Pats vs Dolphins

The 1st Half



By Tom Mahoney

The game started off with foot to ball, which the NFL doesn’t seem to want any more, even though I do believe they call this game football. Miami received the ball and ran it out to the 16.

The Pats lined up in a 4-3, with Mike Wright next to Wilfork rather than Haynesworth.  Carter and Ellis started at D-End. On the first play Ninkovich blitzed from outside Carter’s shoulder and crushed Henne as he threw. However Henne had just enough time to get the pass off. He threw it a little high and Brandon Marshall dived for the ball. They called it an incompletion, because his elbow hit out of bounds before he got his second foot down. Then of course the refs had to step in and get it wrong just to start the season out correctly, and called it a catch. Henne did a nice job of running up to the line and pulled a “Brady”. They snap the ball before the reply could be seen so it couldn’t be overturned.

On 1st and 10 Wilfork got great penetration, but Incognito washed him past Henne who stepped to his right to throw. Ellis also beat Colombo with a nice Chop, but Colombo was able to recover and just shove him past Henne as he threw to Bush. Bush used his amazing speed to get past Mayo, which is not easy to do. Then he did a little dance, made a little move, and got the first down tonight.

The Pats gave up two straight plays of almost 20-yards. Vince burst off the line and was in the backfield in a split second, but he had run himself out of the play. Vernon Carey destroyed Wright, and Long got out to the second level and sealed Mayo. Which allowed Bush a free ride to the imaginary yellow first down line, which he promptly tripped over for a third straight 1st down.

The mighty Vince looked pissed, and took a powerful inside charge into Henne, and got his big mitts on him just as he threw. However, they were running a quick pass anticipating the pressure. Henne was able to three-step and throw in rhythm to a Slanting Hartline for six, even though he clearly dropped the ball on the turf. But the refs had to practice hard this first game to get it wrong, and successfully got it wrong again. Congratulations guys. On 2nd and 4 both Carter and Ellis got up field nicely, but neither came close to turning the corner. This was the least pressure Henne had so far, but Chung had the coverage and the pass went incomplete. 3rd and 4, they tried to go to Bush again, but he got a Mayo smackdown. They lineup in an odd front, but Ninkovich was the stand up rusher on the rightside. Mike Wright made a real nice inside Rip, but Carey was just able to wash him past Henne as he threw.

Miami came out on 4th and 1 and showed some smash-mouth football. Haynesworth was finally in. He lined up right on the nose and blast off the line with an impressive Swim over the Center. However the ball was run to the left, and the O-Center was able to grab Haynesworth from behind and Held him. The mighty Vince made a nice inside move on Long, and just as he was about to slam into Bush he ran into Incognito from the side. Bush was able to just slither away from Wilfork who looked like he was about to grab him by the rattle. Then Bush was able to somehow snake his way forward for a 1st down. It was great penetration by the mighty Vince and Haynesworth, but a better run by Bush.

This time with Haynesworth lined up on the right, he destroyed Incognito. Incognito tried to chop him, and Albert the agile danced right past him, and burst to his left with Bush in his brain. However, Jake Long, who had tried to double him, followed him down the line and then dived and tripped him from behind. That should have been an obvious Tripping penalty, but apparently the refs were hallucinating again and didn't see Long reach out and touch the agile Albert’s sneakers from behind. I don’t know what purple mushroom grove the refs went to before the game, but can I get directions? Anyway, Bush had to bounce it outside, and the agile Albert had danced into his way, and Ninkovich didn’t set the edge so he was able turn the corner. Chung came up and tackled him by his helmet, which apparently is a penalty. However, judging by the obvious number of purple mushrooms the head ref was on I’m not sure that it real is a penalty? The refs seemed to see Ninkovich getting Held on the edge so it was off-setting penalties, and I just wrote the longest review of a play that never happened. Well, hallucinations can be fun when you are dancing with the right tie-dyed mushrooms.

Miami came out running and the mighty Vince had some nice penetration, but fell down. Both Albert and Carter broke in from the rightside, and Bush was able to trim his way past them as he ran into Chung. However, Incognito Held Haynesworth so this hallucination never happened either.

On 1st and 20, Haynesworth came out. The D-Linemen fought hard, but they were all stalemated. Henne had a nice pocket and threw calmly to Marshal for a quick five. Henne, now feeling super confident play-actioned in the middle of his 7-step drop and threw instantly as Carter turned the corner and almost hit him. Fasano, who was perfectly covered by Guyton, had to dive up and catch the ball with one hand and crashed to the ground at the 2-yard line to make it 1st and Goal.

The Dolphins lined up like they were going to run, but planned on throwing. Mike Wright lined up outside at Left D-End flipped Fasano, and almost slipped into Bush who was play-actioned to. However, he slicked his way around Bush who just got a lick on his leg. But he was still able to get a hand on Henne, as André Carter used a simple speed rush to get past Long and hit Henne down. 2nd and Goal form the 10, and enter the agile Haynesworth. He was lineup at Right D-Tackle, Incognito tried to Chip block him into Long, and then slip off and hit Mayo. However, the agile Albert was able to Push-Pull off of Long and leap onto Bush. That is why he was Defensive MVP, because he can not only absorb the Double, but destroy it and kill the Runningback. 3rd and goal, the Dolphin came out in the shotgun thinking this was a college game, and called a Tim Tebow QB sneak from the shotgun. Henne humped his way into the Endzone for seven.

Edelman caught the ensuing kickoff 6 yard deep, and took it to the 22.

Brady came out looking happy. He threw it out of bounds as he had drawn Miami off sides. 1st and 5, Solder lineup at ORT next to Brian Winters. He pulled outside with some nice speed and crushed Carlos Dansby and allowed the Lawfirm to fall forward for three. 2nd and 2, Solder stoned Wake, who stopped rushing to cover the Lawfirm sneaking out of the backfield. Winters got Bulled backwards by Langford, but held his ground just long enough. The Pats slipped speedy Special Teamer Mathew Slater onto the field for his preseason patented fly pattern. Apparent Miami wasn’t watching as he sped down field and dived for a 47-yard bomb by Brady.

The Pats came out in the shotgun, however they ran the ball. Solder sealed Wake nicely as Winters Pulled outside and took care of Kevin Burnett, which gave the Lawfirm just enough turf to run for three. 2nd and 8, Brady got the pass away to Welker before either passrusher could reach Solder or Winter. 3rd and 4, Brady took a little more time. Solder let Wake get under his pads and bull rush him a little, but he was able to slow the momentum just enough for Brady to throw a strike to Gronk for 14 and a 1st and Goal from the 5-yard line. Winters was able to stalemate Tony McDaniel nicely.

As worried as I was when Miami drove right down the field, I am completely relaxed now as Brady looked like he was in the Zone and looking to really break some hearts. He handed off to the Lawfirm as Gronk had maybe his best block of his young career. He completely collapsed the leftside of the Miami D-Line leave the whole right side open. However, Mankins was pulling to the right and got caught in the trash of Gronk’s wake, and Solder pulled the second level and whiffed on Burnett, which left Burnett and Sean Smith with perfect position on the Lawfim. However, he juked inside, and then Spun outside, and bumbled his way into the Endzone to make it 7-7.

Miami came out running. They tried a Dive right at Love and Haynesworth, but neither was havin’ it. Love ended up on Bush’s thigh for two. 2nd and 8, Ellis and Carter got up field nicely, but neither could turn the corner. Haynesworth and Love both fell down, so Henne had a clear line of vision and threw easily to Bush for four, as he dripped his way out of bounds. On 3rd and 4, the rush wasn’t really there, but the coverage forced Henne to swing it out to Bush again. Ninkovich came off his rush to grab Bush and stop him short of the 1st down.

The Pats came out with pretty good field position. Brady hit Gronk down the seam for about 40, but it was called back for an illegal formation. Solder did an excellent job on Wake. He came under his arms and brought his hands up like a double undercut and grabbed shirt with both hands and stalemated him easily. Connolly was in for Winters, and just danced with air as the D-Tackle stunted himself out of the play. Meanwhile Brady threw another perfect pass to Branch for 14. On 2nd and 1 Solder had another nice block, he kickstepped back a few times, then caught Wake by his shirt again and just stopped. He completely stoned Wake. Meanwhile Connolly fought Langford for four yards as Brady somewhere high up in the Zone tossed an easy pass to Hernandez Dragging across the middle for 4-yards and a 1st down. Hernandez took the pass and turned it up field for another 12-yards and across midfield.

The Pats were now no-huddling, and tossed it to Woodhead on the outside for a shotgun sweep. Woodhead just outran everybody to the sideline for five. Solder stalemated Wake again easily as Brady fired another bullet to Welker for 21-yards. And before the Dolphins could breath they were at the Line again attacking. Brady handed off to Woodhead on the rightside again. Connolly and Solder both had nice blocks, but Karlos Dansbury was able to fly over from the weakside and hit Woodhead at the LOS. Woodhead somehow pinballed his way forward for a couple of yards, and ended the 1st quarter.

2nd and 8, and a play-action pass to Gronk. Who fought for 2 more yards. 3rd and 6, Solder stoned Wake again on the edge, and just as Brady threw the ball Connolly snuck over and shoulder-padded him right in the ribs. Brady still in the Zone fired another bullet to Gronk for another far to easy looking touchdown pass to put the Pats up 14-7.

Clyde Gates had a great return on the kickoff, but it was called back for holding. Miami came out in the shotgun. The Pats came out with Wilfork and Haynesworth. They ran right at Haynesworth who got knocked back 2-yards, but then held his ground and never moved back another inch as he tackled the RB. 2nd and 7, Haynesworth got tackle to the ground by Mike Pouncey, as Bush bounced out into the hole created by the tackle and ran into Mayo, Chung, and Arrington for 5. 3rd and 3, Haynesworth got in a nice punch on Incognito, but he re-anchored. Ninkovich stunted inside of Wright, but neither could reach Henne as he fled the pocket. Henne now with no big uglies in front of him threw easy to Hartline running an Out 17-yards down field.

Miami came out in 3-wide, Henne tried to hit Marshal streaking down the sideline. However, the Pats relentless rush reached him this time as Myron Prior punch Carey right off his feet and tackle Henne just after he threw.

1st and 10, and Miami came out running. Bush slicked his way behind his O-Lineman who were moving down field. He finally burst free as Chung swung in and hit him, but he fell forward for 7. The Pats D-Line was dominated on that play, as Wilfork was Trapped nicely, and Prior Sealed. On 3rd and 2 they tried a Power Toss to Bush, but McCourty forced it inside, and some Dane named Fletcher crushed Bush before he could reach the LOS. Miami had to punt.

The Pats came out at the fifteen as Edelman made a mental error on the punt return. Brady overthrew Welker and the Lawfirm picked up the only blitzer who had a chance to hit Brady and stoned him. Solder and Winters both Sealed their guys. Woodhead ran the ball to the other side. He slashed between Koppen and Light and rumbled forward for 8. 2nd and 2, they ran another Power Toss Right to Woodhead for a 1st down. Lined up in Trips right, with Gronk and Hernandez playing WR. Solder got outside quickly and took out the OLB, and Woodhead slashed inside that block.

1st and 10, and the O-Line was blocking well. Brady tossed it to Hernandez who lined up in the slot and then Curled inside of Gronk’s Seam route. He ran up field for 9. The Pats stay with the no huddle and don’t allow the wheezing Dolphins to sub out. Because of Gronk and Hernandez they can go from a spread to a power formation without subbing anyone. Last pay spread. This play Big Single-back formation. They run a Dive-Right with Woodhead. Solder and Winter making the first down. Solder blocks down on the D-Tackle, while Winters holds him up. Then once Solder is driving him backwards, Winters slides off the blocks and takes out the ILB. Woodhead just runs full speed between the two for the 1st down.

The offensive line dominates the Dolphin passrushers as Brady has about 7 seconds to throw. He finally goes deep to Welker, and just overthrows him by half a fingernail. The Pats O-Line dominates again as Brady throws quickly to Edelman. Who worms his way for nine. 3rd and 1, Woodhead runs behind Light and Mankins for a 1st down.

A false start makes it 1st and 15. Winter and Solder are solid again, as Miami sends an outside blitzer, Winters transfers over to Wake as Solder picks up the outside guy. However, they send another outside guy on Light’s side. He has to take the inside rusher and the Lawfirm as to take the outside blitzer. The blitzer Sean Smith leaps over the Law, and hits Brady as he is throwing to help cause the incompletion. Because of all the pressure Brady had to throw just a hair early and Gronk couldn’t catch up with the early throw. Solder killed Cameron Wake on this key 3rd down, on what some Dolphin fans might call a hold as he clotheslined Wake to the turf. I however, being a neutral observer, would call it an nice efficient block. Brady hit Branch for 8-yards. They were seven yards short of the 1st down and had to punt.

Kyle Arrington caught the punt at the 3-yard line. On 1st and 10, Bush leaked his way to the LOS, but ran into Love for nothing. On 2nd and 9, Carter got behind Henne and spooked him a bit. He throw a little short, and Bodden leaped up should have intercepted it. The pressure was finally getting to Henne on 3rd and 9. Anderson jumped inside the blocking Tight End, who grabbed him from behind and spun him around in another obvious Hold. However, Prior and Carter high-lowed Henne as he was throwing, and the ball barely squabbled past the LOS. The Dolphins had to punt.

On 1st and 10, both Solder and Connolly whiffed, but the ball was going to the opposite side. Mankins and Light threw nice blocks, but Woodhead was only able to fall forward for a yard. On 2nd and 9, Brady gets flushed out of the pocket by Langford and throws it away. On 3rd and 9, Solder has to go wide to take the rusher outside Wake, and Winters is late getting there. Wake is able to sneak through and hit Brady as he is throwing to force the punt.

Dolphins come back with the two TE formation. The Dolphin’s O-Line does a nice job and Henne is able to step into the pocket and throw easily to Devon Bess. Who breaks a tackle and run for 25-yards.

1st and 10, Ellis made a nice inside move on Colombo, but just as he was about to hit Henne, Chung came flying through a gap and crushed him. 2nd and 13, and Haynesworth draws a Holding call on Incognito to make it 2nd and 23. Miami tries to run it up the middle. Carey was pulling and left Myron Prior virtually unblocked for some reason, and he crushed Bush in the backfield for a loss of too little to measure. 3rd and 23, Anderson beats Colombo with an outside Rip, and grabs Henne’s shirt as he flies by. He doesn’t sack him, but he forces him to throw underneath and short of the 1st down.

The Pats get the ball back at the ten with less than two to go. Wake gets under Solder’s pads and shoved him back into Brady as he throws to cause the incompletion. The Pats come back with a Draw to Woodhead that fools everybody. He gets nine as the Dolphins D-line runs past him. Brady then sneaks it for the 1st down. However, Koppen got injured (later reported as a broken ankle). 

With Connolly now in at Center, Brady hits Ocho for 15. Brady then hits Gronk for 23. Brady just in pure rhythm hit Gronk for 21. Solder got beat outside by Wake, who slapped Brady in the arm. But Brady just calmly turned hit Gronk on a rope. Brady tried to back-shoulder Ocho. Ocho leaped to catch the ball, but Vontae Davis grabbed him and threw him to the ground before the ball arrived for another hallucinary non-call.

2nd and ten and Solder gets beat by Wake’s speed as he Rips around the corner. But Brady makes a great play and hits Welker with an amazing pass. However, a Holding call on Solder erased the play. Solder was beat by Wake and Solder did the only thing he could to stop him from hitting Brady, he grabbed shirt from behind. It was a bad play getting beat so badly, but the Hold actually prevent Brady from getting hit. 2nd and 20, and Solder get some more bad luck. He stopped Wake. Who then broke through with second effort. However, Sodler’s second effort stoned him again. But Brady broke from the pocket and ran behind Solder, just as Langford fell and smashed right into Solder’s legs from behind. He went down and Wake got the Sack on triple effort. Gostkowski missed the field goal attempt to keep the score 14-7 at the half.



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