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Week 12 Patriots vs Dolphins first half recap: Big plays and big mistakes as New England leads 21-10 at the half

Let's recap the Patriots' first half versus the Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are halfway through their second divisional game of the year and are leading the Miami Dolphins 21-10 at the half. Overall, the home team played an up-and-down game. New England had some big plays and jumped to a quick 14-0 lead but also made mistakes that helped the Dolphins stay in the game.

After losing the coin toss, the Patriots started the game on offense but quickly went three-and-out. However, the team ran a fake punt inside its own 30-yard line to extend its first possession. New England took advantage and subsequently a 7-0 lead thanks to a scoring run by Rex Burkhead.

The Patriots defense also started the game well and forced a quick three-and-out, setting up New England's second touchdown drive of the day: New England drove 88 yards in nine plays, capped by beautifully executed five-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski.

Following another Miami punt, New England appeared to be in total control. However, a bad snap by center Ted Karras – filling in for starter David Andrews yet again – sailed by Brady, was scooped up by the Dolphins and returned for a score. However, the momentum did not change drastically despite the giveaway.

New England's next series saw the team again drive down the field aided by big plays by Brandin Cooks and Rex Burkhead. The latter of the two scored a one-yard touchdown pass to give New England a 21-7 lead. The Dolphins answered with a field goal after a big pass interference call against Malcolm Butler set them up inside the Patriots' 10-yard line.

The Patriots failed to properly respond and turned the ball over when Tom Brady threw an interception. However, New England's defense came up big on the ensuing series as Stephon Gilmore picked off Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore in the endzone to end a potential scoring drive by the visitors.

Miami will receive the second half kickoff.