At New England
1:00 p.m. ET
66 degrees, clear
Key Decision #1: (NE ball, leading 3-0 / third-and-6 NE 45 / 12:11 Q2)
• The Dolphins made a nice defensive stop to limit the Patriots to a FG on the Patriots’ first drive of the game.
• On this play, the Dolphins chose to blitz for the first time, and the Patriots’ OL picked it up nicely, and Patriots QB Tom Brady found a wide open Cordarrelle Patterson for a 55-yard TD. The Patriots had a two-possession lead and they would never look back in this game.
While the Patriots dominated this game, Pats head coach Bill Belichick made two curious decisions:
• The first came with the Pats ahead 10-0. They had just scored a TD and had momentum. On the kickoff, however, Stephen Gostkowski pooch kicked it short (his first two kickoffs were out of the end zone). It appeared to be a planned short kick – but the Dolphins turned it into a good return. After a penalty, the Dolphins had first-and-10 on the 50. The Pats’ defense ultimately stopped the Dolphins and forced a punt. However, by giving the Dolphins such good field position, the Pats appeared to jeopardize their first two-possession lead unnecessarily.
• The second came with the Patriots up 38-0 and driving again. Some may have felt it was surprising to see QB Tom Brady still in the game. Brady ultimately took a hard hit and threw his second interception. Especially considering the Patriots have a short week, with a Week 5 game on Thursday night, perhaps risking his QB in this way was not very prudent.