Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Patriots' Hogan, Slater active against Dolphins

Patriots' Hogan, Slater active against Dolphins

Miami quarterback Jay Cutler, meanwhile, put in one of his best games for the Dolphins since coming out of retirement to join the team in the offseason - he threw for 263 yards and three scores, including two to Jarvis Landry.

Offensively, the Patriots are averaging 29.0 points and 413.2 total yards (292.6 in passing and 120.6 in rushing) per game.

While the outcome of the game won't deflate the Patriots' playoff hopes, Landry's touchdown celebration likely deflated any hopes that the National Football League has fully moved on from the 2015 scandal.

The Patriots only gained two yards in the first quarter, their worst showing since Brady's first season as a starter, and they went 0-11 on third downs, something a Brady-led team has never done.

While Cutler outplayed Brady, the Dolphins (6-7) also got a strong performance from Kenyan Drake.

The New England Patriots have turned to the "next man up" and had continued success, which nearly makes it a surprise when it doesn't happen.

That one-handed snag went for 20 yards, and gave the offense some much-needed momentum.

Miami could only capitalise with a pair of Cody Parker field goals, however, and New England then took the lead with a Rex Burkhead three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The Dolphins had 121 yards on the ground and the Patriots accounted for just 25 rushing yards.

Miami Dolphins place-kicker Cody Parkey kicks a field goal during an National Football League game against the New England Patriots on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The third-down stats were alarming, as it was the first time the Patriots hadn't converted a single third-down play since the 1991 season.

As bad as Monday night was, the No. 1 seed in the AFC is still up for grabs when the Patriots and Steelers square off on Sunday. And the Patriots, in the stat that might be most surprising, were a staggering 0 for 11 on their third-down chances.

Needless to say, the Dolphins recovered and won the game.

"They did a good job tonight", Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of the Dolphins, before the rest of his postgame availability became mostly a collage of short, mumbled answers.

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