|New England Patriots||0||10||7||7||24|
This Dolphins team was a far cry from the group faced in Week 2. While the Patriots started undefeated through eight weeks, the Dolphins were winless. Starting in Week 9, however, both teams had four wins. Flores had his group playing competent and disciplined football. Now, there are normally a peculiar set of circumstances that can cause the Patriots to lose a game. I can only conclude that the Football Gods got confused between which game against Miami was actually IN Miami.
This game story followed multiple previous Patriots games. The defense carried the game as best they could, but the offense could not get it going. Miami’s first drive moved effectively and when faced with a fourth down, Flores called for a fake punt. It did not convert, but it showed that Flores would not play scared. Former Patriot Eric Rowe got a pick-six on Brady to put Miami up 10-0. Going into halftime, an anemic offense barely covers the score against what should be a weaker team (See also: New England’s games against all of the NFC East and Cincinnati).
For the second half, Miami unleashed Fitzmagic on the Patriots. Miami’s second-half drives were twice as good as their first half. Even though the Patriots offense showed life in the second half and even took the lead, Fitzmagic would not be denied. For the first and only time all season, the Patriots defense could not get a stop or turnover when they needed it to secure the game. Fitzpatrick put together the only fourth quarter game-winning drive against the Patriots in 2019 and scored with 30 seconds remaining. The Patriots tried a desperate lateral play, but this was not in Miami and there would be no miracle.
This loss, combined with Kansas City’s win against the Chargers, kicked the Patriots down to the third seed and their first Wildcard Weekend game since 2009. There they would rematch against preseason foe Patriots South #2 in Foxborough.