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Patriots 35 Dolphins 17


Experimenting with a running commentary this week’s Patriots-Dolphins game.


  • Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts are announcing this one. If there’s a less interesting duo in the history of NFL announcers, I can’t think of them.
  • Eagle-Fouts makes one long for the glory days of Bob Trumpy and Don Criqui. They’ve got to be approaching the Trumpy-Criqui “putting viewers to sleep” record by now.
  • Can’t hear someone say, “This game is being broadcast in Spanish where available” without wanting to hear Jerry Remy say, “Buenos Tardes Amigos” right after it.

First Quarter

  • Love Ted Karras, but his photo is on the scary side.
  • Nate Ebner for the first down on the fake punt

  • You can’t arm tackle Dion Lewis
  • Welcome to New England Philip Dorsett – big first down.

Eagle and Fouts can’t pad during this review. Brutal. Just brutal.

Finally, extra point and 7-0. Now for some Kevin Can Wait commercials. Yet one more Kevin James vehicle I will never watch.

Dolphins drive starts at their own 25

  • Quick three and out. That was all about good tackling from Gilmore and Chung.

Pats 7, Dolphins 0, 10:19 First.

Patriots drive starts at their own 11

  • Another big run for Dion Lewis out to the 34.
  • Burkhead split wide, underneath to Amendola, first down. Have the Dolphins watched no film at all?
  • Brady scrambles finds Gronk for the 1st Down. Thinking of you Max Kellerman.
  • Touchdown Rob GRON – KOWSKI!!! 14-0 Patriots
  • In my head, I’m trying to think of how Gil Santos would call this, as opposed to the vanilla Eagle.
  • Gronk is now tied for 34th on the all-time receiving TD list.

Pats 14, Dolphins 0, 5:28 First

Dolphins return starts at their own 25.

  • Great job Dolphins. You finally get a good play, and a needless penalty wipes it out. The Patriots don’t make that mistake.
  • Adam Gase went back to his old Mike Martz stuff? Because that guy did great against the Patriots.
  • That ball was out before the knee was down. But the whistle had blown. Hate it when Fouts is right.
  • Nice play by Jonathan Jones stopping Williams for no gain. 2nd and 10.
  • Another good tackle by Jones. Makes Dolphins convert a 3rd down. Pats are tackling well thus far.
  • Dolphins convert 4th down (barely), but Jonathan Jones is playing well on this drive.

Second Quarter

  • The dancing commercial is for Air Pods. Apparently.
  • The Gronks own TWO PARTY BUSSES? How has this not been a story I’ve seen?
  • Great play by Malcolm Butler breaking that play up.

Patriots take over

  • Awful false start call. Defensive End moved first.
  • That bad snap you were expecting from Ted Karras happened. Dolphins are on the board.
  • Fouts is ecstatic to compare his career fumbles to Brady’s. The interception comparison is far more fun.

Patriots 14 Dolphins 7, 13:19 second

  • No, Dolphins, you can’t tackle the receivers without getting a flag. First down.
  • Fouts being Fouts. The penalty wasn’t on player covering Cooks – but he analyzes it that way just the same.
  • 3rd and 14 – That Cooks guy is pretty good. 38 yards. 1st down.
  • Rex Effing Burkhead on the reverse down to the 1.
  • Brady to Rex Burkhead running an Edelman route. TOUCHDOWN!

Patriots 21, Dolphins 7 8:29 second

  • The ol’ “Don’t kick my finger” joke on McCourty holding for the kickoff. This Fouts’ limit. Somebody bring me Dan Dierdorf or Paul McGuire.
  • Nice juggling catch by Jarvis Landry. Nice tackle by Jonathan Jones.
  • Jonathan Jones with another tackle, stopping a Drake run.
  • Butler needs to make that tackle sooner. Just missed him. First down.
  • Butler’s got to turn his head. Needs to do better. Ball at the Pats 10.
  • Solid tackle by Van Noy, and an incompletion by Moore brings up 3rd and goal from the 10.
  • Adam Butler chases Moore and forces an incompletion.

Dolphins get a Field Goal from Cody Parkey.

Patriots 21, Dolphins 10, 4:06 first half. Ted Williams time.

  • That’s the old Rob Gronkowski right there for 21 yards. If Gronk can have a big quiet game, this is it.
  • Don’t know what Brady saw on that pick. He’s going to hate that one on film His footwork was bad, and Amendola wasn’t open.


  • First real example of bad tackling today. Harris needs to make that tackle.
  • Better tackling on the ensuing 1st down. 2nd and 10. Two-minute warning.
  • The Holiday Road takeoff Hyundai commercial is nauseating.
  • Big sack by Trey Flowers. Four man rush with Malcolm Butler did confuse the Dolphins o-line. Fouts got another one right. Dammit.
  • The Gilmore pick seemed inevitable. This was classic Matt Moore. That looked like a punt.

Patriots 21, Dolphins 10 – Halftime



  • Massive collision on the kickoff. Two concussions?
  • Big, big stop on that 3rd down.
  • How is that not kick catch interference?
  • Big recovery down there. Game-changing hustle play.


  • 25-yard run for Lewis. Huge holes. He’s having a big day.
  • Where’s the replay on the facemask?
  • Dolphins holding Lewis to a four-yard gain has to feel like a win for them.
  • Bye-bye Bobby McCain. Really, throwing a punch after the whistle on Danny Amendola, when you’re on top of him. Bush league move. See you later.
  • Dion Lewis and penalties have moved the ball to the 11.
  • No call on that Suh facemask? Brutal.
  • Gronk Touchdown – now tied with Joey Galloway for 30th on the all-time list.

Patriots 28, Dolphins 10, 10:28 3rd

  • Chung with the quick tackle. Do the Dolphins have any YAC today?
  • And to prove me wrong, Jarvis Landry gets a few yards after the catch.
  • Trey Flowers forces the fumble, Patrick Chung on the recovery. The Dolphins needed to win the turnover game, and they’ve just given that edge back.


  • 3rd and 5, Brady draws Wake offsides. Gase’s team discipline has been bad. Especially in the second half.
  • Bad false start by Gronk. Cost them a field goal try.


Dumb Fouts Alert

“Really no reason to bleed the clock”

Really? Dan? You wouldn’t want to try to draw them offsides on the punt, get close enough for a field goal try? Seriously?


  • Hey, the Patriots pass rush showed up.
  • Looks like a right leg issue for Marquise Flowers.
  • Good field position tradeoff – Pats get the ball back on the Miami 46


  • Bad penalty on Cooks on the OPI. Probably more of a timing thing than a Cooks error. Sets up a 2nd and 24.
  • 22-yard bullet to Cooks sets up 3rd and 2, which James White converts up the middle. Dolphins needed a stop there. Time’s a wasting.
  • No, Fouts, you don’t pull your starter in the 3rd Quarter up 18.
  • White a little short. That will end the 3rd quarter

Patriots 28, Dolphins 10 – End of Third Quarter

Fourth Quarter

  • Dolphins stop Burkhead on 4th down. Not a good push by the offense. They’d been better at this lately.

Dolphins take over at their own 28

  • Jonathan Jones tackling is the untold story of the game for me.
  • Bulter gives up a completion, but quick tackle – 3rd and 2.
  • Still and Moore have different ideas on 3rd down. They’re going for it. Probably a good move.
  • Dolphins can’t get play off without a timeout on 4th down. That’s just bad coaching.
  • Great play by Stills on the sideline to keep the drive going. Ball on Pats 37.
  • Butler knocked the ball away from Stills. He’s been much better today.
  • Nice catch from Julius Thomas.
  • Stills matched up on a linebacker for first down. Bad matchup.
  • Drake easy catch for the touchdown.

Patriots 28, Dolphins 17, 11:43 left in 4th quarter.

  • Really need a scoring drive here to put this one on ice.
  • Waddle out with injury. Fleming in. Big 3rd and 4 here.
  • Karras snap was good. That one’s on Brady.


  • Big sack for Roberts, followed up by another for Kyle Van Noy.
  • Now Van Noy is down. Checking his leg. Need this to be minor. He’s walking off under his own power. Good sign.
  • Dolphins can’t convert on 3rd and 28. Going to try on 4th and 11.
  • Incomplete. Patriots take over. Miami not challenging.

Pats take over on the Dolphins 38, 8:40 left

    • Dion Lewis for 6 on first down. Doing his best Antowain Smith impression
    • Lewis’s makes a 2 yard gain from what should have been a loss.
    • Lewis goes big on 3rd down – to the four.
    • Loss for Lewis – clock goes under 7 minutes.
    • Cooks on the touch pass sweep from Brady – and that’s just about all she wrote.

Patriots 35 Dolphins 17, 6:31 left in the 4th

  • Dolphins get 8 on 1st down.
  • Jonathan Jones is having a monster game. Gets the sack.
  • Dropped pass on the screen. 4th and 17. Dolphins to punt. Pats take over at their own 40


  • Awkward handoff to Burkhead. Seemed to short-arm Brady there.
  • Better handoff, another 5 yards. 3rd and 3.
  • Second or third effort for Burkhead gets near the 1st Down. 3:19 left here, ball near midfield. Seemed like a bad spot, but not worth the challenge. Clock moving.
  • Allen pins ball inside the 20.


  • Newcomer Eric Lee loops in for a sack. Seventh sack today for the Pats.
  • Garbage time yards for Matt Moore and Julius Thomas.
  • Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore interception, and it’s time for knees and the locker room “How do we feel about 9 wins” thing.

Patriots 35, Dolphins 17 Final.






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Mike Cooney
Mike is a lifelong Boston sports fan. He's got a degree in journalism from Northeastern University, and has been writing about sports in various methods since the mid-1990's. He's gotten to meet Bobby Orr, Luis Tiant, Rich Gedman, Nomar Garciaparra, and once shut out Carlos Pena's two twin brothers in a game of foosball at McCoy Stadium.