The New England Patriots beat the division leading Miami Dolphins 19-13 in OT Sunday to take over first place in the AFC East. The Patriots victory hopefully softens a heartbreak week for New England Sports fans, but seeing that baseball diamond at Pro Player field brought back memories of Grady Little. Michael Smith has the game story for the Boston Globe.
Sooner or later, the hex, the curse, or whatever it was had to end. The streak had to end...Tom Brady threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown 9 minutes and 15 seconds into overtime yesterday at Pro Player Stadium to give the Patriots a thrilling 19-13 win -- New England's first in 14 visits to Miami in September or October -- only after Richard Seymour blocked Olindo Mare's attempt at a go-ahead field goal with two minutes remaining in regulation, Mare (the second-most-accurate kicker in league history) missed a 35-yarder in overtime wide right.
Must be a hangover from the Red Sox as Michael Felger of the Boston Herald has that c word in his game story.
At least one curse is over....The game-winner was a thing of beauty. With just under six minutes left in overtime, Brady faked a handoff, twirled, faked a slant, then stepped back in the pocket and lofted a perfectly thrown 82-yard bomb to a streaking Brown, who split the Dolphins' two-deep safety coverage with a post pattern.
Tom Curran in the Providence Journal looks at all the obstacles the Patriots continue to overcome(thankfully no curse references).
The quarterback who can't throw deep hit the receiver who's being overlooked for an 82-yard overtime touchdown....It seems there's only one four-letter word that offends this team. Can't.
"Everybody's telling them it's too hot down here, everybody's telling them they have too many injuries and they can't do this and they can't do that and they didn't buy it," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "They just came down here and played their hearts out."
Leave it to Kevin Mannix of the Boston Herald to get some shots in at the Coach Belichick after the biggest win of the year.
There was a little less of that yesterday. Curious use of personnel at times. Some bizarre play-calling at the end of the game. Nothing as egregious as Grady Little's major gaffe against the Yankees, mind you. But given the fact that Bill Belichick and his staff has found a way to push all the right buttons at all the right times, it was unusual to see the players have to overcome their coaching staff as well as the opposing players.
Ron Borges has a great breakdown on the game winning touchdown.
When Brown ran a slant on the back side of the Dolphins' defense with 5:57 to play in OT, he and Brady believed he might get open and, if he did, he'd get open deep because he was matched up against two of the league's slower and most aggressive safeties. Knight and Marion are smart players and hard hitters. What they are not is fast or patient, so if Brady got time enough to wait for Brown the advantage would be New England's.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports on the blame game in Miami.
This 19-13 overtime loss is what happens when a Dolphins team has so much success leaning on its strong defense, it convinces itself the weaknesses on offense and special teams aren't really that pronounced.
And let's not forget a little blame for Olindo Mare.
Mare left the locker room and headed to his SUV without speaking to reporters -- apparently not wishing to discuss why his kicks were not fine.
Greg Cote in the Miami Herald blames the Florida Marlins for the loss.
You know that the variety of blame for a Dolphins home loss truly is all but limitless when those to blame include the Marlins...Playing this deep into October leaves the baseball infield on the football rectangle in the shared stadium, and it was from this hard, dirt surface that the usually reliable Olindo Mare had, well, a night-Mare.
Patriot nemesis Jason Taylor was doubled team most of the game and held in check. The Akita loving DE's frustration showed when he was flagged for oughing Brady in the second quarter after a hard shove and standing over Brady like a dog. Brady gave him a little shove before order was restored.