Pats held Miami to under 100 rush yards

This statistic may not seem overly significant, especially given the fact that the Patriots lost... but it is the first time the team has held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing since September 29th, when they held the Falcons to 58 yards rushing in Atlanta. That was also the last game with Vince Wilfork on the field.

Since then, teams have been able to gash the defense for large chunks of yardage. Without Wilfork, Mayo, and Tommy Kelly (all lost for the season), there has been a massive void in the center of the defense that the team has struggled to fill. While the Pats defense was able to hold the Dolphins backs to 89 yards rushing, it was overshadowed by a poor performance in the secondary and an ability to make crucial plays down the stretch.

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The defense struggled against typically shaky second year quarterback, who was 25 of 37 on the day for 312 yards and 3 touchdowns, accumulating a stellar passer rating of 120.6. One player who noticeably struggled was Alfonzo Dennard.

The Patriots will hope to once again contain the run Sunday in Baltimore. While neither has had a very good year, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are both talented and capable of exploiting defenses and opening up the passing game for Joe Flacco.

The road to the playoffs and a first-round bye is becoming increasingly difficult for the Patriots. And Sunday in Baltimore will be one of the tougher challenges yet.