Monday, October 4, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Patriots 41, Dolphins 14
By Tim Graham
MIAMI -- The New England Patriots wrecked the Miami Dolphins 41-14 on Monday night in Sun Life Stadium.
What it means: Some were calling the Dolphins a legitimate contender after their impressive 2-0 start on the road. The Patriots knocked them back to reality with a second straight home loss. As bad as everybody thought the Buffalo Bills got blasted by the New York Jets, this game was even more lopsided.
Hero: Patriots safety Patrick Chung blocked a punt, blocked a field goal that Kyle Arrington returned for a touchdown and returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown.
Goat: Dolphins special teams coordinator John Bonamego should be squirming. The Patriots returned a kickoff for a touchdown, blocked a field goal for a touchdown and needed two plays to turn a blocked punt into a touchdown.
Marshall? Moss? The superstar receivers had a combined zero catches at halftime. Brandon Marshall finished with five for 50 yards. Moss never did get one.
Slots-o-fun: Slot receivers Wes Welker and Davone Bess had big games. Bess made nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown and would have been a bigger story had the Dolphins won. Welker had eight for 70 yards.
Unsung hero: Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich had an amazing game against his former team. He intercepted Chad Henne twice and recorded a sack to put the Dolphins at third-and-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Trending: For the second straight week, Brandon Fields had a punt blocked in Dolphins territory. The Patriots scored a touchdown two plays later to take a 20-7 lead early in the third quarter. The New York Jets blocked one in Week 3 and turned it into a field goal. Fields also had a pair of punts blocked in the preseason.
Injuries of note: Patriots Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather hurt his knee and didn't play in the second half.
What's next: Both teams are on their bye weeks. In Week 6, the Dolphins visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and the Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of last season's first-round playoff.