In one shocking play, the Patriots’ injury issues on the offensive line popped up at one of the worst possible times. After playing a clean game in Week 10 against the Raiders, backup center Ted Karras coughed up the football on an ill-timed snap that Tom Brady was not ready to receive, instantly getting the Dolphins back in the game on Sunday.
The Pats ended up winning 35-17, so Karras’ ugly gaffe ultimately didn’t matter. But it only took that one mistake to show how reliable starter David Andrews has been and how banged up that unit has become. Karras took an earful from a visibly upset Dante Scarnecchia and Josh McDaniels after the botched snap, which zipped past an unsuspecting Brady as the Dolphins’ Reshad Jones scooped it up for a defensive touchdown to cut the Pats’ lead to 14-7 at the time.
Still, the second-year guard/center out of Illinois didn’t duck the inevitable postgame scrutiny. He faced the music after the game and addressed his fumble with reporters.
“That’s 100 percent my fault,” Karras said. “I just snapped it early. It was 100 percent on me. Kind of a nightmare, but we overcame it.”
Karras was sent right back out on the next offensive series, in which they scored a touchdown to go up 21-7.
The fumbled snap probably would have proven to be a much bigger mistake against a team that was better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities given to them. The Pats may be fortunate that the Dolphins simply played stupidly for much of the game. But the fact that Karras stayed in the game and made no big mistakes from there shows how confident the Patriots are that he can continue to fill in while Andrews recovers from an illness.