The New England defense had seven sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in their dominant, AFC East 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
The Patriots have now won seven-straight games while the Dolphins skid reached five-consecutive losses.
Quarterback Tom Brady was fantastic on the field throwing four touchdown passes, completing 18 of his 28 passes for 227 total yards.
Despite a good day for the defense, they did have a plethora of injuries and it started on the first drive when safety Nate Ebner went down with a knee injury after the Pats successfully completed a punt fake to continue their opening drive.
New England also lost defensive end Trey Flowers (ribs), linebackers Kyle Van Noy (leg) and Trevor Reilly (head) and tackle LaAdrian Waddle (ankle).
After Ebner’s first-down run turned into a 7-0 lead, the Dolphins went three-and-out and New England capitalized and Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
Miami did get seven points back after guard Ted Karras, who played well last week, made his first big mistake when he snapped the ball while Brady wasn’t looking and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones scooped it up and took the ball into the end zone to bring Miami within a touchdown.
The Pats opened up the lead yet again in the second quarter when Brady found wide open wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 37-yard gain on third-and-14 which led to Brady giving the ball to running back Rex Burkhead to complete the scoring drive for a 21-7 lead.
Miami settled for a field goal but Brady connected with Gronkowski again for his second touchdown of the afternoon in the third quarter.
The Dolphins kept trying to fight back when quarterback Matt Moore found POSITION Kenny Stills for a 28-yard pass on fourth-and-two and capped off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass.
That’s all the Pats defense would allow as the offense scored one more time to break the game wide open, 35-17. Safety Durmon Harmon intercepted Moore in the final minutes of the game to secure the victory as the Pats collected their ninth win.
Running back Dion Lewis had himself a game with 12 carries for 115 total yards, while Burkhead had 53 total yards and two touchdowns. Cooks caught six of the seven passes he was targeted for good for 83 total yards, rushed for 11 yards and scored a touchdown.
Moore completed 23 of his 34 passes, had 215 total yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions in his second-career start.
Fun fact: This was Brady’s 28 career game with four or more touchdown passes. He now has 26 touchdown passes on the season – the most ever in a season by a quarterback after turning 40-years-old.
What’s next: New England (9-2) will hit the road for three-straight games and first up is the Buffalo Bills (6-5) next Sunday.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.