DOLPHINS OFFENSIVE LINE VS. PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE LINE
Who won: Dolphins
The impact: Just six days after coming to Miami via trade, Bryant McKinnie started at left tackle, moving Jonathan Martin to right tackle and Tyson Clabo to the bench. The results for the new-look line were mixed, but ultimately, promising. Although the Patriots sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill six times, four came late in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins were desperately passing to catch up. Early on the Dolphins dominated the Patriots up front, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and rushing for 156 yards — a season high.
DOLPHINS RECEIVERS VS. PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE BACKS
Who won: Patriots
The impact: Tannehill completed just 52 percent of his passes Sunday, despite delivering accurate throws for most of the day. Tight end Charles Clay dropped a deep pass along the right sideline and receiver Mike Wallace still hasn’t built chemistry with Tannehill, catching just three of the 10 passes thrown his way. Several of the Patriots’ six sacks were caused by good coverage downfield and Tannehill not being able to quickly find a receiver against the blitz.
DOLPHINS SPECIAL TEAMS VS. PATRIOTS SPECIAL TEAMS
Who won: Patriots
The impact: The Dolphins still held the momentum early in the third quarter until rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 46-yard field goal attempt that would have put Miami up 20-3. Instead, the Patriots took over at their own 36 and needed just five plays to score a touchdown. Down 10 with 2:51, Sturgis’ chance at redemption barley made it off his foot before Pats defensive end Chandler Jones blocked it, sealing the game. Overall, Sturgis was 1 for 3, while Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski made both his attempts.