Bill Belichick reacts to the game and talks about momentum.
That was a typical AFC East game, tough game that came right down to the wire. I'm real proud of our football players. I thought they had a good week of preparation. I thought they went out there and played hard today. Miami made some plays, we made a few more and it's good to win that one. It's a big division win. Miami is 3-0 in the division coming into this game, so that was a huge win for us. We know we have a big battle coming up next week, but right now we'll just enjoy this one for a little bit and get back to work on Indy. I thought our guys played hard today. I thought they made some big plays and made them at the right time and ultimately that was the difference.
That third quarter kind of had elements of the Indianapolis-Miami game, where Miami held the ball for a long time and the Colts came back and hit them on a couple big plays. It was sort of the same thing, where we hit Randy [Moss] on a crossing route, he broke a tackle there on [Vontae] Davis and went 60, 70 yards - whatever it was. Those plays can turn around in a hurry. Long drives can be equalized by big plays, and big plays can be equalized by long drives. We just had a couple more of them than they did, but it was a big answer by our offense. It was a third-and-five; had that pass not been complete, [we would have] give them the ball back and they got a lead and so forth. That was a big one to hit and then we hit the two-point conversion that put us up by seven, so that was huge.
"Last year we panicked," safety Brandon Meriweather admitted after a 27-17 win. "We didn’t stay focused and we were all over the place. This year we were more like a veteran team. We stayed calm, listened to the coaches and let the coaches coach and the players play."
Unlike a year ago, [Bill Belichick] had wise counsel for them and they had ears to hear and confidence that this was a solvable problem. And so it became.
"We worked on the option but it happened probably a little faster than we practiced it, but once we got it adjusted I thought they did a good job," Belichick said. "It seemed like after we saw it, we were a lot more confident and did the right thing and had everybody accounted for - the inside runs, the option, the pitch and all that. . . . I think we . . . defended it a lot better."
They defended it so well that it disappeared with the game on the line, Miami declining to go to it one time in its final two drives. The gimmick was gone, the victim of a defense that didn’t panic.
- Game Notes: Patriots vs. Dolphins. Team and player milestones, streaks and records.
- Erik Scalavino Fins-Pats analysis: Preparation, adjustments key to Patriots win.
- Post Game Pressers: Bill Belichick (12 min. video), Tom Brady (8 min. video), Randy Moss (1 min. video) Plus Transcripts.
Post Game Quotes: Patriots and Dolphins.
- Shalise Manza Young recaps the game that solidified the Patriots position atop the AFC East.
- Albert Breer analyzes Miami's 'pistol' formation that could have shot down the Patriots' chance of winning, had they not been prepared to "expect everything," adjust and then defend it.
- Karen Guregian observes Moss’ third-quarter 71-yard touchdown catch was the back-breaker in this tug-of-war between division rivals.
- Jim Donaldson reports the Dolphins didn't learn their lesson with Randy Moss, fatally leaving him in single coverage by a rookie corner.
- Dan Shaughnessy, in typical fashion, directly insults Randy Moss' character while praising his receiving skills. And Shaughnessy questions Moss' aversion to the media???? Ya think this might have anything to do with it Dan????
- Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots took charge of the division by taking care of the Dolphins.
- Shalise Manza Young notes Joey Porter followed up a mouthy week with a whole lot of nothing in the game.
- Steve Buckley reveals an invisible Joey Porter sneaking out the back door after the game.
- Michael Vega praises the Patriots' offensive line for silencing Porter and protecting Brady.
- Christopher Price presents his Ten things we learned from yesterday's game.
- Mike Reiss offers Ten interesting stats from Sunday's win and his Three Stars of the game.
- Chris Penfield (BostonSportsPulse) Quick Hit Reactions to Pats vs. Dolphins. Love his line about Randy Moss giving Vontae Davis "Mr. Stiffy."
- Mike Reiss impressed by the play of Sebastian Vollmer. Me too.
- Monique Walker focuses on the play of Adalius Thomas, who was credited for 2 tackles and a batted down pass.
- Dan Duggan notes the stellar play of Stephen Gostkowski. His kicks made all the difference yesterday.
- Kirk Minihane offers his deep thoughts about this playoffs-bound Patriots team.
- Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Vince Wilfork played DE for the first time since High School; Laurence Maroney ran for 20 rushes, 82 yards and 1 TD; Dan Koppen went down in the 2nd qtr with a knee injury, aptly replaced by Dan Connelly; Kyle Arrington made his roster debut with 2 tackles (one, a huge hit on returner Ted Ginn.)
- Boston Globe Patriots Notebook: Team record comes to Tom Brady; Gostkowski tied his career high in FGs (4); Welker leads the Pats with 55 receptions; Belichick said the toughest decision of the day was whether to go for the 2-pt. conversion.
- NFL Game Center Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots. Stats, analysis, and those nifty highlight videos.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Let the Patriots-Colts hype begin; five best storylines at mid-season.
- Don Banks (SI) Snap Judgments: Divisions take shape, Palmer owns Ravens and more.
- Colt hard facts: Colts survive another close call. (Fox Sports)
- Week 9 Sunday Rewind. (Nat'l Football Post)
- Gregg Rosenthal (NBC Sports) Contenders, pretenders separated Sunday.
VIEW FROM MIAMI
- Jeff Darlington (Miami Herald) Miami Dolphins come up short against Patriots on the road.
- Almando Salguero (Miami Herald) Miami Dolphins' defense blows game plan, and Brady strikes again.
- David J. Neal (Miami Herald) Randy Moss torches Miami Dolphins, pads Hall of Fame credentials.
- Mike Berardino (Sun-Sentinal) Tom Brady, Randy Moss overcome Wildcat Dolphin offense.
- David Hyde (Sun-Sentinal) Where were Taylor and Porter? Brady and Moss star again.
- Omar Kelly (Sun-Sentinal) Patriots humble Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter.
David J. Neal (Miami Herald) Dolphins, QB Chad Henne lament missed opportunities.