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Dolphins at Patriots Advanced Stats Report: Dion Lewis had a monster day at the office

Weekly advanced stats report from the Patriots' win over the Dolphins in Week 12.

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Below are a variety of advanced stats from the Patriots' 35-17 win over the Dolphins in Week 12.

Passing Chart

(credit: https://nextgenstats.nfl.com/)

Tom Brady was pressured on 44.8% of his drop-backs but that didn't stop him from throwing for four touchdown passes in Week 12.

In terms of yardage through the air, Brady picked up the bulk of his 227 yards throwing to the deep-middle and deep-left areas of the field.

In all, 175 of his 227 yards came targeting the four zones in the intermediate left or middle and deep left or middle, including a touchdown pass to a wide-open Rob Gronkowski in the end zone where Brady did a nice job hanging in there against pressure to deliver a strike to #87.

The 28 pass attempts were a season-low for Brady but he still managed to target nearly every zone in the Dolphins' defense, and didn't seem to shy away from throwing at any of the Dolphins' defensive backs.

In terms of time in the pocket, Brady held the ball on average for 2.62 seconds, which is a full half a second longer than last weeks mark, but just a notch above his season average of 2.61 seconds.

It appeared that Brady held onto the ball a bit longer than usual at times on some of the pressures allowed by the Patriots' offensive line, but the numbers don't necessarily back that up.

Slot Performance

It wasn't a big day for the Patriots and Tom Brady in terms of targeting receivers lined up in the slot.

Just seven of Brady's 28 pass attempts were directed at receivers that started in the slot, and one of those was Brandin Cooks' touchdown on end around toss that officially goes down as a pass attempt.

However, tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to be a nightmare for opposing defenses lining up as an inside wide receiver.

Gronk's two biggest catches of the day came from the slot position, one of which was a vintage seam route where Brady waited long enough for Gronk to clear the linebackers and he was left wide open in the Dolphins' zone coverage.

Overall, this season, Gronk ranks second among tight ends in receiving yards out of the slot to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (354, Kelce - 468).

Pass Protection

The Patriots' offensive line finally began to feel the effects of missing two starters due to injury (RT Marcus Cannon) and illness (center David Andrews).

The number don't look particularly bad, but given that Brady only dropped back to pass 29 times on Sunday, allowing 12 pressures and five quarterback hits as a unit is certainly a step back from recent weeks.

In all, Brady was pressured on 44.8% of his drop-backs which is the highest rate of pressure he has faced this season.

After strong performances last week, replacements LaAdrian Waddle and Ted Karras earned a lot of praise over the last week and deservedly so, but their performances in Week 12 may have Patriots fans clamoring for the return of Cannon and Andrews to the starting lineup.

Waddle allowed a team-high four pressures including two quarterback hits on Tom Brady, and Karras cost the team a touchdown on an errant snap and didn't play with the same confidence as he did a week ago in Mexico City.

The group continued to be strong on the ground as the Patriots gashed the Dolphins averaging over five yards per rush attempt, but the struggles in pass protection were the dark-mark on a 35-17 win.

Pass Rush/Run Stops

The seven sacks tallied by the Patriots' defense on Sunday were the most the unit has had in a game since Week 2, 2015.

The Patriots clearly made it a point to turn up the heat on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, and the strategy worked as Moore was pressured on 37.2% of his drop-backs, but most importantly the Pats got a sack on 43.8% of those pressures.

It was a career day rushing the passer for Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts.

Roberts entered Sunday's game without a sack in 22 career games but sacked Moore twice in this one.

One of Roberts' sacks came on a nice pass rush move in a pure rushing the passer situation while the other was on a delayed blitz from a middle linebacker position that Moore didn't see coming.

Roberts got some help from two familiar sources in the Patriots' sack party on Sunday, as both Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy continued their strong play this season.

Flowers, in particular, was extremely disruptive on Sunday leading the team with four total pressures despite missing a chunk of the second half due to injury.

Flowers hasn't been able to convert pressures into sacks this season like he did down the stretch in 2016, but took Moore down twice in Week 12.

Flowers is without a doubt the most valuable player in the Patriots' front seven, and the injury that forced him to leave the game early will be a big talking point this week.

After losing Dont'a Hightower for the season earlier this season, this team cannot afford to lose Trey Flowers.

Pass Coverage

Big free-agent acquisition Stephon Gilmore has officially turned the corner.

Since returning from a concussion in Week 10, Gilmore has begun to play some spectacular football as his contract status would suggest he's capable of.

Against the Dolphins, Gilmore was tasked with shadowing Miami's talented young wide receiver DeVante Parker, who's in the midst of having a breakout season of sorts.

Saying Gilmore won the battle with Parker would be an understatement as Matt Moore targeted Parker just three times and was intercepted twice on those three passes.

While the lone completion on Gilmore went for just a 5-yard gain early on the Dolphins' opening drive on offense.

Over the last three weeks, quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 67.2 when targeting Gilmore in coverage.

Other than Gilmore, it was a challenging day for a rising star in the Patriots' secondary in cornerback Jonathan Jones.

The stats aren't friendly to Jones, but he shared the responsibility of covering the Dolphins' best offensive player in wide receiver Jarvis Landry with Malcolm Butler.

Landry won a handful of those battles with Jones but the second-year Patriots' corner still made #14 in Miami work for it as best as he could.

Bonus: Dion Lewis' Big Day

Patriots running back Dion Lewis had a dominant performance over the Dolphins in Week 12.

Lewis' 112 rushing yards were a career-high and the most by a Patriot since LeGarrette Blount in Week 11 of the 2016 season (including playoffs).

Thanks to the great staff at Pro Football Focus, there are also a few insane advanced metrics that illustrate just how terrific Lewis was on Sunday.

Lewis led all ball carriers in Week 12 with six missed tackles on rush attempts and averaged 4.47 yards after contact per rush against the Dolphins.

On the season, Lewis' elusive rating, which measures how often a player is creating his own yards (missed tackles, yards after contact, etc), Lewis ranks second among running backs at 101.8 behind Saints rookie Alvin Kamara (min. 25% of teams snaps).

Lewis' breakout season in 2015 was mostly about him as a pass catcher, but he's without question the best pure runner the Patriots have on the roster in 2017.

(h/t Pro Football Focus: https://www.profootballfocus.com/products/elite#edge)