There was no offense without Rob Gronkowski
The New England offense relied on the running backs for any and all production on Monday night. They went three-and-out seven times and were 0 for 11 on third down. Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan combined for 1 catch and 1 yard on 10 targets until Brady found Cooks for a garbage-time 38-yard gain. Brady threw more interceptions in Cooks’ direction (two) than completions (one).
It was bad, bad, bad.
Tom Brady wasn’t good
Brady was inaccurate on deep passes. He was generally inaccurate on passes to the sideline, other than a miracle throw to Dion Lewis. He was inaccurate on throws to wide receivers.
He was nervous in the pocket and felt pressure that didn’t exist, but that was also because there was real pressure on every other snap. It was one of the worst outings for Brady in 2017.
The offensive line wasn’t good
The hits and sacks don’t do justice to how much trouble the New England offensive line had against the Miami Dolphins. Joe Thuney and David Andrews struggled against Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. Nate Solder gave up plenty of pressures to Charles Harris and Andre Branch.
New England gave so much help to Cameron Fleming on the right side against Cameron Wake that the rest of the offense was limited and gave Miami the numbers advantage.
Oh, and the running backs had 10 carries for a mere 25 yards, a disappointing outing after back-to-back games with 190+ yards rushing.
The defense wasn’t good
Injuries really caught up to the defense as there was no pressure without Trey Flowers and there was horrible tackling in the middle of the field without Kyle Van Noy. There was only so much time the secondary could cover before a Dolphins receiver eventually got behind the defensive backs.
New England allowed big chunk plays to running back Kenyan Drake, but they also allowed short, methodical gains to almost every other player on the Dolphins offense. Miami scored on 13-, 8-, 7-, 5-, and 8-play drives as Jay Cutler was happy to take the easy and open play the entire night.
The coaching wasn’t good
Who thought it was a good idea to have Elandon Roberts cover Kenyan Drake? Who thought it was a good idea to run a sweep with James White? Who thought it was a good idea to dial up deep passes on third-and-one? Who was outmatched by Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who drew up brilliant routes to isolate wide receivers on crossing patterns against man coverage?
The New England coaches had a bad night, just like everyone else on the team.