5 takeaways from the Patriots’ decisive win over the Dolphins final season



New England heads into the common season finale with a playoff spot on the road.

Matthew Judon Patriots-Dolphins

Matthew Judon celebrates the Patriots’ win over the Dolphins. Winslow Townson/Getty Photographs

The Patriots outplayed the Dolphins 23-21: on Sunday, preserving playoff hopes alive with every week left within the common season.

New England moved to 8-8 with a key win due to well timed offense and efficient protection.

Listed below are some puzzles.

The offense struggled once more, however made sufficient performs to win.

Mack Jones completed the sport 20-of-33 for 203 yards with two touchdowns. He managed to keep away from turnovers, an underrated feat within the context of the sport, and confirmed a few of his capability when given time within the pocket.

It was removed from an excellent New England show, nonetheless. After scoring on their opening drive, Jones and the Patriots had been largely shut down till halfway by way of the third quarter. It was a stretch that included 4 punts and a sequence late within the half the place the offense merely ran out the clock.

Lots of the issues stemmed from the struggles of the offensive line, which as soon as once more didn’t constantly shield Jones. Miami was capable of apply stress, recording a pair of sacks and 4 quarterback hits.

If the Patriots are going to compete towards the Payments in Week 18, Jones and the offense should discover a approach to be extra constant.

The protection created turnovers and was the distinction within the win.

Though the Patriots confronted Dolphins backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (and ended the sport towards third stringer Skylar Thompson), the matchup towards Miami introduced a number of challenges. The most important of those was accidents to the Patriots’ secondary, which left a trio of cornerbacks lacking when dealing with the Dolphins’ speeding duo of Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle.

Ultimately, Waddle managed three catches for 52 yards, whereas Hill caught 4 passes for 55 yards. Neither participant was fully shut down, however it was an encouraging displaying from a patchwork of New England’s secondary. Jonathan Jones even had a turnover when Hill caught a move within the fourth quarter;

Ultimately, it was the turnovers that proved the distinction within the sport. Apart from Jones’ interception, Kyle Dagger’s 39-yard pick-six was a momentum-swinging play.

New England would have even added a 3rd interception if Devin McCourty had been spared when a miscommunication between Hill and Bridgewater left him alone with the ball in his sights. At that time, nonetheless, the play led to frustration for McCourty, who made a uncommon mistake and missed a possible choose.

Kyle Dagger continues to play clutch.

Already scoring two defensive touchdowns in 2022, Dagger added to his possibilities Sunday by intercepting Bridgewater within the third quarter and returning it to revive New England’s lead.

It was one other well timed sport from Dagger, who completed the sport with 5 whole tackles and a pair of move deflections to go together with his interception tally.

The 26-year-old’s mixture of instincts and athleticism have made him a weapon for Invoice Belichick’s protection. Amidst all of the accidents within the secondary, Dugger was one of many Patriots’ few standouts in every week when it was completely wanted.

Particular groups points

One other puncher with Jake Bailey on injured reserve again damageThe Patriots as soon as once more turned to quarterback Michael Palardy.

Pallardy appeared shaky for a lot of the day, unable to get any kicks contained in the 20-yard line (taking a number of punts for touchdowns in the long run zone). Different instances, he simply could not appear to hit the ball deep sufficient.

On back-to-back punts to open the second half (following consecutive Patriots three-and-outs), Pallardy managed simply 31 and 28 yards, respectively. After the second of these quick drives, the Dolphins took over on the Patriots’ 41-yard line and instantly introduced the ball down for a landing.

Punting wasn’t New England’s solely particular groups problem. In the course of the second quarter, punter Brenden Schooler collided with Dolphins’ Thomas Morstead, giving Miami a second probability on a fourth-and-one that was transformed. The streak ended with a landing to Hill, capping the 14-game drive.

That, plus Nick Faulk lacking an additional level within the second half, capped a tough day for New England on particular groups. In some ways, the Patriots had been lucky that these blunders did not show extra expensive.

Persistent damage issues and the Week 18 matchup

With the win, the Patriots nonetheless management the staff’s playoff future. A win towards the Payments in Buffalo in Week 18 ensures a wild-card spot.

New England might nonetheless technically lose, however it might take different outcomes to fall the correct means.

The opposite early dialogue wanting towards the tip of the common season would be the statuses of (amongst different gamers) Jonathan Jones and Jacoby Meyers. Each gamers suffered accidents late in Sunday’s win. Jones in flip. belittled damage refers to post-game media entry.

Meyers, who suffered a shoulder damage on a fourth-quarter subject purpose, additionally stated, “needs to be“Able to go towards Buffalo.


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