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Patriots vs. Dolphins: Pats Take 14-7 Halftime Lead

Note: This is the official Pats Pulpit game thread.

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14                                7

New England Patriots (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)

Half-time notes:

  • Nate Solder really dominated Dolphins Pro Bowl pass rusher Cameron Wake.  Play after play, Solder either kept Wake away from Brady, or found a way to drive him into the turf.  Solder may be pegged as the left tackle of the future, but he looked excellent on the right side in the first half tonight.  Wake only beat Solder once at the end of the first half.
  • The Patriots started out pretty iffy on the defensive side of the ball.  The Dolphins were able to run the ball up the middle, and Reggie Bush really had a good first half as both a receiver and runner.  The Patriots defensive line played well, but it seemed that linebacker Gary Guyton really struggled.  He was replaced on the third drive by Dane Fletcher.
  • The Patriots were really solid rushing the passer.  Mike Wright and Andre Carter produced some nice rush.  Albert Haynesworth looked solid up the middle, and Shaun Ellis produced some push as the primary left end.
  • Offensively, not enough can be said about how strong the Patriots came out.  Tom Brady completed his first eight passes, leading the team down the field due in part to a deep diving grab from Matthew Slater.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis capped the drive with a 2nd-effort touchdown run.  The next drive, the Patriots came out in quick-strike mode.  Brady continued to move the team down the field, and the drive was capped with a Brady to Gronkowski touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
  • The Pats offense slowed a little bit at the end of the half, but were able to put together a solid drive in the two minute drill.  Unfortunately, Gostkowski shanked the field goal that would have given the Patriots a two score lead.
  • There was a somber side in the first half, when center Dan Koppen went down with an apparent leg injury.   Koppen hasn't missed a game since 2007 for the Patriots, and it's unfortunate to see him go down.  Now, we can only cross our fingers and hope the injury isn't as serious as it looked.