The Patriots bounced back from losing back to back games by double digits and beat their division foe Dolphins 38-7. The game was a blowout but it was a huge victory for the Pats. It was a great way to end the month of September where they usually have slow starts. It’s the month where they find out who they are by experimenting schemes and different personnel. Here is how they got the job against Miami.
New England played well on both sides of the ball, something they haven’t done in the first three contests of the season. They came into the game 28th in total defense (31st against the run and 11th versus the pass) and 25th in total offense. Well, that changed when they did a better job in stopping run keeping Kenyan Drake in check, holding him to just three yards. Ryan Tannehill was held to only 100 yards passing, an interception and a lost fumble.
On offense, the offensive line of Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon did a great job protecting Tom Brady and in run blocking. They converted 10 of 15 third downs as they would dominate time of possession 36:22 to 23:38. Brady got off to a rough start by throwing an interception without seeing Bobby McCain undercutting the route by Phillip Dorsett.
But, the 41 year old bounced back and threw his first touchdown to a wide open Cordarelle Patterson for 55 yards. With that, Brady ties a record for throwing touchdown passes to 70 different receivers sharing it with Vinny Testaverde. He would throw another TD near the end of the first half to Dorsett as he caught it and did a back flip. Next, Brady threw his last score of the game to James White. It was in the left corner of the end zone as he got hit. In total, he would throw for 274 yards, three TD’s and two INT’s.
The running game did well to complement Tom Brady and the passing game. It was a coming out show for first round pick Sony Michel. The University of Georgia product ran for 112 yards and scored his first career TD. His run of 23 yards was the team’s longest of the year. The other back, James White also played well. Mr. SweetFeet ran for 44 yards on eight carries with 5.5 yards per carry and two total touchdowns. In addition, he caught eight balls for 68 yards with most on screen plays.
These two looks like a capable RB duo because they complement each other. Michel has the speed, power, quickness and White has the shiftiness and receiving skills. With their production, it can help aide Brady he can play action when defenses are thinking run.
Rob Gronkowski has four receptions for 44 yards before leaving because of an ankle injury. He made more history by surpassing Ben Coates as the team’s all time leader in receptions by a tight end. Also, Josh Gordon made his Patriots debut and caught two passes in his direction for 32 yards.
The Last Word
This was a much needed win for the Patriots after a disappointing start of the season. Now, it’s on to Andrew Luck and the Colts this Thursday Night as Julian Edelman will come back after missing last season with a torn ACL and a four game suspension.