Best and worst: Patriots 31, Dolphins 24
BEST CONTINUATION PLAY
On his first drive of the day, Jimmy Garoppolo hit Julian Edelman on a 13-yard slant on his first pass, hit Edelman for 11 on a third-and-9, executed a terrific half-roll with Martellus Bennett for 26 and then skidded up in the pocket to hit Danny Amendola for a 12-yard touchdown capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive.
MOST OBVIOUS PENALTY
First offensive snap for the Dolphins, Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny wrapped up and hauled down tight end Jordan Cameron in full view of the officials, the 70,000-plus in the stands and a home viewing audience.
BETTER BUT STILL MEAN
Julian Edelman drew a $26,000 fine last week for a diabolical blindside block on a Cardinal. This week, he delivered another in the first quarter but this one should be deemed legal by the league since Edelman was not around the defender’s head and was not facing his own goal line as he was last week.
EYES THAT LIED
Garoppolo capped the Patriots second drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Bennett. The impressive part was that Garoppolo was able to toy with the Dolphins lone, deep safety, looking left to move him away from the right seam and then coming back to Bennett for the score. Ahead of his time a little with his poise during that move.
BEST IMITATION OF DREW
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill tried a quick-snap quarterback sneak on third-and-1 with the Dolphins down 14-0. He got the entire offensive line blown back in his face, stood up straight and wandered around before getting spilled. It was reminiscent of the old Drew Bledsoe sneaks where it looked like Bledsoe was trying to dance while wearing scuba gear.
BEST THROW FROM DEEP IN THE SS HOLE
Garoppolo’s third touchdown pass of the first half came when he retreated from pressure and lofted a touchdown pass to Amendola off his back foot.
Trailing 21-0, the Dolphins needed a first down in the worst way on a third-and-6. Instead, they had a shotgun snap sail past the unwitting head of Tannehill for a 19-yard loss. Summed up the Dolphins day to that point.
WORST TIME TO POINT OUT TECHNOLOGICAL GLITCH
Down 21-0, there was suddenly a report emanating from the Dolphins sidelines that they were having helmet communication issues. Which would be like complaining about overhead storage space on a downward-spiraling airplane.
BEST PHANTOM JAB
An agitated Jarvis Landry threw a nice little six-inch cross at the jaw of Justin Coleman when the two got locked up on the sideline. The officials missed it but they did see the slap to the grill of Julian Edelman by corner Bobby McClain after Edelman did some surreptitious agitation after the tackle.
BEST NEWS ROGER GOODELL GOT ALL WEEK
After shredding the Dolphins in the first half, Garoppolo got driven to the turf by Kiko Alonso and left the game in serious pain. It’s most likely an AC joint separation and he’ll be down a couiple of weeks. It’s the kind of thing that can take numbing shots so it will be a pain tolerance issue. But I’m no doctor.