This is starting to become like a horror movie. The main plot is terrifying, the climax is scary, basically all parts present a frightening perspective. For the Miami Dolphins, the scene of entering Gillette Stadium and walking out with a victory really just does not happen. It was over ten years ago, September 21, 2008. The last time Miami defeated New England in Foxborough, it was one to remember.
The Dolphins pounded the New England defense for thirty-eight points, introducing the special “Wildcat Game.”
From 2009-present, a familiar result has occurred: a loss.
On Sunday, the frustrating trend continued. Paced by Tom Brady’s three touchdown passes and running back Sony Michel’s 112 yards, the New England Patriots (2-2) reminded the world as to why they are a force to be reckoned with in the AFC East, sinking the Dolphins (3-1) easily, 38-7.
“Not a lot went right for us,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.
Sunday’s loss now marks ten consecutive defeats inside Gillette Stadium. The Miami offense started out on a positive side, as quarterback Ryan Tannehill (11/20, 100 YDS, 1 INT) connected with WR Kenny Stills for 22 yards. Four plays later, the drive was stalled, as New England forced Miami into a punting situation.
“I think just getting out-physicaled. Then we didn’t execute things the way we needed to. We didn’t adjust the way we needed to. Nothing was good,” head coach Adam Gase said post-game.
Penalties, a category that has plagued Miami for consecutive seasons, continued Sunday. Ten penalties for 89 yards haunted Miami into 3rd-and-long situations. The Dolphins converted a paltry 3/11 on 3rd down. The offense Sunday for Miami was so putrid, a sight many did not expect to see happened.
Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, a Super Bowl champion (backing up Peyton Manning) with the Denver Broncos, replaced Ryan Tannehill midway through the fourth quarter, with Miami trailing 38-0. Osweiler tossed a touchdown to RB Frank Gore, the only score of the day for Miami. On the flip side, it was another day at the office for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (23/35, 274 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT). Brady improves to 15-1 as a starter at home against Miami.
Five different receivers caught more than one reception: James White, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Rob Gronkowski and newly acquired Josh Gordon. Sony Michel, a former Georgia product, pounded the Miami defense all day, producing a score and rushing for over 100 yards for the first time in his career.
“We’ve just got to get back to the basics in practice, get the pads low, play our technique and just get back to playing Dolphins football,” DT Davon Godchaux said.
New England looked flat in consecutive double-digit losses to Jacksonville and Detroit, but all three phases of the game clicked versus Miami. The Patriots prevented a 1-3 start for the first time since 2001, whereas Miami failed to begin the season 4-0 for the first time since 1995. The injury bug was active throughout the contest. Miami center Daniel Kilgore (arm) and safety Bobby McCain (knee) left the game. On Monday, sources confirmed that Kilgore suffered a torn tricep, and is likely to be put on season-ending IR. McCain is out for 2-3 weeks.
Miami is already without Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, WR DeVante Parker, OG Josh Sitton, DE William Hayes, DE Andre Branch, LB Chase Allen and TE A.J. Derby.
The Dolphins hope to get some key pieces on both the offensive and defensive side of the football back in week five. On the opponent’s side, Brady’s favorite target, TE Rob Gronkowski, left the game in the second half due to a right ankle injury. Gronkowski was listed as out for the remainder of the ballgame. Dolphins WR Danny Amendola made his first official return to Gillette Stadium since being dealt to Miami in mid-March. Amendola signed a two-year, $12 million deal, after being apart of the Patriots organization for five seasons, securing two Super Bowl titles. Amendola hauled in two receptions for 21 yards Sunday.
The good news, however, is 25% of the schedule has been completed, and the Miami Dolphins sit alone in first place atop the AFC East. Buffalo and New York both fell Sunday, dropping to 1-3. It is a short week for the Patriots, as New England will prepare for a Thursday night showdown versus Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (1-3). Patriots WR Julian Edelman is expected to return on the sideline, after missing the first four games due to a suspension. Miami will travel to Paul Brown Stadium, in Cincinnati, Ohio, battling against the high octane offense of QB Andy Dalton, RB Giovani Bernard and WR A.J. Green, Sunday October 7.
The Bengals (3-1) are coming off a dramatic 37-36 victory at Atlanta. Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict will return, having also served a four-game suspension. Both Miami and Cincinnati last met in September, 2016. Sunday has a feeling of must-win mentality for Miami, with a two-game homestand on the horizon versus Chicago and Detroit.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BLiguori98
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