It was a good and bad showing for the team as the New England Patriots just escape with a 35-17 victory to move to 9-2 on the season and seal a 17th straight winning season.
Brady with the exception of the interception, was his normal self throwing two touchdown passes in the first half. His favorite targets were running back Rex Burkhead and tight end Rob Gronkowski who were the recipients of both passes and a rushing touchdown.
The Patriots defense was for the most part on par and continues to move up in the ranks in regards to groups around the league.
The team entrusted Jonathan Jones in covering Jarvis Landry and did an alright job giving up eight receptions for 70 yards to the speedy receiver.
The play of the offense slowed down at the end of the first half with Brady throwing an interception on a third down pass intended for Danny Amendola.
It looked ugly but the improving No.1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore recorded his second interception on the season and only surrendering a single reception for five yards against Devante Parker.
The second half was more of a defensive of affair with only one touchdown scored and the game moving slow with lackadaisical play on both sides.
Into the fourth quarter and the Dolphins put together the best drive of the day for their offense with a throw and strike from Moore to Kenyan Drake putting their team within 11 points of the Patriots.
The Dolphins defense stepped up with Wake recording the team’s first sack of the day on a botched snap by Brady to put the ball back in the hands of Adam Gases’ offense.
With a big stand, the Patriots got the ball back and handed it to Lewis who got them down to the goal line.
Then the Patriots put the foot on the throat with a pitch and catch between Brady and his favorite receiver Brandin Cooks to put the game out of reach.
The offense finished with an 100 percent red zone efficiency and Brady was very proud of the team for that statistic.
“We have left some on the field even though the last couple of weeks, we were really good against Oakland and Denver,” Brady said. “It was good to have an 100 percent day in the red area.”
The team moves ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers for now. Patriots fans and players will indeed be watching that Sunday Night Football matchup closely later on.
Top Performers: Offense – 4 Defense – 4
Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski was up to his old tricks once again catching four passes for 67 yards and a score in the 1st half while also passing Kellen Winslow Sr. on the all time list for receiving yards gained by a tight end. Gronkowski then followed it up in the second half with another touchdown.
On top of that in a tweet by NFL Research, it states that “Gronkowski leads all players in receiving TDs since entering the NFL in 2010 (74), despite missing 25 games in that span.”
It was also the tight end’s 16th multi-touchdown game in his career which passes Randy Moss for most in team history.
When Gronkowski is healthy, this offense is close to unstoppable.
Rex Burkhead: Goodbye Mike Gillislee. Burkhead has proven to be more versatile than his teammate contributing in both the running and passing game. Keep an eye on Burkhead on the field and in your fantasy leagues as he is becoming a staple in the offense.
Tom Brady: Brady’s first interception in 188 attempts keeps him from yet another perfect game. Throwing four touchdowns, he further makes his case for the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Dion Lewis: Lewis once again took the field as the starter and continues to be great at that position. With a career high 112 yards, the running back finished with his first 100 yard rushing performance of his career.
Stephon Gilmore: Gilmore keeps getting better and better blanketing Parker holding him to one reception and recording his second interception as stated previously.
Patrick Chung: Chung has become one of the best all around players on this defense. Nobody knows what happened in his year away with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he has established himself as one of the better strong safeties in the NFL. He recorded 10 tackles, a quarterback hit, and his second fumble recovery on the season.
The Flowers’ Duo: Trey Flowers once again continues his breakout season with two sacks and three combined tackles on the day. Marquis Flowers also brought the heat on the Dolphins and Matt Moore. The defense as a whole finished with seven sacks on the day.
Elandon Roberts: Roberts himself had a breakout game with two sacks and three combined tackles. As one of the two linebackers on the field at a time in New England, Roberts is having a golden sophomore season in the place of Dont’a Hightower.
Trevor Reilly: The linebacker was hit on a kickoff and was taken into the locker room. It appears his injury is a concussion and will presumably be put on protocol to start the week.
Trey Flowers: Went to the locker room with a rib injury and did not return to the game. The severity of the injury is not known.
LaAdrian Waddle: Hurt his ankle and was replaced by Cameron Fleming. It is not deemed to be serious and shouldn’t hold him out long.
Kyle Van Noy: Injured his leg on the play but was seen on the sidelines not being attended to. Van Noy should be good to go for next week.
Nate Ebner: The Special Teams leader went down with a knee injury after successfully converting a fourth down conversion and went straight to the locker room after the play. It looks more and more like a torn ACL but we will be watching it closely.