Final

Dolphins 10

(1-4, 0-3 away)

Patriots 20

(4-1, 2-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 8, 2006

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 0 10 0 010
NE 3 10 0 720

Top Performers

Passing: J. Harrington (MIA) - 232 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: C. Dillon (NE) - 10 CAR, 45 YDS

Receiving: R. McMichael (MIA) - 6 REC, 84 YDS

Dolphins turn to Harrington, but Patriots pick up win

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Joey Harrington didn't fare much better than the quarterback he replaced. It just didn't hurt as much.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The Dolphins played well defensively in the trenches and stuffed the Patriots' running game. But three turnovers by the Dolphins offense led to 17 points.

Miami replaced Daunte Culpepper with Joey Harrington (above), who gave Miami a chance to win with some pinpoint passing. But it wasn't enough as Tom Brady made timely throws to move the chains.

A questionable pass interference call in the fourth quarter set the Patriots up for their final score, putting the game away.

Asante Samuel intercepted two passes by the substitute starter after 21 sacks in four games sidelined Daunte Culpepper with a bruised shoulder and the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins 20-10 on Sunday.

"We've been going for too many games here at the start of the season without any turnovers," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Those turnovers are huge. It puts us on a short field."

The Patriots (4-1) had just one takeaway in the first three games and three for the season before coming up with three Sunday. Harrington, playing for the first time this season, may have been rusty but was sacked just once as he delivered the ball quickly.

He probably should have held it instead of throwing the interceptions that set up two touchdowns.

"He got me. Bill Belichick got me," Harrington said, but "we did a great job of protecting."

The Dolphins (1-4) continued to fall far short of the preseason hype that came with their acquisition of Culpepper, who missed his last nine games with Minnesota last season with a knee injury.

"He'll put his career on the line for this team. You have to admire that in the guy. So when he says he wanted to play, I know he did," Miami coach Nick Saban said. "I made that decision [to start Harrington]. I don't know if it was right or not, but it was a decision we had to make."

Belichick was ready for Harrington.

"We talked about him all week as it looked like he was upping his practice time," Belichick said.

Concerned about Culpepper's shoulder and mobility, Saban wouldn't say when he would play again.

There was no quarterback decision to be made by Belichick. Tom Brady was just 6-4 against Miami, compared with 21-2 against the rest of the AFC East. And he completed 16 of 29 passes for a season-low 140 yards as the Patriots were outgained 283 yards to 213.

"We didn't play as well as an offense as we would have liked, but we're playing some good situational football," Brady said. "We're finishing the games when we needed to, making critical plays."

The play with about 10 minutes left really hurt -- and angered -- the Dolphins.

The Patriots had taken the ball at the Dolphins 24 after Samuel's second interception on a pass off the hands of Wes Welker, who led all receivers with nine catches.

After an incompletion and a 2-yard run by Laurence Maroney, Brady underthrew the ball to Doug Gabriel on the right side of the end zone. But Will Allen was called for defensive pass interference, putting the ball at the 1. Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Heath Evans on the next play with 9:47 to go.

The officials "said I didn't look for the ball. I did look for the ball," Allen said. "He [Gabriel] grabbed me."

Saban was incensed because the ball hit Allen as Gabriel was trying to come back to it.

"If it was a good call," Saban said, "we've got bad rules."

The first turnover, a recovery by Tedy Bruschi of Ronnie Brown's fumble on Miami's third play from scrimmage, led to Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal.

Miami's Olindo Mare had his 40-yard field-goal attempt blocked by Mike Wright before Gostkowski made it 6-0 with a 31-yard field goal on New England's second possession.

The Dolphins' third series didn't go any better. Harrington's pass on the fourth play was intercepted by Samuel, who returned it 26 yards to the Miami 10. Two plays later, Brady threw a 10-yard scoring pass down the middle to Troy Brown for a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Then Harrington outplayed Brady for the rest of the second and all of the third quarter, helping cut the lead to 13-10 on Brown's 2-yard run and Mare's 40-yard field goal.

But Mare missed a 50-yarder with 6 minutes left.

"We've got to create more turnovers," Miami linebacker Channing Crowder said. "They get three turnovers, we've got to get four or five."

Another play in the kicking game cost the Dolphins field position, if not points. With a fourth-and-5 at the Miami 36, punter Donnie Jones dropped the snap and fell on it before being tackled by Wright, giving the Patriots the ball at their 46. But New England punted the ball back.

"It's a totally different [approach] from last year," said Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who played 11 days after undergoing surgery on his broken left wrist. "We go out there with the attitude the ball is ours."

Game notes


Miami WR Marty Booker had his left arm in a sling after the game and said he had an injury in the shoulder and pectoral area. "I don't know the severity of it," he said, but expected to have it checked Monday. ... Maroney rushed for 38 yards one week after getting 125.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
NE
1st Downs1917
Passing 1st downs
1412
Rushing 1st downs
23
1st downs from penalties
32
3rd down efficiency
4-145-15
4th down efficiency
0-12-2
Total Plays6364
Total Yards283213
Yards per play4.53.3
Total Drives1011
Passing221134
Comp-Att
26-4116-29
Yards per pass
5.34.5
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-111-6
Rushing6279
Rushing Attempts
2134
Yards per rush
3.02.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-12-5
Penalties10-817-59
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:1729:43

Passing Leaders

MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Harrington26/412325.7021-11
NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady16/291404.8201-6

Rushing Leaders

MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown17392.317
Chambers11818.0018
NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Dillon10454.508
Maroney18382.1011

Receiving Leaders

MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
McMichael68414.0023
Welker9778.6025
NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown55811.6115
Watson4338.3015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIANE
neFG11:43Stephen Gostkowski 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 20 yds, 2:12
03
SECOND QUARTERMIANE
neFG10:16Stephen Gostkowski 31 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 15 plays, 56 yds, 8:12
06
neTD7:54Troy Brown, 10 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 10 yds, 0:45
013
miaTD2:59Ronnie Brown, 2 yd run (Olindo Mare kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:53
713
miaFG0:29Olindo Mare 40 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 40 yds, 1:15
1013
FOURTH QUARTERMIANE
neTD9:51Heath Evans, 1 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 24 yds, 0:56
1020