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Week 4 Game Recap: Miami Dolphins 7, New England Patriots 38


What you need to know

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were riding high after a 3-game winning streak but came crashing back down to earth this week against the Patriots. Ryan Tannehill was benched in the 4th quarter in an effort to preserve his health for the rest of the season and no receiver or running back had more than 50 yards. Kenyan Drake only had 4 total touches and seemingly lost all value this week. The only silver lining was the defense had 2 interceptions of Tom Brady and held Rob Gronkowski in check for the majority of the game, but it still resulted in a loss at the end of the day. The Dolphins take on a resurgent Bengals team next week and it will be interesting to see how Tannehill responds to being benched and if Drake regains his lead back status.

New England Patriots

-With Julian Edelman returning and Josh Gordon getting more acclimated to the offense, the Patriots passing game will look very different very soon. Expect Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, and Cordarrelle Patterson to lose targets as a result.

-Sony Michel and the run game looked wildly different than they did against the Lions. The running game volume is Michel's for the taking.

-Gronk's injury is worth monitoring as always, as it has a trickle down effect on his defenses play the Patriots.

Miami Dolphins

QB Ryan Tannehill, 36 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 20 - 100 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0
The gadget plays, and long shovel pass runs seemed like a distant memory for Tannehill this week as he looked lost on the field against the Patriots. The big plays from last week should have served as foreshadowing for his inability to get the ball down the field, but the overall numbers hid that. Tannehill's longest play of the game was also the first play of the game to Kenny Stills. He unloaded a deep pass down the right sideline and Stills was pushed out of bounds before he could break free. Unfortunately, it was a very similar play that resulted in an interception later in the game. Tannehill tried to take a shot down the field and let loose a lame duck that did not land anywhere near his receiver but instead went right to a New England defender. Tannehill does not have to worry about Osweiler taking his job, despite the garbage time touchdown he threw in relief. Tannehill is slated to be the starter next week against the Bengals, but it will be interesting to see how quickly or if the Dolphins pull him again when they are behind.

QB Brock Osweiler, 13 offensive snaps, Pass: 4 - 5 - 35 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0
This was probably not the opportunity that Osweiler wanted but he got his shot in relief of Tannehill in the 4th quarter. Osweiler looked good but it all came in garbage time against a soft New England defense that was playing with a big lead. He found Frank Gore on a 3rd and 2 play in the red zone. Osweiler rolled right as Gore leaked out into the flat. Gore broke a tackle and then walked into the end zone. His 1 rush attempt for 7 yards earned him second on the team in rushing this week and that is not something Kenyan Drake owners want to see. Osweiler is not taking over for Tannehill and will be relegated to backup duties again next week against the Bengals.

RB Frank Gore, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 41 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 1 (3 targets)
There was not a lot to celebrate for the Dolphins this week, but Gore did reach a mile stone. This was his 200th career game and he is only the 8th running back to do that all time. As a reward, he led the team in carries, yards, and touchdowns this week. He had a 14-yard scamper for a 1st down off the right side and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter. The pass came from Brock Osweiler who had rolled out to the right and found Gore open in the flat. He lowered his shoulder and broke a tackle before walking into the end zone for the Dolphins only touchdown of the game. There was not a lot to celebrate for the Dolphin offense this week, but Gore managed to do his part. It will be interesting to see how many touches he has next week against the Bengals and if they revert to Drake as the lead back.

RB Kenyan Drake, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)
With only 4 touches the entire game, it is easy to think that Drake got hurt or was benched for some reason. However, he just was not used as much as Frank Gore this week. With the Dolphins playing from behind early and getting down big against a superior opponent, they did not see the point in risking injury to their lead back. Gore did find some success with the added touches, but he does not figure to be the lead back going forward. If we see similar usage of Drake again next week it may be time for owners to panic, but right now this game just looks like it will be a blip on the radar.

WR Albert Wilson, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 4 - 19 - 0 (6 targets)
There is not a lot that went right for the Dolphins on offense and that includes Wilson. The biggest thing to note was he saw 6 targets this week and that tied Kenny Stills for the team lead. With Jakeem Grant also waiting in the wings it is tough to feel confident in either receiver. Wilson was at least given the chance to have a better game today. The Dolphins will need a receiver to step up behind Stills if they want to put forth a better showing against the Bengals next week.

WR Kenny Stills, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (6 targets)
It was a very promising start for Stills as he hauled in the first play of the game for 22 yards down the right sideline. He looked to have a step on his defender and could possibly take it to the house, but the safety managed to get over and push him out of bounds. From there it was errant passes sandwiched by short gains across the middle. Despite playing from behind, the Dolphins did not take many shots down field and Stills could not break free from his man. Stills has always been a boom or bust type of player and this game was definitely a bust for him.

WR Danny Amendola, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets)
With Davante Parker ruled out due to injury, many thought Amendola would see an uptick in usage. This was not the case and Amendola was almost nonexistent on the field. He had a single 18-yard catch and run but then only caught one other ball for 3 yards the rest of the game. Amendola was supposed to be the big off-season acquisition and he has not lived up to that to this point. The Dolphins are almost carrying too many wide receivers and it has cost Amendola targets.

WR DeVante Parker
DNP. Parker was announced as an inactive this week. This should have provided an uptick in targets for other receivers, but it was a disastrous day all around for the Miami offense. If Parker cannot stay healthy and get on the field, he may not end the season with the Dolphins.


New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 35 - 274 - 3 TD / 2 INT
The score doesn't show it, but the Pats blowout of the Dolphins was due in large part to the run game and defense. Tom Brady played decently, but had several errant throws and decisions. This included a near interception in the red zone and a miss to Cordarrelle Patterson on a slant route from the goal line. Brady's first interception was a terrible deep throw to Phillip Dorsett who was smothered in coverage and one of the more questionable decisions he's made period. The second was a throw as he was getting drilled by a defender, which is more forgivable. On the plus side was his touchdown toss to James White, which was a nice deep floated ball between defenders as he was once again getting hit. His first touchdown was an easy one to Patterson, who was able to get open via a pick route from Josh Gordon. The second was more of a product of a great catch by Phillip Dorsett, who caught a pass while making a front flip in midair. Brady was aided by a run game firing much better than it did last week, and a defense that absolutely clamped down on the Dolphins. As Gordon gets further integrated and Edelman returns, Brady should continue to improve.

RB Sony Michel, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 112 - 1
What a difference a week makes. Armed with better run blocking, Sony Michel ran all over the Dolphins defense, showing great patience for a rookie coupled with good, hard running. One of his first carries of the game, he followed right behind James Develin who paved the way for a 15 yard gain, which is just something you don't see many backs do early in their careers. Michel also had a few runs where he shed tackles for extra YAC, which was nice to see after last week's dud. His day could have been much bigger from a fantasy standpoint, as he was stuffed on the goal line twice in one particular drive. His touchdown was a toss from 10 yards out, and large credit goes to left tackle Trent Brown who cleared out the most threatening defender in Michel's way. It was a strong performance for the run game as a whole.

RB James White, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 44 - 1, Rec: 8 - 68 - 1 (10 targets)
Once again, guess who led the Pats in receiving? Though Sony Michel saw a bulk of the work on the ground, White had success in both phases against the Dolphins, scoring touchdowns on both the ground and in the air. His rushing touchdown was a pinball touchdown from 22 yards out, while his receiving touchdown was a deep float from Tom Brady where White managed to slip between defenders. White consistently beat defenders in both phases of the game, and will continue to be an integral part of the team, though his passing game share will lessen with Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman at full speed.

WR Phillip Dorsett, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 55 - 1 (7 targets)
Dorsett's big play was his nifty touchdown catch, which saw him do a front flip in midair as he caught the ball. His big blemish was a dropped deep ball that would have easily seen him over 100 yards on the day. He played a decent role against the Dolphins, but that could change with Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 3 - 54 - 1 (5 targets)
Patterson's big play was a 55 yard touchdown, set up by a pick play from Josh Gordon. It was fairly smooth sailing from there. Tom Brady also misfired on a slant route at the goal line to C-Patt, though his defender was on him pretty well. He didn't do much else on the day, as his two other touches were manufactured and went for -1 yards.

WR Josh Gordon, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (2 targets)
Gordon was clearly on a snap count, but made two grabs and a couple key blocks as he earns Tom Brady's trust. The pitch count was likely due to a short upcoming week and monitoring his hamstring, but he came out unscathed and did what he needed to do. His role should continue to grow.

WR Chris Hogan, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 25 - 0 (1 targets)
Hogan was once again invisible, with one target to show for his efforts on the day. With Julian Edelman coming back and Josh Gordon getting acclimated, he may not have a big role in the offense going forward.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (7 targets)
Though he didn't have a big day, the news for Gronk was that he left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Obviously this bears monitoring. The Dolphins paid very close attention to him, as he was double covered on several plays, yet still made tight window catches.