1:00 PM ET, October 27, 2013
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
They gave fans plenty to cheer about with their best third quarter of the season.
Trailing 17-3 after gaining just 59 yards, the Patriots quickly turned the game around after intermission with two touchdowns in a span of seven plays and beat the Miami Dolphins 27-17 on Sunday.
"We really haven't played good in the third quarter, but we did today," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Things weren't going our way in the first half. That was obvious, being booed at halftime."
New England (6-2) rallied despite another mediocre performance by Brady, who completed more than half his passes for only the fifth time in eight games.
But his 116 yards passing were the second fewest in game he played most of the way in since 2006.
Brady completed 13-of-22 passes and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson with 6:32 gone in the third quarter that began the comeback.
He threw for more than half his yards, 76, in the third quarter when the team scored 17 points. In their first seven games, the Patriots were outscored 44-9 in that period.
"I know a lot of people are frustrated," Brady said, but "to be 6-2 is not bad."
And he brushed off a suggestion that he wasn't at full strength, with pictures showing possible swelling in his right hand.
"I'll be out there next week," he said. "For the eighth week of the year, I feel awesome."
Asked specifically about the hand, he said, "My hand is perfect," before answering if it was injured, "Absolutely not."
The Dolphins (3-4) lost their fourth straight game.
"We've got to keep the same mindset the whole game," Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "We just have to step on their throat."
Trailing 17-3, New England got the ball for the second time in the third quarter after Caleb Sturgis' 46-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
"Maybe it changed momentum. Maybe it didn't," Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "That didn't matter. We needed to execute and needed to score points and we didn't."
The Patriots took over and scored on Brady's pass to Dobson.
They regained possession two plays after the kickoff when Logan Ryan sacked Tannehill, forcing a fumble that Rob Ninkovich recovered at the Miami 13. It was one of six sacks against Tannehill, who began the game having been sacked an NFL-high 26 times.
Three plays later, Bolden scored on a 2-yard run and the Patriots tied it at 17 with 6:42 left in the quarter.
Stephen Gostkowski's 48-yard field goal made it 20-17 late in the third period.
They got a break on their drive when Olivier Vernon was penalized for batting forward a ball that Brady fumbled. The Patriots recovered at the Dolphins 45, but the penalty put the ball at the 13.
That series ended with Ridley's 3-yard touchdown run.
The outlook was much bleaker in the first half.
"We weren't playing good football at all. We had to start all over again," Ninkovich said.
Brady's first pass was intercepted by Dimitri Patterson, setting up a 40-yard drive capped by Tannehill's 4-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson. But Gibson left the game later in the first quarter with a left knee injury when he jumped for a pass over his head.
There was no update on his condition, but Gibson, on crutches after the game, said, "I jumped and I felt it right away."
Tannehill made it 14-0 on a 5-yard scoring pass to Daniel Thomas about five minutes into the second quarter.
The Patriots scored with 3:43 left in the half on Gostkowski's 34-yard field goal, but Sturgis connected on a 52-yarder 30 seconds before intermission.
After the kickoff, Brady took a knee and was booed as New England let time expire.
"I didn't hear much, truthfully. I just go off the field. It's a long game," he said. "Ultimately, you've got to wait `til it all plays out."
Patriots starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer didn't return after hurting his leg when defensive tackle Randy Starks fell on the back of his legs in the second quarter. ... Dolphins offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie started at left tackle as the Dolphins hoped for better pass protection. They obtained him last Monday in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. ... The Patriots beat the Dolphins for the seventh straight time.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 27: Danny Amendola #80 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots interact before a game...(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.8||4.1|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||3-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||6:37||Brandon Gibson 4 Yard Pass From Ryan Tannehill (Caleb Sturgis Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 40 yds, 5:42
|TD||9:58||Daniel Thomas 5 Yard Pass From Ryan Tannehill (Caleb Sturgis Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yds, 4:31
|FG||3:47||Stephen Gostkowski 34 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 13 plays, 64 yds, 6:12
|FG||0:35||Caleb Sturgis 52 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yds, 3:13
|TD||8:33||Aaron Dobson 14 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 64 yds, 1:45
|TD||6:46||Brandon Bolden 2 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 13 yds, 1:01
|FG||0:13||Stephen Gostkowski 48 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 8 plays, 37 yds, 2:16
|TD||7:18||Stevan Ridley 3 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 82 yds, 5:56
The Patriots' win probability dipped to 4.4 percent with the Dolphins having 1st and 10 at the New England 27 and leading 17-3 with 11:27 remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Patriots stormed back from that point after a Dolphins missed field goal and ensuing mistakes. Ryan Tannehill had an 86.7 Total QBR at halftime but finished at 29.8 after 3 second-half turnovers.
Tom Brady didn't target Aaron Dobson in the first half of Sunday's game. After his first target was defended on the first play of the third quarter, Dobson caught his last four targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. After an inauspicious start to the season (13 catches and three drops in his first five weeks), Dobson leads the team with 13 catches and 157 receiving yards in the last three games.
The Patriots defense sent a defensive back after Tannehill on 14-of-49 dropbacks, posting three sacks (one a strip sack) and holding him to 6-of-11 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots had used five defensive-back blitzes all season entering Sunday, less than half the amount of any other team.
Ryan Tannehill was terrible throwing deep on Sunday, completing 2-of-11 passes for 35 yards and a pair of interceptions on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield. After a hot start during Miami's three-game winning streak to open the season, Miami's struggles in the vertical passing game are one reason they've lost four straight games.[+]
Ryan Tannehill, Throws 11+ Yds Downfield
The Patriots lost last week at Jets, but don't worry Patriots fans, Tom Brady is likely to get the team back on track at home against the Dolphins on Sunday. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Brady is 32-8 in games after a personal loss, including overlapping seasons. His .800 win pct in those games is the 2nd-best win percentage in the Super Bowl Era (behind Matt Ryan's .808 win pct).[+]
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