|Other Week 13 Game Recaps|
|BAL at GB||DAL at NYG||DEN at KC||DET at CIN||HOU at JAX||MIN at ARI||NE at MIA||NO at WAS|
|NYJ at BUF||OAK at PIT||PHI at ATL||SD at CLE||SF at SEA||STL at CHI||TB at CAR||TEN at IND|
Week 13 Game Recap: New England Patriots 21, Miami Dolphins 22
New England Patriots
|QB Tom Brady, Pass: 19 - 29 - 352 - 2 TD / 2 INT|
There were some real concerns about Tom Brady's injured finger late in the week, but Tom "Terrific" came out of the tunnel still steaming after last weeks demoralizing loss. On the very first drive, he went to the play action pass and threw a perfect rainbow that found Randy Moss on a 58 yard TD strike. After the throw, fantasy owners panicked as they watched Brady jog into the locker room after a body blow on the play by Miami defender, Randy Starks. A sigh of relief was heard all across New England as he ran back out on the field shortly there after. On the Patriots next possession, Brady elected to play under center and seemed to abandon the shotgun formation to some extent. They appeared to get up to the line quicker and executed the drive with flow and fortitude, moving the offense down the field for another score that was capped off by a 6 yard dash by Kevin Faulk. The offense had a 3rd opportunity late in the half but failed to convert on 4th down at the Dolphins 10 yard line, which would prove costly. Brady's 2nd TD pass of the day came on an arcing toss up to Sam Aiken on the sideline where his receiver made a Randy Moss like grab over the defenders head for the longest TD play for New England this season (81 yards). Both of Brady's interceptions came in the 4th quarter when the Patriots looked like they were pressing a bit. His first pick came on a 4 yard toss in the end zone intended for Randy Moss and stolen by Vontae Davis. Brady's 2nd INT came after being hit on the throw with 42 seconds remaining, allowing the Dolphins to preserve a 1 point victory. The Patriots clearly have no margin for error the rest of the year.
|RB Laurence Maroney, Rush: 13 - 41 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
Once again, Maroney ran hard in this game, showing good lean, getting good push, and falling forward for positive yardage, but was held in check all day by a stingy Dolphins defensive front. He did yield 12 carries to a healthy Morris and Kevin Faulk, but still was the lead back in the Patriots ground game with 13 carries. The Pats gave him some opportunities in the red zone, but he was unable to do what he had done in his 6 previous games, being held out of the end zone.
|RB Sammy Morris, Rush: 9 - 40 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (2 targets)|
The Patriots mixed it up in the backfield giving all three RB's quality touches. Morris had 9 carries and 2 receptions on the day totaling 65 yards and showed some nice burst. Morris did come up short on what would turn out to be one of the biggest plays of the game, when he failed to convert a 4th and 1 inside the Dolphins 10 yard line late in the first half. As Morris gets his legs back, don't be surprised to see him more and more involved in the offense at the expense of Maroney and Kevin Faulk.
|RB Kevin Faulk, Rush: 3 - 15 - 1, Rec: 2 - -1 - 0 (3 targets)|
Faulk had a nice draw play for 9 yards on a 3rd and 8 on the Pats first drive, which set up Randy Moss for a 58 yard TD on the next play. He also was the beneficiary of the Patriots only other TD, a 6 yard dash up the middle, on the very next drive. Faulk didn't contribute much in the passing game as Brady spread the ball around to 7 different receivers.
|WR Wes Welker, Rec: 10 - 167 - 0 (13 targets)|
"Mr. Move the Chains" was alive and well, snagging every ball thrown in his direction, ducking tackles, and spinning off defenders after the catch. He made a critical 3rd down conversion in the red zone on the Patriots second scoring drive and would have scored the TD had it not been for a shoe string tackle by Dolphins strong safety, Nate Jones. Welker beat single coverage late in the first half with a speedy 58 yard catch (his longest of the season), but was caught from behind in a footrace to the end zone. Welker led all Patriots receivers with 167 yards on 10 receptions and continues to dominate the competition.
|WR Randy Moss, Rec: 2 - 66 - 1 (5 targets)|
Right from the get go of this game, Moss looked to be a huge factor as he easily handled a 58 yard TD pass off a play action fake on the Pats very first drive. Brady put a perfect arc on the football and Moss beat Vontae Davis and simply outran the ball. But it was not to be, as the Dolphins tightened up their defense and shut down Moss for the remainder of the contest. Moss ended up with only 2 catches for 66 yards on the day.
|WR Sam Aiken, Rec: 1 - 81 - 1 (3 targets)|
The longest TD play for New England this season (81 yards) belongs to Sam Aiken after a brilliant catch over his defenders head on a high arcing toss by Tom Brady. Brady's high arcing pass allowed Aiken to use his ball hawking skills to make a play, and make a play, he did. Aiken almost had another huge play late in the 4th quarter as Brady saw him break away deep down the sideline, but the ball went off a leaping Aiken's fingertips and fell to the ground. As long as Moss and Welker continue to garner attention form their opponent's secondary, Aiken is sure to be heavily involved on the opposite side of the field.
|QB Chad Henne, Pass: 29 - 52 - 335 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
After a slow start, falling behind 14-0, Henne and the offense started to come alive in the 2nd quarter with a nice 10 play 88 yard scoring drive. Henne's first TD went to Devone Bess on a quick slant where Bess put his shifty run after the catch moves on display. Henne's 4th interception of the season came when Brandon Meriweather picked off a floater intended for Devone Bess deep downfield. Henne was able to get all of his receivers involved, hitting eight different pass catchers in the game, and could have been confused for a veteran signal caller with a brilliant drive that set up a Dolphins FG at the end of the first half to pull Miami within 4. Hartline's 2nd TD pass came with 3:18 to go in the 3rd quarter when he hit Brain Hartline in the corner of the end zone on a 9 yard strike. Down 2 points, the Dolphins elected to go for two but the conversion attempt to Fasano failed. Henne's only 4th quarter mistake was missing a wide open Lousaka Polite for a sure TD, but the Dolphins were able to overcome it with a late FG to win the game. Henne abused the Patriots secondary with 335 passing yards and controlled the tempo of the game with ease. This performance keeps the Dolphins playoffs hopes alive and adds much needed balance to the Miami offensive attack.
|QB Pat White, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0|
Not much was happening with Pat White in the wildcat formation on this day. On the first Miami drive, White threw an ugly pitchout that was luckily recovered by Miami for a loss of 18 yards, which stalled a very nice looking drive by the Dolphins. The wildcat wasn't seen again until the end of the 3rd quarter when White rushed for no gain inside the NE 10 yard line and was booed by the fans. The wildcat was pretty much extinct after that play as the Dolphins stuck with a more traditional offensive game plan.
|RB Ricky Williams, Rush: 18 - 75 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)|
Williams showed that he still has the speed required to be a featured NFL running back, netting 81 yards on the day. He didn't need to carry the team this week however, as the Dolphins relied more on the passing game going to the air early and often. But when he did get his opportunities, he made the most of them, doing the grunt work and adding some rhythm and rhyme to the offense.
|RB Lex Hilliard, Rush: 5 - 12 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
Hilliard spelled Williams, but only received six touches the entire game. He did get a meaningful carry with 2:30 left in the game as the Dolphins were moving into FG range to win the game. Owners who snagged Hilliard off waivers were hoping for more, but they may need to re-evaluate and settle for what he is -- an insurance policy for Ricky Williams.
|RB Lousaka Polite, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (4 targets)|
Polite, a tremendous blocker, took advantage of his lone opportunity to carry the ball converting on a 3rd and 1 deep in NE territory. Lousaka has had 10 different opportunities this season to convert on 3rd or 4th and 1, and has converted all 10 attempts for first downs. Lousaka was wide open on what would have been a sure TD late in the 4th quarter, but the Dolphins were able to overcome it with a late FG to win the game.
|WR Davone Bess, Rec: 10 - 117 - 1 (14 targets)|
Bess had a fabulous game, and is clearly a huge part of this offense and QB Chad Henne's arsenal. Bess had two, back-to-back, 3rd down conversions on the Fin's first drive displaying confidence and control. On the Dolphins first scoring drive, Bess had a rather fantastic run after the catch on a short slant that he took in for the score. His 10 catches were a career high and his "shake and bake" ability paired with his 3rd down savvy, kept the chains moving all day long, giving life to the Dolphins offense. Every time the Dolphins needed to convert a big 3rd down, Henne looked Bess' way and Bess delivered time and again.
|WR Greg Camarillo, Rec: 4 - 61 - 0 (10 targets)|
Early in the 2nd quarter, Camaillo had a diving 29 yard catch on the sideline to convert on a 3rd down that moved the chains and put some wind in the Dolphins sails, down 14-0. Camarillo also had a TD opportunity in the 2nd half when he evaded the Patriots secondary to get open near the goal line, but Henne's pass was tipped and fell to the ground short of Camarillo's outstretched arms.
|WR Brian Hartline, Rec: 4 - 41 - 1 (7 targets)|
QB Chad Henne spread the ball nicely among his receiving core and Hartline was included in the mix. Hartline drew a pass interference call down to the nine yard line in the second half, and Henne went right back to him in the end zone a few plays later, but he was unable to get both feet in bounds for the score. However, he was the beneficiary of Henne's 2nd TD of the day, a 9 yard strike in the corner of the end zone.
|WR Ted Ginn, Rec: 2 - 34 - 0 (3 targets)|
One of Ginn's only two passes in the game came with six seconds left in the first half, when he adjusted to a ball on the sidelines, leaning and getting both feet in bounds to set up a late FG. Ginn's other catch was a 3rd and 10 conversion late in the 4th quarter. With the emergence of Davone Bess, Ginn has clearly been relegated to a special teams kick returner role and is getting few opportunities on the offensive side of the ball. He did make two nice, clutch plays in this game, so there is a chance that his role could expand in the future.
|TE Anthony Fasano, Rec: 5 - 67 - 0 (7 targets)|
The Dolphins TE was a big part of the game plan against the Patriots and looks to be getting more involved with each passing week. He almost had a catch on the one yard line in the first half, was the target of a failed 2 point conversion attempt in the 3rd quarter, and contributed with some nice catches when called upon. On one play after the catch, he not only punished his defender with a big blow, but dragged 3 other red jerseys downfield making his physicality known.