Patriots Fall Flat in Miami, Trail Steelers by 1 Game for AFC’s Top Seed
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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.
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.
The Patriots and Celtics lost to below .500 teams on the same day for the first time since Nov. 10, 1991— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 12, 2017
Patriots drop to 10-3, and can still put themselves in prime position for AFC's top seed with a win at the Steelers (11-2) on Sunday. But they'll need to play, and coach, better than this.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 12, 2017
Brady's last two-pick game in the regular season was against the Eagles in 2015. He threw two picks in a playoff win over Houston (2016) and the AFCCG loss in 2015 (Denver)— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) December 12, 2017
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