New England Patriots

Sept. 17, 2023; Foxborough, MA: Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill scores a touchdown against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

The New England Patriots fell to 0-2 on the season after a 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on “Sunday Night Football” at Gillette Stadium. Miami killed a potential New England rally with a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Raheem Mostert that put the game out of reach.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was 31-of-42 passing for 231 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, good for an 84.5 passer rating. Jones had spotty blocking in front of him on the offensive line, but the offense also endured bad turnovers and a lack of big plays down the field, which kept them playing catch-up with the Dolphins throughout the night.

The Patriots’ first offensive drive fizzled out around midfield, after Jones took a nine-yard sack on second-and-12. The Dolphins’ David Long blitzed cleanly through Pats left tackle Vederian Lowe and left guard Cole Strange. They played it safe with a short pass on third down, which came up short to force a punt.

On defense, the Patriots sniffed out a second-and-goal play for a loss of yardage, then a low snap and fall to the turf by Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa forced a third-down incompletion. Miami settled for a field goal to make it 3-0 in the first quarter.

The Pats had a chance to answer on the following drive. They marched into Dolphins territory, only for rookie receiver Demario Douglas to fumble on a catch-and-run at the 29-yard line, giving it right back after the punch-out by Bradley Chubb. And that’s how the first quarter would end.

Miami cashed in with an 11-play, 78-yard touchdown drive, capped by an eight-yard touchdown run by Mostert to extend their lead to 10-0. Sparking this drive was a 28-yard catch-and-run by Dolphins wideout Jaylen Waddle.

After the teams traded punts, the Patriots drove 35 yards in 10 plays to set up rookie kicker Chad Ryland for a 49-yard field goal, the first of his career. That cut the deficit to 10-3.

Unfortunately, the Patriots could not get a much-needed stop on the Dolphins’ final drive of the first half. Tagovailoa engineered another touchdown drive, finishing it off with a quick 2-yard strike to Tyreek Hill for the score, making it 17-3.

Leading up to that, Tagvailoa completed passes to running back Salvon Ahmed (2), wide receivers River Cracraft (2) and Braxton Berrios, and tight end Durham Smythe.

That score would hold until 11:21 left in the fourth quarter, when Jones found tight end Hunter Henry in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown. The 8-play, 58-yard drive made it 17-10 Miami.

Jones had previously thrown a red-zone interception to Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, but the Patriots defense responded well with a three-and-out to spur the TD drive. Good complementary football.

On the ensuing Dolphins drive, Tagovailoa chucked it deep for Hill, only to be intercepted by rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez. The Patriots could not capitalize, though, as the offense went three-and-out and punted. The Dolphins answered right back with a 43-yard touchdown run for Mostert, who burst through a gaping hole in the Pats defense for the back-breaking score.

Jones engineered another touchdown drive after that, nine plays for 75 yards, capped by a two-yard TD run by Rhamondre Stevenson. The defense got one more stop after a missed Miami field goal, but couldn’t quite drive down the field for a game-tying touchdown.

The Patriots are now 0-2 on the season for the first time since the 2001 season. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are firmly in the driver’s seat in the AFC East at 2-0.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

Belichick vs Vic Fangio features unique moments from Patriots dynasty

Bill Belichick versus Vic Fangio…well it’s not actually Bill Belichick versus Vic Fangio. It’s more like Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels and Bill O’Brien versus Vic Fangio. It’s also Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Michael Bishop (yes…Michael, Bishop), Julian Edelman, David Patten, and even punter Lee Johnson versus Vic Fangio. The Belichick versus Fangio matchup has featured some of the most unique moments from the New England Patriots dynasty.

From pulling your franchise quarterback and putting in a backup to throw a Hail Mary, to having your punter throw a pass, to kicking off a dynasty with a new quarterback starting in his very first game, to a legendary four touchdown game from a little known wide receiver, to a game pushed back a week because of Covid.

Bill Belichick and Vic Fangio

Bill Belichick and Vic Fangio

Bill Belichick’s Patriots teams have faced Vic Fangio’s defensive units a total of eight times over the last 23 seasons with number nine coming up this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Belichick’s squads are 5-3 against Fangio defenses racking up an average of 29.5 points per game (32 ppg if you eliminate Covid game) and 127 yards rushing per game in the eight contests.

Despite those numbers, Belichick spoke highly of Fangio during his weekly Wednesday press availability: “I have a ton of respect for Vic as a coach and what he’s done in the multiple times we’ve faced him and just watching his teams over the years, very disciplined, sound and extremely well-coached, well-prepared defense.”

Belichick added, “I think Vic’s one of the best defensive coaches in the league. He has his style, his defensive philosophy and system, and he’s had a lot of success with it.”

Patriots players that have had success against the Fangio defense aren’t necessarily the players you might expect. It’s been guys like Kenjon Barner, Josh Gordon, Brandon Lloyd, Bethel Johnson, JR Redmond and the aforementioned Michael Bishop.

  • 2000: Halftime Hail Mary

    Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis reached into their bag of tricks to yank franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe from the field to have 3rd stringer Michael Bishop throw the Hail Mary attempt at the end of the first half against the Colts. Punter Lee Johnson also completed a pass in the game.

  • 2000: J.R. Redmond’s Career Game

    Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James and the high flying Colts pulled off a 30-23 win despite trailing by 9 entering the 4th quarter. The Pats took that lead on the back of Running Back J.R. Redmond, who finished with 132 yards and a touchdown on 27 touches.

    J.R. Redmond

    Rick Stewart /Allsport

  • 2001: Tom Brady’s 1st Career Start

    Drew Bledsoe’s injury pushed Brady into action for his first career NFL start against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He remained on the field for the next 128 starts until his 2008 knee injury.

  • 2001: The David Patten Game

    Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis went into his bag of trick for Brady’s first road game against Manning and the Colts. In the game David Patten became the first player since Walter Payton to rush, pass and catch for a touchdown in the same game.

  • 2003: Tony Banks’ Texans almost snap streak

    The Patriots had ripped off 6 wins in a row and were on their way to 21 straight wins when they almost fell to a bad Houston team. Bethel Johnson had 65 yards and a touchdown and Tom Brady found Daniel Graham with only 40 seconds left to tie the game. Adam Vinatieri would win it in overtime.

    Bethel Johnson

    (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

  • 2012: Kaepernick Shines on SNF

    The Patriots couldn’t stop Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense as they came into Gillette Stadium and put up 41 points. Randy Moss caught 1 of 4 Kaepernick TD passes on the night. Tom Brady led the Pats on a ferocious comeback attempt putting up 24 points in the 4th quarter but it wasn’t enough in a 41-34 defeat. Brandon Lloyd caught 10 passes for 190 yards in the loss.

  • 2018: Pats hold off Trubisky in career game

    Bears Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played the game of his life against the Pats in 2018, but Tom Brady’s 3 touchdowns were too much for Chicago. Josh Gordon had 100 yards receiving and little used Kenjon Barner contributed with 10 carries for 36 yards in the win.

  • 2020: Covid Scheduling Change

    A Covid outbreak with the Patriots moved the Week 5 game against the Broncos to Monday afternoon and eventually to Week 6 after a controversial schedule shuffle by the NFL. The Pats would eventually come out and play one of the worst games in the Belichick era in the 18-12 Week 6 loss. Brandon McManus kicked 6 Field Goals in the win for Denver.

    Gillette Stadium during Covid game against Broncos

    (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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