Miami Dolphins

Keys to the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots game

Dolphins pass rush vs. Patriots pass protection

Who won: Dolphins

The impact: The Dolphins turned the game around completely in the second half when their pass rush picked up. Led by Cameron Wake’s two strip-sacks, the Dolphins sacked Tom Brady four times in the second half and limited him to 62 yards passing. Linebacker Chris McCain also had a sack as he often rushed opposite Wake in a stellar performance by the rookie. The result was the Patriots constantly forced into third-and-long situations in the second half.

Dolphins rush offense vs. Patriots rush defense

Who won: Dolphins

The impact: The Patriots could not stop the run during the Dolphins’ 23-0 second-half surge. The Dolphins ran for 191 yards as a team — more than in any game last season. Knowshon Moreno had a great Dolphins debut, finishing with 134 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries as he and Lamar Miller each averaged more than five yards per rush. The Dolphins averaged 90 yards rushing per game last season.

Dolphins special teams vs. Patriots special teams


Who won: Dolphins.

The impact: McCain made the first big play of the game on special teams by blocking a Patriots punt and setting up the Dolphins’ first touchdown. McCain’s block was the Dolphins’ first since Jimmy Wilson blocked a punt last season at Pittsburgh on Dec. 8, and the first in a season-opener since Jim Jensen on Sept. 10, 1989 against Buffalo. Kicker Caleb Sturgis also set a new career-high with four field goals in a game and five of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments