Patriots smash Dolphins but lose more key players to injury

Steve Senne/AP

The Patriots beat the hapless Miami Dolphins 35-17 at Gillette Stadium to improve to 9-2 and turned in another all-around solid effort.

However, it came at a cost.

The team lost Marquis and Trey Flowers to injuries in addition to Kyle Van Noy, Nate Ebner and LaAdrian Waddle. Ebner was hurt early in the game when he helped New England convert on a fake punt and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the day. Waddle, Van Noy and both Trey and Marquis were injured later on in the game.

The Pats jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and despite a few hiccups, didn't have to look back. Miami's biggest threat came late in the first half when they were in the red zone down 21-10. Matt Moore tossed a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore, ending the threat.

Meanwhile, tons of costly penalties for the Dolphins defense played a big part in their demise. Of the six penalties the unit committed, half of them were for unnecessary roughness and one of them resulted in cornerback Bobby McCain being kicked out of the game for choking Danny Amendola.

The Patriots' defense turned in a big day, allowing only 10 points and totaling seven sacks on Matt Moore, who was filling in for the injured Jay Cutler.

Dion Lewis, who continues to shine as the lead running back, had a huge day on the ground. The shift runner racked up 112 yards on 15 carries. Rex Burkhead also chipped in 50 yards on 13 carries and caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady.

Brady finished his day 18-of-28 for 227 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. While it wasn't his fault, he was also credited for a fumble that ended in a Dolphins touchdown after center Ted Karras prematurely snapped the football on a third down play in the first quarter.

The Patriots will travel to Buffalo to face the Bills next week.

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