Dolphins | Keys to the Game

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: Who won key matchups?

 

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Dolphins wide receivers vs. Patriots defensive backs

Who won: Dolphins

The impact: Ryan Tannehill threw for 250 yards to his wide receivers and targeted them 27 times. Aside from the winning score to Marcus Thigpen, the most important score of the day was Mike Wallace’s 39-yard TD before halftime that cut the Patriots’ lead to 10-7. That was set up by a 24-yard play to Rishard Matthews on third-and-10 from the Dolphins’ 18. Wallace, Matthews and Brian Hartline powered the Dolphins’ scoring drives, catching 12 passes for 190 yards on those drives.

Dolphins pass coverage vs. Patriots wide receivers

Who won: Patriots

The impact: Julian Edelman caught 13 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Danny Amendola caught 10 passes for 131 yards. Edelman’s touchdown was a 24-yard catch and dash through the Dolphins secondary. The Dolphins were hurt by injuries to cornerback Nolan Carroll (knee), then cornerback Brent Grimes (unspecified) that had them down to playing rookie Will Davis and Michael Thomas, who was signed off San Francisco’s practice squad earlier this week.

Dolphins red zone defense vs. Patriots red zone offense

Who won: Dolphins

The impact: On the two New England drives that ended in field goals and the final drive, which ended with Michael Thomas’ interception, the Dolphins held the Patriots out of the end zone. In the red zone, the Dolphins shut down New England quarterback Tom Brady’s most trusted receivers, Edelman and Amendola. Brady didn’t have injured monster truck tight end Rob Gronkowski, arguably the best red-zone weapon in the league.

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