Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami

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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins (3-4) leave Foxborough with another heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots (6-2) by the score of 27-17. 

At halftime, the Dolphins led 17-3. 

For the Dolphins, it's their fourth consecutive loss, which drops them to 0-2 against the AFC East, thus making any potential playoff trip that much more out of reach. 

Here's a look at the grades and analysis for another in a long line of Miami Dolphins disappointments. 

 

Miami Dolphins Game Grades
Position Unit 1st-Half Grade Game Grade
Pass Offense B+ D
Run Offense A+ A
Run Defense A- D
Pass Defense A+ A
Special Teams B+ C-
Coaching A+ F

Week 8 vs. New England Patriots

Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: What happened in the second half? 

Let's start with Mike Wallace's drop, which was the turning point of the game. A sack would follow, then, due to the longer distance, a missed field goal. From that point on, Miami struggled to move the ball in the air and wouldn't score for the rest of the game. 

Run Offense: In a surprise to nobody, the Dolphins would do well running the football against a Patriots run defense that's among the worst in the NFL.

In a similarly unsurprising fashion, the Dolphins would stop running the ball in the second half, only running the ball 11 times. (They ran it 22 times in the first half.)

Run Defense: As the game went on, Miami's defensive line would get worn down as well, allowing the Patriots to run for 110 yards on 23 attempts. 

Pass Defense: I can't complain too much about the pass defense. Even when he was "hot" in the second half, Tom Brady still looked bad. Good job here. 

Special Teams: What's wrong with Caleb Sturgis? It seems like he not only cooled off, but actually got worse after that Baltimore missed field goal. I know kickers are flaky, but that's just horrendous.  

Coaching: Yes, I thought the Dolphins coaching staff was excellent in the first half. 

But they were back to their horrendous, normal selves in the second half, which I should've seen coming but ignored.

Yes, the officials practically spotted New England 13 points in this game, a game Miami lost by 10. Despite that, well-coached teams can fight through poorly officiated games and pull out the win. Well-coached teams don't lose 14-point leads in the span of seven minutes. 

The Miami Dolphins are not a well-coached team. Call me any name in the book like many did last week, but Joe Philbin is not a good NFL head coach. In fact, I think the guy is quite atrocious at his job, but mixed in with that he's too arrogant to see that what he's trying to do isn't working.

He should be fired at the end of the season, and this game proves it because it looks like this team has quit on him, and we saw that in the second half. 

/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: So far Ryan Tannehill has recovered well from his worst game, and a lot of that has to do with what looks like improved pass protection. 

With plenty of time to throw, Tannehill hasn't had the best numbers (11-of-18 for 72 yards and two touchdowns for a QB rating of 106.7), but he's managed the game well. 

Run Offense: Miami's run blocking seems to have improved, although some of that does have to do with New England's bad run defense. Thus far, the Dolphins have rushed for 103 yards on 22 carries, and with the advantage they have going into halftime, one would think the Dolphins will run the ball more in the second half. 

Run Defense: If there has been one thing Miami hasn't done well today, it's been defending the run. Even as I say that, it's not like they have been a disaster, as the Patriots have only run for 42 yards on 14 attempts. The best news: no bad missed tackles. 

Pass Defense:  The only flaw on pass defense: a rather dubious pass interference call on Jimmy Wilson that led to a Patriots field goal. I can't blame anyone for that but the officials, but other than that, this pass defense has been excellent. Thus far, Tom Brady has only thrown for 25 yards, going 6-of-8 with an interception. 

Special Teams: Marcus Thigpen had a tough time on his two kickoff returns, but Brandon Fields did a great job on both of his punts. 

Coaching: I'm not playing the results so far here because even if the results didn't pan out the way they did, this coaching staff is actually doing a great job in terms of play-calling, while the team has been very well-disciplined thus far (save for Richie Incognito's penalty on an extra point). 

The best example of the Dolphins coaching staff doing well: the Dolphins' last offensive play of the half, where on 3rd-and-5 they went deep to Charles Clay. Loved seeing them call that play despite it not working, as it showed that this team was interested in not just doing what it takes to be safe, but doing what it takes to win. 

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