Maybe Brady's teammates didn't hear him. They failed to block
Taylor, who swooped up the middle untouched to force a harried,
It was that kind of day for Brady and the Patriots, who lost to
the Miami Dolphins 21-0 Sunday.
"We just couldn't do anything right," Brady said.
The roving Taylor led a disruptive defense that sacked Brady
four times, forced him to fumble twice and limited him to 78 yards
passing. New England totaled 12 first downs and 189 yards, both
season lows, and lost three fumbles, giving them 11 turnovers in
the past three games.
The Patriots committed nine penalties. Their best play was an
illegal forward pass.
"To get a shutout against a team like that is huge for our
defense," said safety Yeremiah Bell, who had nine tackles and
forced a fumble by Brady.
The last Miami team to shut out New England was the
perfect-season Dolphins of 1972.
By the second quarter, Brady's frustration was evident. When the
Patriots were stopped for the fifth possession in a row in the
opening half, he screamed at teammates as he trotted off the field,
and again after he reached the bench.
"He was pretty frustrated," Miami defensive tackle Vonnie
Holliday said. "We saw him yelling at his linemen. It was a little
bit uncharacteristic of Brady -- he's usually so cool and calm in
the pocket. But we were able to fluster him a little bit."
Brady fell to 7-5 against the Dolphins, compared with 70-20
against the rest of the NFL.
The Patriots (9-4) still lead the AFC East, but the loss snapped
their three-game winning and hurt their chances of earning a
first-round bye in the playoffs. They lost on the road for the
first time in six games this season.
"There are a lot of teams that would like to have our record,"
coach Bill Belichick said. "There might be a few who wouldn't, but
most teams would love to be where we are."
Miami (6-7), virtually eliminated from the playoff race a week
ago, won for the fifth time in six games.
"Hats off to them to be playing at that level when their future
is kind of cloudy," Patriots defensive end Ty Warren said.
New England played without leading rusher Laurence Maroney,
inactive because of a back injury, and lost top receiver Benjamin
Watson in the third quarter with a leg injury.
And Taylor didn't make things any easier for the Patriots. He
kept them guessing by lining up at different spots and frequently
"He's the best player we've played against all year,"
"He's relentless out there," Brady said. "He's got a great
knack for the ball."
Taylor made six tackles, sacked Brady once, forced a fumble and
broke up a pass.
The Patriots averaged only 2.0 yards per pass play. They did
reach the end zone once, but the score in the fourth quarter was
negated by a penalty for passing twice.
With Miami leading 13-0, Brady handed off to Kevin Faulk, who
threw back across the field to Brady. The quarterback threw long to
Daniel Graham for a 33-yard score. But after a lengthy discussion,
officials ruled Faulk's throw was a forward pass rather than a
"If that was a touchdown, it's a whole different game," Taylor
said. "The dynamic of the game is changed drastically."
Instead, Brady lost a fumble on a safety blitz three plays
later, and Miami drove 61 yards for the clinching touchdown.
Defense and special teams did the rest. Poor field position hurt
the Patriots, who started their first eight possessions at the 30
or worse. Three punts by Miami's Donnie Jones were downed inside
the 5-yard line.
Against the Patriots, Taylor said, a shutout was especially
"There's a rivalry here," Taylor said. "It's a division game.
It's a team I consider one of the best two or three in the league.
But it's great to get a shutout any time."
Patriots NT Vince Wilfork left the game in the third
quarter with a leg injury. ... The shutout was the Dolphins' first
since Sept. 3, 2000, when they beat Seattle 23-0. The last time the
Patriots were shut out was Sept. 7, 2003, when Buffalo beat them