Best and Worst: Patriots vs. Dolphins
FOXBORO -- Here's the best and worst from the Patriots' resounding victory over the Dolphins in their early season AFC East showdown . . .
SEEING EYE CATCH
Kenny Stills had a 17-yard reception on the first play from scrimmage for Miami when Ryan Tannehill fit one in between Jonathan Jones and Patrick Chung
MALCOM IN THE MIDDLE
And that’s good. Malcom Brown drew a hold on the Dolphins second running play when he got deep penetration. The call backed Miami up 10 yards and led to a drive-stall and augured good things for a player who was poor a week ago.
Sony Michel had six carries for 37 yards on the Patriots opening drive after being cuffed around by fans and media who believed the problems last week with the New England running game
GORDON THE BIG ENGINE
Josh Gordon had a 13-yard catch on third-and-6 during the Patriots first drive to set the team up inside the Miami 5. The pass was lasered in by Brady and Gordon made the catch easily and pushed forward for a couple of extra yards. People were pleased.
LOW THE WAY TO GO?
Tom Brady usually throws low when near the goal line to put the ball where only his guy can get it and there’s no deflections. But on third-and-goal from the 3, Brady looked for Cordarelle Patterson and threw head-high. The pass was deflected incomplete.
Dont'a Hightower, who had a rough go of it against the Lions last week, had an excellent start to the game for the Patriots with a run stuff and a pressure on consecutive plays as he was anchored in the middle of the defense.
OPEN CY NICES
Cyrus Jones ripped off a 24-yard return on the first play of the second quarter.
DIDN’T HAVE TO DO IT . . .
Kiko Alonso took a 15-yard run and puts a shoulder into the helmet of a still-struggling-for-yards Gronkowski. Wouldn't have drawn mention from me a year ago but with emphasis on protecting heads, didn't seem necessary.
After the Patriots had the offense on the field indicating a fourth-down attempt, they ran the punt team on. Miami, avoiding the timeout, had corner Bobby McCain fake an injury to draw an official timeout which he was granted.
Immediately after the dubiosity, Ryan Tannehill let a snap sail over his shoulder, Kyle Van Noy recovered and the Patriots cashed in with a James White touchdown.
Phillip Dorsett made a diving catch of a Tom Brady throw on the left side of the end zone, then turned his slide into a somersault as the Patriots 24-0 lead was built.
LONG JAUNTS TO OPEN AND CLOSE
The Patriots had a 13-play drive to open the game and a 15-play drive to close the half as they jumped to a 24-0 lead.
The Patriots picked up 9 yards on an elaborate play on which Tom Brady lined up in the slot to the left and James White was the shotgun quarterback. Brady came across the formation, took a pitch from White, looked down the middle of the field then threw wide to White for the gain.
END OF THE RAINBOW
James White was on the receiving end of a gorgeous Tom Brady touchdown pass midway through the third quarter that dropped from the heavens … it was Brady’s best throw on a day when he wasn’t sharp in the early stages.
Just when the Dolphins appeared to be cobbling together a drive – albeit when they were down 31-0 – Ryan Tannehill threw deep down the right sideline but into terrific coverage by J.C. Jackson who came up with the pick.
EASY FOR ME TO SAY . . .
CROSSED HIS TIPS
For the second time in three games, Cordarelle Patterson went ass-over-teakettle on a screen play. This time, he fell when his feet got crossed up. Two weeks ago, he stumbled backwards on a screen against the Jags.