The New England Patriots are now 7-0 overall and 3-0 against the AFC East with none of the wins against their division being as easy as it was on Thursday Night.
Tom Brady, Gronk, Edelman, and the defense made it an easy night on a short week against the surging Dolphins.
Tom Brady began the game, handing off to Blount four times before busting out the play action and hitting a wide open Gronk, who took it 47 yards for the score.
The rest of the half played out well for the defense who put active pressure on Ryan Tannehill and held the Dolphins to zero first half points. They applied plenty of pressure and held up well when Tannehill was able to get a pass off and stuffed the running game. They even got a safety after Ryan Allen’s punt backed up the Dolphins against their own goal line when a mistake happened. The Dolphins snapped to ball to an unaware Tannehill, who then had to jump on the ball in the end zone for the safety. Just like that, the Pats were up 9-0.
It would remain an uneventful 2nd quarter after the bad snap until 5 minutes left when Logan Ryan intercepted a pass intended for Matthews. Ryan jumped the route, something he’s been so good at. The Pats would have to settle for a 52 yard field by Gostkowski, though, with the Dolphins pass rush getting to Brady often in the 2nd quarter.
Then, with just a tad over a minute left, Brady led the Patriots down the field hitting Edelman, Lewis, and LaFell to get inside the red zone. Tom Brady would throw a touchdown to Dion Lewis with 22 seconds left, putting the Pats up 19-0.
The 3rd quarter started quickly for the Dolphins, who went right up the field via the pass and scored on a one yard Lamar Miller touchdown, cutting into the lead, 7-19. As quickly as that started, it faded out.
Tom Brady and company responded by getting into field goal range and the always solid Gostkowski connected on a 36 yard field to extend the lead, 22-7. Stephen Gostkowski made his 26th consecutive FG breaking Adam Vinatieri’s franchise record.
After a quick 3rd quarter came to an end, the fourth quarter began on a high note for the Patriots. Duron Harmon came up with a diving interception of Tannehill to set up the Pats in good field position and closing the door on the Dolphins.
Tom Brady locked that door when he hit Edelman for the 10 yard score. The touchdown that stretched the lead to 29-7 took only three plays. The drive began on the 15 yard line.
The Patriots would get the ball right back with a chance to score on 2nd down, but Brady would be sacked. He was shown slamming his fist onto the ground in frustration, but promptly got back up and found Edelman for the 16 yard score on 3rd down.
That score gives us the final, 36-7 with Brady getting to sit the last few minutes of the game out.
Tom Brady’s four touchdowns with no interception performance was his 19th time doing so, giving him the most all time. Brees and Manning have done it 18 times. The 4+ TD passes were the 24th time in his career doing that, making him 3rd most all-time.
Rob Gronkowski went over 100 yards for the 19th time in his career, tying him with Shannon Sharpe for 6th all time. Gronk also became the 7th Patriots player to surpass 5,000 career receiving yards.
The offense was firing on all cylinders as usual this season. Tom Brady is great in the pocket, he knows how to escape pressure and move around the pocket to buy more time, and he’s become a lot better throwing on the run. His quick passes are also helping the OL. To see the level of trust between him and the wide outs is amazing, half the time he’s throwing the ball before they even get there. It’s pretty awesome to watch.
The defense was great during this game. They may give up a big play or two, but never enough to hurt the defense. They held up against the pass, but the pass rushers were excellent in the game. This was their best defensive performance of the season.
QB Tom Brady: 26/38 for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns.
RB LeGarrette Blount: 17 rushing attempts for 72 yards.
RB Dion Lewis: 6 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown.
WR Julian Edelman: 7 receptions for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TE Rob Gronkowski: 6 receptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown.
CB Logan Ryan: 7 tackles and 1 interception.
LB Dont’a Hightower: 3 tackles and 1 sack.
FS Devin McCourty: 3 tackles and 1 sack.
DE Chandler Jones: 4 tackles and 2 sacks.
DE Rob Ninkovich: 1 tackles and 1 sack.
FS Duron Harmon: 1 tackles and 1 interception.
Game MVP: QB Tom Brady.
It was hard choosing this one. I could have easily given it to Gronk, Edelman, Lewis, or even Hightower and Jones. So many good players last night for the Patriots. A lot of players impacted the game from Matthew Slater to Ryan Allen and Stephen Gostkowski. I’m giving this to Brady because he did overcome some pressure and found his guys over and over and threw for 4 touchdowns. He was just too on last night for the Dolphins to handle.