. Wes Welker continues to go all Lexington Steele on us every single time he plays the Dolphins. BUT SAMSON SATELE AMIRITE?!?!?!
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Let's face it: everyone put this down as an 'L' for the Dolphins coming into the game, so it's a minor victory that they didn't get blown out by 687 points. Still, it's incredibly tiresome and frustrating to a) always expect a loss to the Pats and never match up with these guys on a pure talent level and b) chug along with resign and malaise towards ANOTHER 6-10 season as the Pats use our shitty team to punch their playoff ticket for ANOTHER straight year. The road to the Fins eternal 6-10 LIFE is paved with the bodies of Ireland-selected players. So as long as we keep doing what we've done, we're always just going to get what we've got.
So what we're saying is please fire the ever-living shit out of Jeff Ireland and rid of us of his suck-stink once and for all.
The Dolphins travel to San Francisco Sunday to face the VERY good San Francisco 49ers and what could have been in Jim Harbaugh. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m.