Monday, December 11, 2006

Dolphins clobber the Patriots

Heading in to the game, a few Pats friends of mine reminded me that often New England has a tough time against the Phins.  I figured a close game was likely.
And it started off that way.  Miami took a 3-0 lead in the 1st, and extended it to 6-0 before the half.  Later, a TD was finally scored to make it 13-0, and you knew the Patriots weren't going to go quietly.  How many points did they make up against the Lions?  18?
The Patriots kept trying to drive, and Miami's defense was simpyl relentless.  They had 4 sacks of Brady, and another of Cassell in mop up duty.  3 turnovers.  Countless big hits.  And on offense, Miami just did enough to maintain control and get some first downs. 
Give coach Saban a lot of credit: his gameplan was simple.  Win the field position battle, and score a few points.  And of course, don't turn the ball over.  They were all successful, and Miami found itself victorious.
But, I have to wonder if the loss of Vince Wolfork was the turning point in the game.  Miami was able to run a little more after that.
And I also have to wonder about the decision to go for 2, to make it 21-0 instead of 20-0.  Was that to tell Bellichick something?  Or was it that he really believed that it would make a difference?
And one more point: I appreciate Nick's good sportsmanship at the end.  Kneeling on the ball with under 2 minutes remaining was a classy thing to do. 
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