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AP Photo/Charles Krupa
The Patriots offense struggled in the first half, managing only a single touchdown and a Tom Brady interception. 3 other drives ended with punts, and the Patriots were only able to muster 97 total yards of offense during the first half. Compare that to 282 for the Dolphins in the first half, which led to a touchdown and 2 field goals. The Patriots still managed to come out of the 1st half with a 14-13 lead because of their defense, which blocked a field goal and picked off Ryan Tanehill and returned it to the 8, setting up the Patriots 2nd score.

The 2nd half? Much different story. The Patriots railed off 24 points in the 3rd quarter, opening up a 38-13 lead while their defense stifled the Miami offense for the most part. The difference? #87. Rob Gronkowski had 0 catches in the first half and 3 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in the 2nd half. He's always a threat, but once he starts catching passes , he draws more defenders and opens up space for other guys to make plays. The main beneficiaries today were Julian Edelman (88 yards, 1 touchdown) and Brandon LaFell (66 yards). The run game was nothing special today (108 yards), except down in the red zone, where they score 2 rushing touchdowns inside the 10 yard line (1 apiece for Shane Vereen and Lagarrette Blount), which was a nice change after electing to pass more often than not in the red zone for the most part this season.

It's a 4 quarter game, but the Patriots finished much better than they started on offense, which is what counts.

Conor Frederick 12/14/2014 04:52:00 PM Edit
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