MIAMI -- Sharing some halftime thoughts as the Patriots lead the Dolphins 17-10 at Sun Life Stadium:
Wes Welker is a terrific football player.
That’s the first thought that comes to mind after watching the first 30 minutes of action. Welker has 10 catches for 89 yards and 1 touchdown, as the Dolphins don’t have an answer for him. A few of the receptions, such as his 7-yard touchdown catch, are essentially glorified running plays.
Welker has gone over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season for the fifth time of his career. This type of performance is another reminder of Welker’s importance to the Patriots; he used to do this to the Patriots when he played for the Dolphins.
There will be a time and place for contract talks, but when Welker plays like this, one can’t help but wonder about the future as Welker is in the last year of his pact. The sides are a perfect match but haven’t been able to find a middle ground.
Elsewhere on offense, quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t been his usual sharp self. The Dolphins have disrupted his rhythm as he was intercepted on a terrific play by Reshad Jones in the first quarter, Brady's first interception since Oct. 14 and fourth for the season.
The running game hasn't been a factor (10 yards on 8 carries), which is putting more of the burden on Brady.
Defensively, the half didn’t end the way the Patriots hoped, with the Dolphins driving for their lone touchdown. But hard to argue with the overall results of the D, which opened with two three-and-outs and turned the ball over again (Trevor Scott strip sack).
The Dolphins played some smart situational football at the end of the half to pull within striking distance and not give the Patriots a chance for an end-of-half drive.
The Patriots get the ball to start the second half. The feeling from here is that there was an opportunity to have a bigger lead, but they haven't capitalized to the level they usually do.