We're going to change up this Best and Worst Plays post because of how completely awful the Patriots were against the Dolphins. Sometimes the result is so incredibly awful, you just have to laugh at it.
Typically our best and worst plays are determined by the "expected points added" (EPA) model, which looks at the team's expected points on the drive are before and after any given play. The greater the EPA, the better the play. Seven of the top ten plays on the day were in favor of Miami, along with 23 of the top 32.
The Dolphins plays weren't crazy; they were just conversions on third down or standard 12 yard gains. I thought it would be interesting to look at the top ten Patriots plays just to highlight how horrific the game went for New England.
10. Ryan Tannehill throws an incomplete pass on third down to Kenny Stills on the Dolphins opening drive. (+1.28 EPA).
9. Dolphins safety Reshad Jones commits defensive pass interference to grant the Patriots 24 yards with 3:53 left in the first half (+1.58 EPA).
8. Jabaal Sheard and Akiem Hicks tackle Lamar Miller on 3rd and 1 for no gain with 2:08 left in the game on the Patriots goal line (+1.62 EPA).
7. Geneo Grissom sacks Ryan Tannehill for -8 yards on 1st down in the first quarter (+1.62 EPA).
6. Dolphins tackle Jason Fox grabs the face mask of Jabaal Sheard to set Miami back 15 yards on 2nd down (+2.03 EPA).
5. Jamie Collins and Alan Branch tackle Lamar Miller for no gain on 4th and 1 late in the third quarter (+2.19 EPA).
4. Tom Brady completes a slip screen to Steven Jackson, who takes it 20 yards on 2nd and 15 (+2.20 EPA).
3. Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon commits a roughing the passer penalty on 3rd and 11 to grant the Patriots 15 yards and a first down in the third quarter (+2.34 EPA).
2. Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks misses a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter (+2.92 EPA).
1. Tom Brady completes a slant pass to James White, who takes it 68 yards on 3rd and 4 to open up the second half (+5.99 EPA).
To recap, three of the Patriots top plays were Dolphins penalties, one was a missed field goal, four were defensive stops, and then two were really short passes that the running backs were able to convert into major gains.
There was no Rob Gronkowski spiking the ball, or Brandon LaFell converting on a crossing pattern. There were no real turnovers, or major kick returns.
The Patriots best plays on offense were short passes to their running backs. The defense could only bail the offense out for so long and expecting penalties to extend drives only works if you're Joe Flacco.
It was an ugly day all around, but at least the Patriots are on a bye week to try and fix the problems.