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Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

New England Patriots team grades vs Miami Dolphins Week 14

New England Patriots team grades vs Miami Dolphins Week 14

The Dolphins (6-7) were 11-point underdogs at home, but they kept the Patriots (10-3) from clinching their ninth consecutive AFC East title - at least for another week.

The Dolphins dominated from the outset and have now strung together a pair of dominant victories after last week's 35-9 win over the Denver Broncos.

Personnel losses finally caught up to the Patriots, as playing without tight end, who was serving a one-game National Football League suspension, had the offense out of sync (0-for-11 on third down) and quarterback off his game.

They were able t pressure Tom Brady on almost every play, and when New England aimed to switch things up with a run, the Miami interior linemen were there to swallow it up.

The New England Patriots had a disappointing performance in Week 14.

Drake has one-upped himself against the Patriots.

Cutler, who was tempted out of an early retirement at the start of the season after quitting the sport, threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns as the Dolphins held on for a deserved win.

Miami took advantage of New England's short-handed defense with several underneath routes to help Cutler and allow the Dolphins receivers to catch and run.

Kenyan Drake is showing why the Dolphins shipped Jay Ajayi to the Eagles at the trade deadline in October. The second-year running back ran for 114 yards and caught five passes for 79 yards. Drake led all players on both teams in rushing and passing yards.

Brady had completed better than 68 percent of his passes for 3,632 yards with 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions through 12 games.

Landry finished the night with eight receptions for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Take the air out the ball. Grant also burned Butler deep later in the game but had a sure touchdown pass bounce off his hands. Miami sacked him twice and hit him five times, and held the Patriots to 25 yards rushing. Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was particularly hard to block, posting one sack and two QB hits. It worked and the Patriots were 0 for 11 on third-down with seven three-and-outs.

The last time they were 0-for-anything on third downs?

While the outcome of the game won't deflate the Patriots' playoff hopes, Landry's touchdown celebration likely deflated any hopes that the National Football League has fully moved on from the 2015 scandal. Tom Tupa was Phoenix's quarterback that game, and Scott Zolak was on the New England roster.

With the win, the Dolphins go to 6-7 on the season.

As bad as Monday night was, the No. 1 seed in the AFC is still up for grabs when the Patriots and Steelers square off on Sunday. On a third and 1 in the second half, the Dolphins left the middle of the field wide open, but the Patriots instead tried to force a pass that went incomplete.

The Dolphins not only won the game Monday night, they also won Twitter - thanks to wideout Jarvis Landry's cleveer touchdown celebration. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his staff have done a spectacular job of having his team respond well to losses.

This is a disappointing loss for the Patriots.

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