Impact player: New England quarterback Tom Brady went 9 of 14 for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Highlights: The Dolphins stopped a fourth-down play and forced a punt on the Patriots’ first two possessions.
• Lowlights: Ryan Tannehill couldn’t step into a throw over the middle and got intercepted, setting up New England’s first touchdown. The Patriots also had two sacks. The Dolphins had a tough time defending screens and quick flares to the Patriots’ running backs.
• Impact player: Brady again — 5 of 8 for 53 yards, including two step-up-in-the-pocket, third-down throws to keep touchdown drives alive.
• Highlights: Tannehill, under pressure from former Dolphin Rob Ninkovich, rolled out and hit Rishard Matthews for 20 yards to get the Dolphins to the New England 23, the Dolphins’ deepest first-down penetration.
• Lowlights: The Dolphins’ only drive ended in Nate Kaeding’s field goal attempt getting pushed by the wind from wide right to wide left. The Dolphins got bullied along the defensive front by the Patriots offensive line as Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead broke off steady gains.
• Impact player: Dolphins running back Reggie Bush caught a 19-yard pass to get the Dolphins away from their own goal line, made a spinning run for 9 yards for a first down on the Patriots 22 … and fumbled inside the 10.
• Highlights: The Dolphins finally got some pressure on Brady. Tannehill showed his toughness by coming back from a sack that left him wobbling to hit Armon Binns up the seam for 21 yards on third down.
• Lowlights: A Steve Gregory forearm to tight end Anthony Fasano’s head took Fasano out of the game for the Dolphins’ first trip inside the Patriots’ 15. Then, Bush fumbled a handoff to end the scoring threat. The Patriots plowed out from their own 1 on the ground.
Impact player: New England wide receiver Wes Welker ran a reverse for 11 yards, caught a fourth and 4 pass for 7 yards (the Patriots scored on the next play) and caught a third-and-6 pass for 7 yards.
• Highlights: Bush ran for 18 yards on the last play of the Dolphins’ season. Alas, like everything else with the Dolphins offense Sunday, it amounted to nothing.
• Lowlights: The 23-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski. That followed Tannehill throwing incomplete on fourth down from the Dolphins’ 47. Later, yet another sack ended a Dolphins drive.