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Game Thread #2: Patriots vs. Dolphins

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Week 16 NFL Game Thread

New England Patriots (11-3) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-9)

Saturday, December 24th, 2011 | 1:00 PM ET

TV: CBS | Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Dolphins Coverage: The Phinsider

Half-time thoughts:

  • There's really not much to say after the thorough beating the Patriots have endured in the first half today. The Patriots have been dominated on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and have shown very little signs of life, especially for a team that is a game away from clinching a first round bye.
  • On offense, the Patriots have not established any rhythm on the ground or through the air. The team has only a few first downs the entire half, with each drive ending in a punt. Quarterback Tom Brady has been off on his throws, and the makeshift offensive line comprised of two players seeing the most extensive playing time of their careers has been terrible in protecting Brady.
  • While the refs have been downright awful (with one particular terrible pass interference call turning a three in out into a long touchdown drive), the Patriots have failed to stop the Dolphins consistently. Cornerback Devin McCourty proved inept at defending the deep pass, and cost the Patriots at least 10 of the Dolphins' 17 points himself (although he has made a few nice plays on the ball as well).
  • To add insult to injury, the Patriots also missed a last second 51 yard field goal to end the half. Down 17 and putting together their worst performance of the season, it appears unlikely that the Patriots will put together a comeback bid. However, the Patriots do get the ball to start the second half, so putting some points up on that possession would be a start.