Belichick tried to kill two birds with one stone. He exclusively ran the ball in the first half, hoping to exploit a Dolphins weakness and to protect his quarterback. The Patriots needed to win home field advantage in the playoffs.
The Dolphins came to play and did what few teams have done, outsmart Belichick! The Dolphins combination of aggressiveness on both sides of the ball and great individual plays made the Patriots pedestrian.
The fans and the Florida sun wore out the Patriots. Midway through the second half, Belichick realized his predicament and resorted to a passing attack, watching his quarterback get man-handled.
Tannehill actually had one of his better performances and quieted critics of his deep ball capaabilities. The wide receiver duo of Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker are keepers!