The New England Patriots lost in stunning fashion on Sunday afternoon in Miami, as the Dolphins finished the game with a lateral play to Kenyan Drake that went for 69 yards all the way to the end zone for a last-second touchdown. Dolphins win 34-33 in a game filled with big-play breakdowns by the defense, culminating in the shocking final play.
— FINAL: Dolphins 34, Patriots 33. The Patriots came up one play short of a hard-earned win, thanks to a miraculous last-second lateral play for the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill dumps it to Kenny Stills, who laterals it quickly to DeVante Parker, who tosses it back to Kenyan Drake. Drake makes a couple of defenders miss and zooms all the way down the sideline, beating deep “safety” Rob Gronkowski badly in a footrace to the end zone. Dolphins edge out the Pats with a shocking last-second win for the ages.
— Q4, 1:51: A huge pass interference penalty against the Dolphins gives the Patriots first-and-goal. Minkah Fitzpatrick grabbed Josh Gordon’s arm as he went for the football on a home run attempt by Tom Brady. Patriots can bleed the clock and kick a field goal, if not score a touchdown to make the game all but theirs. (Update: Stephen Gostkowski is good and the Pats extend their lead to five.
— Q4, 2:00: A crucial too many men on the field penalty for the Dolphins gives the Patriots a fresh set of downs. Sony Michel breaks off what would’ve been a huge gain, but James Develin’s hand catches a Miami player’s facemask so the run is called back due to the flag. James White gets them going again on the next play as he slices up the middle for 11 yards. Brady picks up another first down as he hits Josh Gordon over the middle on a quick in-cut for another 12 yards. Patriots will have to keep moving the chains with the Dolphins clinging to one more timeout and under two minutes to go.
— Q4, 4:34: Big-time stop for the Patriots defense. Kenny Stills can’t haul it in on third down, and the Dolphins are forced to punt. Tom Brady gets the ball back with a chance to possibly ice the game if the Pats can score a touchdown.
— Q4, 6:45: The Patriots missed out again on their chance to hit the end zone, but they do retake the lead as Stephen Gostkowski is good this time. Patriots are up 30-28 with just 6:45 to go in the game.
Tom Brady once again looked strong between the 20s, completing two passes to Josh Gordon and another to Rob Gronkowski. But his third-down attempt to Rex Burkhead was off the mark as he faced pressure from the Dolphins up front. Gostkowski thankfully gave them the points they needed on this latest opportunity.
— Q4, 11:04: The Patriots just got a huge defensive stop to give Tom Brady another chance to take the lead back. Ryan Tannehill is sacked on third-and-1 by John Simon to force a punt. Kenny Stills hurt the Dolphins by going down before the line to gain on second-and-16.
— End 3: Dolphins 28, Patriots 27. Rob Gronkowski’s resurgent afternoon continues. First he makes a 13-yard catch on third-and-9, then picks up 11 yards on second-and-10 to move the chains again. After a false start by Marcus Cannon and 12-yard catch by Julian Edelman, the Patriots have a third-and-3 situation but can’t convert this time. Tom Brady takes a sack on the corner blitz by Bobby McCain. The Patriots should be forced to punt it away to start the fourth quarter.
— Q3, 3:58: Suddenly, the Patriots defense reverts after success late in the second quarter and early in the third. Miami takes the lead back after exploding down the field, mainly thanks to Frank Gore. First he plows ahead for 16 yards, then makes a catch and curls away from a tackler to power ahead for 24 more yards. Ryan Tannehill fires 23 yards downfield to Brice Butler, who has half a step on Stephon Gilmore and beats the corner to the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Thanks to a botched end of the first half and two missed kicks by Gostkowski, the Patriots find themselves trailing 28-27 instead of potentially having 34 points on the board.
— Q3, 6:21: A pair of holding penalties on the Dolphins dooms them in a third-and-2 situation, giving Tom Brady a free set of downs. Sony Michel powers ahead for nine yards, then pushes across for a yard on second-and-1 to move the chains. Brady hits Josh Gordon for about 10 yards through the air, and Gordon takes off for a total gain of 29. Unfortunately, the Patriots stall out after that as two Brady pass attempts fall incomplete. Making things worse is Stephen Gostkowski, who misses a 42-yard field goal attempt to keep the score at 27-21. Tough afternoon for Gostkowski.
—Q3, 10:06: Kenyan Drake eventually picks up the first down with a nine-yard run around the right edge on third-and-5. The Dolphins stall out from there, as a Laremy Tunsil penalty for illegal use of hands makes it first-and-20. Drake goes down for a four-yard loss and the Patriots dare the Dolphins to throw downfield on third-and-24, but Danny Amendola catches it for just 10 yards. Patriots get a potentially big defensive stop to begin the fourth quarter, with a red-hot Tom Brady looking to pick up where he left off before his end-of-the-second-quarter blunder.
— Q3, 14:25: The Dolphins get the ball to start the third quarter. Frank Gore runs it up the middle on first down, and Trey Flowers punches the ball out. But the Dolphins recover to narrowly avoid the turnover. The game is delayed as the grounds crew comes in to fix a large, messy divot in the middle of the field.
HALFTIME: Patriots 34, Dolphins 21. Another massive special teams play gave the Patriots the field position they needed to get out of the first half with more than 27 on the board, but Tom Brady can’t take advantage of another blocked punt. Tom Brady made an uncharacteristic error to close out the half, taking a sack on third down and appearing to try to take a timeout when the Patriots didn’t have any. So the clock runs out on the first half and the Pats take a six-point lead to the locker room.
Besides that mental error at the end and an up-and-down half for the defense, the Patriots outclassed the Dolphins on offense and special teams in the first two quarters. The play of Tom Brady and the punt-blocking units have been the difference so far.
First, the Patriots prevent the Dolphins from going for their own version of a double-score, as Brock Osweiler has to come in for an injured Ryan Tannehill and promptly takes a sack from Trey Flowers on a stunt. Then, the Patriots block another punt as the ball is launched straight up in the air, again by Albert McClellan.
— Q2, 2:00: The Patriots start to give Ryan Tannehill the “amoeba” look, with just one down lineman and most defenders roaming around the field pre-snap. The plan works, as Tannehill holds on to the ball too long on third-and-4 to take a sack by Kyle Van Noy. The Patriots are getting the ball back with a chance to extend their lead beyond six points for the first time.
— Q2, 3:49: It’s a touchdown bonanza at Hard Rock Stadium. Neither defense has been able to do much in the first half, and the struggles for the Dolphins D continued on the Patriots’ last drive. Tom Brady found Josh Gordon for 18 yards, Julian Edelman for 20 yards, and Rob Gronkowski for 15 yards to set themselves up at the Miami 16-yard line. Brady hits Gronk again, this time in the end zone to put the Patriots back on top yet again, 27-21.
— Q2, 7:28: The Dolphins start off with yet another big play, as Ryan Tannehill bombs it to Kenny Stills for 43 yards. Stills picks up another 10 yards and Kenyan Drake bounces for another 11. Finally, it’s Bolden again who finishes off the drive with his second touchdown of the game. For the third time, the Dolphins have gone on top of the Patriots. It’s 21-20 Miami.
— Q2, 10:32: It’s starting to look like a shootout in Miami. For the third time already, the Patriots have taken a fresh lead over the Dolphins. Tom Brady fired an absolute missile over the middle to Cordarrelle Patterson, who got behind the secondary and caught the pass in stride to find pay dirt and give the Patriots yet another lead.
Brady and Rob Gronkowski hook up for 17 yards on the first play. They try to fake a double-reverse into a screen, but it’s covered well and Brady throws it away at the feet of Rex Burkhead. A second-and-10 attempt toward Julian Edelman is tipped but falls incomplete. Brady finds Edelman on third down, though, dropping a well-placed pass into the open hands of the receiver.
Patterson gets the touchdown on the very next play to once again put the Patriots back on top, 20-14 in the second.
— Q2, 13:26: Just like that, the Dolphins have another answer for the Patriots after a touchdown. And this time, it’s old friend Brandon Bolden who does most of the damage himself, bursting through a seam in the middle of the field and all the way to the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown. Dolphins are back up, it’s 14-13.
Needing to once again battle back against a Patriots lead, Ryan Tannehill gets the Dolphins off to a good start with a 21-yard pass to Kenny Stills. Bolden does the rest on the next play with the 54-yard score.
— TOM BRADY UPDATE: 9-for-9, 73 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 137.5 passer rating
— Q2, 14:14: Complementary football for the Patriots, who turned a huge special teams play into another touchdown. This time, Tom Brady play-action fakes to James White then throws it where only Julian Edelman can catch it as No. 11 slips into the end zone. It’s 13-7 Patriots early in the second.
— PATRIOTS BLOCK PUNT. Albert McClellan got penatration up the middle and dove to get his hands on the Matt Haack punt attempt, which falls into the hands of new Pats linebacker Ramon Humber. Two recent veteran additions combine for the huge special teams play. Patriots take over at the Miami 18-yard line, and the first quarter ends with the Dolphins up 7-6.
— Q1, 1:08: The Dolphins failed to capitalize on the Patriots’ three-and-out, as they pick up a first down then move backward. Stephon Gilmore nearly picks off Tannehill as he’s trying to throw left to DeVante Parker. On third down, Tannehill takes a hard hit from Dont’a Hightower to go down for the sack.
— Q1, 3:24: After Rob Gronkowski can’t quite make it to the first down marker the Patriots have a third-and-1 situation. Rex Burkhead takes the handoff, but gets dropped behind the line by Kiko Alonso, who blew by Trent Brown untouched. The Patriots are forced to punt it back to the Dolphins, who have a chance to build some early momentum here as the first quarter winds down.
— Q1, 5:32: The Patriots offense got off to a good start. The defense, not so much.
Ryan Tannehill gets the Dolphins rolling by throwing it to an open DeVante Parker for 15 yards, then taking matters into his own hands with a 13-yard run. Frank Gore follows that up with a real haymaker, powering up the middle virtually untouched for a 36-yard gain. Tannehill promptly gets the Dolphins in the end zone with a quick throw to Kenny Stills, who hits the pylon for the touchdown. This time the extra point is good, giving the Dolphins a 7-6 lead over the Pats.
— Q1, 8:13: The Patriots get off to a great start with a touchdown on their opening drive. And who else but James Develin takes the handoff for the touchdown, a three-yard rumble. There’s little reason for the Patriots to stop handing Develin the ball at the goal line if it still can’t be stopped; he’s up to four touchdowns in just six carries this season.
The drive starts off with two three-yard runs for Sony Michel, setting up an early third-and-4 for the Patriots. Josh Gordon catches a quick slant from Brady and drags a defender for a 16-yard gain to give the Patriots a fresh set of downs. Brady finds a wide open Julian Edelman down the right sideline for a 17-yard out route on the next snap.
After runs of four and three yards for Michel, Brady picks up another first down as he hits an open Edelman right at the line to gain. Brady has plenty of time to throw two plays later, when he hits an open Cordarrelle Patterson for yet another first down, this time first-and-goal. Three plays later, Develin punches it in on what’s becomoing his signature play. Stephen Gostkowski ends the drive on a sour note as he clangs the ball off the right upright to miss the extra point and leave the score at 6-0 Patriots.
— Dolphins win the opening coin toss and defer to the second half. Miami kicks a touchback and the Patriots take the football at the 25-yard line to start things off.