So the game ends with a bang, as the Patriots put on a show. Great work by the offense and the defense definitely had a solid outing. While the coverage looked the same on defense, the defensive front was different, allowing Henne to have more time to throw the ball in the final minutes of the quarter. Good game. On to the Chargers!
Kyle Arrington showed up as the outlet defender. His role was to watch Reggie Bush and, if he wasn't splitting as a receiver, rush the quarterback. He needs to be used sparingly in that role because when he was asked to do it consistently, Henne started scrambling towards Arrington's gap for easy yards.
Albert Haynesworth, Myron Pryor, and Kyle Love all had extremely fantastic 4th quarters. Vince Wilfork was good, but he can be better. Overall, when any combination of these players were on the field, the Dolphins couldn't run and they were quickly pressured.
While Andre Carter was quiet, Mark Anderson improved as a pass rusher. He needs to have better instincts of when to speed rush around the end and when to make a cut in- or outside. He's a good enough player to maintain his gap; he just needs to learn how to and when to commit to a gap.
Devin McCourty had another up-and-down quarter. He had a lot of great plays, but was also on the receiving end of a couple. Not a bad quarter. Ras-I Dowling had another great quarter. Pat Chung was solid. Leigh Bodden held Davone Bess quiet for most of the game, but let up a few plays as the game was already decided.
Gary Guyton still needs to sit down. Dane Fletcher was utilized to generate some great pressure up the gut. Jerod Mayo was awesome.
Tom Brady was on fire. He was hitting every pass.
Aaron Hernandez makes some great plays out in the open.
The running game was useful, but definitely could have been more utilized. They were definitely gunning for a record for Brady. Danny Woodhead was good, but these are BenJarvus Green-Ellis' prime minutes to wear down the defense.
The offensive line was solid for the final quarter and there was no noise from Cameron Wake. Great performance.
The offense didn't have the ball much this quarter, but they were extremely efficient.
Special Teams Notes:
Zoltan Mesko is a boss.
1. Albert Haynesworth/Myron Pryor - When these players were on the field, you could tell that they'd be in Chad Henne's face extremely quickly.
2. Ras-I Dowling - He was extremely impressive. His receiver never had a chance for a reception.
3. Wes Welker - He's Wes Welker.
1. Andre Carter - He was extremely quiet the whole game and the Patriots elected to go with Mark Anderson in the closing minutes. He needs to step up his game.
2. Gary Guyton - Another poor quarter. He didn't play much, but when he did, he let in a touchdown and a big pass to tight end Anthony Fasano.
3. NFL Records - Plenty were taken down. Bad night to be an NFL record!
Rob Ninkovich, Albert Haynesworth, and Myron Pryor all generate fantastic pressure, operating out of the 3-4 defense.
Kyle Love and Haynesworth generate more pressure; Haynesworth with his hands in Henne's face. McCourty with the PBU. Nice 3rd down pressure and stop.
Punt return by Edelman, scoots up the middle.
Fake the draw to Woodhead, Robo Gronk for a quick pass up the seam for a first down. Brady froze the defense.
Not working the no huddle. Hand off to BJGE for a few yards to the outside. Not much space to work with.
Patriots are definitely working the clock now. Beautiful throw to Aaron Hernandez in coverage. Plucks it out of the air.
Quick screen to Welker, no gain.
Nice pass across the middle to Hernandez. Hernandez freezes Dansby and bounces off Benny Sapp for a big gain.
Incomplete to Hernandez. Thrown into traffic.
Woodhead up the gut, quick gain.
Brady doesn't like the defensive look. He drains the play clock and calls a time out.
After the time out, out route to Dane Fletcher. Brady telegraphed the play. Gronkowski was open underneath on the goal line. Questionable play.
Gostkowski with the field goal. Two score game.
Good kick to the goal line, Josh Barrett with a nice ST tackle.
Haynesworth with good pressure. Bush is the outlet receiver for a nice gain. No one in coverage.
Marshall is on McCourty. Hah. Henne looks at Marshall, fires, and McCourty has the PBU.
Pat Chung tells Arrington to leave the receiver and says, "I got coverage" and Arrington rushes the QB.
Pryor and Wilfork with a monster slam on Henne. 3rd down stop.
Edelman with a dangerous return, squirts up for a few yards.
Deep pass to Slater, off his hands. Nice play action to get separation. Should have been a reception.
Woodhead up the gut for a small gain.
NT stunts to the outside, quick pressure. Pass to Ochocinco, hits the ground. 4th down.
Mesko is clipped, good no call, Arrington with a ST "tackle" as the return man falls down.
Anderson with nice pressure and doesn't give Henne an escape lane. Needs to do that more. Pass up the seam to Fasano. Guyton in coverage. "Who else?" - internal monologue.
Marshall beats McCourty and picks up a huge gain. McCourty tries for the bump and gets brushed off.
Pass out of bounds, Dowling in great coverage.
Mayo with great pressure, Arrington covering the outlet. Ball thrown away.
Chung whispers something to Anderson. Fletcher cuts through the offensive line untouched. Henne overthrows Marshall and over McCourty. Jaws drops the "s-bomb". 3rd down stop.
4th down - Arrington goes for the pass rush and is called offsides- he actually lines up offsides. Quick pass to Hartline for a first down on McCourty.
Bodden with a nice open field tackle on Bush. Anderson and Carter provide great pressure.
Henne floats it out the back of the end zone above Marshall. McCourty in coverage.
Pass to Bess. Bodden in coverage. Bess is short of the end zone. 4th and goal.
"De-Fense" chants in the crowd. Fade route to Hartline; Dowling in phenomenal coverage. Not a chance, even if it was in the area.
Brady to Welker. Touchdown. Smart play. The Dolphins were going to stop the run for a potential safety. Quick pass to Welker for a couple yards? Absolutely. Dolphins rush 6 with no one in the backfield. Terrible defensive look.
Kick off, returned to the 26 yard line. Fletcher with a nice tackle.
Patriots continue to run the 3-4. Pass to Bess for a big gain on Bodden. McCourty with the support tackle. Arrington continues to rush the passer. Not sure if I agree that's a wise use of personnel.
Marshall for another reception on McCourty. Another large gain off a hitch route.
Ninkovich with nice pressure. Chung with a solid tackle on Fasano in the box.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Fletcher with pressure up the gut, Henne throws to the feet of his receiver.
Henne throws to no one. Great coverage. 3rd down stop.
4th down. Arrington on coverage on Bush as an outlet. Not sure why he didn't cover him. He just sort of watched him get the first down. He needs to be more tight in coverage.
Arrington rushes the QB again. Henne picks up a huge gain up the gap where Arrington is playing. This has to stop.
Screen to Bush. Touchdown. Guyton is supposed to pick up the outlet and chip at Bush, but just straight up misses and lets him go. Doesn't even pursue. Mayo runs across the field for the effort. Sit down Guyton.
Dolphins for the onside kick. Ball goes out of bounds.
Hand off to BJGE for a nice gain. Tick. Tick. Tick.
False start on Brian Waters. Moves the offense back.
Quick pass to Welker, back to where they were before the penalty.
Brady with plenty of time in the pocket. Throws it behind Hernandez. Should have been a first down. Jaws apologizes for his language.
Mesko with a nice punt. Places it on the goal line and it bounces sideways. No one there to make a play.
Pass to the back shoulder of Bess for a big gain. Bodden in coverage.
Dowling in coverage. Great coverage; uncatchable ball. Ras-I is all smiles.
Quick pass to Fasano for a first down. Chung in coverage.
Henne up the gut for a delayed rush. Gets out of bounds. Bush draws Arrington away from the gap and Wilfork misses the arm tackle.
Brandon Marshall calls a TO because he was going to get called for a false start and turns it into the TO motion.
Switch Marshall to Dowling. Stares him down. Bounces off of Bush's hands, Arrington in coverage.
Anderson with a great sack around the outside. Tick, tick, tick. He needs to recognize when Henne might run and when he's committed to the pass play. Good work.
Love, Pryor, and Anderson as the linemen. Coverage forces Henne to rush. 3rd down stop.
Henne to Marshall for a first down on McCourty. Goes knee to knee with Chung. 10 second run off.
Chung knocks the ball up to Kyle Arrington for a game closing interception.