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Dolphins Come Up Short in 48-28 Loss to the Patriots

This game was a lot closer than the score would indicate, and the Dolphins were very much in this game until the fourth quarter. In typical Bill Belichek fashion he ran up the score late, but this was a huge win for New England. This was a back and forth game with six lead changes throughout the course of the game. This game was fought, for the most part, through the air, and each QB had excellent statistical games.

For the Dolphins, Chad Pennington had a fantastic game, although not as efficient as he usually is, but he did a great job of spreading the ball around. Pennington went 24/41 for 341 yards, and 3 touchdowns, as well as a rushing touchdown, while completing passes to 7 different receivers, including touchdowns to 3 different receivers. On defense, Joey Porter added another sack to increase his lead in that category, but was held in check by the Patriots line as that was the only play he made all game.

After giving up a field goal to Stephen Gostkowski on the opening drive of the game, the Dolphins forced a Matt Cassel interception on the Pats next possession. The Dolphins used the field position to their advantage as Pennington took them 42 yards down the field ending in a touchdown. The scoring play was a three yard pass to Greg Camarillo who was inked to a three year, 6 million dollar earlier this week.

In the second quarter the Dolphins turned a Sammy Morris into another touchdown, as Pennington took matters into his own hands, running seven yards to the house. It seemed, though, that every time the Dolphins scored, the Patriots had an answer. Matt Cassel hooked up with Randy Moss with just over 2 minutes left in the first half to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room.

The second half was all Patriots as they would score 5 times in the half to seal it. The Dolphins would hang around, though, throughout the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, but the Pats were just too much on this day. Pennington added to his impressive day with a 2 yard pass on the opening possession of the second half. However, New England would score on their next two possessions to go up 31-21 into the fourth.

It looked as if there was going to be a great finish when Ricky Williams caught a 13 yard pass for a score, but that would be as close as they would get. After Randy Moss caught his third touchdown pass of the day, Pennington would throw a pick on the Dolphins’ next possession. The interception pretty much iced the game, as the Patriots turned the pick into a 30 yard field goal and then added another TD late.

The story of this game was Matt Cassel and Randy Moss. Moss abused the Dolphins’ corners all day, and finished with 8 receptions, 125 yards, and 3 touchdowns, while Cassel had another great game with over 400 yards passing, and four total touchdowns. The Dolphins clearly got burned through the air, which should be a big concern for the coaching staff going into next week. This is not the first time this has happened to the ‘Phins as Kurt Warner, Matt Schaub, and Jay Cutler have all lit up the Miami secondary this season.

Although this was a huge loss to a divisional opponent, the Dolphins have a very favorable schedule down the stretch with games against St. Louis, San Francisco, and Kansas City. They will also play Buffalo in Toronto, Canada, as well as the New York Jets in the last game of the season, which could possibly have huge playoff implications.

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