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

Thomas GaliciaFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Mike Wallace #11 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins (8-6) have defeated the New England Patriots (10-4) by the score of 24-20.

This is Miami's first victory over the Patriots since 2009, and it puts them firmly in the sixth seed in the AFC with Baltimore set to play the Detroit Lions on Monday night. New England falls to 10-4 and is only two games up on the Dolphins in the AFC East. 

Miami Dolphins Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst Half GradesGame Grades
Pass OffenseB-A
Run OffenseB-B-
Run DefenseC-D
Pass DefenseC-C-
Special TeamsFD
Week 14 vs. New England Patriots

Game Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Ryan Tannehill was simply incredible in the final drive. He should give thanks to Marcus Thigpen and Charles Clay (especially Charles Clay). Overall, Tannehill had one heck of a game, going 25-of-37 for 312 yards and three touchdowns with four sacks and no turnovers.

Run Offense:  Miami’s run offense could’ve done better, but did have a fairly good game with Lamar Miller getting the bulk of the carries (15 for 61 yards).

Run Defense:  Awful…that’s the best way to describe Miami’s run defense.

Pass Defense:  Even worse: That’s the best way to describe Miami’s pass defense. Tom Brady was able to do whatever he wanted to do to Miami’s defense whenever he wanted to do it—at least until the final plays of the game.  

Special Teams: I’m still grading the special teams harshly. They were terrible overall.

Coaching: Mike Sherman did a great job game-planning for this one. Kevin Coyle, not so much. Overall, it was an uneven game for the Dolphins coaching staff.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins rushes the ball under pressure from  Jamie Collins #91 of the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

First Half Analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: Ryan Tannehill has made some good throws and has been efficient this afternoon. The only problem is that he has taken three sacks, and two of them were coverage sacks. His touchdown pass to Wallace was a thing of beauty from the start. 

Run Offense:  The Dolphins did well with Lamar Miller and tend to do better when they stick with a back throughout the game instead of alternating running backs. They’re alternating backs, and Daniel Thomas has underperformed.

Run Defense:  New England can get whatever it wants whenever it wants however it wants against Miami’s run defense, but part of that is due to the ankle injury to Paul Soliai (per Armando Salguero, he’s questionable to return).

Pass Defense:  New England was going to make its living with short passes and screens. Apparently everyone knew this except for Kevin Coyle.

Special Teams: Just shameful and atrocious.

Coaching:  Mike Sherman isn’t the problem today. Kevin Coyle seems to be the only one in the country who didn't realize that Brady and the Pats would use short passes and screens all day, and the Dolphins’ execution on special teams has been embarrassingly bad.

As for Joe Philbin, he definitely gets an F thanks to his cowardice in not going for it on 4th-and-1 at the New England 24-yard line. You have a 6’4” quarterback, feel free to try the quarterback sneak!

Dolphins are lucky to only be down by three at halftime.