Dolphins 17

(3-5, 1-3 away)

Patriots 27

(6-2, 5-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 8, 2009

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 3 7 7 017
NE 7 9 8 327

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 332 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. Maroney (NE) - 20 CAR, 82 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. Moss (NE) - 6 REC, 147 YDS, 1 TD

Pats overcome the wildcat as Brady hooks up with Moss to doom the Dolphins

Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Miami Dolphins had just spent more than 10 minutes marching to a wildcat touchdown when Randy Moss used one stiff-arm to wipe out their lead.

More from

The Patriots defense caged up the Dolphins Wildcat offense and came away with a win, writes Mike Reiss. Story

The Patriots have created some separation in the AFC East race, writes Tim Graham. Blog

Randy Moss briefly broke down how he broke down the Dolphins' defense, writes Chris Forsberg. Story

Moss sped to a 71-yard touchdown after grabbing a short pass over the middle and shoving rookie cornerback Vontae Davis out of his way as the New England Patriots tightened their grip on the AFC East with a 27-17 win Sunday.

"That's like getting stabbed in the heart right there," Patriots guard Logan Mankins said. "You grind it out for like 10 minutes and finally score, and then in like a minute and a half we come right back."

The touchdown -- and a 2-point conversion connection between Tom Brady and Moss -- put the Patriots ahead 24-17 with 3:15 left in the third quarter, and the Dolphins failed to get inside the New England 40-yard line after that.

"It was tough for us. The offense had just come off of a great drive," Miami linebacker Jason Taylor said, "but Randy Moss made a play ... what he's done for a million years."

He did it twice Sunday.

On the Patriots' second possession, Moss made a one-handed catch against Davis for a 36-yard gain to the 1-yard line. Laurence Maroney ran for the touchdown on the next play, putting New England ahead 7-3.

Moss Enabled

Randy Moss and Tom Brady struggled to get on the same page in the first half, but were very much in sync coming out of the locker room after the break.

Sunday vs. Dolphins
1st Half 2nd Half
Rec-Targets 3-8 3-3
Yards 52 95
Yards/att 6.5 31.7
TD-Int 0-1 1-0

"That's Randy Moss," said Davis, who also intercepted Brady's pass toward Moss on the Patriots' first series. "He's going to make his plays and I just tried to limit him the best I could."

Miami's two touchdowns came on the possessions on which it used the wildcat most extensively -- after gaining just 36 yards on 21 wildcat plays in its previous two games -- but New England's quick-strike ability took back the momentum.

The Patriots (6-2) lead the idle New York Jets (4-4) and Miami and Buffalo (both 3-5) in the AFC East. The win was especially important since Miami had been 3-0 in division games and New England only 1-1. Last season, both finished at 11-5 and had the same record in AFC East games, but the Dolphins made the playoffs with a better conference record, and the Patriots missed them.

Brady missed all but the first quarter of last season with a knee injury one year after he and Moss hooked up for 23 touchdowns.

"He's so fast," Brady said. "It's always nice for a quarterback when you see the back of [No.] 81 sprinting down the field."

On Sunday, Moss caught six passes for 147 yards while Brady went 25-for-37 for 332 yards, his third straight game with more than 300 yards and team-record 27th of his career. The Dolphins played without two injured defensive starters, linebacker Channing Crowder and nose tackle Jason Ferguson.

Patriots starting center Dan Koppen did not return after hurting his knee in the second quarter and was replaced by Dan Connolly. The team gave no update on Koppen's condition.

"It's not the easiest thing to do when you lose your center," Brady said, "but he came in and did a great job."

Miami's Ted Ginn Jr. was held to four kickoff returns for 97 yards plus two touchbacks after running back kickoffs for touchdowns of 100 and 101 yards a week earlier in a 30-25 win over the New York Jets.

Fast Facts

• Randy Moss had 147 receiving yards, his most in a game since 2007.

• Moss passed Henry Ellard and Cris Carter to move into seventh on the all-time list with 13,913 career yards.

• New England is now 5-0 at home this season.

• Tom Brady threw for 332 yards. It was his third consecutive 300-yard game.

• Miami lost for the first time in four AFC East games this year.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Dan Carpenter's career-long 52-yard field goal gave Miami a 3-0 lead before Moss set up the Patriots' first touchdown.

Miami scored four touchdowns against the Patriots out of the wildcat in a 38-13 win last year but used just one wildcat play on its first three possessions Sunday. On its fourth series, it went with the alignment on five runs for 66 yards, the last a 15-yard touchdown by Ricky Williams on a handoff from Pat White. That tied the game 10-10 with 6:11 left in the second quarter.

"It was much better today," running back Ronnie Brown said, "but in crucial situations you have to make the big play."

The wildcat worked again for the Dolphins on the first series of the third quarter when they used it eight times, the last a 1-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Joey Haynos as they took a 17-16 lead. That 16-play drive lasted 10:09.

But Brady and Moss wasted little time regaining the lead.

After a 5-yard run by Maroney and a 4-yard completion to Wes Welker, Brady hit Moss across the middle. He ran away from Davis for his 140th touchdown receiving, tying Terrell Owens for second place behind Jerry Rice's 197.

"Everybody did what they had to do and 71 yards later it was a touchdown," Moss said.

Game notes

The Patriots' streak of coming up with a turnover in 15 consecutive games ended. ... Miami lost for the first time in its last six games against AFC East opponents. ... The Dolphins rushed for 133 yards after gaining just 104 yards of total offense in their previous game. ... Maroney rushed a season-high 20 times for 82 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2122
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7063
Total Yards334432
Yards per play4.86.9
Total Drives1011
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-22-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

miaFG9:40Dan Carpenter 52 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 44 yds, 3:54
neTD6:58Laurence Maroney 1 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 2:36
neFG9:09Stephen Gostkowski 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 49 yds, 5:05
miaTD6:17Ricky Williams 15 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 2:54
neFG2:48Stephen Gostkowski 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 3:26
neFG0:01Stephen Gostkowski 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 70 yds, 1:43
miaTD4:55Joey Haynos 1 Yard Pass From Ronnie Brown (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 16 plays, 66 yds, 10:09
neTD3:27Randy Moss 71 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Tom Brady Pass to Randy Moss For Two-Point Conversion is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yds, 1:36
neFG1:14Stephen Gostkowski 40 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yds, 1:41