|New England Patriots||14||7||7||7||35|
When universities across America inevitably create Bachelor’s degrees in *Coaching Football Teams Like Bill Belichick* this game will be the focus of Belichick 101. A late season game against the one division opponent that’s given the Patriots the most trouble over the years (the Patriots haven’t lost more games to any team since 2000) after playing a game in a foreign country. This had all the markings of a trap game.
But of course, this is the Patriots.
From the perfectly executed fake punt on 4th and 8 on the opening drive to set up the game’s opening touchdown, the fate of this game never felt in doubt.
Brady was the textbook definition of efficiency. He only needed 18 completions and 277 yards to throw 4 touchdowns; some of his lowest completion & yardage numbers in the 30 times he’s thrown 4+ TDs in a game. Gronkowski grabbed 2 TDs for himself, while Burkhead and Cooks both had TD catches.
The efficiency shown by Brady had a lot to do with the effectiveness of the running game. Dion Lewis had his first 100+ yard game of the season on his way to 112 yards on the ground thanks to runs of 22 yards, 25 yards, and 25 yards again. Rex Burkhead added another 50 yards rushing as the Patriots compiled nearly 200 yards in the ground game as a team.
The Patriots defense continued its strong run of play by holding the Dolphins offense to a paltry 221 yards. Stephon Gilmore killed a drive late in the first half with an interception in the end zone. Van Noy and Chung combined to force and recover a fumble in the 3rd quarter, and Duron “Human Victory Cigar” Harmon stole another interception from Gilmore to put the game away late in the 4th.