Dolphins Sweep Patriots, Move To 6-2

Dolphins Sweep Patriots 6-2

Miami Gardens, FL – After a tough loss on the road to Philadelphia the week prior, the Miami Dolphins looked to rebound against a familiar opponent – the New England Patriots. The Dolphins already knocked off the Patriots back in September, so today they earned the season sweep and moved up to 6-2. However, like most divisional matchups, the Pats gave Miami everything they could handle as they capitalized off their mistakes.

Handling this Dolphins offense is no small task, and proved to be too much for New England as the game progressed. On defense, the Fins got an early Christmas gift as cornerback Jalen Ramsey made his first appearance of the season in a Dolphins uniform (The 1972 throwbacks, to be specific!) and made an immediate impact in their secondary.

All in all, New England put up a good fight and caught Miami off guard. But, just like what we saw against Carolina, an early lead means nothing against a Fins team that excels in playing 60 minutes of football as they stormed to a 31-16 win at Hard Rock Stadium.

The good times keep rolling for the Dolphins against the Patriots, as they’ve now won six out of their last seven meetings against the Northerners. In addition, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is now a perfect 6-0 in games he’s played against Pats head coach Bill Belichick.

Tua, by the way, had another solid outing going for 324 yards and three touchdowns off of 30 completions. Both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle recorded over 100 receiving yards in another high-quality air-based offensive performance. That was much needed, as Miami’s running game was limited by New England’s defensive line, only managing 78 total yards.

Early Mistakes Cost The Fins, But No Worries

In reality, it was mistakes made by the Dolphins that really kept this game close, and the Patriots did a great job capitalizing on them. The earliest sign of this was an interception thrown by Tua in the middle of the first quarter. A miscommunication by him and the receiving core led to an easy catch and grab by the Pats defender, which set up New England for the first touchdown of the day.

At the beginning of the second half, Miami had the ball looking to add to their  17-7 lead. However, a botched handoff between Tua and running back Raheem Mostert was recovered by New England, who got a field goal out of it. That’s 10 points that could have been taken off the board if not for turnovers by the Dolphins’ offense.

Now, to Miami’s credit, they bounced back after both of those Patriots possessions. A 42-yard bomb to Hill scored their first touchdown of the day, and a 1-yard rush by Mostert capped off the next one. They never allowed any sort of momentum to the Patriots after they scored, and honestly played their best football after making those silly mistakes.

Ramsey’s In Town, And The Defense Excels

Aside from those two scores off of turnovers, how did New England’s offense look the rest of the game? Five punts, an interception, a late score that was answered with a 31-yard touchdown catch by Waddle, and a turnover on downs to ice the game.

There’s no getting around it. The Dolphins’ defense looked solid against a Patriots team that knocked off the Buffalo Bills the week prior. Quarterback Mac Jones was limited to only 161 total passing yards, and their running game was even worse than Miami’s with only 77 yards on the day.

One playmaker for Miami was Jalen Ramsey. He caught the only pick thrown by Jones on the day, and then ran it back for 49 yards, which set up a chip shot 30-yard field goal for Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders.

The Dolphins defense also sacked Jones three times, including the last drive of the game for New England. Linebacker Jaelan Phillips had another stellar game with eight total tackles, including that final sack.

New England was also sloppy on both sides of the ball with seven called penalties totaling 45 lost yards. After “committing” 10 penalties against Philadelphia, Miami bounced back with only three today.

Not A Nice Night For The City Of Beantown

In reality, this wasn’t nearly as close as the score may tell you. After barely getting by New England earlier this season, the Dolphins adjusted since then and their offense continues to be one of, if not, the best in football.

But hats off to the Miami defense. No one on the Patriots offense achieved more than 36 receiving yards, and playmakers such as (former Dolphins) Devante Parker and Mike Gesicki were almost nonexistent. The same can also be said for Juju Smith-Schuster and Ezekiel Elliott – offseason acquisitions that were blanked by the Fins.

Oh, and it may have been hot in Hard Rock Stadium as well… Around 85ºF.

The Dolphins improve to 6-2 and sit alone on top of the AFC East. They’re tied with the Kansas City Chiefs as far as the best record in the AFC, but the Chiefs control first place thanks in part to strength of schedule.

Convenient, as Miami and Kansas City will travel to Frankfurt, Germany for an international matchup that looks promising when it comes to offensive fireworks. The instant headline? Hill’s first time going against his former team. That’ll be on Sunday, November 5th at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and the game can be seen on NFL Network.

📸 Credit: Miami Dolphins

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