BOSTON (CBS) — We’ve all heard about teams, coaches and especially media members accusing the Patriots of “running up” scores in the past, but this is certainly a new one.
With the Patriots’ lead cut to just seven points midway through the fourth quarter of last week’s win, Tom Brady and the offense took over at the Miami 20-yard line and drove 77 yards on 16 plays, burning 7:18 off the clock and tacking on a field goal to put the game out of reach for the Dolphins. They did so by handing off the ball 10 times to Stevan Ridley, who gained 46 yards, and also giving the ball to Shane Vereen for an eight-yard run.
Miami’s defense proved incapable of stopping or even slowing the Patriots’ rushing attack, and it cost the Dolphins a chance at winning. Despite their own inability to do their jobs, some Dolphins are claiming the Patriots were being “disrespectful” with their strategy.
“It really (ticked) me off. It was disrespectful to us to run the same play over and over and be successful,” defensive tackle Tony McDaniel told the Palm Beach Post’s Brian Biggane. “Normally when somebody’s driving down the field you just think, ‘Well, they just had a good run there,’ but you run the same play over and over, as a competitor that (ticks) me off.”
Randy Starks, McDaniel’s defensive linemate, agreed, though he didn’t seem to blame the Patriots for doing what they did.
“It is disrespectful, but you’ve got to stop it,” Starks told Biggane. “We never stopped it, so I’d keep running the same play, too.”
Alas, whether it’s keeping Brady in the game, scoring points in the fourth quarter or simply running the ball up the middle for easy gains, the Patriots just can’t seem to beat an opponent without making somebody upset.
As for the Dolphins, they better prepare for a whole lot more disrespect: They’re traveling to San Francisco on Sunday to take on the 49ers and their second-ranked rushing attack. With 162.1 rushing yards per game and 5.27 yards per rushing attempt, San Francisco likely has a whole of “disrespect” in the game plan. Dolphins players might want to worry more about stopping it than about their feelings getting hurt.