1:00-As always, Sun Life Stadium is dominated by Patriots fans.
1:02-Davone Bess drops a pass on the 1st play of the game.
1:04-Reggie Bush has a 6-yard run.
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1:05-Ryan Tannehill short-hops the 3rd down pass, great series by the Dolphins.
1:06-Haha bad snap for Miami’s punter Brandon Fields, Matthew Slater tackles him at the Dolphins 12.
1:07-Holding on Donald Thomas on New England’s 1st play.
1:07-Aaron Hernandez has a TD pass go off his finger tips.
1:08-12-yard catch by Wes Welker.
1:09-Carlos Dansby was all over Hernandez’s back but the former Florida star still catches it for a 1st down at the 2.
1:10-Stevan Ridley bounces off a tackle and takes it in for a 2-yard touchdown run. 7-0 Patriots after a classic 12-yard drive (22 yards with the penalty).
1:14-Vince Wilfork tackles Bush for a 2-yard loss.
1:15-Pretty 8-yard catch for Brian Hartline on the sideline.
1:15-Incomplete pass on 3rd down so another 3 and out for Miami.
1:19-2nd dropped pass for Hernandez of the day, somewhere Benjamin Watson nods his head.
1:19-Daniel Fells gets in on the action with a drop although his catch was much more difficult.
1:20-13-yard catch for Julian Edelman gives the Patriots a 1st down.
1:20-5-yard run for Danny Woodhead. Dan Dierdorf says, “Bill Belichick thinks Tom Brady will never be satisfied.” No comment.
1:21-11-yard gain for Woodhead on a well designed screen pass.
1:21-In case you forgot, the Patriots still can’t throw deep to save their lives. Edelman was open but Brady put it way past him.
1:22-10-yard catch for Welker.
1:23-Holding on Sebastian Vollmer negates a run by Ridley.
1:23-13-yard catch for Welker.
1:24-Brady’s pressured so he throws incomplete on 3rd down.
1:25-Stephen Gostkowski misses his 3rd field goal in his last 4 tries (this one from 49 yards was well wide).
1:28-4-yard gain for Kim Kardashian’s ex (I know that doesn’t really narrow it down), Bush.
1:29-8-yard gain for Hartline. Wow, he beat Aqib Talib deep on the next play but Tannehill made like Brady and missed him.
1:30-Another 4-yard run by Bush.
1:31-Wilfork hits Tannehill on 3rd down, incomplete. Miami punts for the 3rd time.
1:34-Brady finds Hernandez in space and he goes for a 20-yard gain.
1:36-Brady forces it to Hernandez on the next play but Rashad Jones intercepts it. He ran it back for a touchdown but a penalty by Miami wipes it out.
1:38-Something called Marcus Thigpen runs for an 8-yard gain.
1:39-Jake Long, Miami’s excellent left tackle leaves with an injury to his triceps.
1:40-Wilfork forces a Thomas fumble, Steve Gregory fell on it but it popped right out to Richie Incognito. That’s more like Geregory, not the guy who made all the plays on Thanksgiving.
1:43-Tannehill scrambles for 6 yards, Kyle Arrington gets away with what should have been a face mask penalty.
1:44-Bill Belichick takes a timeout to force Dan Carpenter to try a 44-yard field goal in the wind. It doesn’t matter since he drilled it, 7-3 Patriots with one second left in the 1st quarter.
End of 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Dolphins 3. Devin McCourty returned the kickoff 21 yards on the last play to the Patriots 25. New England could use a nice drive and some points.
1:49-8-yard catch for Welker.
1:49-Ridley taken down for a 2-yard loss then Welker makes a 3-yard catch but he was short of the 1st down marker. Dumb route.
1:50-False start on Nate Ebner on the punt team, who is still wearing his old school shoulder pads.
1:51-Haha Miami’s Jimmy Wilson runs right into Zoltan Mesko, 15-yard penalty and a gift 1st down for the Pats.
1:53-14-yard catch for Welker.
1:55-7-yard catch for Welker.
1:55-Jones gets called for a questionable pass interference on Fells, he had his hand on his back I guess.
1:56-Dansby knocks down Brady’s pass, he’s up to his usual middling start in Miami.
1:57-Mr. YAC aka Hernandez makes a fool miss and he goes for 13-yard gain.
1:58-8-yard catch for Welker, he is killing his former employer like he’s been known to do from time to time.
1:59-Ridley runs it to the 7, 1st and Goal Patriots.
2:00-Great play-call by Josh McDaniels: the Dolphins blitz and Brady throws a slip screen to Welker. 7-yd TD pass (44th straight game with a TD for Brady). Welker already has 9 catches for 82 yards. 14-3 Patriots.
2:06-4-yard run for Bush.
2:07-Jorvorskie Lane fumbles after a 2-yard catch but he recovers it.
2:08-No worries, Trevor Scott hits Tannehill to cause a fumble then Wilfork recovers. That leads to the inevitable crowd shot of Bianca Wilfork. Vince throws his name in the hat for most whipped professional athlete as he gives the football to Bianca, awkward.
2:09-Paul Soliai sacks Brady for a loss of 7.
2:10-Tony McDaniel knocks down Brady’s pass, yuck.
2:11-7-yard catch for Welker and Gostkowski hits a 43-yard field goal. 17-3 Patriots, at least they got something out of that turnover and great field position.
2:15-Holding on Anthony Fasano, I’m feeling a pick-6 for the Patriots secondary any minute now.
2:16-Hartline gets a running start which is a false start on the Dolphins.
2:17-Fasano gets some dignity back with a 14-yard catch.
2:17-16-yard run by Bush to the outside.
2:18-Patriots get called for having 12 men on the field. Haha props to Sun Life Stadium for playing the theme song to Jackass every time the Pats are whistled for a penalty.
2:19-9-yard run for Tannehill, he’s certainly athletic. Can he pass? That is more of a question mark at this point.
2:20-8-yard run for Bush as Miami’s ground game is coming to life. 6-yard run for Bush.
2:21-Nice job by Brandon Spikes to tip a pass from Tannehill intended for Bess.
2:21-7-yard catch by Thomas.
2:22-Hartline bobbles it but comes down with a 17-yard catch and run, Dolphins get to New England’s 13.
2:23-Tannehill tries to run it up the middle but Kyle Love takes him down for a 2-yard less, 2-minute warning (1:59 left in 1st half).
2:26-After a short catch, Thomas spins out of a tackle by Alfonzo Dennard and gets down to the 3.
2:27-Has Matt Patricia ever taken a shower? He looks like a homeless guy with his creepy beard. PS he’s wearing a sweatshirt today in sunny Miami, how badly does he want to be Belichick?
2:28-Thomas gets stuffed on a 1-yard run but Tannehill takes it in for a 2-yard TD run (7th rushing TD of the season). Dolphins cut it to 17-10 with 25 seconds left. No clue why New England didn’t use one of their 2 timeouts there.
2:31-Patriots kneel down since they’ll get the kickoff to start the 2nd half. They head into the locker rooms with a 17-10 lead. It feels like it should be more but Brady has been shaky other than his automatic completions to Welker.
2:46-1st play of the 2nd half is an incomplete pass to Hernandez.
2:46-Hooray, McDaniels remembered that Ridley is still on the Patriots. 7-yard run by him.
2:47-It was 3rd and 3, Dolphins stop Ridley after a 2-yard run. 3 and out for the Patriots.
2:50-Long is out of his pads and on the sidelines so he’s not returning today.
2:50-Spikes with another pass thrown his way that he knocked down, he’s definitely improving in what had been his major weakness.
2:51-Tannehill wings one past Bush on 3rd down so the Dolphins give it right back with a 3 and out of their own.
2:54-I’ve never understood people that dress up for a football game like it is Halloween. You’re telling me adults don’t have anything better to do? Strange.
2:55-Pass interference on Dansby who held Shane Verreen, making it impossible for him to come closing to catching it. It might have been uncatchable but that’s a discussion for another day.
2:57-Vollmer looks like a turnstile, Cameron Wake gets a kill shot sack on Brady. That knocks New England out of field goal position.
3:02-20-yard catch by Charles Clay.
3:03-Wilfork is having a great day (unlike most of his teammates), he tackles Thomas for a 4-yard loss.
3:04-13-yard catch for Bess, who could have had a 1st down but he turned the wrong way. 4th and 1 for Miami at New England’s 49 but Joe Philbin chooses to punt it. That seems to pay off as Fields pins the Patriots at their own 2.
3:07-5-yard run by Ridley followed by a 4-yard run by Ridley.
3:08-Holding by Daniel Fells.
3:11-Somewhere Mike Felger weeps - two straight hopeless plays to little Danny Woodhead and Mesko has to punt from his own end zone.
3:11-Good tackle by Matthew Slater but the Dolphins will start from the Patriots’ 49.
3:15-Gregory and Rob Ninkovich combine on a 3-yard loss on a Bush carry.
3:16-Tannehill goes deep to Hartline but it didn’t have a chance, way out of bounds plus Talib had fine coverage on him.
3:17-Vereen runs for 4 yards.
3:18-8-yard catch for Hernandez for a much needed 1st down.
3:19-13-yard run for Woodhead and it could have been more.
3:20-8-yard catch for Welker who is tearing up the Dolphins’ secondary.
3:23-7-yard catch for Hernandez. Patriots will have 3rd and 1 at Miami’s 35 when they return.
End of 3 quarters: Patriots 17, Dolphins 10. A touchdown on this drive could go a long way, I don’t think Miami could recover from being down 2 TDs in the 4th quarter.
3:26-Great play action fake, Brady hits Hernandez who gets down to the 2 with the help of a face mask penalty.
3:27-Classic McDaniels, Brady drops back to pass and gets sacked for a loss of 5. Why not run it there?
3:28-Welker drops a diving catch in the end zone. I don’t like where this is going.
3:28-The Patriots get what they deserve: Brady gets sacked again-this time by Koa Misi for a loss of 7. Gostkowski’s 32-yard field goal gives New England a 20-10 lead.
3:32-14-yard run by Bush.
3:33-Who needs Chandler Jones (kidding)? Trevor Scott sacks Tannehill for a loss of 1 (his 2nd sack of the game).
3:34-Wow, Hartline was open but Tannehill underthrew him.
3:35-Of course on the next play, Hartline makes a 22-yard catch.
3:35-Talib called for pass interference after he grabbed Hartline.
3:36-6-yard run for Bush.
3:37-Man, Tannehill isn’t going to last long if he keeps being so reckless when he runs. Arrington just crushed him, a yard short of a 1st down.
3:38-Dolphins go for it this time on 4th and 1, Thomas gains 9 yards.
3:39-6-yard catch for Clay.
3:40-Hartline gets one foot down in the back of the end zone on a diving catch but not two, sorry Brian it’s not college anymore.
3:41-Hello delayed blitz by Mayo. He flattened Tannehill for an eight yard loss. Carpenter’s 33-yard field goal makes it 20-13 Patriots. For the millionth time this season, the Patriots will get a chance to run out the clock with the ball and a lead. Maybe this time they can finally do it successfully.
3:46-Edelman left with a foot injury, he’s questionable to return. Is anyone more injury prone that that guy? Other than Hernandez.
3:47-8-yard catch for Hernandez.
3:47-8-yard run for Ridley, keep them coming Josh.
3:48-Looks like resting Ridley until the 4th quarter was a perfect strategy, he’s plowing through the Dolphins on this drive. 9-yard run followed by a 5-yard run.
3:49-6-yard catch for Welker, 1st down. He goes over 100 yards, 16th career game with 10+ receptions (tying Jerry Rice’s NFL record).
3:50-Ridley and the Pats offensive line is cooking. 11-yard run.
3:51-Haha Dan Dierdorf asks right before a play, “Is Brandon Lloyd going to go a whole game without a catch?” Then he makes a 10-yard catch, ask and you shall receive Dan.
3:53-Dolphins timeout, 9-yard run by Vereen.
3:54-3rd and final timeout by Miami, why now?
3:55-New England has it 1st and Goal from the 8.
3:56-3-yard run for Ridley.
3:57-Another 3-yard run by Ridley gets it down to the 2 and the 2-minute warning.
4:01-Brady dove in the middle of the field to set up an easier kick. Gostkowski’s 21-yard field goal essentially clinches it, 23-13 with 1:10 remaining.
4:03-28-yard catch for Rishard Matthews.
4:05-28-yard catch for Hartline in the stat padding portion of garbage time for the Dolphins.
4:06-Miami elects to take a 42-yard field goal and Carpenter delivers. Now it comes down to the onside kick, Dolphins trail 23-16 with 31 seconds left.
4:09-Haha Lloyd earned his salary today, he recovered the kick. Game over.
Final: Patriots 23, Dolphins 16
Ho hum, New England is the 1st team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot this season as they won the AFC East for the 9th time in 10 years, 10th in the last 12. Incredible consistency in a terrible division. Still, we’ll take it. They played pretty poorly today but found a way to win. Onward and upward lads.