Two weeks into the season, the New England Patriots continue to look like a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. The offense was precise albeit not perfect for most of the day, while the defense just overwhelmed the hapless Miami Dolphins — it registered four interceptions on the day and pitched a shutout en route to a 43-0 win. It was pure domination.
Patriots (2-0) 43 : 0 Dolphins (0-2)
RB Brandon Bolden, CB Joejuan Williams, RB Damien Harris, WR Jakobi Meyers, OG Jermaine Eluemunor, DE Deatrich Wise Jr, OT Marcus Cannon
WR Albert Wilson, S Reshad Jones, RB Myles Gaskin, OL Chris Reed, OT Isaiah Prince, OL Bryan Witzmann, LB Trent Harris
LT Isaiah Wynn, LG Joe Thuney, C Ted Karras, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marshall Newhouse, TE Matt LaCosse, QB Tom Brady, FB James Develin, RB Sony Michel, WR Josh Gordon, WR Julian Edelman
DT Lawrence Guy, DT Danny Shelton, DT Adam Butler, OLB Kyle Van Noy, ILB Elandon Roberts, ILB Dont’a Hightower, OLB Jamie Collins, CB Stephon Gilmore, CB, Jason McCourty, S Jonathan Jones, S Devin McCourty
The Patriots’ starting offensive line during warmups consisted of Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, Ted Karras, Shaq Mason and recently signed Marshall Newhouse filling in for Marcus Cannon at right tackle.
Despite losing the coin toss, the Patriots started the game by kicking off to the Dolphins and beginning the game on defense. Just like last week against Pittsburgh, the unit was in shutdown mode early on and forced a quick three-and-out: New England stopped two runs before an incomplete pass. The ensuing drive was caught fairly by Gunners Olszewski, setting up New England’s offense at its own 40-yard line.
The unit did set the tone immediately. Tom Brady and company marched 60 yards in 10 plays — three of which passes; all with Antonio Brown on the receiving end for a combined 36 yards. The rest of the series was rushing attempts and one holding penalty drawn by Brown. Ultimately, the Patriots’ first drive of the afternoon was capped by a 1-yard scamper from Sony Michel into the end zone for New England’s first points of the day. [Patriots 7 : 0 Dolphins]
Miami’s second drive went marginally better, but the Patriots’ defense still proved how stout it was: while the home team did manage to get a first down on its opening play of the series, the drive stalled a short time later and ended when defensive tackle Adam Butler took down Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for a 5-yard loss on third down. Miami punted again, with Olszewski fair-catching at the New England 17.
The Patriots’ second drive started with a change at left tackle: Isaiah Wynn left the game for the blue medical tent, and was replaced in the lineup by backup Korey Cunningham. With another backup in, the series went nowhere. New England did move the football well early on but ultimately had to settle for a punt after failing to pick up a new set of downs on a 3rd and 5 rushing attempt.
New England’s defense again stood its ground on the next series by forcing yet another three-and-out, and giving the ball back to the offense. The unit — with Isaiah Wynn in the locker room and officially questionable to return — had a better third possession: the Patriots marched to the Dolphins’ 30-yard line behind a healthy mix of pass and run. However, the series ended with no points as Stephen Gostkowski missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.
The Dolphins could not take advantage of the miss, however, and saw another drive end with a three-and-out and a punt in part due to pass breakups by J.C. Jackson and Adam Butler. And with the ensuing punt sailing just 21 yards, the Patriots started their next possession with good field position yet again.
While the Patriots started the possession in negative fashion with Tom Brady going down for a loss of seven yards, the team quickly rebounded thanks in part to a spectacular 3rd and 17 conversion on a pass from Tom Brady to Phillip Dorsett:
New England quickly moved the ball into Miami’s red zone with some hard running and well-executed pass plays. And it was a pass that ended the series: Tom Brady and Antonio Brown connected on a 20-yard back-shoulder pass for a touchdown. It was Brown’s fourth catch of the day, and his first score in a Patriots uniform. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. [Patriots 13 : 0 Dolphins]
The Dolphins were unable to get much going with their next possession, and again had to punt which allowed the Patriots to kneel out the first half.
New England received the opening kickoff of the second half, and started the series with another Brady-to-Dorsett connection. The 18-yard catch remained the highlight of the drive, however, as the series stalled just three plays later and the Patriots were forced to punt. The team got the football back rather quickly, though, as Devin McCourty was able to intercept Ryan Fitzpatrick on a 3rd and 10 attempt after a tip from Stephon Gilmore.
Tom Brady and the offense were able to only somewhat take advantage of the game’s first turnover: the team moved the ball into scoring territory, but ultimately stalled at the Dolphins 10-yard line following two straight incompletions from Brady intended for Antonio Brown. New England sent Stephen Gostkowski, and this time he made the kick to give New England a 16-0 lead. [Patriots 16 : 0 Dolphins]
The Dolphins answered with... yet another punt. Their drive started with the Patriots sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the unit was unable to overcome playing from behind the sticks resulting in Miami’s latest three-and-out. New England, on the other hand, replied with another scoring drive: the team moved down the field in just nine plays to add another touchdown to its lead when Tom Brady sneaked in from the 1-yard line. [Patriots 23 : 0 Dolphins]
The Patriots defense kept dominating the Dolphins on the next series, forcing another three-and-out while only pushing their opponent back: Adam Butler had another sack on the series, while Chase Winovich and Jamie Collins Sr. combined for another quarterback takedown. Miami had to punt again and found itself at a grand total of 38 yards of offense by the end of the third quarter.
New England was unable to add to its lead on the next series, having to punt after only four plays. But while the Dolphins’ ensuing possession started promising and saw the team cross the 50-yard line for the first time all day, the drive came crashing in spectacular fashion: Stephon Gilmore undercut a pass intended for DeVante Parker and returned it 54 yards for a pick-six touchdown. [Patriots 30 : 0 Dolphins]
The very next drive ended in the same fashion. This time, Jamie Collins was able to get hold of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass: running back Kalen Ballage bobbled the pass, allowing the Patriots’ linebacker to pick it off and return it 69 yards for another score. [Patriots 37 : 0 Dolphins]
The game did not end there, though, considering that there were still nine minutes left in the fourth period. The Dolphins’ next two possessions — now with Josh Rosen in at quarterback — ended with unsuccessful fourth down attempts. In between, Patriots running back Sony Michel lost a fumble. The Patriots ultimately were able to add more points to their total thanks to a five-play, 59-yard series that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to James White. The extra point was missed again, however. [Patriots 43 : 0 Dolphins]
The game ended with the Dolphins driving into scoring range, but another interception — Jamie Collins for a second time — ended the contest in fitting fashion.
Pats Pulpit Live: Week 2 in Miami
Welcome to another victory edition of Pats Pulpit Live! The Patriots dominated the Dolphins in Miami to the tune of a 43-0 shutout. Host Brian Phillips breaks down 4 players who were "up" and two who were "down" on Sunday.Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, September 15, 2019