By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Follow along for all the updates from Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins matchup at Gillette Stadium!
Final — Patriots 35, Dolphins 17
It wasn’t pretty, and at times we all feared for Tom Brady’s life, but the Patriots are 9-2 after their seventh straight win.
Brady completed 18 of his 28 passes for 227 and four touchdowns. He also threw his first interception since Week 6, and took a beating for much of the afternoon.
Gronkowski had two of those touchdowns and 82 receiving yards, while Brandin Cooks had 83 yards on five receptions and a touchdown on a short sweep from Brady. Rex Burkhead had Brady’s other passing touchdown.
Dion Lewis ran for 112 yards on 15 carries to lead the New England ground attack.
The Patriots defense had another impressive day, allowing only 221 total yards while recording seven sacks on Matt Moore. They only allowed 10 points, with Miami getting a touchdown off of a bad snap fumble by the offense.
Brady was only sacked once, but took eight recorder hits, was pushed, shoved and hit a handful of other times and was under pressure for most of the afternoon.
But the Patriots put another victory on the board, and will now hit the road for their next three, paying visits to Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh. The Steelers will look to improve to 9-2 tonight when they take on the Green Bay Packers.
Still with CBSBoston.com throughout the night for complete coverage on New England’s seventh straight W.
4th Quarter, 1:43: Duron Harmon just stole an interception from Stephon Gilmore as Moore went deep to Stills. Gilmore already has one today, and sharing means caring.
More importantly, Brady will be taking some knees as the Patriots are on their way to their seventh straight win.
4th Quarter, 2:00: Welcome to New England, Eric Lee. The newcomer just took down Moore for the seventh New England sack on the day. It’s his first career sack.
That sets up a third down for Miami as we hit the 2-minute warning.
4th Quarter, 3:19: Rex Burkhead just took a gigantic shot from Suh, but spun right out of it to pick up a few extra inches. But a bad spot has the Patriots facing a fourth-and-inches at midfield.
4th Quarter, 4:58: The Dolphins punt it away, and Tom Brady is heading back out there.
4th Quarter, 5:43: Jonathan Jones has joined the sack brigade, hitting Moore for a 15-yard loss, setting up a third-and-long. Moore hit the spin button way too early on the play.
New England is up to six sacks on the afternoon.
4th Quarter, 6:31 — Patriots 35, Dolphins 17
Brady gave Cooks a quick flip at the line, and the receiver took the sweep five yards in for the touchdown. That should be the dagger in this one. It’s Brady’s 28th career game with four touchdowns — good for third all-time.
Cooks jumped on Gronk’s back and rode the tight end to the sideline. At least the pass catchers are having fun this afternoon.
4th Quarter, 7:29: Dion Lewis is here to save they day. He burst through a hole in the line, thanks to Nate Solder, and took it 25 yards to the Miami 4.
4th Quarter, 8:41: Moore went to Landry, but he couldn’t corral the low throw and the Patriots will take over on downs. Landry really wanted a challenge, but he clearly did not have control.
4th Quarter, 8:54: Miami is going for it on fourth-and-11 on their own 38.
4th Quarter, 9:38: Van Noy is up and walked to the sideline on his own.
4th Quarter, 9:38: Van Noy now gets to Moore. Miami was called for a hold but the Patriots declined to set up a third-and-28.
However, Van Noy is now down on the field with a leg injury. They’re dropping like flies on the New England D.
4th Quarter, 9:52: Big play as Elandon Roberts goes completely uncovered and takes down Moore for a 10-yard loss.
4th Quarter, 11:10: Brady drops a good snap from Karras, and Cameron Wake takes him down for a six-yard loss after getting by Fleming. Not a great turn of events at Gillette.
That’s a tough task for Fleming, coming in cold off of the bench and being asked to contain Wake. But I guess he’s fitting in just fine with today’s version of the New England offensive line.
4th Quarter, 11:24: The injuries are piling up for the Patriots, as LaAdrian Waddle is limping off of the field. That means Cameron Fleming will step in at right tackle – New England’s third option at the position.
Not great on a day that Brady is being pressured every time he falls back.
4th Quarter, 11:49 — Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
Moore goes to Drake for an 8-yard touchdown, and the Dolphins cut into the New England lead. The Pats are just letting them hang around this afternoon.
To make matters worse, Trey Flowers has made his way into the locker room with an apparent chest injury.
4th Quarter, 13:27: Moore tossed a bomb to Kenny Stills for 28 yards on a cross route to keep Miami’s drive going.
4th Quarter, 13:33: The Dolphins are now facing a fourth-and-2. This game is fantastic entertainment.
At least the Flowers brothers are back on the field.
4th Quarter, 14:55: Burkhead was stuffed for a two-yard loss, so the Dolphins take over at their own 27.
End 3rd Quarter — Patriots 28, Dolphins 10
15 minutes left in this one with the Patriots up by three scores. They’ll face a fourth-and-1 at the Miami 25 when play resumes.
3rd Quarter, 2:00: Facing a second-and-24 on an offensive pass interference on Cooks, Brady floated one 22 yards to Cooks.
Brady was hit on the play (of course), but it’s now a manageable third-and-2 for the New England offense. Brady was shaking his right hand on the play, so maybe Brian Hoyer will get some extended playing time in the fourth quarter — for No. 12’s safety.
3rd Quarter, 3:09: After a 37-yard punt by Miamia, the Patriots are already in Dolphins territory.
3rd Quarter, 4:10: Trey Flowers appears to be OK, jogging off the field. Marquise needed some assistance to get up.
Dolphins now face a third-and-24 deep in their own zone.
3rd Quarter, 4:10: Trey Flowers and Marquise Flowers just combined for a sack on Moore, but both appeared to get hurt on the play.
Even David Harris is getting in on the fun today. The veteran linebacker
3rd Quarter, 5:05: After all of that, Allen’s punt goes into the end zone for a net of 19 yards.
3rd Quarter, 5:13: The play clock reset to 40 late, for whatever reason, and no one decided to point it out. The Patriots were going for a delay of game anyways, so it basically cost us all an extra 40 seconds of our life. At least we got Ryan Allen pretending to throw a pretend pass out of it.
And we wonder why people are starting to dislike the NFL.
3rd Quarter, 5:13: The drives stalls as Brady throws a littttttle too far for Amendola.
The offense took the field, but now Ryan Allen is on the field to punt it away.
3rd Quarter, 5:38: A false start on Gronk moves the Patriots back five yards. They’ll face a third-and-9 at the Miami 34.
3rd Quarter, 7:19: A neutral zone infraction on Cameron Wake gives the Pats a free first down. The Dolphins have been flagged for six penalties for 52 yards today. That’s terrible.
3rd Quarter, 8:29: And Drake fittingly coughs it up as Flowers punches the ball free, and Patrick Chung pounces on it to give the Patriots the ball at the Miami 45. Van Noy was the one to wrap up Drake on the play.
Pats defense is looking pretty good this afternoon.
3rd Quarter, 9:25: Damien Williams is being carted to the Miami locker room with an apparent shoulder injury, leaving just Kenyan Drake as the Dolphins only healthy running back.
3rd Quarter, 10:28 — Patriots 28, Dolphins 10
Brady got crushed by Wake, but hit Gronkowski for a 15-yard touchdown, their second TD connection on the day. Plenty of biscuits for Gronk today.
It’s the tight end’s 16th career multi-TD game, setting a new Patriots record, breaking Randy Moss’ 15 career multi-score games in a New England uniform. It’s Gronk’s second multi-touchdown game of the season.
3rd Quarter, 10:39: Suh just got away with a facemask on a Dion Lewis carry. He’s a large human. Dion is not.
3rd Quarter, 11:21: This is a Dion Lewis drive, with 38 yards on the ground, and Miami is losing it.
Bobby McCain has been ejected after throwing a punch at Amendola while the two players were on the ground.
The Pats now have a first down at the Miami 12.
3rd Quarter, 12:30: The Pats are at the Miami 37 after a 15-yard facemask by Xavian Howard.
3rd Quarter,12:39: And on their first play, the Patriots get a 25-yard run up the middle to their own 48 from Dion Lewis. He’s up to 66 yards on five carries today.
3rd Quarter, 13:14: Amendola nearly coughed up the punt return as Walt Aikens ran into him, and the Dolphins had the ball when the pigpile was cleared. But the officials give it to the Patriots, and Miami isn’t pleased.
3rd Quarter, 13:32: Williams was just stuffed by Lee and Guy on a third-and-2 and came up a few inches short. The Dolphins will punt away their first possession after a three-and-out.
3rd Quarter, 14:53: Perry is up and walking on his own.
All of that, and Miami gets the ball at the 24.
3rd Quarter, 14:53: Trevor Reilly and Senorise Perry are both down after a violent collision on the opening kick. They hit helmet-to-helmet as Reilly went for return man Jakeem Grant.
Reilly is heading straight to the New England locker room while Perry is still down. Reilly has carved a nice role on special teams and has even played on defense this afternoon.
Halftime — Patriots 21, Dolphins 10
The Patriots had any abysmal second quarter, but still have an 11-point lead as they head into the locker room. A pair of turnovers has Miami hanging around in this one though.
The offense was on fire to start, but the pressure is really ramping up on Brady. His second quarter interception was the product of that pressure, though Miami couldn’t take advantage.
The Patriots defense has allowed Miami to pick up just 126 yards so far, and just three points. The Patriots have 282 yards on offense — 183 through the air and 99 on the ground — but a pair of turnovers. Brady is 14-for-20 with two touchdowns. He hasn’t been sacked, but is being pressured (and hit) far too often.
This is the first time in seven games the Patriots didn’t score in the final minute of the first half.
2nd Quarter, 00:07: Moore went looking for Devonte Parker in the end zone, but underthrew the ball terribly and was picked off by Stephon Gilmore.
They were trying to Patriots the Patriots with a double score, but instead remain the same old Dolphins.
2nd Quarter, 00:16: Moore hit Landry for 15 yards over the middle, Miami got to the line and spiked the ball to stop the clock and preserve their final timeout of the half.
2nd Quarter, 00:33: The Dolphins are threatening, but Moore was just sacked by Trey Flowers to push Miami back to the New England 30. Second-and-15 upcoming.
2nd Quarter, 2:03: Drake picked up 12 yards on a draw play, and had plenty to say to Van Noy after the play. Miami is doing an awful lot of talking for a team trailing by 11 on the road.
Stills had plenty to say to Brady from the sidelines during New England’s last drive.
2nd Quarter, 2:30: Brady forced one over the middle looking for Amendola on third-and-8, but was picked by Bobby McCain at the Miami 36.
Two turnovers for the Pats so far today. Real sloppy quarter. Brady has been feeling the pressure this afternoon, which played into that bad pass. It’s his first interception since Week 6.
2nd Quarter, 3:25: Another 21 yards to Gronk over the middle, and the Patriots have the ball naer midfield. The Pats have seven plays of 20+ yards this afternoon.
Gronk took a shot from Alonso but bounced right up.
2nd Quarter, 4:06 — Patriots 21, Dolphins 10
Miami moved down the field, but the Patriots defense keeps them to just a 28-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter, 4:10: Adam Butler applied some pressure on Moore on third down, forcing the QB to throw it away. The Dolphins will have to settle for three points here as the Pats D continues to bend, but not break.
2nd Quarter, 4:57: Dolphins try some trickeration with a flea flicker, and Malcolm Butler ran right into Kenny Stills to earn a pass interference. It brings back nightmares of the 2011 secondary.
Dolphins will have it on the New England 10-yard line.
2nd Quarter, 8:29 — Patriots 21, Dolphins 7
After Burkhead was stopped on first-and-goal, Brady put him in motion and hit his running back from a yard out for another score.
The drive was iffy at times, but the Pats marched 78 yards on nine plays to go back up by two touchdowns.
Brady is taking a beating, but he’s 12-for-16 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He’s hit seven different receivers in this one, with Cooks leading the way with four receptions for 56 yards.
2nd Quarter, 9:12: Burkhead just barreled his was for 22 yards down to the Miami 1.
2nd Quarter, 10:42: The Dolphins get burned on another crossing route, as Brady hits Cooks for 37 yards down to the Miami 23 on third down. Can’t wait to see this play become the latest edition of Michael Hurley’s “Zero Humans” portion of leftovers on Monday.
2nd Quarter, 10:54: Another false start for the Patriots, this one on Solder. Real bad quarter for the 0-line so far.
2nd Quarter, 12:15: Here are the Dolphins we know this season. They have two penalties on this drive and three overall.
First-and-10 Patriots at their own 44.
2nd Quarter, 12:48: Brady just took a shot/forearm from Cameron Wake on a second down try. Offensive line needs to pick it up.
Brady also has a pretty good gash from his fumble recovery attempt:
2nd Quarter, 13:19 — Patriots 14, Dolphins 7
Well that wasn’t great. Ted Karras threw an early snap when Brady wasn’t even looking, safety Reshad Jones dove (over Brady, who is still alive thankfully) and grabbed it and scrambled 14 yards for the touchdown. Karras not only gave Miami an easy score, but nearly got Brady killed.
Bad drive for the New England offensive line, as Waddle was also flagged for a false start a few plays prior. But, again, luckily Tom Brady is OK after all of that. He’s probably pretty pissed off too.
2nd Quarter, 14:55: Moore went to Kenny Stills on a third-and-5 try, but Malcolm Butler was there to knock the pass away and force another Miami punt.
End 1st Quarter — Patriots 14, Dolphins 0
The first 15 minutes are in the books, and it’s all Patriots. No real shocker there.
1st Quarter, 1:01: Damien Williams picks up two yards on the fourth down try to keep Miami’s drive alive.
1st Quarter, 1:58: Not a lot of love for the Drake at Gillette today. Kyle Van Noy hit the running back at the line on a third-and-1, and here comes a fourth down try for Miami at the Miami 46.
1st Quarter, 4:15: Forward progress just saved the Dolphins from a 21-point hole, as Trey Flowers ripped the ball from Kenyan Drake’s hands just as the whistle blew. Flowers had a clear path to the end zone, but the officials said the ball was dead.
It was realllllllly close, but forward progress isn’t reviewable.
1st Quarter, 5:33 –Patriots 14, Dolphins 0
It’s just too easy. Two drives, two touchdowns for the Patriots.
Brady hits Gronk for a 5-yard touchdown and they’re up by a pair of scores before the first quarter is over. Brady was 5-for-6 for 62 yards on the nine-play drive. Gronk had 46 of those yards, and his 73rd career touchdown from Mr. Brady. He also passed Kellen Winslow for 10th place all-time for receiving yards by a tight end.
1st Quarter, 7:07: Another Brady-to-Gronk connection, this one for 20 yards, has the Pats at the Miami 6.
1st Quarter, 7:44: Facing a third-and-7, Brady showed off some incredible pocket awareness and bought some extra time before hitting Gronk for 21 yards down to the Miami 26.
1st Quarter, 8:23: Brady hit Amendola for 15 yards over the middle, but he also took a huge shot from Suh after the tackle beat Shaq Mason.
Maybe Tom should hand the next few off.
1st Quarter, 10:02: The Dolphins have no answer for Dion Lewis, who just ripped off a 22-yard run up the middle. He hopped over Andre Branch at the line of scrimmage after the defensive end hit the turf.
1st Quarter, 10:12: The Dolphins pick up eight yards but Moore overthrew Damien Williams on third-and-2 and they were forced to punt it away.
The Pats will take over at their own 12-yard line when play resumes.
1st Quarter, 11:39: Nate Ebner has already been ruled out with a knee injury. That could be the last time we see the special teamer this season.
1st Quarter, 11:39 — Patriots 7, Dolphins 0
That looked easy. The Patriots marched down the field after that fake punt courtesy of a 39-yard connection between Brady and Phillip Dorsett. A few plays later, Rex Burkhead powered his way in from two yards out for the score.
All three running backs saw action on the opening drive, with Lewis picking up 18 yards on two carries (and a sweet spin move), Burkhead finding the end zone for his first rushing score with the Pats, and James White catching a two-yard pass.
1st Quarter, 13:52: No three-and-out, as Nate Ebner takes the fake punt 14 yards to keep the drive alive.
He actually fumbled the ball on the sideline after taking a bit hit, and suffered a nasty leg injury as well, but picked up the first down in the process.
1st Quarter, 14:12: After completing his first 12 passes last weekend, the Patriots go three-and-out after Brady throws a pair of low passes to Gronk.
Pregame — 1:01 p.m.: The Dolphins won the coin toss (tails never fails) and elected to defer to the second half. Brady and company will get the ball first.
Pregame — 12:48 p.m.: It’s Salute To Service day down at Gillette, and the players are taking some time to greet the service members that are on the field ahead of the game:
Pregame — 12:30 p.m.: It’s a fairly blustery day at Gillette, so that’s something to watch when it comes to the kicking game.
Stephen Gostkowski has been lights out lately, but the wind could play a factor this afternoon.
Pregame — 12:15 p.m.: Mike Gillislee is a healthy scratch for the third straight week, but 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak said it is purely a roster decision and not some kind of punishment.
Gillislee doesn’t offer much outside of the backfield, whereas Burkhead, Lewis and White can contribute on special teams. His healthy scratch also lets a guy like offensive lineman Cole Croston dress for today’s game, just in case the Patriots need an extra body along the line.
Pregame — 11:30 a.m.: It’s a lovely day (albeit a little windy) at Gillette Stadium as the 8-2 Patriots get set to host the 4-6 Miami Dolphins. New England looks to keep their six-game win streak going, and enter this one as 17-point favorites against their AFC East foe. Miami has lost four straight and hasn’t won in Foxboro since 2008, so their woes are likely to continue this afternoon.
The Patriots will play the Dolphins twice over the next three weeks, with a trip to Miami on December 11 for Monday Night Football.
As for today’s inactives, tight end Martellus Bennett will not suit up as he deals with a shoulder and hamstring issue that kept him out of practice all week. The Pats still have three tight ends in Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister to catch some passes and provide some extra protection for Tom Brady against a disappointing (but somewhat dangerous) Miami pass rush. Brady was limited with an Achilles injury on Wednesday, though that could have been more about the rainy conditions in Foxboro than an actual injury. Still, you can never really breath easy with guys like Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso taking aim at Brady.
With David Andrews and Marcus Cannon missing another week, that means Ted Karras will get another start at center and LaAdrian Waddle will get the call at right tackle.
Running back Mike Gillislee is also inactive for the third straight week, leaving Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and James White in the backfield.
Also sitting this one out is cornerback Eric Rowe and special teams captain Matthew Slater.
Receiver Danny Amendola is active after a knee injury kept him limited in all three practices this week. Brady will have Amendola, Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett (who should see an uptick in playing time) as his only healthy receivers today.
Also not spotted on the inactive list are defensive lineman Malcom Brown (who missed the last three games) and newcomer Eric Lee, who was signed by the Patriots earlier this week.
Here are Miami’s inactives, with quarterback Jay Cutler headlining the list. That will leave Matt Moore under center for Miami: