Patriots Fall Flat in Miami, Trail Steelers by 1 Game for AFC’s Top Seed

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

 

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Tom Brady threw two interceptions in Patriots loss

With all eyes on next week’s showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots played arguably their worst game of the season and fell 27-20 to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football in Miami.

The loss drops the Patriots one game behind the Steelers for the #1 overall seed in the AFC.

When asked if the Patriots were looking ahead to the Steelers game, head coach Bill Belichick answered, "No, give me a break. Any questions about this game." 

New England is now 10-3 on the season.

The Loss by the Numbers

The Patriots did not have one third-down conversion ( 0-for-11) in the game for the first time since 1991, and had seven three-and-outs.

New England’s receivers were non-factors, totaling only eight receptions between Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, and Brandin Cooks.

Brady threw for only 233 yards, with two interceptions and a touchdown pass, while the Patriots as a team only had 248 total yards of offense.

Brady is now 7-9 as a starter against the Dolphins in Miami.

To break it down further, New England only had 25 rushing yards, compared to 121 for the Dolphins.

Patriots Struggle in Miami 

The Patriots trailed 13-10 at the half and took the ball to start the second half, but after only three plays, Brady threw his second interception of the game to Miami’s Xavien Howard to give the Dolphins the ball back at the Patriots own 46-yard line.

Five plays later, Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler found receiver Jakeem Grant for a 25-yard touchdown pass to put the Dolphins up 20-10 after an extra point.

The Patriots offense would not pick up a first down on their ensuing offensive possession, giving the Dolphins the ball back with nine minutes left in the quarter.

With 4:47 to go, Cutler would connect with Jarvis Landry in the end zone to put Miami up 27-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Patriots offense would show signs of life in the fourth quarter. Brady capped off a six-play drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to James White to cut New England’s deficit to 27-17 after a Stephen Gostkowski extra point.

On the drive, Brady completed three passes to Danny Amendola and one to Chris Hogan to set up the touchdown pass. To that point, it was Brady’s only completions to wide receivers in the entire game.

However, the offense would struggle to get anything going the rest of the way. 

The Patriots had three more chances to further cut the Dolphins lead, but went three and out on each of them.

In their final possession of the game, New England would get to the Miami one-yard line with 1:23 on the clock, but an illegal motion and holding penalty would push the Patriots back to the Miami 15-yard line.

New England would end up settling for a field goal to make it 27-20 Dolphins.

Miami would recover an onside kick to seal the win.

Next Up 

The Patriots are now in a near must-win situation next week when they face the Steelers to have a shot at clinching the #1 overall seed in the AFC. 

Game time is set for 4:25 p.m. 

 

Related Slideshow: The 17 Patriots Players Who Knelt During National Anthem

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