MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Halftime thoughts on the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins here at Sun Life Stadium, with the Patriots trailing 10-3 . . .
1) Lot of concern about the Pats offensive game plan from my followers. I'd say it's pretty simple: The Pats are looking to hang around and then hope they can play to win late. But first and foremost, the protection of Tom Brady is critical, and you saw the issues there. On his first real dropback (which came in the second quarter!) he got hit low by a falling Ndamukong Suh. It was ugly. The leg got rolled up and Brady spent plenty of time with the trainers having that right ankle/foot looked at and retaped. Despite the limited game plan, the Pats had a chance to take the lead late, but the usually reliable Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal and the Fins scored a TD just before the half to take a seven-point edge into the half.
2) Leonard Johnson is having some difficulty in coverage late, getting beat badly by an aging Greg Jennings for 31 yards on the TD-scoring drive by Miami. He also appeared to have screwed up the coverage on the touchdown by DeVante Parker. He's been exposed these last two weeks. The Pats continue to have an issue with their third corner.
3) The Pats are managing the snaps of guys like Danny Amendola and Scott Chandler in this one. Suspect neither would have dressed if the team could have gotten away with it. As it is, a handful of very good players are watching this game back from the confines of Foxboro (or thereabouts).
4) Be hard pressed to recall a time where Brady threw just five times in the first half, but that's the case here. Meanwhile, Steven Jackson has shown some good burst at the snap and has had some moments in the first half. Think he's a positive despite averaging 2.8 per carry.