The average yards per attempt for the Dolphins through the air, a testament to the Patriots strong pass defense. The pass rush was obviously excellent in the second half, but the coverage down the field was also stellar for the most part.
The average yards per attempt for the Dolphins on the ground. This is obviously concerning for the Patriots defense. There were a number of times the Patriots were able to stuff Miami for a loss, but that was more a result of good timing on the blitz than actual execution of gap assignments. Miami totaled 156 yards on the ground, including 89 yards on 18 carries from Lamar Miller. Miller had particular success running to the outside, where the Patriots linebackers were simply too slow to keep up with him.
The run to pass ratio for the Patriots yesterday – easily the most favorable to the running game of the season. Brady threw the ball just 22 times and was sacked twice. And while his yardage and completion numbers may not suggest it, Brady was at his sharpest of the season in the second half yesterday. With a suspect passing attack, the Patriots will need to get as much as possible from the running game going forward. Stevan Ridley led the charge yesterday with 79 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
The Patriots’ third down conversion rate yesterday. This remains an extremely disturbing number for an offense that has typically excelled in this area. It’s been the main reason why the Patriots haven’t been able to sustain drives. The short passing game returned to a degree yesterday, but the Patriots will need to continue to work on this area.
Sacks for the Patriots defense, all in the second half yesterday. The main reason for the high sack total was the variety of blitzes the Patriots sent. They sent defensive backs and linebackers consistently, and trusted the back end to not break down. It worked, as Ryan Tannehill was sacked six times, threw two interceptions, and didn’t have a completion over 25 yards. Brilliant game planning and adjustments from Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia, as the defense was dominant in the second half despite being talent depleted.
The Patriots’ red zone and goal to go efficiencies (3/4 and 2/2). This is an area where the Patriots have struggled this season, so it’s good to see improvements. They’ll still have to prove that success can be sustainable.