Early mixing and matching along the offensive line leads to some protection issues, and the running backs also struggle picking up the blitz. Going to the 3 WR/2 TE package at the start of the second half gets things going, and the line settles in, and the incomparable Wes Welker gets going with 10 of his 12 catches in the second half.
Cornerback Devin McCourty continues to struggle and Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall puts up big numbers (7 catches, 156 yards, 1 TD), capitalizing on some one-on-one matchups with no safety help. The Patriots' safety play looks to be hurting them. On the positive side, the Patriots totaled five sacks.
Coverage teams give up more ground than desired and Niko Koutouvides is penalized for a false start on a punt. On the plus side, Stephen Gostkowski's tackle on Clyde Gates' would-be kickoff return for a touchdown is one of the unsung plays of the game, while punter Zoltan Mesko is solid once again.
Bill Belichick and his staff make the necessary changes at the half to help the team come back from a 17-0 hole. One could question the decision to move Logan Mankins to left tackle and disrupt the usage of power packages (rookies Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon seemed to hold up well when thrust into the mix at tackle), but overall, the team's toughness is a reflection of its head coach.
|2014 New England Patriots Regular Season Schedule|
|1||Sun, Sep 7||Box Score | Play-By-Play|
|2||Sun, Sep 14||Box Score | Play-By-Play|
|3||Sun, Sep 21||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|4||Mon, Sep 29||8:30 PM ESPN||Tickets | Travel|
|5||Sun, Oct 5||8:30 PM NBC||Tickets | Travel|
|6||Sun, Oct 12||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|7||Thu, Oct 16||8:25 PM CBS/ NFL||Tickets | Travel|
|8||Sun, Oct 26||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets | Travel|
|9||Sun, Nov 2||4:25 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|11||Sun, Nov 16||8:30 PM NBC||Tickets | Travel|
|12||Sun, Nov 23||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets | Travel|
|13||Sun, Nov 30||4:25 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|14||Sun, Dec 7||8:30 PM NBC||Tickets | Travel|
|15||Sun, Dec 14||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|16||Sun, Dec 21||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|
|17||Sun, Dec 28||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets | Travel|