Final

Patriots 0

(9-4, 5-1 away)

Dolphins 21

(6-7, 4-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 10, 2006

 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 0 0 0 00
MIA 3 3 7 821

Top Performers

Passing: J. Harrington (MIA) - 190 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: S. Morris (MIA) - 25 CAR, 123 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Booker (MIA) - 8 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD

Rejuvenated Dolphins rough up Brady, shut out Patriots

MIAMI (AP) -- As Tom Brady prepared to take a snap, he shouted and pointed across the line, anticipating a blitz from end Jason Taylor lined up at middle linebacker.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
This game was dominated by Miami, which shut out the Patriots for the first time since 2003. Miami pressured quarterback Tom Brady into a subpar day (four sacks, 78 yards passing) and several errant passes. Both New England tackles had a tough time blocking the Dolphins' defensive ends, especially Jason Taylor (above).

Miami used a good balance of run (31) and pass (30) to keep the Patriots' defense off-balance. The Dolphins' defense forced three fumbles and an effective kicking game gave Miami good field position.

Maybe Brady's teammates didn't hear him. They failed to block Taylor, who swooped up the middle untouched to force a harried, errant pass.

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."

Elias Says
Tom Brady
Brady
Tom Brady was held to 78 yards passing in the Dolphins' 21-0 win over the Patriots. It was only the fourth career start in which Brady failed to reach the 100-yard mark, and all have been against Miami.

• For more Elias Says, Click here.

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 harassed Brady.

"He's the best player we've played against all year," Belichick said.

"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 lateral.

"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.

Sammy Morris rushed for a career-high 123 yards and a score for the Dolphins. Marty Booker caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Joey Harrington.

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 sweet.

"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."

Game notes


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 31-0.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
New England
Miami
1st Downs1219
3rd down efficiency
7-153-12
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Yards189315
Yards per play3.35.1
Total Drives01
Passing66184
Comp-Att
14-2818-30
Yards per pass
2.46.1
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
5-241-6
Rushing123131
Rushing Attempts
2531
Yards per rush
4.94.2
Penalties9-713-30
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
30
Interceptions thrown
00
Possession28:4031:20

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady12/25783.1004-20
Cassel2/3124.0001-4
MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Harrington18/301906.3101-6

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Dillon16794.9017
Faulk5295.8011
MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris251234.9144
Harrington441.004

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown3258.3021
Graham4235.808
MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Booker810312.9132
Morris23919.5028

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEMIA
FG14:32Olindo Mare 35 Yd
Drive: 5 plays, 22 yds, 2:06
03
SECOND QUARTERNEMIA
FG15:00Olindo Mare 33 Yd
Drive: 9 plays, 62 yds, 1:50
06
THIRD QUARTERNEMIA
TD12:09Marty Booker 32 Yd Pass From Joey Harrington (Olindo Mare Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 43 yds, 2:48
013
FOURTH QUARTERNEMIA
TD10:04Sammy Morris 3 Yd Run (Joey Harrington Pass To Marty Booker For Two-Point Conversion)
Drive: 8 plays, 61 yds, 4:29
021