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Week 1 Patriots vs Dolphins: Second Quarter Review

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 12, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 12, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The second quarter was more quiet than the first. The Patriots scored on their first drive, which was a layover from the first quarter, but penalties derailed their next few attempts at scoring. On the defensive side, the Patriots' were dominant and prevented the Dolphins from generating any momentum. Overall, not a terrible quarter, but it would be nice to see the Patriots not leave points on the field.

Defensive Notes:

The defense was in a groove.

Dowling was sticking to his receivers and Chung and McCourty teamed up to take out Marshall.

Myron Pryor was an animal this quarter. Albert Haynesworth was imposing.

Still not much serious pressure. They get into the backfield more than the first quarter, but Henne is still able to scramble.

It appears as if the Patriots will operate in the 4-2-5 defense against the hurry up.

Mike Wright is injured and is replaced by Shaun Ellis. The Patriots are using a heavy left defensive end in order to slow the run which, in my opinion, is how they're building their defense to fight the Steelers, Ravens, and Jets. They need to slow the run (heavy DL) and slow the explosive offense (five in the secondary).

Patriots defense is still controlling the tempo of the Dolphins' offense.

Offensive Notes:

Rob Gronkowski is a superhero. Wow. He had terrific blocks and receptions and should be considered one of the top five tight ends in the league.

Danny Woodhead is a dangerous player as his versatility will create mismatches against literally every single defense.

Rhythm comes into question because as soon as a penalty is called on Deion Branch, the drive is stalled. Happens against in the two minute drill when a holding call on Solder disrupts the momentum. The offense must player cleaner football and take care of the little things because they could have opened up the game in this quarter.

The offensive line was still terrific. Brady had an absurd amount of time except for a few plays- there were a couple when Dan Connolly was exposed at right guard and a couple when Cameron Wake was Cameron Wake. Nate Solder did a great job on Wake.

Sorry to see Dan Koppen go down like that. He'll still play in the future, but it should draw a close in the next year or two on the Koppen chapter in New England.

Chad Ochocinco made a couple good plays. He made a nice sideline reception and should have had another on the goal line, but the referees missed a pass interference call.

Special Teams Notes:

Stephen Gostkowski did not look as good. Not a deep kickoff and missed a FG.

Zoltan Mesko looked pretty good.


Three Up:

1. Rob Gronkowski - Robo Gronk is an absurd player and athlete. Enough said.

2. Myron Pryor - Pryor had a heckuva quarter as well and was extremely productive and disruptive.

3. The secondary - Leigh Bodden, Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, and Pat Chung were sticking receivers all day. I didn't hear/see Josh Barrett and, since the Dolphins didn't produce any offense, that most likely means he was doing a great job on the deep part of the field.

Three Down:

1. Stephen Gostkowski - He can't afford to miss those kicks.

2. Dan Connolly - He had a poor quarter and allowed a lot of pressure. The Patriots looked better with Brian Waters at guard.

3. Offensive Penalties - These derailed a couple drives. Not good.



Quick play action out to Rob Gronkowski. O-Line was stellar and Brady had all day.

Quick pass to Gronkowski for the touchdown. Logan Mankins is blown back into the pocket, but Dan Koppen slides to help.


Stephen Gostkowski puts the ball with great hang time, but doesn't get it into the end zone. Solid return by the Dolphins, but the ball goes back due to holding by the Dolphins.

Reggie Bush is stuffed quickly. Patriots are operating a pressure-based, heavy D-Line, not a sack-counting line.

Albert Haynesworth gets pancaked by center Mike Pouncey in Bush's cutback lane, but slows down the progress and prevents a gain.

Pass to Brian Hartline for a big gain. Devin McCourty in deep coverage, Hartline with the hitch. Henne looks mobile.

Patriots call a time out due to Patriots having too many men on the field (Rob Ninkovich).

Henne passes deep to Brandon Marshall, McCourty in coverage, pass too deep for Marshall. McCourty was in good position.

Bush runs to Vince Wilfork where Wilfork gets triple teamed and blown backwards. Wow. Medium gain.

Dane Fletcher and Devin McCourty pair to take down Bush. This is the play were Mike Wright is injured. Gets slammed into Mike Pouncey's helmet. Third down defended.


Julian Edelman returns the ball from the goal line. Bad move. Only took it to the 16.

Brady play action, BJGE picks up a nice block. Overthrows Welker- not sure if I understand the route. You don't really run a fade to Welker. He's not tall enough.

Run to Woodehead to change the pace, medium gain. Rob Gronkowski makes the block to open the lane. Impressive block.

Woodhead uses great vision to cutback for the first. Edelman, Gronkowski and Hernandez as blockers.

Hernandez with a reception. He tries to shake his defender with a stutter and is short of the first. If he ran forward, he could have bulled the defender for the first.

No huddle, quick hand-off to Woodhead for a first down.

Another deep pass to Welker, goes through his hands. Brady has absurd time in the pocket- I clocked 6.7s- and Solder and Waters did a great job.

Edelman on a nice route, near the first.

Quick hand-off to Woodhead to the outside for the first down.

Still no huddle, Dolphins are looking around. False start on Deion Branch.

Brady tries throwing to Welker, not on the same page. Welker went in and cut out, Brady threw where he would be if he kept going in.

Apparent defensive pass interference on a pass to Rob Gronkowski as the Dolphins hook Gronk's arm. No call.

Short pass to Branch, Solder pancakes Wake. Patriots forced to punt.


Mesko pins the Dolphins on their four yard line.

Kyle Love with a great tackle for no gain. Dolphins clearly slowing the tempo.

Andre Carter with great pressure, Leigh Bodden jumps up and almost picks the ball. That's how defenders need to turn their head in coverage and that's what Kyle Arrington was missing in his skill set as a cornerback.

Mark Anderson, Myron Pryor, and Rob Ninkovich all generate pressure and force Henne to throw up a quick pass and it looked hideous. Ras-I Dowling was like glue and McCourty and Chung were teaming Marshall.


Big punt to Edelman, he returns it well (A.J. Edds on special teams), but it's sent back due to a block in the back on James Ihedigbo.

Will Smith and Dwayne Wade are shown on the screen.

Hand-off to Woodhead for no gain.

Brady forced to throw it away due to coverage. Matt Light with a great block on Jason Taylor. Randy Starks breaks by Dan Connolly and forced Brady to throw.

Cameron Wake blows by Dan Connolly. Two bad plays in a row and Patriots are forced to punt.


Mesko kicks to Davone Bess. Not a very long punt, but good hangtime. Rob Ninkovich whiffs on a tackle.

Bodden sticking to Marshall in the slow.

Bess beats Dowling on the outside. Gruden says "this guy". Dowling had his hands on Bess and missed the tackle. Dowling was actually in great position.

Pat Chung with a great sack to break up the Dolphins' momentum.

Patriots running the 4-2-5, pass to Hartline on Dowling, but Richie Incognito holds Haynesworth again.

Myron Pryor with a great tackle in the backfield.

Patriots drop deep due to the 3rd and long, prevent the Dolphins from converting.


Edelman with the fair catch at the 10 yard line.

Brady with a wide pass to Branch; a Dolphins player jumped the route so Brady threw it away.

Draw to Woodhead, terrible camera angle, drains the clock.

Brady with the QB sneak for the 1st. Koppen is down and you can hear him on the TV. Randy Starks and Karlos Dansby land on his leg. His leg is trapped under Dansby and Starks lands on him and bends him backwards.

Chad Ochocinco with his first catch. Gives a thumbs up. Nice route, ball a little to the outside.

Nice throw to Robo Gronk up the seam for a big gain. Jason Taylor injured on the play. Nate Solder is blocked back into Taylor's ankle.

Another nice pass to Gronkowski up the middle.

Should have been pass interference to Ochocinco, Davis holds his jersey and redirects him. Bas call.

Nate Solder holds Cameron Wake and the play is brought back. Would have been a sack.

Brady is sacked by Wake. Solder is doing a nice job on Wake, but gets knocked over by Kendall Langford and is releases Wake.

Gostkowski pulls the kick extremely wide. No points. Bad kick.


Dolphins kneel the ball to end the half.