The New England Patriots are looking to finally get on track, while the Miami Dolphins are looking to strengthen their already considerable grip on the AFC East. If the Patriots win, they’ll be back within striking distance of Miami and all will be well. If they lose, then there’s a real chance the Dolphins will have a 3-game lead in the division after a mere four games.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
Early Games Rooting Guide
Texans @ Colts: The Patriots play both teams- the Colts are next on the schedule on Thursday Night- so there isn’t much of a desire for either team to win, but they want this to be a super physical and exhausting game. A bird-in-the-hand situation suggests they want the Texans to win for the “strength of victory” tiebreaker that New England knows they have.
Patriots Game Details
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA
SB Nation affiliate: The Phinsider
TV: CBS, with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Rich Gannon (color commentary), and Steve Tasker (sideline reporter):
There’s a “good chance” that Josh Gordon will play!
Take a look at the Patriots’ inactives:
TE Jacob Hollister
OL Ted Karras
OL Cole Croston
DE Keionta Davis
DE Derek Rivers
DE Geneo Grissom
CB Eric Rowe
Please click here for additional analysis and the Dolphins’ inactive players.
The Dolphins received the ball to start the game and opened up the game with a 22-yard pass to Kenny Stills. That was the only first down of the drive as the Patriots forced Miami to punt from midfield.
The Patriots started from the 24-yard line and a big defensive holding call by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard on third down set the wheels in motion for Sony Michel and the Patriots offense. Michel gained 36 yards on the next three plays before the Patriots reached the red zone. Tom Brady found Josh Gordon for 13 yards on 3rd and 6 to get to the Dolphins 3-yard line, but Miami made a goal line stand and forced Stephen Gostkowski to kick a 20-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. CBS noted that this was the Patriots first lead in 9 quarters of football.
The New England defense almost forced a three-and-out but a ticky-tacky defensive holding call against Jonathan Jones gave the Dolphins a new set of downs. The Patriots forced another third down and held strong, forcing another punt. Cyrus Jones made a nice return back to the 35-yard line.
Tom Brady misread the Dolphins defense as Phillip Dorsett was running an in-route as Bobby McCain dropped off from his coverage of Chris Hogan and intercepted the pass.
Brady’s stats over the past five quarters: 17 of 33 (51.15%) for 163 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Passer Rating: 50.4
The Patriots forced a three-and-out against the Dolphins defense as they’re putting together their best day in a long time.
Tom Brady and company responded with a huge 55-yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson and a 10-0 lead. Feel free to laugh at the above entry. Patterson is the 70th unique receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady, tying Vinny Testaverde for the most in NFL history.
ALERT: THE PATRIOTS HAVE FORCED BACK-TO-BACK THREE-AND-OUTS!
The Patriots were unable to respond with the good field position, but a bad snap and handle by Ryan Tannehill allowed Kyle Van Noy to recover the football on the 20-yard line for great field position.
James White took the very first play of the drive 20 yards on the ground for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
The New England defense forced yet another three-and-out! That is three three-and-outs and a fumble recovery on the past four drives. Kyle Van Noy was outstanding on the edge on this drive, while Jonathan Jones is having an incredibly strong day in coverage.
The Patriots used up the rest of the time in the first half as Sony Michel flexed on the final drive of the half. Tom Brady and company converted three third downs before Brady found Phillip Dorsett for an acrobatic 9-yard touchdown and a 24-0 lead.
Oh, the Patriots get the ball after the half, too.
New England and Miami traded three-and-outs to start the second half.
Tom Brady and company responded with a 9 play, 59-yard drive that ate up 5 minutes of the clock and resulted in a huge third down moonshot of a pass from Brady to James White. White has 84 total yards and 2 touchdowns today as he’s become the engine of the offense.
Since I made fun of Brady’s statline: 15/22 (68.2%) for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns. Passer rating: 131.8
J.C. Jackson intercepted Ryan Tannehill on his next drive to set the Patriots up on their own 10-yard line.
Sony Michel recorded the first 100-yard game of his career as the Patriots marched down the field to the and Michel punched in a 10-yard scamper for a 38-0 win. Michel has 112 yards on the day.
John Simon recorded a big third down sack of Ryan Tannehill to force another punt. Cyrus Jones returned it to the 43-yard line.
Brady found Chris Hogan to get the ball to the 28-yard line of the Dolphins (why is Brady still in the game?) but then Brady threw a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb interception to Minkah Fitzpatrick as he was about to be sacked. This is the second time today that Brady decided to throw an interception instead of eating the sack. Get Brady out of the game.
And in garbage time, Frank Gore rumbled down the field and Brock Osweiler threw him a touchdown pass to narrow the lead to 38-7.
Brian Hoyer kneeled out the clock.