On Sunday at Foxborough, the New England Patriots routed the Miami Dolphins. What did we learn from this AFC East showdown?
There was an awful lot working against the Miami Dolphins as they looked to win in Foxborough for the first time since 2008. Adam Gase’s club was in the midst of a four-game slide while the New England Patriots had won six straight after that forgettable 2-2 start.
As could be expected, the Pats got off to a fast start and despite a couple of turnovers in the second quarter still led 21-10 at the half. Bill Belichick’s team outgained Miami 282-126 in total yards in the first 30 minutes of the game. And two quarters later, New England was on the right end of a 35-17 victory.
The win raised New England’s record to 9-2, ensuring the franchise of a 17th consecutive winning season (2001-17). Only the Dallas Cowboys, who managed 20 straight campaigns of .500-plus football from 1966-85, own a longer streak in NFL history.
1. QB Tom Brady
The veteran signal-caller wasn’t super sharp on Sunday but still got the job done. Brady hit on 18 of his 28 throws for 227 yards and four scores with one interception. The first-place Patriots wrapped up another winning season and won their seventh consecutive game.
2. TE Rob Gronkowski
The massive target enjoyed another productive outing in the team’s latest win over the Dolphins. Gronkowski was targeted eight times and hauled in five passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
3. RB Dion Lewis
The explosive performer led the team on the ground once again, totaling 112 yards rushing on 15 carries in the Patriots’ win. Lewis also pulled down one pass for one yard but it was good for a touchdown.
The defending Super Bowl champions were imposing 17-points favorites for their first home divisional game of the season. It’s certainly understandable considering that the Patriots had won six straight contests and the Dolphins had lost four straight games entering Sunday’s action.
The Miami Dolphins return home next Sunday to face the Denver Broncos. The New England Patriots embark on the first leg of a three-game road trip and face the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. It’s a place where Belichick’s team has won the last five times it has visited.