RealClearSports
Advertisement

Dolphins Watch


November 9, 2009 8:10 AM

Dolphins fail to stop Pats

It was about what you would expect from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots against a struggling Dolphins secondary: Brady filled the air with footballs, completing 25-of-37 passes for 332 yards and a TD to lead the Pats to a 27-17 win over Miami.

The primary culprit in New England's aerial dominance was Randy Moss, who hauled in six passes for 147 yards, and his 71-yard catch and run in the third quarter gave the Patriots a lead they would never relinquish.

Moss feasted on rookie corner Vontae Davis, who did make a spectacular interception early in the game, but was often targeted by Brady in single coverage with Moss.

Most of Moss' big plays came with Davis on him, including his shallow cross that he broke for the game-winning score.PATS-FINS.bmp


It was about what you would expect from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots against a struggling Dolphins secondary: Brady filled the air with footballs, completing 25-of-37 passes for 332 yards and a TD to lead the Pats to a 27-17 win over Miami.

The primary culprit in New England's aerial dominance was Randy Moss, who hauled in six passes for 147 yards, and his 71-yard catch and run in the third quarter gave the Patriots a lead they would never relinquish.

Moss feasted on rookie corner Vontae Davis, who did make a spectacular interception early in the game, but was often targeted by Brady in single coverage with Moss.

Most of Moss' big plays came with Davis on him, including his shallow cross that he broke for the game-winning score.

On that play, Davis was again matched up in single coverage with Moss, who beat him across the middle, then stiff-armed Davis away to escape for the score.

The Dolphins' pass rush was ineffective, totaling just two sacks, with one of them coming from Cameron Wake in limited duty.

It makes you wonder what Wake would do if he saw more playing time, as his four sacks are second on the team, but apparently the Dolphins still don't fully trust him yet.

When Moss wasn't torching the Dolphins' secondary, there was former Fin Wes Welker, who caught nine passes for 84 yards on the day.

There was even a Laurence Maroney sighting, as he ran hard for 82 yards and another score.

The Dolphins had few offensive heroes of their own, as Chad Henne completed only 19-of-34 passes for 219 yards and no TDs.

Ronnie Brown struggled for the third straight week, gaining just 48 yards on 15 carries. But again, he ran the Wildcat expertly, hitting Joey Haynos for a 1-yard TD pass and handing to Ricky Williams for a 15-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

Dropped passes continue to plague Miami, as Davone Bess and Brian Hartline had critical drops, and Ted Ginn re-emerged with a big drop late in the fourth quarter that would have given Miami a first down.

Rookie Pat White saw his most extensive action since early in the season, finishing as the team's third-leading rusher with 45 yards on six carries -- including a 33-yard scamper that set up Williams' scoring run in the second quarter.

But, it's obvious that the Dolphins have a smaller margin for error than most teams in the league. They simply don't have the talent -- offensively or defensively -- to beat teams like New England on a regular basis. And unless they play a perfect game -- which they didn't Sunday -- they won't.

This defeat may have marked the end of the Dolphins' competitive run in 2009. At 3-5, they are now 2 1/2 games behind New England for first place in the AFC East, and they now even trail the Jets by a game in the division.

Too many teams to pass on the way up the playoff ladder, with a schedule that doesn't get much easier down the stretch.

 

A Member Of