Here are five quick-hit observations from the Dolphins’ 22-21 upset over the Patriots in Week 13.
1. Miami won this game in the second half.
Good teams win games in the second half and while Miami’s record doesn’t necessarily show that they’re a good team, they are. The Dolphins held the Patriots to only seven points in the last two quarters, which came on New England’s first offensive possession of the second half. The Dolphins stone-walled the Pats from that point forward and rookie Vontae Davis’ pick in the end zone off Tom Brady gave Miami a chance to complete the rally.
2. What finger injury?
Before the game, commentators made a big deal out of Brady’s finger injury, but he played exceptionally well in completing 19-of-29 pass attempts for 352 yards and two touchdowns. He threw for more yards than Chad Henne, yet attempted 23 fewer passes. Of course, you can’t talk about Brady’s day without mentioning the interception that he threw to Davis that proved to be the turning point in the game. Davis made a great play, but it was a poorly thrown ball.
3. Henne continues to step up.
Even though Brady threw for more, Henne still passed for 335 yards today. He completed 29-of-52 passes and tossed two touchdowns, including one to Brian Hartline with under four minutes remaining. The 335 passing yards was a career high for Henne, who routinely picked on rookie Darius Butler and the rest of the inexperienced New England secondary. He looks more and more comfortable with each passing week.
4. Good mindset, Vontae.
When Randy Moss burned Vontae Davis on a 58-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the game, the rookie corner could have let it eat away at him the rest of the game. Instead, he bounced back and wound up making the play of the game when he intercepted Brady in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Corners have to have a short memory and Davis proved today that he could respond to adversity. For Miami’s sake, here’s hoping he continues to improve.
5. Devone Bess, the underrated playmaker.
The Dolphins need to find more ways to get Bess the ball because as he proved today, he has playmaking ability. He abused Butler for 10 receptions for a career-high 117 yards and also caught his first touchdown of the season. Miami doesn’t have many consistent options in the passing game and Bess isn’t a legit No. 1 guy, but again, he can make some plays when he has the opportunity.