In the opening week of the 2014 season, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots, 33-20. On Sunday, it was time for the Patriots to get their revenge and they did so by stomping the Dolphins, 41-13. What was the difference in the two games and why did the Dolphins fall apart so much in the second half?
"I’m not sure what they really did different,” Brent Grimes said. “They just ran their offense; that’s what’s good about the Patriots. They run their plays and they take their shots when they have their chance. Tom Brady made some great throws, and they made some great catches. It just came down to us making more mistakes than they did, and a team like that, when you make mistakes they’re going to capitalize."
Mike Pouncey and Ryan Tannehill both said the difference was the second half. In Week One, they noted they played really well but on Sunday, they didn’t come out and play after halftime. Jason Trusnik said that they didn’t do enough to win the game but now they have to focus on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Mike Wallace said that the Patriots are going to do what they want to do regardless of what other teams try to do.
“They are going to play their type of football. They came out and played man-to-man until they went up in the game, that’s when they went to cover-two a lot, but most of the time they played man-to-man in the first half; that’s what they do. That’s what they do every single game. I don’t see any reason why they would change it for us."
Kelvin Sheppard, who saw an increase in playing time due to the injuries at the linebacker position, said that it was a team loss in a must-win game. Jason Trusnik echoed that statement but also provided some answers as to why things spiraled out of control.
"It was a combination of some things, including the players on the field maybe not getting there. It was a combination of a couple of things and we needed to find a way to stop their momentum or stop something and we just didn’t. They rattled off a couple of touchdowns. It was a tough quarter and we gave away too much and coming out of the half we did not do a good job.”
The Dolphins have never really played well in Foxboro and it showed again on Sunday. Unfortunately, it was a must-win game for them but they couldn’t find a way to pull it out in the end. As a result, their season, for all intents and purposes, is over.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs