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Play of the Game
Huge gain by Martellus Bennett
- After losing Garoppolo, Josh McDaniels dials up another play-action to Bennett again, but with a twist: Bennet was lined up along side OL Marcus Cannon on the right. Instead of motioning and running behind the offensive linemen similar to the previous two play-action throws, Bennett ran a drag route and was wide open (he was even waving his hand). After catching an easy pass from Brissett, Bennet gave CB Byron Maxwell a nasty stiff arm and ran for a 47-yard gain. This play ultimately set up a 9-yard TD run from Blount putting the Patriots up 31- 3 early in the 3rd quarter.
What to Improve Going Forward
- The Patriots were penalized 7 times during this game. Some of these penalties were holding (on offense and defense) and a bad pass interference call that helped put the Dolphins in the red-zone. As stated before, these penalties are killer as they are stalling drives on offense and prolonging the defense staying on the field. No team is perfect, however, limiting the amount of penalties can be crucial for the end result.
- Despite being on the better side of the turnover battle, the Patriots still fumbled the ball 3 times this game. They did get lucky this game, with the Dolphins only being able to recover one, but that won’t always be the case as it could put the Patriots in a bigger hole than needed.
Third Down Defense
- The Patriots defense likely won’t be able to constantly force times to go 3-and-out on every drive, but the less time they spend on field, the more effective they will be. Again, the Dolphins were able to get 23 first downs, and were 5-10 on third down (4 of those conversions came in the 2nd half of the game)