Wide receiver Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots pulls in a one-handed catch over cornerback Jason Allen (32) of the Miami Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium.  Getty Photo.

The Result

The New England Patriots had a bad taste in their mouth.  It was as if someone had made them eat one of those science experiments you find in your fridge every once in a while and they didn’t like it one bit.  They decided it was time to do something about it and they marched into Miami where as a franchise they’ve been horrible just 11 wins in 43 games and they played a very good game, and patiently pulled away from the Miami Dolphins with a 48-28 win at Dolphin Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

I don’t think it was all the fact that they got manhandled in Week 3 by the Fish but that Joey Porter had the game of his life and added insult to injury and then he continued to talk to who ever would listen and it didn’t stop until ESPN aired a piece he did with Keyshawn Johnson this morning about how he feels cheated because when he was in Pittsburgh those Steelers teams should have kicked the Patriots asses.  Joey the problem ws is the the Steelers, like you, love to run your mouth and it eventually catches up to you.  and it today it caught up to Joey big time as he was a none factor and then in frustration ended up with an unsportsman like penalty on the final New England drive that gave the Patriots first and goal and allowed them to add the final TD on the day.

New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel throws a pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins.  AP Photo.What Bill Parcells and Company have done in such a short time in Miami is great to see, but with this loss it looks like the AFC East is becoming a two horse race between the New York Jets and the Patriots.  And if Matt Cassel has anything to say about how the division ends up it could be an exciting finish as the lifelong back up became the first quarterback in Patriots history to have back-to-back 400 yard passing games.  Now sit back and digest this for a second.  Tom Brady, Jim Plunkett, Drew Bledsoe, Steve Grogan and all the others have never done that.  But don’t think for one second that Cassel is supplanting Brady or that he will even be in a Patriots uniform next season.  Brady is a Hall of Famer and only 32 years old coming off an ACL injury that is so common these days its not funny.  Cassel though will be somewhere next season playing QB in the NFL as a starter.  We just know it won’t be in New England.

With the win the Patriots are now 7-4 and still one game behind New York who beat Tennessee.  Miami drops to 6-5 and their playoff hopes just got slimmer.

Scoring Plays

PATRIOTS 3 14 14 17 48
DOLPHINS 7 7 7 7 28

1st Quarter

  • NE – Gostkowski 30 yard FG
  • MIA – Pennington 3 yard pass to Camarillo – Carpenter PAT

2nd Quarter

  • NE – Cassel 8 yard run – Gostkowski PAT
  • MIA – Pennington 7 yard run – Carpenter PAT
  • NE – Cassel 25 yard pass to Moss – Gostkowski PAT

3rd Quarter

  • MIA – Pennington 2 yard pass to Cramer – Carpenter PAT
  • NE – Cassel 8 yard pass to Moss – Gostkowski PAT
  • NE – Faulk 21yard run – Gostkowski PAT

4th Quarter

  • MIA – Pennington 13 yard pass to Williams – Carpenter PAT
  • NE – Cassel 29 yard pass to Moss – Gostkowski PAT
  • NE – Gostkowski 31 yard FG
  • NE – Green-Ellis 1 yard run – Gostkowski PAT

Offensive Player of the Game

New England QB Matt Cassel was 30 of 43 for 415 yards, 3 TD passes, ran for 1 TD and had 1 INT.

Defensive Player of the Game

New England Safety Brandon Meriweather had 6 tackles (4 solo) and 1 INT he returned 19 yards.

Turning Point(s) of the Game

Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour (93) pressures Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington during New England's game against the Miami Dolphins.  Patriots.com photo.

In the third quarter with Miami driving, a penalty set them back to 3rd and 20 at the NE 47 and Seymour sacked Chad Pennington forcing a Miami punt in a 3 point game.  On the ensuing drive on 2nd and 8 at the NE 15 Cassel threw to Wes Welker in the slot who took the ball for 64 yards to the MIA 21.  After and incomplete pass to Moss on 1st down, Kevin Faulk ran up the middle 21 yards for a TD that was the back breaker.  From then on it was a different game.

Offensive Leaders/Notes

Wide receiver Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots breaks free from a tackle attempt by linebacker Akin Ayodele (51) of the Miami Dolphins.  Getty Photo.In addition to Cassel, WR Randy Moss had 8 catches for 125 yards and 3 TDs and WR Wes Welker had 8 catches for 120 yards.  RB Kevin Faulk had 105 all purpose yards (53 yards rushing on 8 carries and 52 receiving yards on 6 catches) plus 1 TD.

  • For a more extensive offensive recap make sure you check out the live blog replay.

Defensive Leaders/Notes

In addition to Meriweather, CB Ellis Hobbs had 5 solo tackles and S James Sanders had 5 tackles (4 solo).

Special Teams Notes

  • The team was much better on KOR coverage this week, even getting Ted Ginn for a four yard loss on a KOR

Coaching Decisions

  • NE – 4th/1 in 2nd quarter Cassel sneaks for 4 yards for 1st down.
  • MIA – 4th/10 in 4th quarter Pennington throws incomplete Patriots take over on downs.
  • NE – 4th/goal in 4th quarter Green-Ellis runs 1 yard for a TD


  • MIA – OL Jake Long right leg injury in 3rd quarter – returned
  • MIA – WR Greg Camarillo left knee injury in 4th qtr – did not return
  • NE – RB Sammy Morris leg injury in 4th qtr – did not return
  • MIA – CB Andre Goodman wind knocked out of him 4th qtr – returned
  • MIA – TE David Martin wind knocked out of him – 4th qtr – returned
  • NE – CB James Sanders wind knocked out of him -4th qtr – returned

The Officials

  • Al Riveron was the referee.
  • Missed a defensive hold on MIA in 1st qtr on a pass play.
  • awful no flag call in 3rd qtr as MIA had play clock running out officials ended up giving them an extra 10 seconds on the clock.
  • Ejected NE OL Matt Light and MIA LB Channing Crowder for fighting in 4th qatr

Game Notes

  • The Patriots wore their blue jerseys today as the Dolphins chose to wear white.
  • Inactives for the Patriots: LB Adalius Thomas (injured – forearm), RB LaMont Jordan (injured – calf), CB Mike Richardson (injured – concussion),  OL Wesley Britt, OL Billy Yates, CB Jason Webster, TE Tyson DeVree and QB Matt Gutierrez (3rd QB).
  • Inactives for the Dolphins: WR Ernest Wilford, CB Joey Thomas, G Shaun Murphy, DE Lionel Dotson, T Nate Garner, T Joey Haynos, DE Rodrigue Wright and John Beck (3rd QB).
  • Note: The third quarterback can still enter the game at any time, but if he does so in the first, second or third quarters, the team can no longer use its top two quarterbacks the rest of the game.
  • Offensive starters for the Patriots:
    QB: Matt Cassel
    RB: Kevin Faulk
    WR: Wes Welker
    WR: Randy Moss
    WR: Jabar Gaffney
    WR: Sam Aiken
    LT: Matt Light
    LG: Logan Mankins
    C: Dan Koppen
    RG: Stephen Neal
    RT: Nick Kaczur
  • Defensive starters for the Patriots:
    DE: Ty Warren
    NT: Vince Wilfork
    DE: Richard Seymour
    LB: Tedy Bruschi
    LB: Pierre Woods
    LB: Jerod Mayo
    LB: Mike Vrabel
    CB: Ellis Hobbs
    CB: Deltha O’Neal
    S: James Sanders
    S: Brandon Meriweather
  • The Dolphins won the toss and elected to defer.
  • Wes Welker has 16 consecutive games of catching 6 or more passes.
  • Since replacing Tom Brady, Matt Cassel is now 6-4 as a NFL starting QB.
  • New England is now 66-16 in games played after November 1st since 2001.
  • New England is now 38-11 against the AFC East since Bill Belichick took over in 2000 and Belichick is now 10-10 all-time vs. Miami (10-8 with New England, 0-2 with Cleveland).
  • The Patriots have not lost in 31 consecutive games when winning at half time.
  • Since 2003, New England is 17-1 after a loss.
  • The Patriots are 12-32 all-time against the Dolphins in Miami.  This includes losing streaks of 16 (1970-85), 6 (1989-94) and 5 games (1998-2002).

Post Game Press Conferences

Listen to what Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had to say about the game.

Post game press conferences via patriots.com

Things To Work On For Next Week

Pass coverage still seems soft and has some blown assignments that lead to big gains.  Penalties killed them today for team that doesn’t get flagged much.

Next Week’s Opponent

The Patriots will entertain the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on CBS Sunday at 4:15 p.m. and along the Patriots Rock Radio Network.